Are you someone?

We get many calls and visitors to the office that want information about the business climate in our community. Some have been “creeping” on Facebook where it seems all you read are negative comments and sad stories. I’m delighted when they seek us out to get additional information before forming an opinion. I’m not going to sugarcoat our issues, but I’m not going to leave out our successes and opportunities as I think they tell a great story about our area.

I had two such visitors this past Thursday. One is the district manager for a new business that will open soon in our town and the other works for a company doing a feasibility assessment for a loan to buy an existing business in our town.

The district manager is hiring 40 employees for the new business. He’s driving around in our downtown. He’s meeting as many people as he can. “I’ve only had the chance to spend about 4 days here and I love it! I love the energy here.” He lives in another town about 2 hours away in West Virginia and this was his first visit to Parkersburg. “There’s something good going on here and we are excited to be a part of it.” He shared background about the family-owned business he works for and why his employer likes to get involved in a community. “In the other communities where we have locations, we have supported organizations like the Salvation Army and Special Olympics.” I walked him over to one of our windows and pointed out the Salvation Army campus on 5th Street.

“Tell me about the area,” said the feasibility analyst from Washington, D.C. We talked about the Hino Motors expansion; we talked about the ribbon cuttings the Chamber does for new and growing businesses and what that symbolizes. We talked about some sad things that are happening in our community because you have to be honest. “Where’s the historic hotel called the Blen…?” I know, it’s a hard name to pronounce for most people the first time. I walked him over to one of our windows and said, “See that building with the round brick turret? That’s the Blennerhassett Hotel, and that big island in the river is Blennerhassett Island.”

I love our community. We have many things to be proud of in our towns and neighborhoods. Likewise we have several issues that are really concerning and there are people trying things to make it better. I don’t need to tell you that spending time complaining will not make them go away. Are you like me when you hear the words “I wish someone would…”? Guess what? YOU are SOMEONE. And it’s encouraging there are others interested in our area and want to help make it better too. So my glass is more than half full because every day more “someones” speak up and start on an adventure to make a difference.


Upcoming Chamber events:

November Business After Hours hosted by BB&T

* Tuesday, November 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. at BB&T, 329 E 8th St. Parkersburg

* Please join us for our November Business After Hours with BB&T! Spend some time networking with new and familiar faces of the MOV Chamber all while enjoying a delicious Qdoba burrito bar, complimentary beer and wine, activities, door prizes and sweet treats from Cheryl’s Cookies provided by Crown Florals! Bring your oldest coins to participate in a fun door prize activity!

* Free for Chamber members. Access RSVP link via calendar at

Ribbon Cutting/Open Hours for IN A JAM!

* Wednesday, November 8 from noon to 1 p.m. at Crown Florals, 1933 Ohio Avenue, Parkersburg

* Ribbon Cutting will take place at 12:15 p.m.

* Join us to celebrate the official ribbon cutting ceremony with our new member, In A Jam! Owner Andrea Duke is excited to showcase her delicious jams and jellies at one of the local stores where you can find her products. Refreshments and door prizes will be offered following the ceremony.

* Free for all Chamber members. Access RSVP link via calendar at

Ribbon Cutting/Open Hours for new

Parkersburg YMCA Daycare

* Thursday, November 9 from 4-5 p.m. at St. Joseph Landing, 1824 Murdoch Avenue, Parkersburg

* Ribbon Cutting will take place at 4:15 p.m.

* Please join us to welcome the Parkersburg YMCA Daycare to their new location! Stick around afterwards for refreshments, door prizes, and tour their new facilities.

* Free for all Chamber members. Access RSVP link via calendar at

Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet

* Tuesday, November 14 from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Parkersburg Art Center

* $60/person. Register today at 304.422.3588 or download the registration form at

Ribbon Cutting/Open House for Fouss

Furniture Outlet

* Wednesday, November 29 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at 517 21st Street, Vienna

* Ribbon Cutting will take place at 9:45 a.m.

* Start your day with us by helping us celebrate the Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening of Fouss Furniture Outlet! Come out to support this new business and welcome them to our organization!

* Open to all MOV Chamber members. Access RSVP link via calendar at

Visit this space every other Sunday for more Chamber news. We also invite you to call us at 304-422-3588, email us at, or stop by the Chamber office at 501 Avery Street, 9th Floor in Parkersburg


Jill Parsons, MBA is the President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.