Columbiana County Port Authority’s Efforts Recognized

LISBON, Ohio – Members of the Columbiana County Port Authority Board of Directors learned at their regular meeting earlier this week that the effort its small team of employees invests in area development is being noticed and appreciated.

During the meeting, Executive Director Penny Traina unveiled the Outstanding Leadership Award for Community Service the port authority received Nov. 13 during the Ohio School Board Association Capital Conference in Columbus.

The port authority was nominated by the Columbiana County Educational Service Center in recognition of the contributions made to the community by promoting economic development and infrastructure improvements, Traina reported.

Also recognized was the role the port authority has played in attracting businesses, creating jobs and enhancing transportation and logistics, ultimately boosting the local economy and quality of life for county residents.

Unprecedented at the time, the port authority helped make high-speed internet available to schools, hospitals and commercial and government entities in a region where none existed.

As an active member of the Business Advisory Council, the port authority provides vital information, support and technical assistance as it addresses the workforce needs of the county and is also open to talk to teachers and students about its role.

A commendation was also received by the port authority from state Rep. Monica Robb Blasdel of Columbiana, R-79th, recognizing the importance of the Global Investment Hub in connecting Ohio with the world, Traina said. 

“She congratulated us on our forward-thinking and collaborating with our partners to build a better future for our community,” Traina said.

“We are thankful once again for Rep. Blasdel for an additional commendation recognizing October as Manufacturing Month. She commended the port for establishing ourselves as the ambassador for the region and advocating for the many workers and businesses,” Traina said.

The celebration of Manufacturing Month in East Palestine, where more than 200 lunches were served to local manufacturers’ employees, was a “very successful event,” Traina said.

She told board members that U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also sent a commendation recognizing the grand opening of the Global Investment Hub, saying the project will help spur investment in the region from companies all over the world looking to start or relocate in this area. 

Local resident Stevie Halverstadt also presented to the port authority two framed pictures, one depicting the Port Development Plan Proposal, dated June 23, 1977, and the other depicting officers of the then newly organized port authority, including Halverstadt’s father, Ray Lewis, who was named chairman at that time. 

Among agenda items the board approved were two lease agreement renewals for the Columbiana County Community Action Agency with no changes in the cost or lease details.

Pictured at top: The Outstanding Leadership Award for Community Service.

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