Salem Chamber Award Winners Celebrate the Community

SALEM, Ohio – Living in Washington D.C. gave Jacqueline Berthold perspective on where she prefers to live. She realized she wanted a slower lifestyle and she didn’t like the traffic.

After stops in Arizona and Maryland, Berthold and her family moved to Salem in 1979.

“It felt comfortable from the moment we moved here,” Berthold said.

During the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Wednesday, Berthold accepted the Citizen of the Year award. Others honored at the event included Lib’s Market for Small Business of the Year, MAC Trailer for Large Business of the Year and the Salem Community Center for Nonprofit of the Year.

As she addressed those gathered at the Salem Golf Club, holding the wooden plaque with mounted gold plate, the graduate of Poland Seminary High School and Kent State University talked about founding Custom Tax Services in 1993 with a business partner. In 2011, the company was sold to D.T. Moore & Co.

Now a liaison with D.T. Moore, Berthold can be found spending her free time at the Salem Community Pantry, the Salem Public Library and assisting with a few other causes around town.

“It makes all the difference if you can enjoy and be happy where you live,” Berthold said. “It is my pleasure to be a part of this impressive place. Thank you for making it the way that it is. I appreciate it.”

Berthold shares something in common with two of the award winners, in that she is not originally from Salem, but made the community her home. Ben Ratner, a native of Virginia, moved to East Palestine in 2011 and, four years later, opened Lib’s Market at 408 E. State St. with his wife, Lindsay.

Located in the former Thomas-Griener Bank, which was built in 1858, Lib’s is a restaurant and offers catering services. Ratner was taught that happiness leads to success, he told the event’s attendees, and his goal is to make the people around him as happy as possible.

“Being part of that in Salem is growing the community, being proud of the community and making it a beacon for others to kind of … I don’t know, be inspired by, ” Ratner said.

Being a part of the community and contribute to it is also important to Dennis Postiy, corporate vice president of MAC Trailers. The Alliance-based company operates some 1.35 million square feet of properties across the country. Of its some 250 employees, about 91 call Salem home and work at the building at 1453 Allen Road.

“We want to be a part of the community, it’s important for us to be a part of the community and the chamber is certainly a big part of that,” Postiy said.

Heather Young, executive director of the Salem Community Center, spoke on behalf of the organization that has provided child care, banquet rooms and playing space for recreational sports since 2002.

Accepting the award from Dan Scarpitti, past president of the chamber, “felt weird,” she said, because Scarpitti worked for Young and the community center after he graduated college.

“We start employing a lot of the people around us, your children, at age 16, whether it’s life-guarding, sitting at a desk, working on the fitness floor,” Young said. “And now they continue to come back and work for us in multiple capacities, giving back to their community, supporting their community.”

Pictured: Accepting awards at the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting were Jacqueline Berthold, D.T. Moore & Co.; Heather Young, Salem Community Center; Lindsay and Ben Ratner with son Simon, Lib’s Market; and Dennis Postiy, MAC Trailers.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.