Tribune humbled by Chamber award

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sometimes in life it isn’t an award itself that means so much but rather the validation that all the hard work and commitment to doing a good job has been recognized.

That couldn’t be truer of how the staff feels about the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce’s recent announcement that it will honor The Tribune as its 2008 Business of the Year.

I think there are countless other businesses in our community that are just as or even more deserving of this award, but it is truly humbling to be a part of The Tribune team that will be honored.

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It is also exciting to join the outstanding other honorees that will be recognized Nov. 20 at the event at OUS. You couldn’t ask for better company.

Carol Allen will be honored as the George Patterson Person of the Year for her community service that includes co-chairing the Ironton in Bloom organization, which will share the Project Impact Award for Beautification with Operation TLC (Tidy Up Lawrence County).

Joe Freeman, owner of Health Management Nursing Services Inc, Ultimate Healthcare Inc., and Quality Care Nursing Services Inc. in South Point and Gallipolis, will be honored as Entrepreneur of the Year.

An award like this shows that our goals — which you can read below this column — that include taking an active leadership role in the community have been deemed worthy and successful. I feel like a proud parent who just has to brag about his child.

To have a group of our peers in the business community determine that The Tribune is deserving of this honor is completely overwhelming.

Each and every member of The Tribune team plays a key role in all that we do and all the success that we have.

One thing allows us to serve Lawrence County so well: We are your neighbors. We live in the communities we serve.

While some employees live across the river in our neighboring states, most live right here in Lawrence County. Some live in Coal Grove. Some live in Ironton. Some live in Chesapeake. Some live in South Point. Some live in Proctorville. Some live in the more rural areas of the county.

This diversity allows us to better serve the community and has for more than 150 years as a hometown newspaper.

The Ironton Tribune began publication on Aug. 1, 1928, when the Daily Irontonian and the Ironton Register were merged into one publication. The Register was founded in 1850 and the Irontonian in 1874. Once a staple of downtown Ironton on Railroad Street, The Tribune moved to its new building at 2903 S. Fifth St. in 1974.

Is the newspaper perfect? Of course not. But I can assure you we are always striving to become a better newspaper — and we are making solid progress.

The Ohio Associated Press honored The Tribune as the best community newspaper in the state for the past three years and four times in the last five years. Since 2002, the newspaper has received more than 100 awards for news articles, opinions, photographs and page design.

The newspaper continues to seek new and innovative ways to serve the community.

In September, The Tribune launched a redesigned Web site, with expanded features to promote community involvement, as well as a new site,, that allows the newspaper staff and community members to share photos from across the region.

In October, The Tribune launched two daily, modified editions, The Chesapeake Tribune and The Proctorville Tribune, and their corresponding Web sites, which feature additional content from those communities.

The Tribune’s leadership team strongly believes in being active in the community and the company spends thousands of dollars each year on civic commitments.

The newspaper was one of the original organizers of the Gus Macker basketball tournament, which it continues to support each year. The paper was also a lead sponsor of the Ironton in Bloom beautification project. Other projects in 2008 included continued support of the Lawrence County Relay for Life, the Eastern Lawrence Youth Soccer Association and dozens of other civic clubs, church events, school activities and community projects.

We are Lawrence County’s only HOMETOWN newspaper and it is you — the readers and the community — who make all the hard work worthwhile.

Having that support and hearing someone say, “job well done” is an award in itself.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at