Chamber to host awards banquet

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An executive of one of the leading industries in the Tri-State will be the keynote speaker at the annual Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Installation of Officers Dinner.

James Cantrell, refining division manager-Kentucky for Marathon Petroleum Co., will address the banquet to be held Thursday, Oct. 15, at Ohio University Southern.

Cantrell, a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Kentucky, began his career in 1976 as a technical services engineer at the Catlettsburg refinery, when it was part of the then Ashland Petroleum Co.

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He moved up the corporate ladder becoming vice president in charge of refining from Ashland Petroleum from 1991 to 1997.

When Ashland Inc. and Marathon entered into a joint venture that included the Catlettsburg refinery, Cantrell began as director of refining operations at Findlay and refining division manager at the Canton refinery before returning home to Catlettsburg in 2007.

“We are very fortunate to have Jim Cantrell as our keynote speaker,” Bob Smith, Chamber of Commerce director, said. “Mr. Cantrell will be able to offer a new and fresh perspective on the oil industry and how it will affect the Tri-State area in the days ahead.”

Also at the banquet will be the installation of new chamber officers. Taking over as president of the Chamber will be Stephanie Burcham, director of the Proctorville Center of Ohio University Southern.

Doug Korstanje, director of marketing and community relations at St. Mary’s Medical Center, will be named internal vice president and Sandy Carroll, owner of Safeguard Business, Printing and Promotional Products as external vice president. Ron Eastham, owner of Eastham and Associates surveying firm, will be secretary and out-going Chamber president, Tyler Walters with Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, will stay on the board as treasurer.

During the program several awards will be presented to area businesses and individuals including Business of the Year; Person of the Year; Business Entrepreneur of the Year; and Community Service Volunteer of the Year.

Single tickets are still available and may be purchased in advance for $35 by contacting Bob Smith at (740) 377-4550 or via email at

The banquet begins at 6 p.m. at the Riffe Building Mains Rotunda.