STEUBENVILLE - As key speaker for Eastern Gateway Community College's commencement Saturday, Nancy Trombetta, a regional human resources manager for Huntington Bank, suggested this question as an icebreaker whenever meeting someone at an informal gathering:
"If all the jobs in the world paid exactly the same amount of money and commanded the same level of respect, whether it was chairman of the board or a ditchdigger, what would you most like to do for a living?"
"Only one in 30 people answer, 'I would be doing the same thing that I am doing now," Trombetta said.
OFFERING ADVICE — Nancy Trombetta, a regional human resources manager for Huntington Bank, told graduating students at Eastern Gateway Community College to seek the job that will bring them satisfaction and embrace change in the ever-changing work world. — Warren Scott
"Only one in 30! That is kind of sad," she said, adding, the Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, "Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life."
"If you remember one thing from my address today, I hope it is that wisdom," Trombetta told the 265 students who received degrees during the college's 41st commencement program and its first as Eastern Gateway Community College.
Helping to usher the graduate students in were the Gem City Brass Sextet of Toronto and the Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh.
A Steubenville resident, Trombetta has worked in various positions in the banking industry and received the Bank One President's Award for Outstanding Achievement while employed by that bank.
But she revealed her own life took some twists and turns before she discovered her chosen profession.
A graduate of the former Mingo High School, where she graduated 11th in her class; and EGCC's predecessor, Jefferson Technical Institute, Trombetta worked in the medical field and as a court reporter for a time.
But unsatisfied with her work, she applied for a job at a bank where she met Elaine Rogerson, a human resources manager who became her mentor.
"To this day, I encourage everyone, even seasoned professionals, to find a mentor - someone who is respected and successful, who will be their confidante and guide. It will serve you well," Trombetta advised.
She earned a bachelor's degree in human resource management at Wheeling Jesuit University while working in the banking field, where she saw several changes, as one bank would be acquired by another.
But a professor at WJU had encouraged her to "always embrace your environment,. In other words, appreciate your current place in life, never shy away from meeting new people, even those that you may not want to meet at the moment, because you will learn and be enriched by each person.
And maintaining a positive attitude has served her well, Trombetta said.
"In many industries, you have to get accustomed to mergers and acquisitions. One thing remained true for those involved in an acquisition: the employees who maintained a positive attitude and were flexible in trying something new always seemed to end up with a job," she said.
Trombetta encouraged the graduating students to be open to change and to believe in themselves.
"I believe our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become who we become," she said.
Trombetta encouraged each graduate's family and friends to "provide honest support. Be there, for both the difficult and for the joyful times" and each graduate to be open to advice.
"Just as my life took some dramatic twists and turns, if you keep an open mind, follow your heart and always strive for your dreams, you will reach your potential," she said.
"A proverb I am fond of describes each person's life as an unfinished quilt, a work in progress, with every square representing a unique time period in your life." she said.
"At any one point. you can look back over the squares representing the times and experiences in your past life. The challenge is that you don't know what patterns lie ahead, what is in store for you as the quilt progresses. but never forget the actual force crafting this quilt is God," Trombetta said.
"With God as your partner and with the courage to believe in yourself and determination to always expand your horizons, you can shape the future design of your life into a brilliant pattern. As you celebrate this day and look to the exciting times ahead ....that is my fervent wish for you...a rich and brilliant pattern of success," she concluded.
EGCC President Laura Meeks told the students that former president Harry S. Truman is said to have told his Sunday school class, "Don't try to be important. Do important things, and let the chips fall."
She encouraged the graduates to play an active role in their communities and families.
Area EGCC graduates are:
Adena - Christopher Basich and Jodi Kendziorski.
Amsterdam - Cynthia Day, Cody McCoy, Eric Miller and Jennifer Wiley.
Bergholz - Jason Keffer, Angelique McCoy and Robert Joseph Adams.
Bloomingdale - Jeremy Lee Blackburn, Troylynn Boggs, Mara Carducci, Shanna Carmichael, Kaira Breanne Cooper, Jon Steven Eick, Ian Feist, Valerie Gubanez, Keith Miller, Mary Jo Thompson and Aimee Vein.
Brilliant - Edra Dulaney, Ronald Allen Dulaney, Morgan Ensell, William Ensell, Vernon Madison and Howard Scivinsky.
Cadiz - Michael Hauber, Annie Long, Chelsea Rusen and Sara Skinner.
Dillonvale - David Babel, Jessica Besece, Amanda Olszeski, David Pietro and Melissa Pietro.
East Springfield - Kristen Hutchison.
Empire - Ashley Matthews.
Hammondsville - Maria Pole and Suzanne Workman.
Hopedale - Jacquelyn Smith.
Irondale - Brittany Champion, Danell Plunkett and Christine Warren.
Jewett - Kailee Kale and Jessica Olenick.
Mingo Junction - Elizabeth Benton, James Boyuk, Jeremy Cline, Gabrielle Connors, Crystal Eddy, Sara Fram, Amber Garlinger, Brittany Hammack, Ashley Kerr, Kimberly McCalla and Mary Sismondo.
Rayland - Andrea Chestnut, Jamie Freeman, Phillip Kinkus, Ashley Lynn Langford, Chasity Neale, Emily Ann Polen and Christopher Ralston.
Richmond - John Fenske, Stephanie Franklin, Samuel Gill, Shay Greiner, Kaitlyn Marie McCartney and Reese Thompson.
Salineville - Nicole Beadnell.
Scio - Carol Davis, Derek Hawkins, Randolph Reposa and Glenda Yekel.
Smithfield - Thomas Arnett.
Steubenville - Nicole Beagle, Samantha Bilyou, Craig Blackwell, Charles Bolner, Janese Boston, Brittany Brown, Raeann Brynza, Asia-Nicole Burke, Debra Kay Charlier, Jennifer Corona, Stacey Cragun, Sean Daly, Paul Michael DeJaro, Kyle Demattio, Anthony Dicarlantonio, Melissa Jo Dray, Maureen Dzomba, Ryesa Elder, Mark Everhart, Holly Exterovich, Melinda Featherston, Patricia Fisher, Connie Foster, Erica Gallagher, Onisha Gilbert, Celina Gomez, Ruth Gray, Patricia Harper, Tammy Hibbard, ChezRae Hobley, Frank Holmes, Angel Johnson, Gary Jones, Maria Suzanna Kafel, Kevin Lewis, Octavia Lover, Adam Maruca, Ashley Mavromatis, Valerie McMillen, Heather Miller, Lenda Mills, Angela Montgomery, Donna Moore, Timothy Nehrbas, Angela Nixon, Jacqueline Ochai, Shawna Ortiz, Lindsey Marie Osso, James Pierce, Bradley Piko, Erica Pitts, Lucas Powell, Nathaniel Richmond, Juanita Robinson, Brittany Ross, Tina Rouse, Raeni Runkel, Kathleen Savoie, Concetta Silvestri, Alan Michael Stevens, Kimberly Stover, Kimberly Straker, Cristie Summers, Rudolph Benjamin Taliani, Christina Diane Taylor, John Taylor, George Vein, Shontee Wallace, John Joseph Ward, Christopher Warzinski, Kevin Williams, Christopher Wright, Joann Yakubowski and Amber Zullo.
Stratton - Ivan Boggs.
Tiltonsville - Sarah Vargo.
Toronto - Keisha Bickerstaff, Brian Patrick Blair, Shane Blanton, Nia Chilensky, Corbin Cline, James Coffey, Kenneth Wayne Coulter, Victoria Elliott, Adam Firm, Krishele Lee Fithen, Brian Grant, Megan Gray, Nicoyia Grimm, Nadine Hager, Paul Heffner, Sarah Hinerman, Sabrina Isaac, Joshua Keirsey, Ashley Jordan Mallorey, Matthew Robert Marker, Aaron Mosti, Steven Ohalek, Mark Oxier, Dana Phillips, Ashlea Sciarra, George William Scott, William Takacs, Katrinka Valuska, Cody Zimmerman and Doyle Zimmerman.
Wellsville - Robert Bennett, John Matthew Gates, Ashley Marie Long, Richelle Lee Miller and Nicholas Woods.
Wintersville - Brittany Ankrum, Robert Bowers, Jaime Chipps, Samantha Cook, Mary Cordier, Jennifer Cottis, Daniel Davis, David Evans, Aaron Gambos, Joel Joseph Hilditch, Rachel Land, Rebecca Land, Jackie Laverick, Tina Marini, Kenneth Ray Martin, Ashley Miller, Autumn Morrow, Eric Nutter, Robert Parrish, Joseph Patterson, Tammy Rawson, Carrie Schilling, Deborah Ujevich, Daniel Voght, Katherine Williams and Marla Wilson.
Beech Bottom - Sheri Clelland and Scottie Smith.
Colliers - James Fadse and Holly Elizabeth Haspel.
Follansbee - Brandon Burnett, Joseph Cionni, Ashley Cross, Jessica Elbon, David Osaba and Mark Skidmore.
New Cumberland - Tara Danielle Bickers, James Cervi, Erika Culbertson, Zachary Morris and Courtney White.
Newell - Gregory Bellville.
Weirton - Cheryl Burdine Harrow, Nikki Cline, Samuel Gaudio, Stephanie Heagy, Glenn Hughes, Corey Allen Latimer, Jacqueline McKinney, Andrew Jarrod Mills, Flora Marie Perrone, Tiffany Marie Riggs, Ronald David Shaw, Vern Utt, Brittani Wade, Lindsey Watson, George Zatezalo; Wellsburg Jessica Blake, Morgan Gaumer, Amy George, Marc McGowan and Jonathan Curtis Sykes.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)