MARTINS FERRY - The Dayton law office of O'Diam & Stecker has decided to expand its operation and gain a foothold on the opposite end of the state.
In doing so, one of Martins Ferry's native sons has returned home to continue the firm's quality services in personalized estate planning, estate administration, business and real estate services.
''We wanted to move back to the area and I thought it would be good for business, to expand to the other part of the state," said Paul Stecker Jr., Ferry native and 1996 graduate of Linsly. ''I'm excited to be back in the Ohio Valley.
''I believe there is a lot of potential and despite having spent the last 15 years out of the area, Martins Ferry has always felt like my home."
Stecker's new home, at least from a business standpoint, will be 3 S. Fourth St., the former location of the Tanks a Lot pet store.
Converting from a haven for fish to a bastion of business law has required some extensive renovation, according to Stecker.
''Quite a bit actually,'' he said. ''We've pretty much gutted the entire building and started over. That's was the only place we looked at. It's in a good location, plus my family owns the building.''
Stecker isn't the first member of his family to own a business in town. And if history is any indication, he won't be the last.
He's part of the Tolbert family in town, which currently or formerly owned Stecker's Department Store, Deluxe Toy & Novelty and Fashion manor, along with grocery stores.
Despite the substantial remodeling to both the interior and exterior, Stecker said he is hoping to open for business in the next month or so.
"We're shooting for the end of May," he said. ''It's going real fast and the transition has been real smooth so far."
Stecker earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from The Ohio State University in 2000 before becoming a certified public accountant at the international firm of Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Columbus.
Her served in that capacity for three years, then decided to pursue his law degree, graduating cum laude from OSUs Moritz College of Law.
The mission of O'Diam & Stecker is to build lifetime relationships as its clients' most trusted advisor.
Business and estate planning are not isolated transactions. They are part of an ongoing process that should evolve as your family, financial situation or business needs change.
"As a firm, we're dedicated to understand your goals and committed to helping you succeed," Stecker said.
For more information on the firm, visit its Web site at www.oslawgroup.com
Hughes may be reached online at mhughes @timesleaderonline.com