ST. MARYS – The 2016 Pennsylvania Wilds Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet took place on April 28 th , at the Red Fern in St. Marys, PA. Each year at this banquet the PA Wilds hands out their coveted PA Wilds Champion Awards. The categories for this year’s event were Outstanding Leader, Great Places, Conservation Stewardship Organization, Conservation Stewardship Individual, Great Design, Member of the Year, Artisan of the Year, Business of the Year, Inspiring Youth, Event of the Year, and Best Brand Ambassador.

The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is proud to announce that this year seven out of the total eleven winners could be found in the PA Great Outdoors region. “It just goes to show the type of hardworking, creative, and enthusiastic people we have in our area,” said the Executive Director of the PA Great Outdoors, John Straitiff. “The attractions might draw visitors into the PA Great Outdoors region, but it’s the great people here that keep them coming back.”

Winners from the PA Great Outdoors region include Marlene Lellock (Inspiring Youth Award, Jefferson County), Jim Leonard (Conservation Stewardship Individual Award, Elk County), Bucktail Watershed Association (Conservation Stewardship Organization Award, Cameron County), Subway of New Bethlehem (Great Design Award, Clarion County), Stephanie Distler (Best Brand Ambassador, Elk County), Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous (Event of the Year Award, Elk County), Deborah Pontzer (Member of the Year Award, Elk County).

The PA Great Outdoors would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s PA Wilds Champion Award. The hard work and dedication they put forth in keeping our state a highly sought after tourist destination is more than worthy of recognition.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region go to The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is a membership-based travel promotion organization serving five counties in Northwest and Central Pennsylvania: Cameron, Clarion, Elk, Forest, and Jefferson.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is to develop and initiate programs and marketing strategies with the specific intent of increasing overnight travel related expenditures within its designated region and to create a cooperative effort to increase awareness of this region as an ultimate vacation destination.


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