Out & About: Visitors bureau dinner lauds champions of tourism
For the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau’s 61st Annual Tourism Dinner, organizers chose a setting that highlights the beauty that draws visitors to the region.
The event was held Oct. 8 in the lodge of Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, overlooking the picturesque Ligonier Valley.
LHVB Executive Director Ann Nemanic and other staffers donned shirts advertising the organization’s new Laurel Highlands Pour Tour, a self-guided journey acquainting travelers with the region’s various craft beverages, some of which were served during dinner catered by the Seven Springs Mountain Resort culinary team.
The evening included presentation of the bureau’s annual awards to champions of tourism, including:
• Trailblazer of the Year: Donna Holdorf, executive director of the National Road Heritage Corridor. The award goes to an organization, business or individual who helps to build the region’s tourism assets and strengthen the Laurel Highlands brand.
• Pathfinder of the Year: Tall Pines Distillery, owned by Keith Welch and Dan Fay. Pathfinders provide innovative, quality goods or services that lead visitors to the region.
• Tourism Employee of the Year: Dean Simpson, marketing manager for Touchstone Center for Crafts. The award celebrates someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty in serving a business or organization.
Auction proceeds from the 2018 dinner helped to fund scholarships presented to Chelsey Gasparovic, a Westmoreland County Community College culinary arts and hospitality major, and Hannah Long, a Seton Hill University hospitality and tourism major.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .