The HHRVB's Annual "Partner In Tourism Platinum Awards" & Meet the Partners reception at Hollywood Casino on April 3, 2014 celebrated the start to another prime tourism season in the Hershey Harrisburg Region. See who won and why and view photos from the special awards event.

HARRISBURG, PA (April 3, 2014) – The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) held its annual Meet the Partners & Tourism Awards Event on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Approximately 70 Partners attended the annual event that celebrates the start of prime tourism season in Pennsylvania’s Hershey Harrisburg Region and provides members of the official destination marketing organization with an opportunity to meet new Partners and network with their peers and counterparts in the regional tourism industry.

“This was an evening to welcome our new Partners and kick-off the travel season ahead,” said Justin Martsolf, HHRVB Director of Partnership. “But we also use the night to recognize a select group of individuals, regional businesses, state and national organizations and tourism stakeholders for their outstanding efforts and noteworthy accomplishments from the previous year as our Partners in tourism.”

The HHRVB presented eleven (11) awards to Partners for their dedication and commitment to their local tourism industry, active involvement with bureau promotions, services and programs, and the development of new events and business for the region. The bureau also acknowledged nine (9) Partner hotel properties with a “Keepin’ It Fresh” certificate for newly built or recently renovated lodging properties in the region.

2013 Partner in Tourism Platinum Awards

V.I.P - Very Involved Partner Award

Jonathan Snavely, Operations Manager at Premiere #1 Limousine
The "HHRVB Partner In Tourism - V.I.P Award." recognizes an individual Partner that is highly active and engaged in bureau initiatives, events, and programs. This award will recognize those within our region who participate regularly on the bureau's social media channels, attend (And host) Partner networking events and professional development seminars, invest in cooperative advertising campaigns, volunteer to work at bureau-sponsored booths or exhibits, comp visiting media and assist with sales familiarization tours and client visits.

Best New Event Award

2014 Great American Outdoor Show Planning & Execution

The National Rifle Association/GAOS – Kyle Weaver, NRA Executive Director of General Operations

The "HHRVB Partner In Tourism - Best New Event Award" recognizes an individual or an organization Partner who has been directly responsible for producing a new annual or one-time event within the region. This award will recognize those within our region who have produced or hosted a new or annual event with a significant economic impact for the region.

Bring It Home Award

2013 State Games of America Top Sponsors

1. Highmark Blue Shield – Presenting Sponsorship – Kelly Lieblein, Regional VP of Sales;

2. PA Travel, Tourism & Film Office – Supporting Sponsorship – Diane McGraw, Executive Director 

The Bring It Home Award recognizes an individual or an organization (Partner or Non-Partner) who has been directly responsible for recruiting new business for the region in the Meetings, Conventions, Sports, Special Events, and Group Tours market segments. This award will recognize those within our region who have been responsible for securing a new annual or one-time meeting, convention, sporting event, special event, or group with a significant economic impact for the region.

Excellence In Programming Award – New Category

Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Mark Lizewskie, Executive Director of AACAM

The “HHRVB Partner In Tourism – Excellence In Programming” category recognizes an individual or an organization within our region who has expanded an existing series of programs or created new events in a way that contributes to the success of the individual organization while also cross-promoting other regional products or companies; exemplifying the region’s diversity and culture; or contributing significantly to the sustainability and growth of the region’s tourism industry.

Above & Beyond Award

Hershey Harrisburg Craft Beer Country Association

Jason Reimer, President of HHCBC Association

The "HHRVB Partner In Tourism - Above & Beyond Award" recognizes an individual or an organization Partner who has gone above and beyond the boundaries of his/her occupation or professional role in support of this region's tourism development. This award will recognize those persons or organizations within our region who have voluntarily contributed their personal time, money, or skills to develop, advance, or improve the local tourism product in a significant way.

Friend of the Bureau Award

Paul Vigna, Journalist & Wine Blogger

The Patriot-News & (The Wine Classroom Blog)

The "HHRVB Partner In Tourism - Friend of the Bureau Award" recognizes an individual or an organization that is not a Partner but who continually contributes in a positive way to the bureau's mission and goals or participates in bureau programs or initiatives. This award will recognize those within our region who participate regularly on the bureau's social media channels, share bureau news and announcements with their established followers/friends/readers/viewers, promote and share bureau marketing messages to others on our behalf, generate new Partners or leads for the bureau, and provide general positive support within the region on behalf of the bureau and HHRVB initiatives.

Charitable Organization of the Year Award – New Category

The Elegance At Hershey

Lisa Leathery, Executive Director of The Elegance At Hershey

The The “HHRVB Partner In Tourism – Charitable Organization of the Year” category recognizes a business, organization, or event that demonstrate a philanthropic spirit through an annual or one-time contribution of money or contributed services to either a single charitable organization or to multiple beneficiaries.

Business Development – New Business of the Year Award

Spooky Nook Sports Complex

Patrick Grant, Business Development Director at Spooky Nook

The "HHRVB Partner In Tourism - Business Development Award" recognizes an individual or company that has started or opened a new business or has moved their business to the region. This is more a recognition and welcome acknowledging a new business that has a tourism connection and has potential to create a significant impact on the region's tourism business in the future.

Heart & Soul Award

1. Scott McCoy, Assistant GM – Springhill Suites by Marriott Hershey Near the Park;


2. Lisa Stokes, Owner/CEO – BRP Entertainment

The “HHRVB Partner In Tourism – Heart & Soul Award” was created in memory of a friend and associate of the HHRVB Julie Sullivan who lost a brief battle with cancer in 2012. This award is now given to an individual Partner who selflessly dedicates their heart and soul to his/her family, community, and peers, just as Julie did in her life. This award will recognize those within our region who generously volunteer their time, talent and energy, well beyond their occupation or profession, to serve community programs, charitable causes, or volunteer organizations. This person demonstrates a tireless enthusiasm for life through her work, charitable contributions, and volunteerism.

Keepin’ It Fresh Certificates of Recognition

  1. Candlewood Suites Harrisburg Hershey
  2. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Hershey Chocolate Avenue
  3. Best Western Premier the Central Hotel Harrisburg/Hershey
  4. The Hotel Hershey
  5. Hilton Harrisburg
  6. Fairfield Inn by Marriott- Harrisburg/Hershey
  7. Holiday Inn Express/ Comfort Inn Mechanicsburg
  8. Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey
  9. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hershey Near the Park