The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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June 6, 2013

County tourism agency set to host annual dinner at Tara

MERCER COUNTY — Two of the highest honors given by VisitMercerCountyPA, the Bill Knecht Tourism Award and the James E. Winner Jr. Tourism Initiative Award, will be bestowed at the organization’s Annual Dinner Meeting to be held Tuesday, June 18 at Tara — A Country Inn.

The organiztion, the official tourist promotion agency for Mercer County, have choosen for 2013 Carmen DeRose and Michele Czerwinski to receive the Bill Knecht Tourism Award. The recipient of the James E. Winner Jr. Tourism Initiative Award is Anderson Coach & Travel.

Carmen DeRose is the general manager at Grove City Premium Outlets and Michele Czerwinski is the director of marketing and business development for the outlets

Carmen and Michele have made outstanding contributions to tourism in Mercer County. Through their work at the outlets,  they have helped to bring over 6 million visitors annually to Mercer County.  Overnight stays, motorcoach visits and increased recognition of Mercer County as a destination for shopping are just a few of accomplishments in which Carmen and Michele have played a significant role.

With their efforts and the partnerships of tourism partners throughout Mercer County, tourism economic impact in the county is over $394 million dollars.  In addition to their work with at the outlets, Carmen and Michele have been strong community partners.  They’ve shown leadership on numerous boards and committees, such as the VisitMercerCountyPA board, the Grove City Area Chamber board and other community groups working to benefit Mercer County.

The James E. Winner Jr. Tourism Initiative Award recognizes a company in the tourism industry that is characterized by initiative, entrepreneurial vision, drive and creativity.  Anderson Coach & Travel excels in all these areas. The foundation for the company was laid by O.D. Anderson and his wife Dot in 1937.

O.D. started out as a bus driver and his wife Dot was a teacher at a one room school house.  From this humble beginning, O.D., Dot and their four children developed the company into one of the top motorcoach operators in the country.   

The company is now headed by his children, Doug Anderson and Sue Anderson Nicklin.

The company has strong community involvement with numerous philanthropic activities including Thiel College and St. Paul Homes.  In 2011 Anderson Coach and Travel was named by the International Motorcoach Group  as “Operator of the Year’’.  Today Anderson Coach & Travel handles a fleet of  46 deluxe coaches and has a staff of about 225 employees.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social time and cash bar with dinner served at 6:15. Tickets are $40 each. For ticket information call 724-346-37771.

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