The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) held its Annual Report Dinner for the 2008-09 fiscal year at Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe, on Oct. 1. The event recognized the accomplishments and actions of the bureau over the past year with the distribution of their annual report, while highlighting the organization's 75th anniversary.

The evening began with Carl Wilgus, president and CEO of the PMVB, acknowledging nine of the past chairmen of the PMVB Executive Committee in attendance. The following Pocono Tourism organizations were also commended for being in operation for 75 years or more: This Week in the Poconos (1931), Sherman Theater (1929), Ehrhardt's Waterfront Resort (1929), Skytop Lodge (1928), Fernwood Hotel & Resort (1921), Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort (1911), Shawnee Playhouse (1909), Bushkill Falls (1904), Inn at Pocono Manor (1902), Cliff Park Inn (1900) and Mauch Chunk Opera House (1882).

As the evening continued, the PMVB was acknowledged with a letter from Gov. Edward G. Rendell and citations from the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives for its longstanding commitment to the tourism industry.

"This year's Annual Report Dinner was particularly noteworthy due to our 75th Anniversary," said Wilgus. "It was an opportunity and honor to recognize not only those who had a profound impact on the bureau, but also the events that helped to shape tourism here in the Pocono Mountains over the past 75 years."

The first recipient of the Gail Sterrett Marketing Award was Gina Bertucci, marketing director of Fernwood Hotel & Resort. The award was given in memory of Gail Sterrett, marketing director of the PMVB for nearly 25 years, whose life was tragically cut short earlier this year. Bertucci received this accolade for her dedication, hard work and professionalism in the hospitality sales and marketing field that mirrored Sterrett's passion for her work.

Ron Logan, past chairman of the PMVB Executive Committee and longtime Board of Directors member, was recognized for his service of over 50 years to the Pocono Mountains Tourism Industry. Although he has officially retired from the board this year, he continues to operate The French Manor Inn and Spa in South Sterling.

Ed Mayotte, chair of the PMVB Executive Committee for the past two years, was also recognized for his outstanding service to the organization.

Four Outstanding Partnership Awards were given to organizations who have made a tremendous impact on the Pocono Mountains tourism community. The recipients included PPL Corporation for its land contribution for the new Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, the Hawley/Lake Wallenpaupack Chamber of Commerce for its commitment to the visitors center, the Delaware Water Gap Joint Toll Booth Commission for its substantial contributions for highway beautification and Five Star Precision Printing, Inc. for the generous donation of Gail Sterrett's Memorial program and the PMVB's 75th Anniversary calendar.

A gold pin was also awarded to a nominated individual who, after completing the Brand Enculturation program, demonstrated their extensive program knowledge while on the job. The newest ambassador is Nikki Hurley, director of marketing at Pocono Whitewater in Jim Thorpe.

The evening concluded with entertainment by Bob Crosby Bob Cats and Orchestra, whose origins also date back to 1934.

To obtain a copy of this year's Annual Report, contact Nicole Krieger at nicole@poconos.com or (570) 421-5791.