More than 65 tourism partners from across Franklin County attended the Franklin County Visitors Bureau Tourism Breakfast on Tuesday, March 12, at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. The event provided an opportunity to overview the visitors bureau’s work, the current state of tourism, and recognize partnership and impact with a series of tourism awards.

FCVB formed in December 2006 as a department of Franklin County, became a 501(c)6 at the end of 2013. In December 2016, FCVB purchased 15 South Main Street, home of Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center, which opened on Small Business Saturday, November 2018. After a robust 2019, FCVB weathered COVID, coming out stronger and today is experiencing record visitation. “The secret is out…Franklin County is a great place to visit,” said Janet Pollard, FCVB executive director.

Partnership is one of the key factors in the visitors bureau’s positive performance. “Doing it alone only yields so much,” said Pollard, as the program moved to recognizing partners and partnership with several awards.

The Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance (CVBCA) accepted a ceremonial check for $7300, funds raised at the 2023 Franklin County Festival of Trees, organized and hosted at the 11/30 Visitors Center. Samantha Logsdon, executive director of the CVBCA, accepted the check, and said the funds supported the needs of breast cancer warriors and their families, even helping with mortgage and housing needs.

Lauren Formosa and Evan Crider, FCVB Tourism Associates leading the Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program, presented the CTA of the Year Award. The 2022 recipient, Heathe McEndree of Cumberland Valley School of Music joined them in honoring Lisa Marie Smith as 2023 CTA of the Year for leadership in upholding the mission of CTA and serving as a CTA role model.

The FCVB Board of Directors established a series of recognitions called Partners for Impact Awards in 2023 to recognize the value of partnership to make Franklin County an amazing place to visit. The 2024 Partners for Impact Awards honor IceFest, past and present. Since the first IceFest in 2002, attendance has grown to 35,000. Partnership is the benchmark of the event’s success because each year the Council for the Arts, Downtown Business Council, and Downtown Chambersburg Inc. re-engage and collaborate to make another successful event. Each organization received a Partner for Impact Award.

Also, receiving awards for IceFest Contributions, past and present were:

  • Beth Luka, Partner for Impact Award 2024, IceFest Visionary & Trailblazer. Luka, a past executive director of the Council for the Arts, was the originator of Chambersburg’s IceFest.
  • Ann Wagner & Paul Cullinane, Partner for Impact Award 2024, IceFest Founding Collaborators. Wagner, representing Downtown Business Council, and Cullinane, representing Downtown Chambersburg Inc. gave integral support to launching the event.
  • Penny Shaul, Partner for Impact Award 2024, IceFest Industrious Innovator. Shaul is the impetus to the last decade of IceFests and is still going strong.
  • M&T Bank, Partner for Impact Award 2024, Fiscal Sponsor for all IceFests since the first in 2002.

The final award of the breakfast was the Community Impact Award 2024. It honored The Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Family Foundation and was presented to Ken and Bonnie Shockey. The Shockey Foundation has supported community health and welfare, historic preservation and education, public education and post-secondary education and arts and cultural awareness on state, local, and national levels. The legacy gifting of more than $10 million from 2004 to the present has served dozens of organizations and tens of thousands of people in and around Franklin County.

Topping off the event was a preview of the upcoming FCVB-TV, which will highlight tourism partners, events, upcoming promotions, and give tips and tricks to keep tourism businesses fresh and active. The premiere is March 27, 8:30 AM, and can be viewed at

Check out Franklin County Visitors Bureau Annual Report here. FCVB_2023_InANutshell