Heritage Region Draws 60 to Meeting and Conference

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Largely representing Susquehanna County interests at the EMHR conference were (top, from left) Commissioner Betsy Arnold, Lynn Conrad and Sheryl Brownlow of the Rail Trail Council of PA, Sandra Wilmot of Clifford Township, Ed Zygmunt of NRCS-NGO, Craig Benson of Fiddle Lake Farm, and Susquehanna Depot borough councilman Dana Rockwell. Regional DCNR adviser Christine Dettore (above, center) addresses a question from the audience at the Oct. 6 conference, which was held in Wysox. Fellow panel members included Trish Carothers (right) of Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and Bryan Van Sweden of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.

Municipal and business leaders and representatives from a vast array of non-profit organizations joined members of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) for a half-day conference and luncheon featuring speakers versed on branding, historic preservation, heritage funding, and the River Town Assistance Program. The Oct. 6 gathering was preceded by a short membership meeting at which two new board members and a new slate of officers were approved.

The event annual was held at the Wysox Fire Hall and included an overview of EMHR initiatives by executive director Annette Schultz and displays of heritage signage funded by EMHR and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). It was the final meeting conducted by EMHR president Ed Zygmunt of Susquehanna County, who also stepped down from the board after completing two terms.

Greg O’Loughlin (above) of SWELL marketing offered an engaging presentation on the mechanics of developing a strong branding message, identifying target audiences, and recognizing the one thing that makes a business or organization stand out.

A panel discussion followed featuring Bryan Van Sweden of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, regional DCNR advisor Christine Dettore, and Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) director Trish Carothers. Each stressed the importance of community and civic engagement in the course of applying for grants and designations.

Audience members had the opportunity to ask a variety of questions of the panel, including where to find grant application templates and grant writing assistance, how to properly archive the feasibility studies often required of grant applicants, and a request for an update on the current status of the SGP’s River Town program in various communities.

On the latter, Carothers related that Towanda and Wysox in Bradford County and Falls and Exeter in Wyoming County were working together as partner communities to achieve River Town status. Susquehanna Depot borough councilman Dana Rockwell noted that an application is in the works for his Susquehanna County community, and Wyalusing mayor Susan Burgess was happy to report that a River Town application for her borough had been submitted the previous day.

Conference participants, who fairly evenly represented the EMHR counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming, were also introduced to new board members Joan Werner, representing Sullivan County, and Matt Williams from Bradford County. Werner is the mayor of Eagles Mere and an Eagles Mere Museum board member, and Williams is the director of the Bradford County Planning Department.

Members also approved a new slate of EMHR officers for 2017-18: Melanie Norton (above), president; Erica Rogler, vice president; and Joyce Kerrick; secretary. Kerrick will also temporarily fill the position of treasurer until a replacement can be appointed.

Zygmunt (above) was awarded a potted mum by Schultz and thanked by Norton for his service to the organization. Also leaving the EMHR board after two full terms were Bobbi Jo Turner of Susquehanna County and Rick Hiduk of Wyoming County. Hiduk will remain with the organization as a part-time media coordinator.

EMHR executive director Annette Schultz presented an award to Sullivan County board members, including John Krakoski (below), and others to acknowledge their foresight and collaboration on several projects. Read more about it here: http://www.endlessmtnlifestyles.com/?p=8715)

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Managing Editor of EndlessMtnLifestyles.com, dedicated to providing interesting information about life in the Endless Mountains region of northern Pennsylvania. The website - a meager investment with no immediate return - is meant to be community-based and to reflect the varied tastes of its readers. Submissions from legitimate organizations and event coordinators are welcome and will be published as space and time allow. This website is operated by Endless Mountains Media Services. I am seeking submissions of news stories, promotional press releases, and photos for posting with full recognition for the submitter. I am also hoping to build a base of correspondents who would enjoy being my "ears and eyes" in parts of the four county region where news is happening. I am also a self-employed media consultant and freelance writer/editor, providing professional services for businesses, municipalities, and organizations for which retaining a full time staff writer is not a viable option.

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