CARLISLE, PA (November 22, 2011) - The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB) started the tradition of acknowledging a partner of the year at the annual Cumberland Valley Tourism Conference each November. The Partner of the Year award goes to a CVVB partner who went above and beyond in collaborations and tourism promotion.

This year the CVVB staff selected Jason Zimmerman, Park Manager at Pine Grove Furnace State Park as the 2012 Partner of the Year.

Shireen Farr, CVVB Director of Tourism, was accompanied by Mike Eschenmann - DCNR, Larry Luxenberg - Appalachian Trail Museum, Deb Bowman - Ironmaster's Mansion and Kim Williams - Appalachian Trail Conservancy & South Mountain Partnership to acknowledge Zimmerman and present him with a special award at the Tourism Conference on November 9th at the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center.

"Partnerships give you the support system to build a sustainable program or project and allows you to expand your impact and resources," said Farr.

Over the past year Zimmerman has been a very vital partner of not only the CVVB but the tourism community as a whole. He has assisted in the success of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which was honored as the 2010 PA State Park of the Year.

He also thinks above and beyond the reach of his state park responsiblities. Zimmerman thinks globally by helping the CVVB promote the area as a destination and showcasing the outdoor recreation possibilities that exist here.

In 2010 the Appalachian Trail Museum opened in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and saw a busy first season with a calendar full of events. The success continues for the Appalachian Trail Museum as they expanded their programming in 2011 and plan to build on to the museum in 2012. In 2011 the Ironmaster's Mansion was completely renovated in the park and is now open as an Appalachian Trail hiker hostel and unique meetings venue.

Zimmerman played a critical and central role in both of these high profile projects and is a true asset to the people and groups that made them possible.

The CVVB honored Zimmerman at the conference and presented him with a Iron Furnace replica designed by Cumberland Valley wood carver, Gay Foltz.

Foltz's work can be found at the Village Artisans Gallery, 321 Walnut St., Boiling Springs.

The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is also part of Pennsylvania's Dutch Country Roads region, the number one visited region in PA, a true vacation destination where country meets city and the past lives side-by-side with the present.

The mission of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is to promote Cumberland Valley as a tourist destination, attract visitors to the area, enhance the visitor's experience, and to encourage and promote overnight stays.