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Tourism Promotion Agency director named

January 31, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pulling together historic, environmental and cultural elements into a package that will attract travelers to Franklin County will be the task for Janet Pollard, named Tuesday by the Board of County Commissioners as the first Tourism Promotion Agency director.

"The history ties in well with our natural tourist resources here," said Pollard, 47, of Fayetteville, Pa. The frontier, Civil War and transportation history combined with state parks, fall foliage, farms and other natural attractions, she said, make the county "a nice experience for people to take a day trip or a weekend ... It all comes together here," she said.

Pollard, currently the operations director for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, also will serve in another new county position, communication director, according to Tuesday's announcement.

She will join the county on Feb. 20. Pollard said her annual salary will be $50,250.

"We are excited to have Janet working with the TPA Advisory Board and county staff to promote Franklin County locally, regionally and nationally," County Administrator John Hart said.

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The county once was a member of the Hershey - Capital Region Visitors Bureau, but decided to leave and create the Franklin County Visitors Bureau in 2005. Pollard will work with its 15-member advisory board in creating and promoting the county's "branding," or tourism identity.

Pollard has been with the Chamber for a decade, working on its community directory and Web site; the development and management of the Heritage Center; and in support of projects involving the Chambersburg Area Development Corp. and the Cumberland Valley Regional Development Corp.

In 2005, using the photographic collection of area resident Maurice Marotte III, Pollard authored "Images of America: Chambersburg," and is working on "Images of America: Franklin County," due out later this year.

The announcement cited a 2003 study showing tourism employment represented about 15 percent of the county's economy. The same study stated travelers' spending on transportation, food, lodging, shopping and entertainment in Franklin County and neighboring Perry County generated about $325 million that year.

Much of the funding for tourism promotion comes from the county's hotel tax, which is expected to generate about $450,000, according to the 2007 budget.

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