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Lebanon County moving forward with tourism team

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A group of five people will shape the new form of a tourist promotion agency in Lebanon County, and county officials target it to be in place by Labor Day.

The Lebanon County Board of Commissioners approved the transition team that will make recommendations for board members of a new agency after the county disbanded the former agency in April. Commissioners deemed the former incarnation too closely tied with the Lebanon Valley Expo Center and wanted more control over how the county’s hotel tax dollars were being spent.

Commissioner William Ames said he wants the new board to be in place by Sept. 1, said Lebanon County Chief Clerk and County Administrator Jamie A. Wolgemuth.

The members are:

• Mary Foltz, founder of Service Counts!, an Annville Township customer service consulting business. She is on the board of directors at the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce and will be the chairwoman of the team.

• Jessica Penchard, vice president of public relations and development at Development & Disability Services of Lebanon Valley.

• Jim Scott, vice president of the Annville Township Board of Commissioners and retired Lebanon Valley College professor.

• Kathy Snavely, owner of Lightkeeper Consulting, a small-business development firm in Mount Gretna, and an adjunct member of the faculty at Harrisburg Area Community College.

• Chris Barrett, a former president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau. Barrett is now the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Target Media in Swatara Township, Dauphin County. The company performed the initial study that recommended the former structure of the agency be dissolved, and Barrett presented the study to the county commissioners.

Wolgemuth said that, since the team is not being paid, there is no conflict of interest for Barrett to serve on the board because he has nothing to gain “personally or financially” despite his previous contract hire with the county.

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