Pocono Mountains Property Honored with Distinction of United States General Manager of the Year

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Pocono Mountains, PA –  The Pocono Mountains (800poconos.com) proudly announces Rob Howell, Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort’s General Manager, as the United States General Manager of the Year by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA).
“It’s very satisfying for the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort to be honored with this prestigious award,” said Carl Wilgus, president and CEO of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB). “Not only is this well-deserved recognition for Rob Howell, an extremely talented and successful general manager, I believe it also serves as a testament to the creativity, dedication and passion of the travel and tourism industry in the Pocono Mountains.”

According to the Association, the award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and exceptional service in the lodging industry. AH&LA chose to honor Howell with this prestigious award because of his innovative approach to reinventing the historic Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort and his role as a leader in the tourism industry in Pennsylvania and the Pocono Mountains.

Under Howell’s leadership, Shawnee Inn has received many awards including the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Associations (PT&LA) General Manager of the Year and Chef’s Palate Award for Best Use of Local and Organic Ingredients in 2010; The Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce Save Our Planet Award for three consecutive years (2008-2010); Happenings Magazines’ Best Place to Work in 2008 and 2009; and many more. The PMVB has also recognized both Howell and Shawnee Inn with regional Pocono Mountains Tourism Achievement Awards such as Community Service in 2010; Green Award in 2009; and Outstanding Tourism Employee of Year in 2008 and 2009.
“The owners of the resort, the Kirkwood Family, have allowed me a great deal of latitude in developing a plan for a resurgence of Shawnee and this has inspired a creative atmosphere that certainly has revitalized the resort,” said Howell.

In 2007, the resort began the Shawnee’s Renaissance as a facility that is committed to providing guests with excellent service while preserving its natural surroundings. Shawnee has built the reputation as being a green leader in the travel and tourism industry. Continuing upon this tradition, 2008 brought forth a wide range of new environmental initiatives that helped Shawnee further improve its sustainability practices, including its creation of the Shawnee Green Team formed to further progress Shawnee’s sustainability practices by education, research and implementation. In addition to property renovations, the new vision was to not only reinvent the property, but also help to rebrand the Pocono Mountains as a first class destination.

Howell has been a member of the Shawnee family since 1994 and is deeply involved in the tourism industry serving as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Associations. Shawnee Inn is a member of the PMVB, the sales and marketing agency responsible for positioning the Pocono Mountains as the destination of choice for leisure and business for the economic benefit of the four-county region. More information on the destination is available at 800poconos.com.

About the Pocono Mountains
With 2,400 square miles encompassing Pennsylvania’s Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, the Pocono Mountains region is home to rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands and 170 miles of winding rivers. Winters offer guests the opportunity to ski, snowboard, snow tube and even snowshoe their way through snowy wonderlands encompassing over 185 ski trails, while summers also cater to the active traveler allowing exploration of 261miles of hiking and biking trails, over 35 golf courses, whitewater rafting, boating, fishing and open access to nine state and two national parks.

Any time of year is a good time to visit the Pocono Mountains, located within driving distance of most major East Coast cities. This region teeming with history offers year-round cultural tours and art exhibitions, abundant antiquing and brand-name shopping and a full calendar of festivals showcasing the heritage, music and food of the Pocono Mountains.

Even the most discerning traveler will find comfortable accommodations in the Pocono Mountains, which offers an eclectic mix of resorts, distinctive properties and quaint, country inns and bed and breakfasts.

Pocono Mountains visitor information is available online at 800poconos.com or by phone at 800-POCONOS (800-762-6667).  Follow @PoconoTourism on Twitter to stay current with up-to-date information. Established in 1934, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit, membership organization. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the four counties of Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne in northeastern Pennsylvania, striving to promote, educate and attract visitors to the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Additionally, the Bureau aims to keep its’ members abreast to the latest in regulation, changes in the industry and business development in the Pocono Mountains.