About Us

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (PA Wilds Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that strengthens and inspires communities in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

The Pennsylvania Wilds, one of the state’s 11 official tourism regions, is a large rural area that covers about a quarter of the Commonwealth and is home to about 4 percent of the state’s population. The 12 1/2 –county landscape is known for its 2+ million acres of public land — more than Yellowstone National Park. It also boasts two National Wild & Scenic Rivers, the largest wild elk herd in the Northeast and some of the darkest skies in the country. It has a rich oil and lumber heritage.

PA Wilds Center Brochure

Download “About Us” Brochure

Tourism currently accounts for about 11 percent of the region’s economy. It is not the only piece of the pie, but it is an important piece. In addition to the jobs it creates, tourism also creates amenities, which make it easier for our region’s larger employers to attract and retain talent and improve quality of life for residents. Visitors currently spend an estimated $1.7 billion annually in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

map illustrating the counties in the Pa wilds

Many local partners are involved in the effort to grow nature and heritage tourism in the region as a way to create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life. The PA Wilds Center is the coordinating entity among these partners.

The PA Wilds Center’s work is sustained through program fees, philanthropic giving, government grants, and entrepreneurial activities related to the Pennsylvania Wilds brand.

 

2022 Annual Report released

The nonprofit PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. has released its Annual Report for 2022, detailing some of the regional nonprofit’s top achievements over the calendar year. The report features the top highlights, accomplishments, and challenges of a year when the entire world was emerging from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the PA Wilds Center held its first in-person PA Wilds Champion Awards and Dinner celebration since 2019. As more of the workforce transitioned to being “digital nomads,” the Center began a three-year project for allowing remote workers to “test drive” what it’s like to like in the PA Wilds, called The Wilds Are Working: A Remote Lifestyle Experience.

Click to download the 2022 PA Wilds Center Annual Report

 

 

 

2020 – PA Wilds Center Releases White Paper on COVID-19 Impacts

PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. released its White Paper on the Early Impacts of COVID-19 on the rural Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative in May 2020 to state partners, the region’s county commissioners, state and federal legislators, the PREP Network, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and other stakeholder networks.

Click to download the White Paper on the Early Impacts of COVID-19 on the rural Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative

See past reports & learn more!

Click to download the 2020-2021 Combined PA Wilds Center Annual Report

Click to download the 2018-2019 Combined PA Wilds Center Annual Report

Click to download the 2016-2017 PA Wilds Center Annual Report

Click to download the 2018-2020 PA Wilds Center Strategic Plan

 

Read our Declaration of Principles

Read more about our history

See our Organization Chart

Check out our Coverage Book featuring a roundup of articles spotlighting our region!

Our Board of Directors

  • Chair: Shane Oschman, Nonprofit Consultant
  • Vice Chair: Beth Pellegrino, Partner/Senior Consultant, J.L Nick & Associates
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Jason Fink, President/CEO, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
  • Matt Marusiak, Land Protection Manager, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Kate Brock, Executive Director, Community Education Center of Elk & Cameron Counties
  • Scott Dunkleberger, Retired, PA Department of Community and Economic Development
  • Erick Coolidge, Former Tioga County Commissioner
  • Elisha Pospisil, Director of Curriculum and Technology at Forest Area School District
  • Rob Swales, CEO of Clearly Ahead Development
  • Meredith Hill (Board Advisor), Director of the PA Wilds and Conservation Landscape Program, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Interested in joining our Board of Directors? Submit a Board of Directors Application Form

Executive Team

  • Ta Enos, CEO, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.
  • Julie Iaquinto, CFO, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.
  • Abbi Peters, COO, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.

Learn more about our staff here, or check for opportunities to join our team here.