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 two 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, because in addition to the jobs it creates, it also creates amenities that make it easier for our region’s larger employers to attract and retain talent, and improves quality of life for residents. Visitors currently spend an estimated $1.8 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, 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.

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, PREP Network, DMOs and other stakeholder networks.

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

1819 Annual Report

2018-2019 Combined Annual Report released!

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

See past reports & learn more!

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: Kate Brock, Executive Director, Community Education Center of Elk & Cameron Counties
  • Vice President: Sam MacDonald, President, Elk County Catholic School System
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Shane Oschman, Director, City of Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development
  • Katherine deSilva, Clinton County Planning Director and Vice Chair of the PA Wilds Planning Team
  • Scott Dunkleberger, Retired, PA Department of Community and Economic Development
  • Jason Fink, President/CEO, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
  • Nick Hoffman, Community Initiatives Coordinator, Varischetti Holdings
  • Kathleen Jones, Manager of Retail Marketing, Zippo
  • Matt Marusiak, Land Protection Manager, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Beth Pellegrino, Partner/Senior Consultant, J.L Nick & Associates
  • Meredith Hill (ex officio), 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.