On Wednesday, May 18th, PEC hosted the annual Western Pennsylvania Dinner at the Westin Pittsburgh with the theme “Celebrating the Outdoor Recreation Economy.” After a two-year hiatus from the annual in-person dinner, this was an opportunity to debut new elements, including exhibitors representing different facets of Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation sector. Outfitters, retailers, state agencies, conservation organizations, recreation enthusiasts, and even mapmakers were among those who joined us to share their perspectives on the outdoors.
The first round of speakers for the evening focused on Pennsylvania’s thriving outdoor economy and the opportunities that have arisen over the past two years as interest in outdoor recreation skyrocketed. Guests heard remarks from PEC President Davitt Woodwell, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and the dinner’s Keynote speaker, Jessica Wahl Turner, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.
After dinner was a celebration of DCNR secretary Cindy Dunn, the evening’s lifetime achievement awardee. Caren Glotfelty, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, spoke about her long professional relationship and friendship with Secretary Dunn. Governor Tom Wolf congratulated Secretary Dunn in a special video message, and a second video produced by PEC featured praise from colleagues who have worked with Secretary Dunn over the course of her career in conservation and recreation. Finally, we heard from Secretary Dunn herself, who pointed to the ongoing outdoor-recreation boom as vindication for the vision and career-long efforts of many in the room.
We’re excited to share photos from the dinner below. We hope you enjoy them.