More than 9,000,000 people a year visit the Great Smoky Mountains national park and pump more than 700 million dollars in the to the surrounding communities such as Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Maggie Valley, Townsend, Bryson City, Cherokee, Cosby and more.
Today at 11:30 am a family of tourists will be honored on the lawn of the park headquarters in the Sugarlands as well as the Great Smoky Mountains national park Employee of the year: the Administrative Assistant for the Division of Resource Education, Susan Ross.
The more time is spend intimately involved in the park, the more I see that the people behind the scene such as Susan Ross are what protect this priceless place, enhance every visitors experience and drive the local economies of the gateway cities.
Susan Ross is the coordinator of education and visitor programs throughout the entire Great Smoky Mountains national park making sure that 9 million plus visitors get the most out of their experience in the Smokies.
Her experience in the Great Smoky Mountains national park is not just behind as desk but was in the front lines of the GSMNP as a crew leader in removal of nonnative vegetation, a fire use manager and even an emergency dispatcher.
According the Great Smoky Mountains national parks Superintendent Dale Ditmanson "She has a positive and progressive attitude, willingness to assist and encourage others, ability to coordinate the many activities of a diverse and demanding division, and desire to tackle challenging situations with new, fresh approaches are all attributes that have gained Susan this recognition".
The host and co-producer of WBIR-Knoxville Heartland Series Bill Landry will serve as the Employee of the Year emcee, and the co-hosts of the event include: Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, Gatlinburg Department of Tourism, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, Smoky Mountains Visitors Bureau, Cherokee Tribal Travel and Promotions in North Carolina, and Newport/Cocke County Tourism Council.
Congratulations Susan Ross on a job well done. Your work is the Great Smoky Mountains national park has touched many and a legacy of education and love for the Smokies will carry on for generations.