• Rachel Lingenfelter

In Your Own Words - Kellie Goodman Shaffer

It's another installment of "In Your Own Words," at First Frontier Forward! This time, we spoke to Kellie Goodman Shaffer, President and CEO of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce

the Bedford County Chamber Foundation!

We asked her what she loved about Bedford County and this is what she had to say...

"There is so much to love about Bedford County!

Created in 1771, (we’re celebrating our 250th birthday in 2021) Bedford County showcases American history and heritage. Centuries-old covered bridges dot our countryside, while Colonial and Georgian architecture decorate our small-town streets.

Explore revitalized, historic downtown Bedford, and you’re walking in the footsteps of George Washington himself, who came here to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in the early days of the first American presidency. The brilliantly restored Omni Bedford Springs Resort has played host to many U.S. presidents, including James Buchanan, who used the 19th-century vacation retreat as his Summer White House. Today, the pristine property welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year from around the world, boasting wonderful restaurants, trails, and swimming pools, as well as a golf course and spa rated among the best in the nation.

The Lincoln Highway, Forbes Road, Fort Bedford, Old Bedford Village, Historic Everett and Schellsburg, National Museum of the American Coverlet, Historical Society, and more… offer snapshots of American history kept alive by a county that truly appreciates those who paved the way for today’s generation. And in the Bedford Squares stand poignant, world-class war monuments honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces.

Outdoor lovers thrive here: camping at state parks and private facilities; fishing, boating and paddling in Shawnee Lake and the Juniata River; hiking and biking on trails, backroads, and byways; hunting and shooting on state game lands and sportsman’s clubs, and skiing or snowboarding on Blue Knob Mountain. Our area is a natural playground for all kinds of rustic recreation in every season.

Bedford County brims with entrepreneurship, including an exciting culinary community featuring unique, family-owned restaurants with delicious and daring menus; and our first craft brewery, with the promise of a whiskey distillery in the near future.

Quaint shops welcome guests greeted by storeowners, who pride themselves on the customer experience. From antique furniture to the latest fashions, there’s something for everyone.

A vibrant volunteer community creates an exciting calendar of events, like the Bedford County Fair and Fall Foliage Festival, among many others which benefit local causes, while the faith community provides ongoing opportunities for fellowship.

Our agriculture heritage has given Bedford Countians a legacy defined by hard work, integrity, and a love of the land. But ours is a diverse business community, highlighted by leaders in their industries like Omni, REI, Lampire, Creative Pultrusions, CaptiveAire, Homewood, and UPMC to name just a few.

While we work to preserve the past, we also look to the future. Our cultural opportunities are growing with the addition of a SAMA Gallery, a church-turned theatre for the Bedford County Players, and the brand-new Silver Lining Drive-In at the Bedford County Fairgrounds.

But perhaps the best thing about Bedford County is our citizens themselves. Warm and friendly, folks in this area welcome visitors and newcomers as friends. Patriotic and proud, we honor and celebrate those who serve, and exercise and appreciate our right to vote. Visionary and innovative, we are working to retain our young leaders of the future.

Described by some as a scene from Norman Rockwell, Andy Griffith’s Mayberry, or Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life, Bedford County is the best of small-town America. Our home has a warm, small-town vibe, but we are pursuing very big dreams. That’s why I love it."

Thank you Kellie for your great words about Bedford County! Let us know why you love where you live in the comments below!

#FirstFrontierForward #InYourOwnWords

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