Lawrence-Bauer leaving MARK; taking Emerson PR post

Joan Lawrence-Bauer, executive director of the MARK Group since 2004, will leave that agency in May to become the public relations director for the Emerson Resort and the Belleayre Resort according to officials at both organizations.‚ÄÇ
Crossroads Ventures (CRV) Managing Partner Dean L. Gitter announced this week that Paul Rakov, who has served as the company’s spokesperson since 2005, will be leaving for a post with a New York City PR firm that specializes in luxury travel. Gitter said Rakov had performed ably in a difficult post and was able to use his experience at the local resort to make a major advance in his PR career.
Calling her a “seasoned PR professional with a deep understanding of the region, its issues and the importance of tourism as an economic development engine,” Gitter added, “she brings both expertise and passion to everything she does and we look forward to having her on our team.”   He noted that having grown up in Margaretville and operated a business on its Main Street, “she really understands the struggles of the small, local business community and knows what it would take to make the region more prosperous.”
MARK Group President JR Lawrence echoed Gitter’s comments in acknowledging the departure of the agency’s director.  “Joan has been a powerful advocate for us outside the region and an effective community builder inside the area.  She will be sorely missed.  We have accepted her resignation with deep regret and wish her well in her new endeavors.”  Lawrence added that “during her tenure, she presided over the construction and rent-up of 30 new housing units, attracted more than $4 million in outside investment to the community, and helped countless business and homeowners get grants and low interest loans to open, expand or fix up their property.” 
A recognized leader in the tourism industry, Lawrence-Bauer was a member of the launch team for the Emerson Inn when it opened in June 2000 and for two years, served as one of the eight members of  the Governor’s Tourism Conference Planning Committee.  She served as a board member of the Ulster County Development Corporation and as board member and president of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce.  Lawrence-Bauer serves on the Board of Directors of the Margaretville Hospital and as a board member for the Delaware County Industrial Development Agency. 
In the 1980s, she helped to develop and then led Ski the Catskills, a cooperative association of 12 Catskill region ski resorts including Hunter, Windham, Plattekill and Bobcat, and in the 1990s, she helped develop and raise funds for the first three years of concerts staged by the Belleayre Conservatory.  A member of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Advisory Council, Lawrence-Bauer has been an adjunct lecturer there and at Ulster County Community College.  She was honored as a Star of Ulster County by UCCC, and honored as a distinguished alumnus at SUNY New Paltz, where she has also been named to the School of Business Hall of Fame.  A summa cum laude graduate of SUNY New Paltz, Lawrence-Bauer also completed course work for a master’s degree in political communication at SUNY Albany.
The Emerson Resort & Spa re-opened in March 2007 and has received a four-star rating from Mobil. Other resort staffers will cover PR duties until Lawrence-Bauer transitions into the post in May.‚ÄÇ
The MARK Group is a 30-year-old Rural Preservation Company serving Andes, Middletown, Roxbury and the villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville.‚ÄÇ The group will begin a statewide search process for a new director immediately.