Tourism and Trade Association director resigns

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Lawrenceville's first tourism director is taking a new role in north Georgia.

Jay Markwalter, who was named the first executive director of the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association in 2004, has resigned to become the tourism director in Dahlonega-Lumpkin County.

"I am looking forward to pursuing this opportunity in the tourism industry in another one of Georgia's great regions," Markwalter said. "People in Lawrenceville have become family, and I am very proud to have played a role in the destination marketing of Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, and metro Atlanta since May 2004. I believe Lawrenceville has established a solid program and wealth of partnerships for successful tourism-based economic development."

Members of the tourism group's board were not available Thursday, but Markwalter said he expects there will be a search for his replacement.

Markwalter said leaving the area is "bittersweet," but he is looking forward to going to the mountain region, home to North Georgia College and State University where the winery industry is emerging as a tourism boon. His last day at the Lawrenceville Welcome Center is next Friday.