Watkins Glen Promotions announces staff changes

Staff reports

Schuyler County’s premier events organization will be getting some new leaders in 2021.

After nearly 17 years, Carole Pierce will retire as director of events, effective December 31, 2020.

Pierce, who has worked on Watkins Glen Promotions’ four yearly festivals since joining the company in 2004, said she decided recently that “It’s time to step back and spend more quality time with my family.” She won’t be leaving the Promotions activities completely, however; she plans to volunteer for many of the events she’s organized over the years.

Watkins Glen Promotions produces the Seneca Lake Waterfront Festival and Cardboard Boat Race in June, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival in September, the Falls Harvest Festival in October, and the Watkins Glen Village Christmas in December. Over the years, Pierce estimates that she has processed tens of thousands of registrations for participants, volunteers, and vendors of these festivals. She says she has gotten to know many of the long-time festival fans and participants, especially from the community of auto enthusiasts who fill the streets for the Grand Prix Festival.

“I’ll miss talking with so many of our loyal friends who return each year for the events we put on,” she said.

Pierce began her work with Watkins Glen Promotions in March of 2004. Over the years, Carole helped the non-profit group move from a small office to developing a retail store on S. Franklin Street and to its present location in the “Village Memorabilia” store at 211 N. Franklin. In addition to her event work, Pierce has managed the store, which sells locally-branded clothing, souvenirs, and Grand Prix Festival merchandise.

Marianne Marts, President of Watkins Glen Promotions, said, “Carole Pierce has been our steady and energetic go-to person for all of our events and our relationships with our vendors, participants, and fans. I’m thrilled that she will be able to take some time with her children and grandchildren, but even happier that she will continue to help us as we provide the quality festivals that our area has loved for years.”

Taking Pierce’s place as Events Director will be Michaela Christensen, formerly vice president of operations at the Three Brothers Winery in Geneva. Christensen has been a board member of Watkins Glen Promotions since 2016, most recently serving as Secretary. She has resigned from the board to take the job of director, and says she is “very excited and energized” to have a management role in the organization.

Cindee Crosby of Watkins Glen, who has worked at the Village Memorabilia store in recent years, has been named store manager, and will take charge of sales and merchandise for the operation.

President Marts said she is “delighted to start 2021 with a terrific team and hopes for a pandemic-free season of great events in Schuyler County.”

Michaela Christensen can be reached at the Village Memorabilia store, at 211 N. Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, by phone at 607-535-3003, or by email at events@watkinsglen.com.