The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) hired Chris Bauer, AICP as the Community and Economic Development Manager. Prior to arriving in northern Michigan, Bauer worked for the New York State Department of State in the Office of Planning and Development. He managed projects in the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions including the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. He had the opportunity to assist many communities with their revitalization efforts and ensure the public investments made served the public interest.
Bauer began his career working for local governments in the state of Ohio, beginning with the City of Lorain where he assisted with community and economic development projects for 11 years. Projects included downtown improvements, industrial park development, developing economic incentives, and park development. He then found an opportunity to work with the City of Westlake where he was able
to focus on economic development and refining local economic incentives. Priorities were attracting and retaining business and providing assistance to companies interested in expanding their existing operations. Significant projects included the retention of Nordson Corporation corporate headquarters, Hyland Software expansion, and the attraction of American Greetings Corporate Headquarters to the city.
The NLEA has an overall mission to provide its partners resources that help their communities and entrepreneurs retain and create quality jobs. Because the organization uses tools such as community development grants, workforce training, entrepreneurial startup tools, and innovation accelerator events NLEA is looking forward to the future with Bauer. David Emmel, NLEA President notes, “Chris brings a critical skill set to the NLEA which will benefit partner communities and investors private sector businesses across our region. We are thrilled to have Chris on our team.”
Bauer was born and raised in Midland before attending Central Michigan University. He went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Geography and Planning from the University of Akron. Bauer has devoted his life to public service. Outside of work, he enjoyed coaching youth soccer and baseball, being a boy scout leader and is an active member of the Lions Club. He and his wife Cindy of 27 years have two children, Nathan and Katherine.