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Chamber introduces new summertime event



With the dust now settled after two long years of construction to North Union Street, The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and city leadership are inviting the community out for a night on the town.

Working with the city and members of the business community, the Chamber is announcing a new event, scheduled for Aug. 18, to do just that. 
Dubbed “StrOlean,” the event aims to bring folks to the downtown shopping district for an evening of fun. 

StrOlean will feature a host of events — such as mini concerts or outdoor movie screenings — up and down North Union Street for the community to enjoy.  The start time of each event will be coordinated to give attendees a chance to attend as many as possible. 

“For two years those of us living in the greater Olean area were all affected in one way or another by North Union Street’s overhaul. Our downtown businesses especially bore the brunt of the construction,” said Larry Sorokes, the Chamber’s CEO. “Similar to Farm City Days from decades ago, our hope is that StrOlean will encourage the community to spend time in downtown Olean. We’re also encouraging the merchants who line North Union will take advantage of the event, staying open a little later or offering meal specials and sales.”

The Chamber is working with the city to allow business that aren’t located in downtown Olean to set up booths along the street that evening. 
StrOlean is also a means for the community to show off what downtown Olean has to offer to those from out of town, as it coincides with the start of the annual Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. 

“The Macker tournament brings thousands to our city, with many participants from out of town coming down a day or two early,” Sorokes said. “The tournament with its expected influx of visitors to our city provides the perfect opportunity to see what Olean has to offer. 
As planning for the event continues, the Chamber will release more information. 

Bobcat of Olean to Hold Open House 

The community is invited to kick off the spring season at Bobcat of Olean, located at 3101 Constitution Ave. 

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 18, Bobcat of Olean is holding an open house.  The event will feature live demonstrations, test drives, giveaways and food. In addition, Bobcat of Olean will offer promotions on Bobcat equipment, Massey Ferguson Tractors, Bad Boy Buggies and EZ-GO.  Promotions include: $1,500 off a Stampede side x side or $750 of an Onslaught ATV by Bad Boy; up to $9,000 off select Bobcat compact equipment; up to $10,000 off a Massey Ferguson tractor. 

Machine demos will be from noon to 2 p.m. 


Chamber member opens new business

Chamber member Lydia Hawley has opened a new business to fill a niche in Olean
Thrive, a gluten-free bakery and juice bar, specializes in gluten-free items like cinnamon rolls, cookies, cake rolls, donuts, and fresh-made juices and smoothies. 

Located at 130 S. Union St., Suite 6, (the former Linger Longer Cafe), the bakery is a “dream come true,” for Hawley. 

“I’ve been wanting to have a juice bar in Olean for five years,” she said. “It came in a roundabout way — I started with having juicing classes to lay the groundwork and see if there was an interest in juicing in the area. I was greatly pleased to see the the response, the need, the interest as people came out of the woodwork expressing their delight in learning more.”

Hawley, who is also a licensed massage therapist at Shear Passion Salon & Spa, began juicing about 14 years ago, and that interest eventually led her into making smoothies. About 10 years ago, she began gluten-free baking. 

“I ... discovered a whole new way of eating healthier, tasty treats.  I love food and I love flavor so I’m glad the gluten-free companies have a made a lot of progress in that industry.  I also love fresh made food.”

Thrive is open Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thrive can ship certain items. Hawley can be reached at 790-2329. Visit Thrive online at


Olean Food Pantry reaches $10,000 fundraising challenge, receives challenge grant

In under two months the Olean Food Pantry met the $10,000 fundraising challenge set forth by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation and so will receive an additional $10,000 for their capital fundraising campaign.

On December 1, CRCF issued a Food for the Future Challenge Grant to the Olean Food Pantry, promising to match up to $10,000 in donations to the food pantry’s Building Project Fund. The grant is the largest ever unrestricted grant the CRCF board of directors has ever approved.

“We felt providing the organization with a challenge grant would provide a greater opportunity for them to attract new donations to this project,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “I think we saw that was effective, and we are thrilled to now be able to make good on our $10,000 challenge for the fundraising campaign.”

“Our board has been enthusiastic about this grant from the start,” Ms. Buchheit added. “We continue to be impressed with the work and vision of the board and volunteers who run the Olean Food Pantry.”

As the fundraising campaign progressed, Olean Food Pantry board members and volunteers watched that vision become tangible progress.
Scott Brook, an Olean Food Pantry board member, said that work on the building addition is about half complete now.

“The progress that has been made at the food pantry is unbelievable,” said Ms. Buchheit. “To see that the addition will make it possible to help so many more people throughout the area makes the grant all worth it.”

Scott Brook stressed that this progress would not have been possible without the funds raised and matched through the challenge grant and the generosity of the Alfred State construction program and local contractors.

While so much progress has been made, the work is still not finished for the food pantry board and volunteers.

“We still need to raise between $20,000 and $30,000 to reach our final fundraising goal,” Brook said. Upon achieving this final goal, people will see big change at the food pantry facility, Brook added.

“Upgrades to the (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) will be a big thing,” he said. “It has not been exactly optimal in the past, but the upgrades are essential for maintaining temperature, which is so important for food safety.”

Other upgrades and additions will include improved handicap accessibility at a new entrance and a new emphasis on education.

“We want to improve our ability to educate those we serve, including children’s education with a new children’s library,” he said. “We want everyone to be acclimated and comfortable with the process as we work with them.”

Brook also said that a new generator purchase will equip the food pantry to accommodate almost 30 people in case of a county emergency.

Brook expressed the organization’s shared gratitude for the role the Foundation’s grant has played in the progress so far at the food pantry.

“(The grant) is one of the largest donations we received, and we wouldn’t be as far along (in the campaign) without it,” Brook said. “We know and so deeply appreciate that it’s the largest unrestricted CRCF grant yet.”

“We appreciate CRCF’s support of our mission and the credibility that support has given us,” he said. “We are truly humbled.”

Donations can be made to the Olean Food Pantry Building Project Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union Street, Suite 203 or online at


Make-a-Wish touches lives in 2016

In fiscal year 2016, the regional affiliate of the Make-a-Wish Foundation touched the lives of 867 wish children and their families by granting 651 wishes of local children, and by facilitating 216 wish assists for children who reside in other areas, but whose wishes took place in New York.

The organization saw the number of volunteers who help Share the Power of a Wish®: reach approximately 1,100. 

The organization’s regional office is located at  4600 Main Street, Suite 101, Snyder, NY  14226, and can be reached by phone at  716-810-9474. 


Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2017 Announced 

The Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame, located in Belfast, has named those who will be inducted into its 2017 Hall of Fame Class. A ceremony is scheduled for July 8. 

Original Bare Knuckle Inductees are: 
• Uriah “Hughie” Burton, boxer (King of the Gypsies late 1950s-early 1970s; known as ‘Big Just’), Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
• Ted Daley, boxer; Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion; Living Inductee.
• Billy Edwards, boxer; 1868-1872; Lightweight Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the World.
• Bartley Gorman V, boxer (King of the Gypsies 1972-1992) English born traveller of Welshand Irish descent; Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the UK and Ireland.
• Daniel Mendoza, boxer; Heavyweight Champion of England from 1792-1795 (34-3 w/30 KOs).
• Shannon Ritch, boxer (Living Inductee) Bare knuckle record of 25-2 (25 KOs). Known as the “most active fighter on the planet.” Ranked number one contender for America’s Police Gazette belt.

Criteria to be honored as an Original Bare Knuckle Inductee includes that the fighter must have fought completely bare fisted sometime in their career and no wraps. 

Honorary Inductees are: 
• Ed Atherton, Wrestler, 1902 World Champion from Belfast, New York; pupil of Wm. Muldoon.
• Barry Broughton, local Grand Master from Olean,  known world-wide.
• Chris Guzman, world-known boxing artist; his work fills our Hall of Fame Room of Honor.
• Roy Harding, boxer, local legend; fought 1929-1945. Soldier at Pearl Harbor during the attack. 
• Jimmy Holmes, boxer; Indiana State Champion who trained in the Muldoon-Sullivan barns.
• Tim Witherspoon, boxer; two-time World Heavyweight Champion (WBC 1984, WBA 1986).

Criteria to be honored as an Honorary Inductee is the honoree has shined a positive light on upstate New York.  

The Marie Backus Person of the Award is going to Gino Arilotta, Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame President.

For tickets to the awards ceremony, call or text 585-610-3326 or email 

21 named to 2017 Leadership Cattaraugus program 

Leadership Cattaraugus has announced its 2017 class. Members include: 
Susan Brisky of Cattaraugus County Department of Aging; Heather Burrell of Jamestown Community College; Jillian Cole of Community Bank; Mary Deegan-Collins of SolEpoxy; Heather Janet Faulkner of BWB, Inc.; Paul Gonzalez of Dresser-Rand/Siemens; Steve Jackson of YMCA of the Twin Tiers; Shauna Keesler of Cutco; Sharon Konert of Eden Heights of Olean; Allen McConnaughey of Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office; Christopher Michel of Olean Business Development; Josh Miller of Olean Area Federal Credit Union; Darrell Neal of Cutco; Elizabeth Palumbo of St. Bonaventure University; Jenice Simpson of Cutco; Tammy Skroback of Jamestown Community College; Ardyth VanScoy of AmeriCorps; Mary Van Damme of Dresser-Rand/Siemens; Marie Wilson of St. Bonaventure University; and Nichole Zink of Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services. 

Leadership Cattaraugus is designed to identify future leaders of the area and help them develop the skills they will need to work more effectively for the betterment of all the people in Cattaraugus County, fostering an impact on community development and quality of life for years to come.

Launched in spring 2004 by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, Jamestown Community College, The ReHabilitation Center, and St. Bonaventure University, the program has garnered support of large and small, for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Leadership Cattaraugus annually welcomes a cohort of 20-25 people who work or live and Cattaraugus County and are committed to the 10-month program that runs March through December. Participants develop and enhance existing leadership skills; develop a broad and diverse network of professional and civic leaders; and gain exposure to and detailed knowledge of the problems, opportunities and issues facing Cattaraugus County.

Olean Area Young Professionals sets next event  

Olean Area Young Professionals held its most recent networking event on March 9 at Olean Business Development. The event had a focus on local economic development, and Mayor Bill  Aiello and Common Council President Paul Gonzalez spoke to the group. Olean Area Young Professionals also raised $100 for Olean General Hospital’s Gastroenterology Department. 
The group will meet from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. April 6 at Ravyn and Robyn, 239 N. Union St., Olean.

The Chamber’s Lunch & Learn workshops continue

Between September and May, the Chamber has arranged for six different speakers who will present on a variety of topics of interest to businesses. 

The Lunch & Learn schedule is as follows: 
• April 6, noon to 1 p.m., Cyber Security. Greg Lindberg of the U.S. Small Business Administration will present on defining cybersecurity; explaining the importance of securing information through best cybersecurity practices; identifying types of info that should be secured; identifying the types of cyber threats; defining risk management; and listing best practices for guarding against cyber threats.
• May 16, noon to 1 p.m, Data Security/ Business Continuity. Adam Jester of Southern Tier Technical Services will discuss projecting data. 
The seminars are held at the Chamber’s office, 301 N. Union St., and is free for members to attend. Non-members must pay a $10 admission fee. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the Chamber by phone at 716-372-4433 or by email, 

Member notes 

The Chamber’s work toward supporting a thriving local economy takes a diverse approach. Perhaps one of the most visible elements to that end are all the events the Chamber puts on each year that draw thousands to the Olean area, giving our members more exposure. 

What’s more, we always provide ways for our members to be involved in each of our events, whether it’s through volunteer opportunities or discounted booth rental fees. 

This year, we’re proud to announce two new events the Chamber will be putting on: The Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and StrOlean. 

Other events include: 
• Outdoor and Recreational Sports Show
• Home and Garden Show • Olean’s Community-Wide Garage Sale 
• Chamber Clambake 
• Corporate Challenge 5K Run and Walk 
• Corporate Golf Classic 
• Taste of Olean and Art-in-the-Park Show 
• Annual Dinner and Business Awards 
• Santa Claus Lane and Holiday Lighting Celebration 

But the most important event is the one you host. We are honored to help our members organize ribbon-cutting, grand-opening, or other good-news events at their businesses.

Paul Brown Motors Inc. received national accolades

The company was recently named one of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ 2017 Customer First Award for Excellence winners. 

Paul Brown Motors is one of 387 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships in the country to  have earned the certification, which measures sales and service experience, employee training and facility condition. The second annual award was created by FCA with its dealer partners and J.D. Power to improve customer satisfaction at its dealerships. All 2,600 dealerships are eligible to pursue and earn the award on an annual basis.

Team AKT Members Earn Spots on TEAM USA 

Five members of Team AKT from Olean’s AKT Combatives Academy recently received Official Notification Letters of their selection as members of the USA National Sport Jujitsu team that will be competing at the World Championships in Australia in October of this year. 

Official letters came from Robert Stines, President of the American Jujitsu League (AJL) headquartered in Englewood, FL informing Team AKT members Charlie Love, Mike Hanchett, Desmond White and Bryana Baer that they were selected as members of the National Sport Jujitsu team, while Barry A. Broughton, owner of AKT Combatives Academy and Head Coach of Team AKT was named to the Team USA coaching staff. 

Team USA members will be participating in monthly training camps in Ohio, New York, Virginia and Tennessee throughout the year in preparation for the world championships. One of the Team USA training events will take place in conjunction with the 3rd Annual AKT Sport Jujitsu Classic tournament being held in Olean on April 22. 

New way to pay dues 

The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce now offers an automated ACH payment plan for your membership dues. 

Under this optional plan, you can elect to have your membership dues automatically deducted from your account on a monthly basis. When members switch to this option, GOACC will waive the first month payment for your dues (one-time only).

Member changes to plans must be made in writing at least 30 days prior to the effective date of requested change. The Chamber may adjust the payment on an annual basis with a written notice to members.  A $20 service charge will be billed for insufficient funds. 

The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes its newest members 

Real Estate Pros & More, a real estate firm offering full service real estate services in New York and Pennsylvania covering Cattaraugs, Allegany, McKean and Potter counties. Real Estate Pros & More is located at 401 W. State St., Olean, and can be reached by phone at 716-327-7100

Integrated Family Hearing, an audiology practice offering diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid sales, repairs and programming, and balance testing. Integrated Family Hearing is located at 2626 W. State St., Suite 201, Olean, and can be reached by phone at 716-790-8480. 

Cellino Water Treatment, a division of Cellino Plumbing, is your first choice for water treatment in the greater Olean area. Cellino Water Treatment can be reached by phone at 716-675-1111. 

Whistle Stop Feed Shop, carries quality feeds, fresh roughage, and supplements for all livestock. The company offers food and treats for birds,  pets and gives service with a smile. Whistle Stop Feed Shop is located at 1115 E. Windfall Road and can be reached by phone at 716-372-0358
Thank you to our returning members
The Chamber thanks the follow companies for renewing their memberships:

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 2728 W. State St., Olean 
St. Stephen’s Club, 1117 N. Union St., Olean 
Wayne Paving and Wayne Concrete, 262 Rt. 44 Shinglehouse, Pa.

Business After Hours 

Business After Hours is an opportunity for our members to meet once a month, from August to May, and meet fellow members. It also provides a great opportunity for networking.

Here’s our schedule for the remainder of the year:
• March 22, 5 to 7 p.m., Intandem (Sub-Con), Charles Ried Facility 
• April 26, 5 to 7 p.m., Olean Physical Therapy, 3132 Route 417
• May 24, 5 to 7 p.m., Buckles Agency, 1224 E. State St.







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Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •

Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce • 716-372-4433 •