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  2019 L.O.U.I.E., Enterprising Busines, Presidential award winners named   


Three businesses and one individual are receiving the highest recognition bestowed by Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is pleased to announce the winners of its L.O.U.I.E. and Enterprising Business awards, as well as its 2019 Presidential Award winner.

Brian O’Connell Jr., with The Brian O'Connell Jr. Law Firm, PLLC is receiving this 2019 L.O.U.I.E. Award. The L.O.U.I.E. is given to an individual who symbolizes the enterprising spirit for the greater Olean community, qualities which were embodied in the life of Louis Marra.  Last year’s recipient was Jack Whipple of Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro.

Both Henry H. Hill and Angee’s Restaurant are this year’s winners of the Enterprising Business Award. The honor is presented to a business or a non-profit organization which exemplifies the unique “hometown” charm of the greater Olean area in manners of administration/operation, customer service, or display of inventory. Fox Financial and Granger Family Businesses were last year’s recipients.

Taking home the Presidential Award is the Olean Family YMCA. The award is given to a business, organization or individual that are iconic and integral to the fabric of the business community in the greater Olean area.  Recipients are selected by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Last year’s recipient was Red’s and Trudy’s.

“Brian O’Connell Jr., Henry H. Hill and Angee’s Restaurant, and Olean Family YMCA epitomize the best of the greater Olean area’s business community,” said Meme Krahe Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO. “While we received many strong nominations for our awards this year, these recipients truly stood out as deserving. They all set the bar high.”

Full profiles of winners will be released in the coming weeks.

This year’s winners will be honored at the Chamber’s 114th Annual Dinner on Nov. 7 at Good Times of Olean’s Events Center.  For more information on the dinner or to purchase tickets, contact the Chamber at 716-372-4433.


Tom Yanetsko named Chamber's 'Volunteer of the Year'


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates Chamber Week, September 21 to 28.  It provides the Chamber an opportunity to celebrate its many accomplishments and achievement, and an excellent time to thank the many people who make them happen.

 Each one of GOACC’s programs and activities is an orchestrated effort of numerous volunteers.  Many of them have been serving on their committees or working on an event for a long time.  Their efforts and dedication make each happening a reality.  During Chamber Week, GOACC presents the Volunteer of the Year Award to a volunteer who has shown extraordinary involvement in the Chamber and who supports the chamber to its fullest.  This person, selected by the GOACC staff, must be a volunteer for the entire fiscal year; must be active on one or more committees; and must be a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

This year, Tom Yanetsko, supervisor with Dresser-Rand Co., received the designation.  Meme Krahe Yanetsko, Chief Operating Officer stated, “We appreciate all of our volunteers, but are especially thankful for Tom and how he steps right in to whatever volunteer job we hand him, takes charge and organizes that particular job duty!” 

“It goes hand in hand that a husband and wife help each other, but Tom goes above and beyond with his behind the scenes work here at the Chamber,” added Mrs. Yanetsko, Tom’s wife.  “I cannot think of one event that Tom hasn’t volunteered for at the Chamber… Taste of Olean – brew serving; Sports Show – working the ticket booth; Golf Classic – placing the hole sponsor signs out, Home Show – wine / beer serving; Corporate Challenge – directing runners; Santa Claus Lane – directing traffic; and other job duties include – decorating for Christmas, placing signs out for the events, setting up for Gus Macker, delivering event items, hanging signs, the list goes on and one.”

“It’s great that all of our volunteers give to our office and to these events – with their volunteering our events (the Chamber) succeed!” added Yanetsko.  Yanetsko ended, “Without the dedication, drive and true spirit of volunteerism in this community and surrounding area, GOACC would not be able to do all that we do.  This event is to honor those who work so diligently to provide opportunities and growth to our events and activities.

Yanetsko received his award at the Chamber’s Volunteer Reception at Napoli Pizza in Olean during Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce Week on Sept. 23. 


 Volunteers sought for Santa Claus Lane prep work


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking help to make sure downtown Olean shines bright this holiday season. 

From 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 5, at the city’s water filtration plant’s storage building at 1332 River St., the Chamber is calling on volunteers to help inspect and prepare the lights and decorations that will adorn Olean’s Santa Claus Lane along North Union Street.

“The tradition of Santa Claus Lane is one of the oldest in the city and the Chamber is proud to put this event on each holiday season,” said Meme Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO. “Because this is such a large undertaking, we’re hoping the community will turn out to help us get it ready this year.”

Putting on the annual parade and display in downtown Olean is no small task, with work to organize it starting months ahead of time.  

“Part of our work to make sure the decorations are ready for light up North Union Street and beyond is to inspect each one, test all strands of lights, and replace weathered garland. This prep work is a very time consuming process,” Yanetsko said. “This year, we’re looking to add several more snowflakes and garland trees to Santa Claus Lane.”

Coordinating with the City of Olean, as well as National Grid and Spectrum Cable, the decorations will be hung throughout the downtown shopping district later this fall. The decorations will officially be turned on for the holidays at the end of the annual Santa Claus Lane Parade, slated for the evening of Nov. 29 along North Union Street. 

Those interested in volunteering should call the Chamber’s office at 716-372-4433 to sign up. A digital signup is online at the Chamber’s Facebook page. Youths must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

Santa Claus Lane dates back to 1929 when a group of Olean merchants strung fresh pine boughs across North Union Street to mark the holiday season. It wasn’t long before they added lights and other decorations to create Santa Claus Lane. The tradition of Santa Claus Lane has grown to feature an annual parade and brings the community together in the spirit of camaraderie and goodwill. 

In 2016, the light display saw a major overhaul, with 60 snowflakes, 15 stars, and 14 skylines replacing decorations that had festooned downtown Olean for decades. The new decorations, purchased through a $125,000 fundraising campaign, were meant to complement the city’s work to redevelop the downtown shopping district through the multimillion-dollar Walkable Olean streetscape project. 


Olean Area Young Professionals' Annual Awards

tickets now on sale 


Tickets are now on sale for Olean Area Young Professionals’ Annual Awards ceremony. 

The event, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., Oct. 16, at The Old Library Restaurant in Olean, will see seven area young professionals honored for their hard work and dedication to the greater Olean area. 

The 2019 honorees and their awards are:  Pete Coate, an application engineer at Elantas Pdg Inc, received the Emerging Young Leader Award; Alicia Broadbent, director of planning and development at Southern Tier Health Care System, received the MVYP Award; Holly McCully, an inbound marketing specialist at protocol 80, received the Rookie of the Year Award;  Kyle Leslie, vice president of the Olean Schools Foundation, received the Volunteer of the Year Award. Husband and wife Heath and Sally McCombs share the OAYP Member of the Year Award; and The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure Universitywas named this year’s Friend of OAYP.

Tickets are $25 and cover the cost of admission and food. A cash bar will be available. Tickets may be purchased at Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce’s office at 301 N. Union St., or online here:

For more information, email or call 716-372-4433. 


Chamber's member networking season underway


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce’s traditional Business After Hours season is getting an upgrade of sorts. 

While the Chamber still plans to hold Business After Hours, it’s adding a new opportunity for members to connect — Cash Mobs. Through these events, the Chamber is now packaging  its monthly gatherings for the business community under the umbrella of Monthly Networking Events. 

The MNE schedule includes five Business After Hours and three Cash Mobs.  

Business After Hours are opportunities for our members to meet and network with one another – a valuable business resource.  “Call it networking, schmoozing, mingling, whatever – all your member employees are eligible to attend for free,” stated Erica Dreher, membership outreach coordinator.

Inspired by ‘flash mobs,’ a cash mob occurs when a group of people assembles to make purchases in support of local businesses and the overall community.  “This is a great way to encourage our community to shop small and raise awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses,” added Dreher.

What do you do at a cash mob?  The mobs have four rules for attendees: be courteous to the business owner and staff, spend $20, meet three people you didn’t know before, and take lots of pictures.  Attendees are then encouraged to post to social media tagging the business and using hashtags - #cashmob, #cityname #shoplocal, etc.

The 2019 schedule of MNE is as follows:

October 17 – Cash mob, with location to be announced 10/16

November 13 – BAH, ConnectLife/Unyts

December TBA – Cash mob

January 22 – Mallery’s AutoBody

February TBA – Cash mob

March 25 – BAH, Tri-County Arts Council

May 27 – BAH, Old Library Restaurant

Each MNE also has an Attendance Fund Sponsor.  

The Chamber encourages its members to attend at least five out of the eight networking events. Those who attend at least five events will be entered in a prize drawing at the conclusion of the 2019 season.  


Archbishop Walsh Academy made

Santa Claus Lane ornament


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce has unveiled one of its newest Santa Claus Lane ornaments, a depiction of the Archbishop Walsh Academy. 

The ornament of Archbishop Walsh joins the Beef ‘n’ Barrel restaurant ornament as the 2019 Santa Claus Lane ornaments. 

Included with each of the ornaments is a brief history of Walsh -- In October of 1957, hundreds of people gathered at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo to hear Bishop Leo R. Smith announce that a central Catholic high school was to be established in Olean. The school was to be named after Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh, who had deep roots in the Southern Tier.  

Spring 1958, Leo Keenan was chairman of a committee to raise building funds. September 1958, Reverend Celsus Wheeler broke ground for the school.  Fr. Kenneth Dorr was appointed principal and Sister Aileen Marie assisted him. The school began its classes in 1958 in St. Mary of the Angels Academy in Olean.

The cornerstone of the school was laid in 1959 with local newspapers and some mementos for the late Archbishop Walsh.  Students began classes in 1959.  The Class of 1961 was the first to graduate. In the first yearbook for this graduating class, the seniors noted: "Our history will not be like that of any other class ... ours was a new school and everything we did would become foundation and tradition. This is the thrill of having the freedom to begin the customs that will become the cherished traditions of the years to come. As the first graduating class of Archbishop Walsh, it has been a privilege to set precedence. For this, to our parents, to our teachers, to our school, we are grateful."

Southern Tier Catholic School was established in 1987 as a consolidation of two local parochial schools, St Mary and St Johns.  The Montessori Children’s School of Olean started by Craig Zuckerman joined forces with the STCS in 2011.

By 2002, its junior high students were moved to the Archbishop Walsh campus, and by 2009 all students were housed at Walsh.

Today the Walsh campus boasts small classes, providing for a great student-to-teacher ratio and individual attention. Students also benefit from the institution’s strong technology program, and Classrooms of the Future with a comprehensive media lab and library.

Through the ornament sales, holiday lights are funded and can be lit in Olean from November to early January.  Each ornament is $25.00.

The new ornaments are available at the Chamber office at 301 N. Union St., with the Walsh ornament for sale at the school’s business office and the Beef ‘n’ Barrel’s ornament at the restaurant.

All ornaments are available online for purchasing at the Chamber’s shopping site –  Ornaments can be shipped outside Olean for an additional $6 for shipping/handling charges per ornament.  

For more information on the ornament or Santa Claus Lane activities, please call the Chamber at 716/372-4433, stop in the office, or email


Briefly speaking... 


Rural Revitalization Corp. seeks board members 

Rural Revitalization Corp. is a small non-profit agency in Cattaraugus County, and part of New York State's Rural Housing Coalition. It administers grants for low-to-moderate income homeowners that help them make necessary repairs to remain in their home. The corporation has  also administered First-time Home Buyer Program with the city of Olean, and provides financial counseling for those looking to purchase a home in the future. 

Now, the organization is looking for new board members.

The group’s Board of Directors meets once a month and board members are encouraged to help out at volunteer projects within the area.

Interested parties should email a letter of interest and resume to 

Local salon to relocate

Aquaria Salon, currently located at 400 N. Union St. will relocated to 208 Main St., the former Stylista Salon, on Oct. 1.


Tech teens plan robotic helper 



Participants in Boundless Connections’ TECH Unleashed program for 13-17-year-olds have set an ambitious goal for their 2019-2020 service project: to develop a voice-activated robot to help people living with physical disabilities.

The group of 25 teens met August 19-23 for the second session of the TECH Unleashed summer camp where they solidified plans for their robotic helper.

“The amount of energy, brainstorming and problem solving is incredible,” said Michelle Cortez, one of the program facilitators. “They have a vision.”

“We have an amazing group this year and there are exciting things going on,” said Mike Marvin, program facilitator and Boundless Connections’ co-owner.

“In the first week, one of our 14-year-old participants asked if we could have a group project for everyone to work on. She then led a discussion from brainstorming to project definition. They decided that they all wanted to work on a robot that could accept voice commands. Later that same day, we had a participant sign up who had no use of her legs and limited use of her arms. Someone who could help us build this robot and also would know how to prioritize the features.  It was amazing,” Mr. Marvin added. 

“Another reason that it is so fun to work with these young people is that they’re really open and flexible about sharing ideas – they invite everyone into the process,” Mr. Marvin said. “Everyone’s input is valued. It’s a lot of fun.”

The group plans to develop a robot capable of opening doors, operating light switches and retrieving objects. The teens have divided into subgroups for drawing/development, 3D printing, robotics, coding and marketing.

As part of the program, the teens are also forming new connections with each other, learning about teambuilding and leadership.

“One of my favorite parts about the week was being around everyone,” said Kailyn West, 15, of Olean. “All their creativity made for a really neat environment.”

Brightleen Ngunyi, 16, of Olean, agreed, adding, “My favorite was learning and exploring new things.”

The TECH Unleashed program is for youth 13-17 years old interested in computer programming, augmented and virtual reality, graphic art, 3d printing, and video/audio editing. Membership is available to any young person with an interest.

Along with summer, winter and spring camps, TECH Unleashed meets during the school year on Friday evenings from 7 - 9 p.m. to work on their tech service projects and engage with the community while developing the technical skills needed to complete projects.

The program fosters the use of various technology skills in service to the community. Participants choose their annual projects and stay connected throughout the year for approximately 160 hours of coordination and instruction.

While the program’s annual projects are participant-driven, participants receive guidance on project and time management, leadership and team building, public speaking, research and industry networking.

Funding for scholarships is provided by Strength Solutions with generous contributions from Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau, Directions in Independent Living, Fox Financial, Sol Epoxy and United Way of Cattaraugus County. 

Select equipment is funded through the Appalachian Regional Commission grant and Boundless Connections, LLC. Technical and business skills presentations and support is provided by Boundless Connections, LLC. Character education and scholarship administration are provided through Strength Solutions, Inc.

For more information and to register, visit, email or call (585) 376-0099. The programs are held at the Boundless Connections Technology Center at 160 North Union Street in Olean. 


StrOlean returning for last time in 2019 


The final StrOlean of 2019 is set for Oct. 26.

Up and down North Union Street, many of the brick/mortar stores can participate in the Pop-up Marketplace to host  events inside/outside their store as well as have sales/info.  Vendors are encouraged to come to the downtown to display and sell their artisan items, catalog/home party, farm market stands, artwork, jewelry and more as a Pop-up Market – a temporary storefront in downtown Olean.

Events are plentiful too.  Restaurants throughout Olean are encouraged to have music entertainment as well as present a Grub Crawl item — an appetizer or small dish StrOlean-goers can enjoy, eat, and then move on to the next tasting down the street.

The Chamber is also asking nonprofits and for-profit organizations to bring events to downtown. Suggested event ideas include: scavenger hunt, storytime, historic walking tour, step-by-step painting class, outdoor Yoga class, make and take craft night, cheer/ dance competition, strolling chorus, 5K/1K fun run, outdoor Zumba class, antique car show & rally, or a lip sync/ singing competition. 

There is no charge for organizations to host and run the events.  The event would be included in the Chamber’s overall promotion, poster, Facebook, etc.  However, the Chamber still suggests the event organizers to do some small promotion on their separate event and market to your captive audience.  

Food trucks and restaurants in the area but not located on North Union Street – the Chamber encourages you to fill out a food vendor app and come on down to StrOlean.  The Olean area is known for its fabulous cuisine and would like many food vendors to participate in StrOlean.

Those interested in participating as a retail or food vendor or as an event organizer, please call for a registration form. For more information, please call the Chamber at 716-372-4433 or email


Cyber security summit slated for October 


Cyber security summit slated for October

 Silo City IT of Buffalo, Acme Business of Olean, and Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Cyber Security Summit at Jamestown Community College, Olean, Thursday, Oct. 24.

"The month of October is Cyber Security Month and what better way for all sizes of businesses/non profit organizations than to focus on their cyber preparedness, prevention and processes at this workshop,” said Meme K. Yanetsko, the Chamber’s COO.

Cyber attacks are ever-evolving and difficult for organizations to prevent.  As many have said, in today’s world it’s not if you’re going to be hacked but when.  Investing in proactive approaches is the only way to prevent cyber incidents from shutting down your organization.  

“Think about this, according to Cyber Security Ventures every 14 seconds another organization falls victim to ransomware.  With ransomware increasing over 97 percent in the past two years, proactive prevention is essential to business survival,” said Jeff Rathmann, president and CEO of Silo City IT.

Jim Finch, president and owner of Acme Business added, “Gathered will be representatives from critical infrastructure sectors:  legal, education, healthcare, banking, and insurance just to name a few. More importantly, business owners and managers will gain a solid achievable understanding of the scale of cybersecurity. How to manage such an incident is key, having business intelligence ahead of such action is critical.  We believe being proactive will save you, reactive will cost you.”

For more information, please the Chamber at


Chamber calls for 'Squirrel Selfies' 


Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce is asking the community for photos of families, children, teenagers and seniors enjoying the Woodland in the City Squirrels scattered throughout Olean.  

Area residents and visitors are invited once again to send in their photos of the Woodland in the City Squirrels to be chosen and placed in the 2020 squirrel calendar.  The Woodland in the City Committee and the Chamber are sponsoring this contest.

The calendar will feature the local community in photos with the squirrels.  The photos should feature one of the Woodland Squirrels – maybe your youngster dressed up like an elf and with the Santa squirrel or maybe your son dressed up like a knight and is with the Knight in Shining Armor squirrel.  This year, the Chamber would love for participants to take selfies with the Woodland squirrels.  

The Chamber insists those in the photo do not sit on the squirrel for the photos. 

Photos can be dropped off at the Chamber office between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Pictures may be mailed to: Squirrel Photo Contest, c/o GOACC, 301 N. Union St., Olean, NY 14760. Photos can be emailed

Submissions must  include your name, address, and home phone number. Entries must be received by 4:30 p.m., Nov. 13. 


Santa Claus Lane Parade applications now accepted


The Santa Claus Lane Parade is always the highlight of the holiday season, attracting loads of people of all ages to downtown Olean.  The parade will be held on Friday, Nov. 29, in downtown Olean, beginning at 7 p.m. 

The Santa Claus Lane committee encourages area organizations and businesses to participate in the parade with a float, send in a musical unit, or display historical/public vehicles in the parade.

The parade will begin at Delaware Avenue and North Union Street, and proceed south on North Union.  Santa and Martha Claus will have their traditional countdown of the lights coming on at the intersection of State and Union.

To participate in the parade you’ll simply need to print out and fill in an application form that can be found online the Chamber’s website: or by calling the Chamber office, 716-372-4433. Parade trophies will be presented in eight categories. 

The parade rules and guidelines include: floats may be no taller than 13 feet and they may not contain a Santa or Martha Claus; candy, small toys, light up wands, etc. should be thrown from the float, and any children on the float should supervised.  Adults must accompany small children if walking. If you would like to hand out candy/coupons, please have volunteers walk along the sidewalk and hand out. Animals, such as dogs and horses are allowed in the parade, you must provide scoopers to clean up droppings. 

To participate in the parade, a float or unit must be decorated in holiday fashion.  All floats up up for inspection before they enter the parade route.  Although there is no official deadline for parade applications, the Chamber urges all participants to get the information by Nov. 20.  All parade participants must have a waiver signed and Chamber officials ask that all waivers be handed in by Nov. 23, to the offices at 301 N. Union St.

For more information regarding Santa Claus Lane or other Greater Olean Area events and activities, please call 716-372-4433 or email


CRCF to lead Cattaraugus Gives  


Cattaraugus Gives, the Cattaraugus region’s day of giving, led by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, will return this year on Dec. 3 to continue its growth in raising funds and awareness for nonprofits and charitable causes in the region.

Cattaraugus Gives is a 24-hour online fundraising blitz, bringing together nonprofits from all over the region in friendly fundraising competition, with the overall goal of creating a more compassionate, giving community. 

In 2018, 47 nonprofit organizations together raised just short of $32,000 to benefit programs and projects in Cattaraugus County during Cattaraugus Gives. CRCF also offered $5,000 in monetary incentives to participating organizations.

This year, the community foundation hopes to facilitate significant growth for the Cattaraugus Gives program, said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit.

“We have been very pleased with the outcome of Cattaraugus Gives in its first two years,” said Buchheit, “But we believe this has the potential to be something far greater this year, and that is why we have invested so much in the program.”

The Cattaraugus Gives program will be held as a stand-alone giving day this year, led and organized solely by CRCF, rather than as part of the NYGivesDay program as in past years as the NYGIVES program will not take place this year.

As part of this change, the Foundation plans to provide a far more extensive prize package for participating organizations, Buchheit said. Such as prizes for most donors overall, most donors during specific time periods, “golden ticket” random drawings for any organization that receives a gift during a time period and more.

CRCF is currently seeking sponsorships from business in the community to provide more prize opportunities. Businesses interested in sponsoring a prize can contact the Foundation at or 716-301-2723.

The Cattaraugus Gives program also has a brand new logo as well as a new website,

“We feel that is time, especially as we think about our 25th anniversary year, that we make Cattaraugus Gives into an even bigger event,” said Buchheit. “Sponsorships will be a huge part of that as we encourage more groups to participate and invest more time and effort in the program. This Foundation has always been forward-thinking, and we want Cattaraugus Gives to be at the center of not just our growth, but of the entire community’s growth.”

Registration will open Sept. 16 at The program’s first free training webinar will take place Sept. 27. The Foundation will hold a viewing of the webinar followed by an open question session beginning at noon that day in the Olean Business Development building’s third-floor Sr. Margaret Carney training room Lunch will be provided at the training site for those who register in advance.

Anyone nonprofit representative interested in attending the webinar session should contact Kirk Windus, CRCF communications and fund development manager, at

“We hope the community will continue to embrace the Cattaraugus Gives program and help it make even more of an impact this year,” said Buchheit. “Our community nonprofits work so hard all year to make the community a better place, and this is the perfect opportunity for the community to give back to them.

“After all, we all win when Cattaraugus gives,” Buchheit said.

 To learn more about how to support Cattaraugus Gives, visit



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

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