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Thomas Barnes Recipient of the 2009 Brooks Patterson Community Leadership Award

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The Cattaraugus County Planning Board presented, at its July 22nd Annual Dinner Meeting, the 2009 Brooks Patterson Community Leadership Awardto Thomas Barnesfor his outstanding leadership and years of dedicated service in Planning, Development and The Arts in the City of Olean, Cattaraugus County and the Southern Tier West Region of New York State. The meeting was held at the Nic-L-Inn Restaurant in South Valley, with 94 people in attendance. The topic of the evening was "Pipeline 4 Progress' Regional Workforce Action Plan".

The recipients of this annual award are chosen to give countywide recognition to leaders and volunteers who make lasting contributions to the people and communities of Cattaraugus County and its region and who exemplify the outstanding spirit and example that Torrance Brooks and Donald Patterson set during their lifetime of dedicated service to their respective communities, County Legislature, County Planning Board, and regional agencies.

Mr. Barnes's service and leadership includes: Senior Regional Development Coordinator for 23 years with the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board in Salamanca, NY, where he works with the three counties, numerous municipalities, agencies, colleges, businesses, local development corporations, community groups, and other diverse constituencies. Over the last two decades, Tom has taught on a full-time and/or adjunct professor basis at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Mercyhurst College and Alfred University. He is an original incorporator and President of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council since 1996. As a resident of the City of Olean, Tom has participated in a number of initiatives for the City and is currently Chairman of the City of Olean Planning Board since 2001. He has numerous public speaking credits, including public hearing testimony. Tom is a saxophone player for the Mojo Hand Blues Band since its inception in 1990.

Mr. Barnes stated that he is honored to have been chosen to receive the Brooks Patterson Community Leadership Award as he had known both Mr. Brooks and Mr. Patterson and their many years of dedicated service to the planning community of Cattaraugus County.