OLEAN, NY -- Tim O’Keefe was elected president of the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors at its first meeting of 2017.

“As a chamber, from the board of directors to the staff and volunteers, we live our mission every day --  to be a member driven business organization that provides benefits, programs, services, and events to enhance the area’s quality of life and economic climate,” O’Keefe, the human resources manager at Cutco Corp, said.

O’Keefe said he plans to make Olean a premier location in which to live, work and do business, with the chamber assuming this leadership role.

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“We will accomplish this through business-to-business marketing, educational and community events, economic development through our partnership with Olean Business Development, workforce development and advocacy,” O’Keefe said. “As the Southern Tier’s largest business organization, we’re here to serve both our community and our members. Anything we can do to encourage people in our communities to visit and support our region’s businesses will only make our community stronger.”

Larry Sorokes, the Chamber’s CEO, said that O’Keefe’s leadership will be an asset to the chamber.

“We are grateful to Tim for his willingness to take the top leadership role within the chamber’s board of directors,” Sorokes said. “His business experience, commitment to the community, and human-resources expertise will serve us well as we work to build a stronger, more effective chamber of commerce.”

O’Keefe will succeed Dennis Pezzimenti of DBP Realty, who held the post during 2016. Pezzimenti will serve in the ex-officio role for 2017, just as the immediate past president did.

Board members named Ledgie DeRose of Mazza Mechanical Services as vice president; Mari Howard of the ReHabilitation Center as secretary, and Andrew Caya of Caya Canopies as treasurer. Appointed as board members to the group were Vicki Blessing of Park Center Development, John Petruzzi of Petruzzi Insurance, and Terry Brairton of Paul Brown Motors.