Chautauqua County Chamber State Legislative Breakfast Honored Departing State Senator Cathy Young

Pete Carlo, Presented Senator Young with his 326th flag

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

A special meeting of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club on Friday, April 12, honored the now retired NY State Senator Cathy Young for her years of service. Senator Young joined NY State Assemblyman Andy Goodell in discussing economic, agricultural, and legislative initiatives in New York State.

A Record of Accomplishments

Senator Cathy Young, capping 20 years of distinguished service, from1998 to 2005 in the State Assembly, and from 2005 to 2019 in the New York State Senate where she represented New York State’s 57th district, retired from elected public service in March of this year. Her district included all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties, and seven towns in Livingston County.

Senator Young has received more than 250 awards and recognitions for her public service during her tenure. In January 2016, she made history by taking the reins as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, becoming the first woman in New York to hold that powerful position.

“Leaving the Senate was not an easy decision for me,” Senator Young said. “I feel like I have put my heart and soul into serving the people of my district for the past 20 years. I have based my service on three principles: first, creating new policies that benefit the people in my district, second, delivering resources the people of my district needed, and third, providing excellent constituent services. On parting from the Senate, I made sure the constituent services would continue for the people of my district.”

L to R: John D; Agostino, Dunkirk Observer publisher, Andy Goodell, State Assemblyman and Cathy Young, former State Senator

A New Challenge

Senator Young retired to accept the position of Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York. “I took the job at Cornell,” Young said, “because I always want to be a positive influence and have a positive impact by getting things done. I believe that in agriculture we can increase yield, increase productivity, and increase profitability for our farmers, and at the same time establish more companies and more jobs in the region, in food, agriculture and in technology. I can still have a positive impact on my former district.”

Panel Discussion

The meeting also focused on a lively and informative Q&A session in which Chamber members were able to ask Cathy Young and State Assemblyman Andy Goodell their opinions and plans concerning a wide-ranging selection of key legislative and economic issues. Assemblyman Goodell and Senator Young had worked together closely and effectively for many years in Albany on behalf of their districts in general, and Chautauqua County in particular. They especially outlined many current legislative initiatives originating in Albany and the Assembly’s actions in its role of deliberation and legislation.

Special Presentations

Chamber President Todd Tranum presented Senator Young with a large and elaborately stocked gift basket of selected, fine Chautauqua County agricultural produce.

Peter Carlo, a Jamestown resident, Korean War veteran, and a member of the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame, has donated 325 American flags to local and regional schools, churches, civic organizations, and more, over the years. He presented Senator Young with his 326th flag and led the assembled Chamber members in a spirited singing of “God Bless America.”

“We are blessed and honored in this state, and here in Chautauqua County,” Carlo said, “to have people like Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell, to have these fine people representing us. Especially,” Carlo added, addressing both Young and Goodell, “thank you for all you have done for the Veterans of Chautauqua County.”

The meeting concluded with a standing ovation for Cathy Young and well-wishes from many long-time constituents and friends.

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.