Jamestown Noon Rotary Club members recently honored Jamestown Gateway Train Station General Manager Lee Harkness with a Paul Harris Fellowship.
The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for Harkness’ $1,000 contribution to the humanitarian and educational programs of the Rotary Foundation.
The award is named for Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, the world’s first service club, in 1905. The certificate the honoree receives states, “You have been named a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations between peoples of the world.”
Harkness previously worked for approximately ten years as the Executive Director and President of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation where he was responsible for renovation of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Station; implementation of the Urban Design Plan; development of the “Main Street Program” in Jamestown; and coordination of downtown revitalization projects and downtown events, to name but a few.
Earlier, Harkness worked as a rural development specialist for the Chautauqua County Department of Economic Development and the Industrial Development Agency. For many years, he owned and managed The Plow and Share in Randolph; the Harkness Farm and Home Store; and the Double H. Ranch in Cherry Creek. Harkness worked in Buffalo as general plant manager for Ashland Petroleum.
The honoree graduated from Jamestown Community College, Penn State University and Cornell University. After earning his bachelor of science in animal science, economics and business administration, he served in the U.S. Army.
In addition to his Rotary membership, Harkness is on the board or has served on the boards of: the NYS Urban Council Board of Directors; the NYS Main Street Alliance Board of Directors; the Steering Committee for the State Rural Development Council; the Babe Ruth World Series Board of Directors; the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce; the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission; Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau; the New York State Association of Fairs; the Cattaraugus County Fair; the Randolph Area Business Association; and organizations too numerous to mention.
Harkness is the father of two grown children.