Cummins Engine Plant Manager Recognized For Charitable Work

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JAMESTOWN – The former Cummins Engine Plant Manager has been recognized by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce for his charitable work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the Chamber announced Mike Abbate has won its 2020 Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award for his work bettering the local economy and helping address critical issues of education and food resources in our communities.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown this past year, Abbate remained busy working with United Ways in Chautauqua County on a project that would help with much-needed food distribution.

“I am humbled and honored to be this year’s recipient of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award,” stated Abbate. “Cummins realized many years ago the correlation between the viability and success of a manufacturing site, and the viability and success of the surrounding community, creating a strong desire within Cummins to partner with our communities to improve, optimize and grow.”

Abbate was deeply involved in the formation of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition, which in 2019 was named by the Lumina Foundation as one of the nearly 100 community partnerships nationwide to be part of the Lumina Community Network to help understand best practices and how resources can best make an impact.

The group secured a $66,000 multi-year National Grid STEM grant for reinvestment of micro-grants to support programming in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in Chautauqua County.

He has also served on a number of boards of directors in the community including the board of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier.

“He played a critical volunteer role in putting together a system for tracking data and outcomes for emergency food pantries and providers (like school districts) across Chautauqua County in the midst of the COVID crisis,” said Amy Rohler, Executive Director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. “Not only did he dive into a group of organizations that felt a bit like ‘herding cats,’ but helped us logistically think through a way to address transport, communicate, and share resources in this sector, especially in the early days of COVID when services were changing rapidly, and we weren’t sure yet what food access for needy families would be.”

The Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award recognizes an individual in the region who has worked hard to bring groups of people together around a common goal or objective.

This award is presented to an individual that has helped move the region forward in a positive direction through collaboration and by building partnerships.

It is named in memory of Pam Lydic, the first President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, who was instrumental in bringing together smaller Chambers of Commerce to create a countywide entity 20-years-ago.

The award includes a $500 donation from the Chamber of Commerce to a non-profit charity of the recipients’ choice. Abbate has selected the United Christian Advocacy Network to receive the donation.

The award will be presented during the joint Chamber-MAST Annual Meeting which will be held online at noon, Friday, January 22. The keynote speaker will be Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

The event marks the 20th anniversary of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the 120th year of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier. To register for the event visit


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