Chautauqua Striders appoint Lindquist as executive director

JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua Striders Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin A. Lindquist as Executive Director effective this month. He is a Jamestown-area native and comes to the Striders organization with eight years experience in athletic management, higher education and coaching.

“I am excited about the opportunity to become the new Executive Director of Chautauqua Striders and look forward to seeing the organization continue to make a positive impact on the lives of the youth that we reach and the local community that we all are a part of,” Lindquist said. “I look forward to working with the staff to build upon the solid foundation that Chautauqua Striders has maintained within the community for over 30 years.”

Chautauqua Striders has completed 34 years of service in mentoring, tutoring and athletics to Chautauqua County youth with its programs linked to elementary, middle and high schools throughout the County. In addition, the Lighted Schoolhouse Program offers tutoring in various subject areas and the mentoring program has grown exponentially in the last several years. The athletic component of Striders provides students gifted in track and field events the chance to compete in local, regional and national races and provides another opportunity for mentoring and tutoring.

“I believe that Chautauqua Striders’ mission of being dedicated to the mentoring and guidance of youth through education, advocacy and athletics is more important now than ever before as we are not only seeing the funding and support programs being cut from our local schools, but we are simultaneously seeing a decrease in the level of support and guidance from the homes of our youth as well. Chautauqua Striders can provide a pivotal component to the education of our youth and their development into our community leaders of tomorrow,” Lindquist said.

Striders Board President Ellen Ditonto expressed confidence in Lindquist’s ability to work with Striders’ board and staff and the entire community to advance Striders’ mission and its focus on three components education, advocacy and athletics.

“The Board believes that Ben’s education and professional experiences fit well with the current needs of Striders and will provide a solid foundation for the organization as it adapts to changes expected in the coming years. While funding continues to be a challenge for any service organization, we believe that Ben’s ability to advocate on behalf of Striders will serve the organization well now and in the future,” Ditonto said.

Lindquist was chosen after a regional search this spring. Rob Liebers, past board president and search committee chairman, said, “Ben’s selection as Executive Director was made after an extensive search. The committee was pleased with his education, background and outlook. He is a Chautauqua County native who understands the impact of Striders and he is ready, willing and able to step up and make a commitment to this organization that is part of the fabric of our community.”

Lindquist has a bachelor’s degree in management from Houghton College’s PACE Program and an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Jamestown Community College. In addition to his eight years at JCC in various positions, he also has worked as a professional umpire in Minor League Baseball for six years, serving as Eastern League crew chief for one year.

Lindquist and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and reside in Falconer.