Gary Lynn named Chautauqua Leadership Network’s Leader of the Year

Gary R. Lynn, CEO of Lynn Development Group, has been named by Chautauqua Leadership Network as the recipient of the organization’s 2014 Leader of the Year Award. Lynn will be honored by CLN at an award dinner held in his honor this month.

The Leader of the Year Award is given to an individual or organization whose activities have done the most to further the vision and mission of Chautauqua Leadership Network. Now in its 22nd year, CLN is a not-for-profit organization designed to identify, recruit, train and network area professionals. To date, more than 500 individuals have participated in the program, which was founded to develop effective community leaders to address the challenges and opportunities facing Chautauqua County.

In their nomination letters, CLN alumni Susan Colwell, John Barber and Pastor Amy Rohler described Lynn as a caring individual whose generosity and giving form the bedrock of his philosophy of leadership, whether that takes the form of helping out an individual in need or contributing to the work of community building.

Lynn is undoubtedly recognizable for his philanthropy in the community, but his vision of leadership began early as he set out to prove himself. At the age of 25, he started Allied Fire Protection Systems Inc., which grew to be one of the largest automatic sprinkler companies in New York state. The blessing of that success empowered him to create Community Development Association LLC, in 1998- a privately held commercial real-estate company which owns approximately 1,000,000 square feet of real estate, occupied by over 70 small to large businesses.

These compounded blessings permitted several other companies to be formed, providing or assisting in the creation and stabilization of more than 600 jobs in these various companies and incubators. The majority of this development was accomplished with minimal government assistance.

Lynn considers his most worthwhile endeavor to be founding the local charity Community Helping Hands. CHH is housed in the renovated, formerly abandoned 200,000-square-foot building known as the Gateway Center. Lynn purchased and renovated the Gateway Center, which now houses numerous charitable organizations.

According to Jason Spain, president of Lynn Development Group, “Gary Lynn is a positive and influential leader because his passion lives in the service of others.”

While he shies away from praise for his business success and for his service, Chautauqua Leadership Network feels it is important to reflect upon Lynn’s leadership and celebrate his example.

“CLN is all about leadership and its effect on the Chautauqua County community, and Gary Lynn has demonstrated exceptional leadership by his life,” said CLN Director Pene Hutton.

Lynn will be honored by CLN at an award dinner at 6 p.m. on June 19 at the St. Susan Center dining room located in The Gateway Center, 31 Water St., Jamestown. Reservations are open to the public and are due by June 13 by calling Pene Hutton, Chautauqua Leadership Network director, at 338-1555. The cost for the banquet is $35 a person.

For more information about Chautauqua Leadership Network, visit the organization’s website at