Impact beyond words. One of Yates County’s greatest champions.
Mike Linehan, longtime president and CEO of the Yates County Chamber of Commerce died unexpectedly on Wednesday.
By all accounts, not only was his life and career cut short — but the community lost one of it’s greatest champions and assets.
Kathy Waye, a Keuka College official and president of the chamber’s board of directors told the Finger Lakes Times that the organization will continue moving forward with Linehan’s vision.
In a Statement from Yates County Legislature Chair Timothy Dennis, he noted that Linehan’s efforts would live on in the community he fought to improve. The statement read:
“On February 15th, the entire Yates County community has lost our champion. Mike Linehan lived and breathed for Yates County and our vibrant Finger Lakes way of life. At every turn of a community event, there was Mike with his constant encouragement and support to make this a better place to live. His presence will be deeply missed as we continue to grow our business climate and sell our opportunities to the world Mike was widely known and respected in the tourism promotion world. He has led us in our expansion of our tourism industry and leaves us with many opportunities for even more growth. We express our condolences to Molly, the girls, and the rest of Mike’s family. We were fortunate to know and work with a man of Mike’s energy and enthusiasm. He will be missed but his mark on this community will remain.”
Some officials said Yates County lost a friend. While others noted the endless number of good qualities that linehan embodied, which will be greatly missed. By all accounts, the mission he set out to accomplish will still find the finish line. The personal loss though, which the entire community now feels will undoubtedly take longer to heal.
New York State Sen. Tom O’Mara, who represents the 58th District told the Finger Lakes Times that he was deeply saddened by Linehan’s passing. “There was no better advocate and fighter for the future of Yates County,” he continued.
FingerLakes1.com will update this story as information becomes available.