Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Francie Potter has been a staple in her community since moving to Allegany in 1956 , devoting her time and talents to a wide variety of organizations. Born in Ann Arbor Michigan, Ms. Potter lived there for 20 years and attended the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband, Bob. In 1956, they moved to her husband’s hometown of Allegany so they could both help with the family business, Potter Lumber Company. Currently, three of her six children run the business, which has been in family hands for over 100 years.
As her children became involved in activities, Ms. Potter became involved in supporting them. In what she calls her “first gig,” Ms. Potter was the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Allegany School District. Several of her children began ski racing competitively at the Wing Hollow Ski Area, which pulled her into the Niagara Frontier Ski Council as a board member. This group was charged with governing the ski races that took place in Western New York.
Because of her husband’s love of cars, Ms. Potter helped run the Allegheny Valley Sportscar Association, eventually holding the title of secretary. She was also a board member and past president of the Mental Health Association in Cattaraugus County.
Ms. Potter’s community service is diverse as well. She is the current president of the Allegany Area Historical Association, having held the position for the last 15 years. In addition, she is a trustee, the editor of the Association’s newsletter and serves as the chairwoman of Allegany Heritage Days, a yearly festival with vendors and entertainment that coincides with the Allegany School District’s reunions.
Other organizations that benefit from Ms. Potter’s generosity are St. Bonaventure Church, where she served as a trustee for 14 years and is currently a lector and Eucharistic minister; the Jamestown Community College Foundation, the Olean Child Development Center and the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
Ms. Potter’s unstinting efforts have distinguished her as a role model in her community and she serves as an inspiration to us all.