Norm Green has always found ways to get the job done. From his humble beginnings being brought up in a working-class family in Western NY, to his years of active duty military service, to holding the elected position of Chautauqua County Election Commissioner for over 2 decades. Norm Green is a story of success and accomplishment because of hard work and dedication.
Born in Dunkirk, NY, Norm has known hard work and dedication from childhood. At the age of 10, he was going door to door to shovel snow to help support the family. “I would knock on my neighbor’s door and let them know to pay me whatever they thought it was worth to them,” said Norm. Norm started delivering the Buffalo News at the age of 12. These early experiences really began molding Norm into the man he would become. He learned the value of a dollar, how to effectively communicate, and the importance of family and community. These will continue to be common themes throughout his life.
In 1972, at the age of 18, Norm enlisted in the United States Army. At the time, we were in the middle of the Vietnam War and Norm felt a call to duty resonate inside of him. He served for 3 years and was honorably discharged as a specialist 4th class and as a civilian rated executive chef. As a proud veteran, he puts his country and everything it represents, first. See his veteran page for a detailed history of service and patriotism in the Green family.
Fresh out of the army, Norm attended JCC on the GI Bill, receiving an associates degree in business administration. During this time, Norm started forming ideas and a base of knowledge in management theory. He knew he wanted to work with and through people to help create things bigger than what he could do on his own. After graduating from JCC, he studied political science at SUNY Fredonia. Here, he started to really understand the greatness of American government and see ways where he could insert his presence and make a difference.
With school in the rearview mirror, Norm started flexing his knowledge in business and management at Brand Names Retail Store. In 1979, he earned the opportunity to be assistant manager and help run the operations at both the Jamestown and Dunkirk locations. In just 2 years, Norm was promoted to branch manager of the Olean Brand Names location. His leadership team knew Norm as someone they could always rely on to get the job done. He took this branch manager opportunity and ran with it. Norm was overseeing a $5 million store with 20 year-round employees and an additional 30 seasonal employees. His ambition and dedication to the company put him in a position to be regional manager. Norm was overseeing 15 stores and reporting directly to the company’s owner. While Norm is very proud of his time at Brand Names, this pales in comparison to his accomplishments in public service.
Starting his journey in public service, Norm was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to the Chautauqua County alcohol beverage control board and served from 1987-1989. Norm was then elected to Ellicott Town Council and served 2 terms from 1989 to 1993. Norm has always strived to represent the interests of his constituents and during his time as councilman, he was instrumental in getting sidewalks installed on Fairmount Ave, helped approve the West Ellicott Wegman’s site development, and voted to lower Ellicott town taxes.
From 1999-2021, Norm served as the Chautauqua County Democratic Commissioner of Elections. He led a team of 6 full-time and 400 part-time employees. Norm brought with him his management knowledge and communication expertise and applied his leadership skills to government. He has co-managed a $1 million yearly budget and turned Chautauqua County’s board of elections into a model example for the rest of New York State and the country to follow. Even while the budget has remained fixed over these 22 years, Norm has found ways to innovate and stretch the budget to ensure election processes keep up with technology. Norm helped implement the process of printing ballots within Chautauqua County to be used in Chautauqua County elections. Norm oversaw the creation of an internal print shop because he was able to see the long-term benefits of this action. This newly created process saves taxpayers $100,000 a year. Norm Green was elected president of New York State Election Commissioner Association in 2007. During his term as president, Norm organized the annual meeting and brought the Election Commissioner Association’s meeting to Chautauqua County. Norm is proud of his successful bipartisan work with the Chautauqua County Republican Election Commissioner, Brian Abram, and his staff. Throughout Norm’s 22 years of service, he is always finding ways to work with all members of a project and ensuring that both Democrats and Republicans are provided fair and honest elections. Norm is extremely proud of the work he has put in and the legacy he has left. He knows that the most important part of leaving a position is having it set up for the future. He has left the Chautauqua County Board of Elections in much better shape than he found it.
Norm Green has been part of the Chautauqua County community his entire life and wants to be part of making it better for now and future generations. He sees ways where he can be of assistance to fix a system that has deteriorated over the last 20 years. Norm Green is concerned with how the current leadership team is handling the big issues and not addressing the inefficiencies in County government. Norm Green is a dedicated individual, a forward thinker, a hard worker, an American veteran, and a community leader. Norm Green has found success in public service by listening to his constituents and taking action based on their needs. With his management experience, communication skills, and ability to lead teams large and small, he will be able to successfully take on the challenge of Chautauqua County Executive.