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Allen Connely

New CEO of Oswego Industries and Arc of Oswego County  has his hands full advocating for those he serves

By Stefan Yablonski

Oswego Industries and Arc of Oswego County board of directors approved a management services agreement appointing Allen Connely as Laurie Davis’ successor, effective March 1.

Connely, who is the president and CEO of Mozaic, (Seneca, Cayuga, Yates, Tompkins County Arc) now provides direct oversight of both agencies as part of a planned leadership succession plan.

Mozaic and its affiliated companies provide critical services for people with disabilities throughout the New York Finger Lakes area.

“We, at Mozaic, are grateful to have the resources to be able to help other organizations with similar missions to ours be successful so that they can continue to provide more of their mission within their communities,” the president and CEO of Mozaic, Oswego Industries and Arc of Oswego said.

He was born in Oklahoma and raised in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Connely did his undergrad work at Graceland University in Iowa. He earned his MBA from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and master’s in international management from Thunderbird, now under Arizona State University, he said.

“Growing up, I wanted to be a professional football player — can’t grow up in Oklahoma without having some desire to play football,” he added.

He has been the CEO for Mozaic for six years.

He is a strong advocate for those he serves — striving to expand “meaningful job opportunities for people with disabilities.”

“We have a textile manufacturing facility and are a DOD contractor. Oswego Industries also does manufacturing for the federal government,” he said. “The previous CEO at OI–Arc of Oswego and I had been talking about collaborating for more than a year. When she decided to retire it seemed to make sense from the board’s perspective that we make the collaboration more formal, which we did when I became the CEO for OI and Arc of Oswego.”

His responsibilities are typical the responsibilities of any CEO — oversee management of both organizations and focus on growth in mission while being financially sustainable, he explained.

How similar are the two jobs? “Very similar. OI and the Arc of Oswego are smaller companies than Mozaic, but the jobs are very similar,” he said.

Travelin’ man

While employed in the commercial industry for 25 years, Connely had the opportunity to live or work in 26 different countries.

“I worked for the Amway Corporation and was in charge of its detergent division for some time and then moved up to have other responsibilities,” he said. “The jobs I had were on the international side of the business and at the time we were in more than 20 countries.”

These days, he doesn’t travel quite as much.

“All of my travel these days is within the USA. I travel to Albany and Washington, DC quite a bit due to the board responsibilities I have,” he said.

His favorite location? “Malaysia. I lived there for some time and still love it,” he said.

He describes his managerial style as “situational.”

“Depending on the needs and capabilities of the staff one has requires different management styles,” he explained. “What I tend to gravitate to is asking questions and understanding the reasons why our managers are doing what they are doing. I always like to understand the ‘why.’”

The best part of his job is “100% being around the staff and the individuals we support!” he said.

The higher you go in any organization, the less technical skill you need and the more people skill you need is the best advice he’s ever received.

“As leaders, you get things done through people — and it is important to recognize that,” he said.

In his free time, he enjoys running — “and playing golf…badly!” he laughed.


Name: Allen Connely

Position: President and CEO of Oswego Industries and the Arc of Oswego; president and CEO of Mozaic (Seneca, Cayuga, Yates, Tompkins County Arc)

Birth Place: Oklahoma

Residence: Waterloo

Education: Undergrad degree from Graceland University, Iowa; Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri; Master in International Management (MIM) from Thunderbird, now under Arizona State University

Personal: Wife, Brenda; son, Colby and wife, Stephanie; granddaughter, Quinn; daughter, Kelsey and husband, Jake

Hobbies: Running, golfing