Unshackle Upstate, the non-partisan, pro-economic growth business coalition representing Upstate New York, has tapped Buffalo resident Michael Kracker as its new executive director.
Kracker previously worked in several senior positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including as deputy chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Chris Collins. Kracker is a 2010 graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in political science.
“As a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, I’m all too aware of the struggles that our hardworking residents must face every day,” Kracker said in a news release. “Sky-high taxes and energy costs, burdensome red tape and costly state mandates are just some of the factors that hurt the upstate economy. I’m excited to lead Unshackle Upstate’s efforts to improve our economy and fight for a brighter future for my fellow Upstate New Yorkers.”
Kracker will lead the organization’s advocacy efforts in Albany and across the state, strengthen its partnerships with allied organizations and “raise awareness about the extraordinary challenges facing upstate businesses and taxpayers.”
“Unshackle Upstate plays a critical role in effectively advocating for upstate employers and taxpayers, and this responsibility requires a strong, experienced leader. I am very pleased we have found such a person in Michael Kracker,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Michael has an acute understanding of politics at all levels of government and an appreciation for how policy impacts employers and hardworking taxpayers across upstate for better or worse.”
Bob Duffy, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said Kracker has a long history of work in the public sector that positions him well to represent the interests of upstate business.
“I have every bit of confidence that his candor, his experience and his energy are a formula for success,” Duffy said.