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Collins’ aide takes job leading Unshackle Upstate

Staff Reports Posted 10 September 2018 at 12:58 pm

Michael Kracker

A group that advocates for upstate businesses, trying to reduce taxes and other costs, has named Michael Kracker as its new executive director. Kracker most recently was working as an aide to Congressman Chris Collins.

In his new role, Kracker will lead Unshackle Upstate’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, the organization said in a news release.

“As a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, I’m all too aware of the struggles that our hardworking residents must face every day,” Kracker said. “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.”

Prior to joining Unshackle Upstate, Kracker previously worked in several senior positions in the United States House of Representatives. Collins, his most recent boss, has suspended his re-election campaign and faces federal charges related to insider trading.

In 2017, Kracker was selected as “30 Under 30” honoree by Buffalo Business First. He is a 2010 graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Political Science. He lives in Buffalo.

“Unshackle Upstate plays a critical role in effectively advocating for Upstate employers and taxpayers, and this responsibility requires a strong, experienced leader,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “I am very pleased we have found such a person in Michael Kracker. 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. I am excited for the next chapter of Unshackle Upstate’s success with Michael as our new executive director.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bob Duffy said, “Rochester Chamber is pleased to welcome Michael Kracker as Unshackle Upstate executive director.  Michael has a long history of work in the public sector that positions him well in representing the interests of Upstate business. I have every bit of confidence that his candor, his experience, and his energy are a formula for success.”

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