Unshackle Upstate Announces New Executive Director - Daily Hudson Valley News

Unshackle Upstate Announces New Executive Director

Dec 23rd, 2014 | By | Category: Current Events

After an extensive two-month search, Unshackle Upstate announced today that Greg Biryla has been selected by the organization’s executive board to serve as executive director.

Biryla, who previously served as Unshackle Upstate’s director of development, will oversee the organization’s extensive advocacy efforts, grow its network of pro-business partners and raise awareness about the challenges facing Upstate taxpayers and employers.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Unshackle Upstate and be a voice of advocacy and growth for Upstate New York, said Biryla. “The organization’s leadership team represents the industries and communities that drive the Upstate economy today and those that will lead it into the future. I could not ask for better partners. I’ve spent my entire life living in diverse Upstate communities and I strongly believe that if we continue to work together to achieve substantive change in Albany – lower taxes, less regulation and responsible spending – Upstate’s future is bright.”

Brian Sampson, president of the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors and former executive director of Unshackle Upstate, lauded the selection, “Having worked directly with Greg, I’m extremely confident in his abilities to lead and grow this organization. Unshackle Upstate and our supporters across the state will be well served by Greg’s knowledge, commitment and energy.”

Members of Unshackle Upstate’s executive board expressed their support for Biryla and the future of the organization.

“I’m excited to see a fellow Western New Yorker take the reins of this growing coalition. Greg is well-prepared to continue the organization’s core mission of advocating for lower taxes and a better business climate,” said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “I look forward to working with Greg and our partner chambers to advance our pro-growth agenda.”

Rochester Business Alliance President and CEO and Unshackle Upstate co-founder Sandy Parker said, “Greg is a perfect fit for this opportunity. He’s a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, he’s passionate about improving the Upstate economy and he understands how Albany works. I wish Greg all the best in his new role.”

“Greg is a smart, vibrant Upstate New Yorker who has already helped push this organization to new heights. The Unshackle Upstate leadership team is committed to strengthening the organization’s impact and Greg is well-qualified to help us achieve that important goal,” said Lou Santoni, president and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

“Unshackle Upstate has become one of New York’s most credible and effective voices on behalf of job creators and taxpayers,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “Under Greg’s leadership, I am confident we will continue to be successful for years to come.”

Biryla is a native of Hamburg, New York. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University (Olean, New York) in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Prior to joining Unshackle Upstate, he served as communications director and press secretary for New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan. He currently resides in Irondequoit with his wife, Ashley.


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