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Notable figures make moves for ’14

Notable figures make moves for ’14

For a lifelong student of politics, my record at predicting election results is humbling.

For a lifelong student of politics, my record at predicting election results is humbling.

I won’t say my batting average is zero, but if I was a utility infielder for the Red Sox, I’d need to be a really good fielder to stick with the club. If I was a utility infielder for the Lansing Lugnuts, for that matter, I’d still need to be a great fielder.

So readers shouldn’t turn here for predictions — at least accurate ones — about who will run for Congress in 2014, whether any Assembly members will be indicted (I dunno, that seems pretty safe) and whether Andrew Cuomo will start making casual trips in the next year to Iowa and New Hampshire.

But I can tell you that a few people in the newsmaking world will have new jobs in January.

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany announced Thursday that Jerry Gretzinger of Channel 6, who has been an anchor and reporter there for 11 years, will be its new vice president for strategic communications and public relations — its chief spokesman and event organizer, in other words.

He replaces Steve Janack, who left the college earlier this fall. Janack starts a new job in January, too, as leader of a new high-tech group within Behan Communications, a local corporate public relations firm whose clients include General Electric, Finch Paper and Callanan Industries.

The nanocollege is mushrooming, of course, employing 3,100 professional and academic researchers in a $17 billion complex. Its bona fides as an public-private research role model were confirmed when President Obama visited in 2012. Earlier this year, it hosted a visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

The college spread its presence across upstate and is the nominal developer in state efforts to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the struggling Utica area.

Anyway, once Gretzinger programs a macro key for “under the leadership of Gov. Cuomo,” he’ll do fine.

Another sometime newsmaker who is changing careers is Tom Lewis of Saratoga Springs, who for the past 18 years has been the chief real estate representative for Stewart’s Shops. That means he’s traveled from Sullivan County to St. Lawrence County picking new store sites, as well as spending a fair amount of time explaining the need for a new Dumpster enclose to zoning boards of appeals.

By his calculation, he’s responsible for securing 115 of the chain’s 331 locations.

All through that time, Lewis has always been involved in Saratoga County Republican politics. On Jan. 2, he’ll start a new job in Albany as deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Kathy Marchione.

“It’s a new chapter,” Lewis said of his decision to go to work for Marchione, the former Saratoga County clerk who took office a year ago after defeating incumbent state Sen. Roy McDonald in a GOP primary.

Chuck Marshall is expected to take Lewis’ place as the chief real estate representative for the convenience store chain. Lewis will remain chairman of the Saratoga County Planning Board.

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