Biography of Richard Hanna


A lifelong upstate New York resident and longtime area businessman who believes there is still value in public service, Richard Hanna is running for Congress to represent the people of New York's 24th Congressional District.

Hanna is running for Congress as an outsider - a private citizen - committed to changing our government so it once again works for the people. His experience of creating jobs, growing a business and understanding how both the federal and state governments affect the decisions of business owners are his best qualifications to serve in Congress.

He will use his 25-plus years experience as a business leader to help turn both upstate New York's and the national economy around. Richard is no stranger to facing tough challenges and finding solutions through hard work.

Richard's father died suddenly in 1971, leaving him, at age 20, the primary supporter of his mother and four sisters. He dropped out of school to work and pay off a substantial family debt. Over the next eight years, without any outside assistance, he worked along with his sister, Katrina, to support their family. He put himself through college and graduated in 1976.

After graduating with honors from Reed College and stabilizing his family, Richard started Hanna Construction. Over the next 25 years, he grew the company from one where he was working alone on small residential projects, to one that has successfully completed a myriad of multi-million dollar commercial and municipal projects in upstate New York, providing employment to many people from the construction trades. Hanna is a 25 year member of the Operating Engineers Local 545.

In addition to serving as Owner and President of Hanna Construction, Hanna is a partner in the Gabriel Group, LLC, which has owned and operated Forge Hill Estates in Ilion, NY, one of the premier apartment complexes in the Mohawk Valley, since 1992.

As well as being a successful businessman, Hanna has maintained a lifelong interest in public policy and economics. He is a sustaining member of the CATO Institute, having traveled to Russia as part of an international study group. He is also a frequent attendee of the Milken Institute's Global Conference and a member of the Foundation on Economic Education.

Hanna has also donated his time, leadership, and personal resources to numerous civic, charitable, religious and philanthropic causes, where his unwavering support has been recognized by his peers.

In cooperation with the Women's Fund, Hanna founded "Annie's Fund". This fund was created to "Help women make positive changes at critical points in their lives." To date Annie's Fund has made over 128 grants.

He was the recipient of the 2007 Rosamond Childs Award to Community Philanthropy from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc. Hanna has also received several honors from the Jewish Community Federation; the "Good Samaritan Award" from the Samaritan Counseling Center; the "Corporate Service Award" from the Resource Center for Independent Living; and, honored by the YWCA for 25 years of "Being a Champion of Women".

In addition, Hanna has assisted dozens of not for profit and community philanthropic agencies including: St. Elizabeth Hospital, East Utica Youth Ministry, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, United Way, Habitat for Humanity of Otsego County, Blessed Sacrament Church, Girl Scouts Council, Friends of Bassett Hospital, House of the Good Shepherd, Stevens-Swan Humane Society, Hospice to name a few.

Hanna is a past Board Member of the Otsego County Industrial Development Agency, the Utica Zoological Society, and is currently on the Utica Public Library Board and the Resource Center for Independent Living Foundation Board.

He previously served as Board Chairman of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties and was a board member from 1994-2004.

A graduate of Whitesboro High School in Marcy, NY, Richard went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science from Reed College, and was commended by the Interdisciplinary Committee for "Excellence in Scholarship".

Hanna is a licensed pilot with high performance and sea plane certifications and volunteers as a co-pilot with Angel Flights providing free transport to the sick and injured in need of long distance transportation.

Hanna's wife Kim is a Registered Nurse; a bereavement therapist certified by the Association of Death Education and Counseling; and is a licensed mental health therapist. She has worked at St. Elizabeth Hospital and Samaritan Counseling Center, both in Utica, New York. She has most recently worked as an adjunct professor at Mohawk Valley Community College.

Hanna was born in Utica. As a boy, he spent many summers at his grandparents' dairy farm in Herkimer County, and was a Utica area resident for over 45 years. Since 2001, Hanna, and his wife Kim, reside in Cooperstown, where they are raising their one year old son, Emerson Noble.

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