Rodger Potocki has deep roots in the greater Utica area.  He spent more than a decade serving in local government before engaging in entrepreneurial activities in the private sector. Born in a Polish neighborhood in East Utica and a graduate of Utica College, he earned an M.A. in political science at the University of Albany-SUNY.  He subsequently served as Director of Development for the city of Rome, New York, and as vice-president of the non-profit Oneida County Industrial Development Agency until 1994.

His long-standing interest in the history of Utica and its economic development resulted in the publication in 2014 of From the Inside: 40 Years of Reflections on Government, Politics, and Events in the Utica-Rome Area.  He will introduce the sequel to that volume, Lucky U, Lucky Us: Utica in the 1950s at a special book signing at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), 21 West Park Row, Clinton, New York, on Sunday, December 2, from 4 to 6 pm.

The event is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Rodger’s memoir argues for the 1950s as a turning point for both Utica and the nation.  Utica in the 1950s, he argues, “featured fascinating characters if not character.”  Rufus Elefante dominated city politics during the period, and Lucky U, Lucky Us speaks to the rise and fall of this colorful city boss, an embodiment of the contradictions that ultimately transformed this city of rich ethnic diversity from prosperity to decline.