Did you know Local First Arizona is the largest local business coalition of its kind in North America? With close to 3,000 business coalition members, it's important that we're able to maintain meaningful relationships with them. Which is why we've brought on Michael Kracht to be Local First Arizona's Director of Business Relations! Michael comes to LFA already with a background in working with local businesses throughout the community, and he is eager to put those skills to work for Local First Arizona. Get to know him with our introductory Q&A:
Tell us a bit about your background:
Born and raised in Scottsdale, I grew up shooting small independent films on and around Papago mountain and the Arcadia area. Out of high school, I played in several local bands well into my 20’s. After the “pearl jam” stage of my life I went back to school at Arizona State University graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting (minor in business) in 2001. During my first stage of interviews out of ASU, I got picked up by Village Voice Media (New Times) as an Account Executive. By 2004 I had acquired senior status and was top biller in PHX for ad revenue generated. In 2009, I decided to branch into entrepreneurship and help start a company called LocalDines.com. LocalDines.com is a restaurant database and dinning guide featuring only locally owned and operated restaurants. Providing content and a platform for gift certificate sales that drive new and unique customers into a restaurant on a limited basis.
What drew you to Local First Arizona?
I have and always will be a proponent for all things local. Being a native, and watching the metro-phoenix area grow since the 70’s and 80’s, I had my first real “Local” experience in Tempe at a record store called Stinkweeds at the influential age of 14 (owned by Founder and Director of LFA Kimber Lanning). It’s vibe and look were far removed from the traditional Tower Records and Wherehouse Records formulas I was accustomed to when shopping for music. Later down the road, in 2003, I picked up with Kimber again as her advertising rep for New Times. Little did I know that I would be helping her launch the very first Local First AZ ad campaign through print ads. As I connected with more and more local businesses through the years, the local movement continued to grow and LFA is now the largest organization of its kind in the country! What drew me to LFA you say? Destiny.
What is your favorite local business and why?
This is tricky, If your local and trying something new - I love you. If your old-school and laid back, I love you as well. I could categorize and wax on, but ultimately, if your locally owned and can make me 'feel it' and 'see it’, that would be considered my favorite.
Tell us about one of your life's passions:
I have always been a drummer for as long as I can remember. (If it makes a noise and has a solid base, I will probably be tapping on it). Music will always be one of my great passions.