October 2001

Michael Straeck -
Compassionate Entrepreneur


by Joseph RADDER


Michael Straeck, the young president of Buffalo Ultrasound, is an expert in diagnostic imaging. He heads the first and only mobile imaging service in New York State to receive accreditation in both echocardiography and vascular imaging.

His position calls for him to be a business person as well as knowledgeable in ultrasound technology. Yet he has a compassionate side that helps countless people around the world through his work with the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation (see separate article on pages 14 & 15) and his very active support of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “All Buffalo Ultrasound employees participate in the Foundations’ fundraising activities,” he said.

Buffalo Ultrasound is a family profession. The organization, which provides on-site diagnostic imaging to patients in physician’s offices, long-term care facilities and hospitals, was purchased by the Straeck family in 1992. His mother, Sharon, is CEO and his brother Todd is vice president. “Working with one’s family is a very rewarding experience,” Michael said,” they all share my desire to be of service to the community.”

The Straeck firm recently donated $35,000 worth of diagnostic equipment to the Buffalo Zoo. Up until then the Zoo had to send animals that needed diagnosis to Cornell University for imaging. Yes, diagnostic imaging is used for animals as well as humans. As a matter of fact, Michael Straeck’s first love was in the veterinary field. His first job was with the Georgetown Small Animal Hospital. At that time he wanted to be a veterinarian.

Originally, he had intended to go to law school after graduating from Canisius College in 1992. In fact, he worked for 5 years in the law firm of Mattar-D’Agostino. However, the opportunity to join the family business presented itself and the die was cast. “I was a driver in June,” he said, “and by August I was president.”

Born in Buffalo, Michael Straeck grew up in Williamsville. He went to Williamsville South High School where he was an active swimmer and tennis player.

At Canisius he majored in English, was president of the English Club and wrote for the school newspaper.

Michael’s compassionate nature shows in his profession as well as his Hope for Tomorrow avocation. He normally works 50 hour weeks making sure that the medical diagnostic services Buffalo Ultrasound provides are available to all who need them.

As an active leader of Hope for Tomorrow, Straeck has traveled the world with Dr. Jeffrey Meilman, helping unfortunate accident victims get the reconstructive surgery they need but could not otherwise afford. In this connection, he has met with Pope John Paul II which he calls “an incredible experience...the most inspiring moment of my life.”

Hope for Tomorrow is not the Straeck family’s only altruistic endeavor. They have also donated equipment to Trocaire College for training diagnostic technicians. And they have helped a hospital in Torun, Poland obtain a teleconferencing hook-up with Kenmore Mercy Hospital, so doctors there can study the work of their American colleagues.

In the course of his young life, Michael Straeck has assisted accident victims all over the world through Hope for Tomorrow and, as president of Buffalo Ultrasound, he has made the new life-saving technology of on-site diagnostic imaging available to many local people who might otherwise not know its benefits.

“Helping people is very meaningful to me,” he says. And its shows.



Joseph Radder is a freelance writer.

 

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