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2024 Power 100: Clifford Rucker

A man with a beard in a dark navy suit jacket and light pink shirt Photo I Courtesy of Worcester Railers Hockey Club Clifford Rucker
Clifford Rucker Title Founder Rucker Investments, in Worcester and Beverly Employees 20 Residence Worcester and Danvers College Tufts University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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It’s fair to say Clifford Rucker has a well-diversified portfolio. As the founder of Rucker Investments, he has his hands in a number of high-profile ventures in Worcester, including the Worcester Railers minor league hockey team, Off The Rails Restaurant & Bar, Worcester Ice Center, and the Palladium concert hall.

The Railers have played an important role in filling a gap in the region’s cultural landscape created by the departure of the AHL’s Worcester Sharks in 2015, a move that left hockey-loving Central Massachusetts without a professional team. The Railers have now completed six full seasons in Worcester, providing the DCU Center with a solid tenant to help draw regular crowds.

Those crowds don’t have to travel far for a pre- or post-game drink, as Rucker’s Off The Rails sits just outside the arena. Since its opening, Off The Rails has expanded its footprint to include outdoor dining and has been a go-to venue for country performers and other entertainment acts.

And just across the parking lot from Off The Rails sits the Palladium, which Rucker shares ownership in. Long known for its indoor shows, the Palladium now hosts outdoor concerts in its parking lot, attracting such musical acts as The Flaming Lips, Simple Plan, and Sum 41.

Rucker played a key role in saving a Worcester institution: Table Talk Pies. When the company was struggling financially in late 2022, Rucker and a handful of other prominent Central Massachusetts business people stepped in to offer the company a financial lifeline and consulting to help right the ship. This move helped the 100-year-old dessert manufacturer stay in the Worcester area and even expand its presence across the United States and Canada. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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