I’ve been working in executive leadership positions since the 1990’s. With any business, there are always tough choices to make. I joined the team at AccuMED in 2008 with the direction to shut it down. After I met with their management teams and employees, I knew we could turn it around. Within a year, through the hard work of our employees, we stabilized the company and turned a $20 million company to more than $100 million today. We empowered our employees and shifted our priorities creating a company that employees at any level are proud to be a part of. I worked hard to create innovative solutions that increased average wages by 40% and trained employees to “upskill” their contributions, not only empowering the employees to better themselves and their families but to also meet the organizations goals in providing life-saving medical devices for millions of Americans.
Not only did we invest in our own company, we invested in American companies. AccuMED buys more than $30 million of US-made raw materials and components from US suppliers, supporting hundreds of other jobs at American factories across the eastern United States.
What AccuMED taught me about New York’s infrastructure.
After six years of exponential growth, the constraints of poor infrastructure and a shrinking pool of talent necessitated a move out of the state to North Carolina. As a native New Yorker, born in Rochester, I fought with sentiment to find ways to avert a move. But keeping our thriving business here would have put greater strife on the end-user customer (patients) because shipping costs were rising and a winter storm could easily set us back in our manufacturing timeline by days if not weeks. We knew that if we didn’t find a solution quickly, our direct customers would look for better terms elsewhere, potentially overseas. So we moved our business to North Carolina where they had created and supported textile manufacturing for well over a century. The North Carolina Triangle has been attracting employees and companies in this sector. They aggressively train engineers and offer upskill training to employees that have people starting jobs at good pay.
Without good infrastructure, you cannot support good jobs. I am dedicated to learning from North Carolina and creating solutions to Western New York’s infrastructure problems. Working with local and state jurisdictions to find funding to build reliable rail and increase shipping options in and out of the region.
Our district is equally hamstrung by crippling and diminishing quality roads. We need high speed rail – on BOTH sides of the Hudson – and we need to invest in our broadband and cellular services to expand access to everyone across the district. Instead of building fossil fuel pipelines, let’s build people pipelines.
I graduated from Georgetown University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. My major’s focus was in accounting with minors in philosophy and fine arts.
Fighting Terrorism and Holding Leaders Accountable for over Three Decades
- Spokesperson and Vice President of Victims of 103, Inc. I wrote dozens of articles and did countless TV appearances to speak on behalf of the victims and their families. Check out In the Media for a sampling of videos and articles from my work.
- Served on the Presidential Commission on Aviation Security, putting in key security measures that prevented a similar bombing (inter-line baggage) from happening again; some measures were NOT adopted by the government that could have prevented 9-11
- Press conferences with Senators Lautenberg, Biden, Menendez, Schumer, Gillibrand and others; attended more than 100 meetings on Capitol Hill over the last 25 years; also met with cabinet members, ambassadors and even heads of state
- Lobbied the FBI to ensure they stay on the Lockerbie Bombing case, including a personal four-on-one meeting with the then-FBI director Robert Mueller.
- Help draft legislation that led to the Iran Libya Sanctions Act, personally quoted in Congressional Record – View Here
- Marched and lobbied at UN to get UN sanctions imposed on Libya
- Lead plaintiff in law suit against Pan Am, the insurers and Libyan government
- Fought against Big Oil on numerous occasions as they tried to undermine justice and strong terrorism policy –
A Fighter who gets real results
- Successfully passed specific regulations to improve airport security and prevented a similar bombing attempt
- Proved gross negligence and willful misconduct on the part of Pan Am Airlines, forcing the corrupt and culpable airline out of business and cutting severance pay to the executives
- Passed specific legislation to put pressure on Libya to hand over the two suspects and ensure they do not support additional terrorist attacks in the form of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act
- Successfully saw the conviction and imprisonment of terrorist responsible of the Lockerbie Bombing
- In coordination with multiple agencies at the U.S. Government, eventually were successful in taking down dictator Ghadafi through sanctions, not missiles
- I have always supported a ban on fracking. It is a practice of resource extraction that will have short term and long-term implications on our water supply and stabilization of our Earth’s layers
- Any and all oil & gas pipeline construction must be halted until local communities support them. And if they can never come to agreement, then the corporations must find another solution to their problem. Local control must be a very real and tangible component, we cannot sacrifice our communities and our family’s health and wellness to line the pockets of corporations who have never tasted the dust in the air. Our activism can be the most effective when we combine private-sector social responsibility and innovation with public sector support.
- As a founding member of the New York Chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs or E2, a group of business leaders dedicated to advocating for smart policies that are good for the economy and the environment. We successfully:
- Testified and advocated for hybrid taxis in the City in 2005
- Led a published economic study the helped bring recycling back to New York in 2004
- Was a plaintiff and testified in a suit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council that demanded better air conditioning standards
- Helped pass the nation’s first automobile emissions standards, driving innovation and job growth in the clean fuels and automobile sectors.
- Helped pass the nation’s first limits on carbon pollution from power plants, driving innovation and job growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Helped secure funding for clean energy and clean fuels in the military, creating new markets for private industry.
My roots in the district go back three generations.
I was born in Rochester, NY and grew up in Rochester, Westchester, and northern New Jersey. I have lived in New York state for over 30 years, including the last 10 years in Elka Park in the town of Hunter, in the heart of Greene County.
After college and moving around the northeast for work opportunities, 9/11 occurred and my wife and I had long conversations that so many newly married couple found themselves having. Do we bring children into this world? If we do, where would we raise them? My father, who had grown up as a boy in Leeds, urged us to look in Greene County, not just for the great public schools and high quality of life but it gave our family the opportunity to resettle, embedded in the vast family history of the “Irish Alps of the Northeast”.
My grandfather had been a bartender in Leeds and my mother’s uncle was a community fixture, my father had enjoyed the long summers and cold winters. For Amy and I, it was time to go back to the “old country.” My families history is rich in working class and labor movements. The labor movement championed by my mother’s uncle, Michael J. Quill, gave us the unionized subway workers that have helped create transportation systems we use to this day. When you visit East Durham, make sure you visit the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural Center
We landed in Elka Park and I scraped together enough money to purchase a piece of property that an old house had burned down on years before. A sidewalk and an old Victorian era lamp were all that remained. In 2004, Amy and I agreed, this felt right and we’ve called our little piece of heaven home in Greene County ever since.
In the almost fourteen years in Greene County we grew our family, including two wonderful children – now 12 and 14 years old – and have become deeply committed to the community that welcomed us with open arms. We volunteer with the local social clubs, helped neighbors dig out post-Hurricane Irene, participate in the local theater programs and soak up the regional beauty. Greene County has become our first home.
A couple years ago, we were finally in a position to sell our apartment in the city (which we kept so I had a place to sleep when work called me to the City) and move our kids into schools in the district. Unfortunately, the best laid plans were derailed. My father, an avid biker, had been struck by a mail truck and after weeks in intensive care and extensive rehab recovering from multiple broken bones and brain damage finally was able to return home. Meanwhile, we realized my mother was not herself. She had forgotten how to complete the simpliest of tasks and after countless doctors visits and tests, we got the diagnosis we had greatest feared: Alzheimer’s.
We rented an apartment in the city once again and my wife and kids mitigated life in the city as I continued to care for my parents. Fortunately, due to great health care, we were able to find a safe place for my mother and her continued care and my father, who was recently diagnosed with the same, is now settled in his home and enjoys daily visits from a home health care professional. As anyone who has dealt with Alzheimer will tell you, it is not a linear disease. It’s a terrible dark journey that takes hold, not only of victims, but also the families. We needed to stay close in order to help manage their care.
Our future in Greene County
While life has thrown many obstacles in our path, we are determined to make the best of it. I live and work from home in Elka Park. My wife, who spends a lot of time on Amtrak traveling back and forth from the city, says it’s the best place to write but does hope for a train on the west side of the river. My daughter Hedda is looking forward to attending Hunter-Tannersville Central School in the district and my son, on his own initiative asked for a more structured setting and has been accepted into a Catholic military high school this fall. While our family continues to span the state, it is important to all of us that we share our lives in the 19th district.
Midnight moonlight strolls after the kids have fallen asleep are now filled with conversations about what world they will be brought up in. Never in our wildest imaginations did we think the likes of Donald Trump would become president. Now our quite walks are filled with stories that you have all shared with us, and brainstorming ways to improve our neighbors quality of life. Making sure our schools have the tools and resources they need to give our children the best quality education possible.
I am appalled in the lack of commitment our current Congressman John Faso has shown our district. As far back as John Sweeney and our friend Kirsten Gillibrand, our district was in good hands. And then something happened, we became apathetic and big special interest money came in and pulled wool over our eyes. First Scott Murphy, then Chris Gibson. Now John Faso has fell in line behind an alt-right extremism that has left us all behind.
Greene County is our home. The 19th Congressional district is our home. My promise to my family is the same for my neighbors. Enough is enough. It’s time we have a leader in Congress who is one of us, who has experienced the failures and successes and challenges that life brings.
Have a question? Want to share an idea? Please email me and let’s talk.