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Rep. Molinaro Forms Congressional Advisory Committees to Provide Guidance on Supporting Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities, Farmers

Binghamton, NY – U.S. Rep. Molinaro (NY-19) today announced the creation of the Congressional Veterans Advisory Committee, ThinkDIFFERENTLY Advisory Committee, and Agricultural Advisory Committee. Each Congressional Advisory Committee is made up of experts, advocates, community members, and industry leaders from across New York’s 19th Congressional District.

The Veterans Advisory Committee will advise Rep. Molinaro on efforts to ensure veterans receive the benefits and support they deserve. It will be chaired by Gary Flaherty, a veteran of the Vietnam War and Director of the Columbia County Veterans Service Agency.

The ThinkDIFFERENTLY Advisory Committee will advise Rep. Molinaro on efforts to break down barriers for individuals with disabilities and is inspired by Rep. Molinaro’s nationally recognized ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative. The Committee will be chaired by Anna Bruce, a disability advocate who serves as Vice President & Programs Coordinator at GiGi’s Playhouse Southern Tier.

The Agricultural Advisory Committee will advise Rep. Molinaro on efforts to support local farmers and agricultural producers. It will be co-chaired by Judi Whittaker, owner of Whittaker Dairy Farm in Whitney Point, and Phil Trowbridge, owner of Trowbridge Angus Farm in Ghent.

Rep. Molinaro said, “I am proud to announce the creation of my Congressional Advisory Committees. I look forward to working closely with these expert and dedicated advocates to ensure that we are providing the necessary support to local veterans, individuals with disabilities, and farmers."

Gary Flaherty said, “I am excited to be appointed to the Congressman's Veterans' Advisory Committee and even more so as the Chairman. I have served continuously on Congressional Veterans Advisory Committees for the last six Congressional Committees starting with my appointment by Congresswoman, now Senator Gillibrand.  These are challenging times for our Veterans, Widows and Families and I pray that I will make a difference.”

Anna Bruce said, "I am honored to chair the ThinkDIFFERENTLY Advisory Committee, where I will work alongside Rep. Molinaro to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has access to the opportunities and support they need to succeed. My personal journey with my son Camden inspired me to advocate for individuals with disabilities, and I am grateful for this opportunity to continue this work.”

Judi Whittaker said, "Our industry is undergoing significant change. However, with change, comes opportunity. I am honored to co-chair the Agricultural Advisory Committee to lend my expertise and work with Rep. Molinaro to find solutions that will help our agricultural community thrive."

Phil Trowbridge said, "I am excited to co-chair the Agricultural Advisory Committee and work with Rep. Molinaro to find solutions that will help family farms like mine succeed. By bringing together industry leaders and experts, we can identify opportunities to strengthen our agricultural economy and support our local farmers.”