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Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito Announce Members of Veterans' Advisory Board

April 9, 2015

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today appointed six new members to serve on the Veterans’ Advisory Board: Charles Greinsky, Todd Haskins, Samuel Innocent, Mariel Juarez, Jules Martin, and Anthony Odierno. In addition, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito appointed Charles Hernández to the Board, and reappointed current Board members John Rowan and Patrick Devine.

“This administration is committed to serving New York City’s veteran community just as they selflessly served and protected our nation. Today’s appointees share our administration’s deep commitment to veterans, and I know this diverse group will provide a communicative and transparent link between the City’s veteran community and the Mayor's Office of Veterans’ Affairs,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“We owe it to our veterans to make New York City a welcoming home for those returning from service,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito. “A strong and active Veterans’ Advisory Board is an important part of reaching that goal. Sergeant Hernández brings a wealth of experience to his new position on the board, and I am confident that he will go above and beyond to serve the interests of New York’s veteran community.”

“I am delighted to welcome these new appointments as members of the Veterans’ Advisory Board. Their voices will greatly enrich MOVA’s ongoing dialogue and contribute to the formation of City-wide partnerships, leading to a more vibrant and productive future for New York City’s veterans and their families,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs Loree Sutton, MD, United States Army Brigadier General retired.

The Veterans’ Advisory Board advises the Commissioner of Veterans’ Affairs on all matters concerning veterans, and meets regularly to ensure that lines of communication are maintained to cultivate an active community. Recent legislation passed by the City Council and approved by the Mayor increased the number of members of the Board from nine to eleven, six of whom are appointed by the Mayor, and five of whom are appointed by the City Council.

Mayoral Appointments

Charles Greinsky, a veteran of the United States Army and the Army National Guard with ten years of service and numerous military commendations, currently serves as the Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Post 80, Richmond County. He is also the Chairman of the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame and Vice-President of the Staten Island Council, Boy Scouts of America. Greinsky, a Staten Island native and retired city and federal employee, was a board member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 1993 to 2003. He holds a B.A. from Touro College.

Todd Haskins served for six years in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Captain. He has worked at Goldman Sachs since 2004, where he currently serves as Managing Director in the Financial Sponsors Group. Haskins is the co-chair of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Network and captain of the Goldman Sachs IBD Veteran Recruiting Team. He is also a member of the NYC Rice University Centennial Campaign Committee. Haskins holds an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University.

Samuel Innocent served for seven years in the United States Army as a Sergeant, specializing in clinic asset management and logistics. He is a certified EMT and Emergency Room Technician, and currently serves as Staff Assistant for Veteran Affairs and Urban Initiatives for the City University of New York. Innocent graduated in 2014 from the City College of New York with a B.A. in Political Science and Urban Studies. While at City College, he served as President of The City College Veterans Association, a student organization that assists in the transition from the military to academia. Innocent was also a fellow at the Colin L. Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership and a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar.

Mariel Juarez, a veteran of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division, brings years of experience providing resources and counseling to veterans to her new role as a VAB Member. Juarez is currently a readjustment counselor at the Staten Island Veteran Center, where she has provided Post Traumatic Stress Disorder education to returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, completed intake assessments, and provided readjustment counseling to returning combat veterans and their family members. She has also developed treatment plans and assessments for clients of the Manhattan & Staten Island Vet Center seeking treatment for PTSD and readjustment symptoms. Juarez is bilingual in English and Spanish, and holds a M.S.W. from New York University, and a B.S. in Social Work from Marist College.

Jules Martin served for four years in the United States Navy, and served for 30 years in the New York City Police Department, where he held a number of positions, including Chief of the Housing Bureau. Prior to his retirement, Martin served as Vice President for Global Security and Crisis Management at New York University. In addition, he is a member of a number of organizations, including the Committee on Character and Fitness, Appellate Division First Department; International Chiefs of Police; and the American Bar Association. Martin was also a member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 1999 to 2014, and served on the 1997 White House fellowship panel. He holds a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, an M.P.A. from Long Island University, and B.A. from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Anthony Odierno served in the United States Army, where he attained the rank of Captain and served as Aide-de-Camp to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as receiving a number of military commendations and awards. Odierno is currently a Program Manager in the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at J.P. Morgan Chase, where he leads a variety of programs to assist members of the military and veteran community, particularly in the areas of employment, housing, and education. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Chase, he was the Manager of Stadium Operations for the New York Yankees. Odierno also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Wounded Warrior Project. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

City Council Appointment

Charles Hernández served in the New York Army National Guard, attaining the rank of Sergeant, and was a key part of the military response to 9/11, serving as the Military Liaison to the New York City Office of Emergency Management. He has served in various capacities both at home and overseas – including service in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom – and has received numerous military commendations for his service, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Conspicuous Service Medal and National Defense Medal. Hernández also has extensive experience working with at-risk youth in the field of juvenile justice, with leadership roles at several suspension units within the New York City public school system, and as a former employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Fluent in American Sign Language and Spanish, he has also worked as an interpreter and crisis intervention specialist, and is certified in School Administration and Supervision in the state of New York. He holds a Masters in School Administration and Supervision from Mercy College, and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Boricua College.

City Council Reappointments

Patrick Devine served in the United States Marine Corps for two years with Bravo Company 1st Battalion 9th Marines in Vietnam. Devine became involved with veterans’ advocacy after his service, joining the American Legion where he first served as Commander of the Theodore Korony Post 3253. Devine went on to serve as Bronx County Commander, New York State Vice-Commander, and Chairman for Homeless Veterans of the American Legion for the State of New York. He also served as a member of the New York State Veterans’ Affairs Commission. Devine is a recipient of the New York City Council Proud Veterans Award, and has been inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Devine is the founder and chairman of the Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park Inc., a 910 acre park in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx, and he has been a member of Community Board 10 for over 35 years, where he serves on the Parks and Recreation committee. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 4, the DA Beach Club 665 Corp and the Locust Point Yacht Club.

John Rowan served in the United States Air Force, where he was a linguist in the Air Force’s 6990 Security Squadron in Vietnam and at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Rowan has served as the National President of Vietnam Veterans of America since 2005, and has been active with VVA since the organization’s inception in 1978. A founding member and the first president of VVA Chapter 32 in Queens, New York, he has served as the chairman of VVA’s Conference of State Council Presidents, for three terms on the organization’s Board of Directors, and as president of VVA’s New York State Council. Prior to his election as National President, Rowan served as a VVA veterans' service representative in New York City. Rowan retired from city service as an investigator with the City of New York’s Comptroller’s Office. He holds a B.A. in political science from Queens College and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College.

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