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Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced he has selected Marc Coviello to serve as the Director for the Division of Veterans Services following the retirement of former Director Nelson Eddy Rivera earlier this year.
"Whether bravely defending his country on the battlefield or dutifully working for his neighbors in the Dutchess County Legislature, Marc Coviello has dedicated his life to serving others. We are proud and honored he has chosen to continue that service as the new director of the County’s Division of Veterans Services," said County Executive Molinaro. "A tireless supporter of his fellow veterans and the issues important to them, Marc will continue his dogged advocacy for the brave men and women who have safeguarded our freedom and the benefits their service has earned them. I look forward to Marc’s smooth integration into our dedicated Veterans Services team, and I’m confident local veterans will benefit from his devotion to their cause."
Mr. Coviello is a United States Army Veteran, who served from 2010 to 2014, rising to the rank of Sergeant. He served as an Infantry rifleman in the 1st Calvary Division during a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, and later served as Squad Leader for the 1-32 INF, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Mr. Coviello also served as a Long-Range Marksman attachment to 3rd Special Forces Group during a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his tours of duty, he conducted over 75 special operation missions and earned over 20 different military awards and medals, including the Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal with VALOR and Army Good Conduct Medal.
Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 2014, Mr. Coviello founded the non-profit foundation Hudson Valley Hero Project and served as its Executive Director until December 2017. Hudson Valley Hero Project serves veterans throughout the Hudson Valley who are facing financial struggles. Initiatives have included awarding college scholarships, housing for homeless veterans, purchases of vehicles for veterans including a handicap accessible van for a paraplegic veteran, and financial assistance for multiple veterans battling various types of cancer, as well continuously sending goods to local service members deployed overseas.
Mr. Coviello has also served as Dutchess County Legislator representing the Towns of Beekman and Union Vale. He was first elected as Legislator in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017 for his current term. He currently serves on the Environment Committee, the Government Services and Administration Committee and is the Vice-Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as liaison to the Citizens Advisory Committee on Sex Offender Management. He has previously served on the Legislature’s Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee. As Legislator, he worked to expand the military benefits for County employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves, restructure the Veterans Affairs Committee to be more efficient, and is actively involved in the effort to establish a veterans treatment court in Dutchess County.
Mr. Coviello earned a Management Certificate from the Army Leadership Academy at Fort Hood, Texas in 2012 and will complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Political Science at Pace University this fall. He is a lifelong resident of Dutchess County and has been very active in the community. He has served on New York State Senator Terrence Murphy's Veteran Advisory committee and has received special congressional recognition from United States Congressman Chris Gibson for his invaluable service to his community. He was inducted into the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame in 2015 and recognized as a Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Forty Under 40 honoree in 2016.
As Veterans Services Director, Mr. Coviello will be responsible for informing, advising, and assisting veterans, service personnel and their families with the benefits they are entitled to from the federal, state and county government. He will serve as an advocate for veterans and their families, participating in and coordinating initiatives and events to highlight veterans and their needs in the community.
"I am honored that the County Executive has selected me for this position and I am eager to continue serving our area’s veterans in this important role," said Mr. Coviello.
He continued, "The issues veterans face, such as the difficult transition back into civilian life, are extraordinarily challenging. I understand those challenges and can help veterans and their families navigate to the services and programs that can provide assistance and ensure veterans have full and productive post-service lives. I have had the pleasure of working with the Veterans Services Division, as well as many of our partner agencies over the past several years, in my efforts to assist veterans in a wide array of issues, and I am excited to work with them on a daily basis to expand and enhance our services to our local veterans. The veteran community is a family, and every veteran that comes to the Division of Veterans Services will be treated and assisted as such."
Mr. Coviello was selected as Veterans Services Director following a multi-stage interview process. Initial interviews were held with Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health (which the division of Veterans Services is a part of) and representatives from the County Executive’s Office. A second round of interviews was held with representatives of local veterans organizations, including Disabled American Veterans – Castle Point Chapter, Department of Veterans Affairs at Castle Point VA Hospital, and the Mental Health America of Dutchess County Vet2Vet program. Final interviews were held with County Executive Molinaro and former United States Congressman Chris Gibson, who served in the United States Army for more than 20 years.
Former Congressman Chris Gibson said, "Marc Coviello is an excellent choice to lead Dutchess County Veterans Services division. He has a clear purpose and mission – to serve his fellow veterans. He is a staunch advocate for veterans and their families and will work diligently to ensure they can access the benefits they have earned and the programs and services they need. Dutchess County veterans will be well-served by Marc Coviello, and I wish him the very best in this new role."
Mr. Coviello will resign from his position as Dutchess County Legislator effective midnight on May 15th, 2018. According to Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver, his seat will be filled in accordance with the Dutchess County Charter.
"Marc has been a champion for veterans throughout his tenure as county legislator, so his appointment as Veterans Services Director is a natural progression and ideal fit,” said Pulver. “We look forward to the Towns of Beekman and Union Vale’s appointment and the hope the District 22 legislative seat will be filled quickly."
County Executive Molinaro will appoint Mr. Coviello to serve as Director starting Tuesday, May 15th. A resolution confirming his appointment as Veterans Service Director will be considered at the Dutchess County Legislature board meeting in May.