Growing up in a working class household in the Bronx, sharing a bedroom with his sister and brother, Phil learned the values of hard work and personal responsibility from a military recruiter father, who also drove a taxi, and a homemaker/hairdresser mother.
Phil applied the lessons he learned early on throughout his life, working his way through college to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and then an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. To pay for school, Phil took out loans and worked several jobs – waiter, landscaper, warehouse worker – even working in the college cafeteria where he served food to his fellow classmates.
Phil never dreamed he would one day serve as the speechwriter for the Governor of New York State or manage district operations and appropriations for a powerful member of Congress from Upstate New York.
But he did, because his parents showed him that anything was attainable if you worked hard enough, played by the rules and held yourself accountable.
Now a father himself, Phil and his wife Jessica have a growing family with Philip (4) and Daniela (2), and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their third child in February. After a period working in the private sector for a leading healthcare information company, highlighted by an assist in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Sorrell v. IMS (a 6-3 favorable decision), Phil and Jessica settled in Somers to make a home and return to the public service. Their hope is that their kids will have the same opportunities to succeed that he had growing up in New York.
Phil continues to serve as a top advisor to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. During Astorino’s 2014 gubernatorial bid, Phil co-authored, with Rob, an economic plan that was lauded as “A Plan for New York Revival” by the Wall Street Journal, saying it would “lift the state’s flagging economy” if enacted. He also co-authored an education plan that was praised as “serious, sound and comprehensive” by several nationally recognized education experts.
Separately he is also the President of Gipper Communications, LLC, a New York-based business and communications consulting firm.
With a growing family, educational achievement and a rewarding career in the public and private sector, Phil has seen the American Dream first hand. But he’s seeing that dream slip away for future generations.
Washington is saddling us with trillions in debt, a stagnant economy and a foreign policy that has weakened America’s stature in the world. This new normal is generational theft – robbing our children of the opportunities we had growing up.
Phil knows changing Washington won’t be easy, but as a dad he knows some things are worth fighting for.
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