face in Albany. As a longtime advocate for mental health, this year marks Richard's 45th legislative session! An FTNYS Board Member from 2010-2016, Richard played an instrumental role guiding our organization's public policy efforts by serving as chair of the FTNYS Public Policy Committee. Prior to 2010, Richard worked alongside fellow families and advocates for nearly a decade as we fought for mental health parity through the Timothy's Law Campaign. 

Reliable, knowledgeable, and wise beyond measure, Richard is someone that not just Families Together but the entire mental health advocacy community has come to rely on for guidance. When times are rough, he is quick to remind us that we have been through similar challenges before and persevered. When overwhelmed by how much farther we must go, it takes someone who has been committed to this work for over four decades to remind the younger generations of just how far we've come. Having only stepped down from our board last year, it is worth mentioning that while this is the first time we are recognizing him, this is not the first time he's been nominated for this award. With 44 years of service under his belt, it is no exaggeration to say that throughout his career he has helped millions of New York families and so on their behalf, we have the long overdue honor of naming Richard Gallo our 2017 Advocate of the Year.”