Denise DiNoto, the executive director of the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC), is a disability advocate, writer, public speaker, and former speech-language pathologist.
Prior to her position as executive director of NYSILC, Denise served as program manager for the New York State Department of Health’s Disability and Health Program, advocating for inclusive public health workshops/infrastructure and supporting health promotion programs for seniors and people with disabilities.
Growing up in a Rotary family (her father Sam was a Rotarian for more than 40 years), Denise was often engaged in service projects. She joined Interact, organizing school dances in support of local food pantries. In 1990, at the age of sixteen, Denise left her home state of New York for a year as Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Tasmania (Australia), becoming one of the first students with a mobility disability to successfully complete an exchange. She is now a proud member of the Colonie-Guilderland Rotary Club, serving two terms as President (2016-2018). She also served as the 2022-2023 District Governor for District 7190 (Capital Region Rotary).
Denise is also a member and past president of the Fort Orange Toastmasters and The College of Saint Rose Alumni Association. In 2021, she was appointed as the Alumni Representative to The College of St. Rose Board of Trustees.
She spends her workdays at NYSILC teaming with the council and staff working on the SPIL (State Plan for Independent Living) and helping increase the advocacy skills, leadership development, and empowerment of people with disabilities.
Denise resides in Cohoes, New York.
Amy Wink, She/Her
Amy Wink earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from SUNY Oneonta in 1991. She has been the Program Coordinator of the New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC) since 2016. Amy worked in the nonprofit sector for her entire career, developing particular expertise in event planning, writing, and fundraising. Her blog, The Never Normal, details her experiences raising a son with severe autism, glaucoma, and violently aggressive behaviors. Amy has lived with mental illness for many years and is an advocate for mental health, disability rights, and the Independent Living philosophy.
Amy resides in Albany, New York.
Emily Bianchine, They/She
Emily Bianchine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from Gordon College in 2019. She has been the Community-build and Media Specialist of the New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC) since March 2020. Emily has been a Type-1 diabetic for over 20 years and was the reason she got into advocacy at a young age. She has a passion for filmmaking, photography, and creative design.
Emily resides in Troy, New York.