Danielle Schwartzberg joined the LIAD Center in October 2019. With a personal connection to the disease, Danielle wanted to use her skills and experience to make an impact in her community that was close to heart. “I’m motivated every day to do great work because of the LIAD Center’s mission. I love that this community has experienced so much and there is always something we can learn from them.”
As Director of Special Events and Community Outreach Danielle collaborates with corporations and manages major fundraising events, though you also often find her appreciating the LIAD Center’s programs from afar. “I love how the LIAD Center’s programs are interactive and focus on the individual’s abilities. I value that we focus on the positive and what they can do, not what they cannot do. Seeing the happy faces of the participants every day is one of my favorite things about working at the LIAD Center.”
Outside of the office, Danielle enjoys vacationing and spending time with her family – preferably outdoors and doing something active!
Fun facts: Danielle has a twin brother who is 6'2" with blonde hair, blue eyes and a CPA – “little opposite of me!” Also, growing up she wanted to be a TV reporter.
Grace Johnson began her journey at the LIAD Center in 2018. Grace is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations. She has an appreciation for the LIAD Center’s passion for its mission – “the reciprocal relationship between the quality of services we provide and the level of support we receive is really remarkable. Every single person working at the center is committed to their work and takes pride in doing the best job for our clients. It is motivating to be around people who are there for the right reasons and hold themselves to high standards. Tori and the board of directors are so encouraging and helpful. I truly feel supported by them which makes a huge difference in our quality of life at work.”
Part of Graces role is to supervise the transportation team. “The relationship I have with the driver’s is one of the best parts of my job. Their humor and energy bring me so much joy. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”
She values the hard work demonstrated in the day programs – “the programs are innovative! Watching the staff come up with activities tailored towards different interests and modifying them as needed is interesting. Everyone is so creative, including the clients.”
“At the LIAD Center, everyone feels like family. We truly care for one another, our participants, and the caregivers. If you are having a bad day or going through something personal, the smiles and kindness that you experience when you enter the center will quickly reaffirm your belief in goodness.”
Grace often offers her help in additional projects; always looking to be supportive to both the LIAD Center team and families. “Through tribulation, the families we work with display remarkable resilience, gratitude, and optimism. It is a great privilege to be a witness to this.”
Outside of work, Grace enjoys reading and writing. Her cooking has proven to make her innovative in the office and out – her guacamole is a must-try!
Fun facts: Grace finds joy in her vegetable garden, though her boyfriend does most of the work to keep the plants thriving (she admittedly moreover provides moral support and encouragement – both to him and the plants) and enjoys stand-up comedy.
Mandy Klarman, LCSW first embarked her journey at the LIAD Center in 2017 as a volunteer, but, little did she know at the time, a year later she would be become our Director of Onboarding and Client Coordination. Mandy always had an interest in working with seniors – “I love hearing stories about their past, forming connections with them and gaining a new perspective from them…Working exclusively with seniors is the greatest joy!”
Her prior social work experience was in inpatient psychiatry, where she worked with a mix of age populations. With a personal connection to the disease though, Mandy wanted to make an impact in the dementia community. “My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, so I personally understand what our caregivers go through.”
Today, Mandy primarily meets with families to walk them through the intake process and to ensure a smooth transition into LIAD Center's programs. “I love spending time with the participants, being with my coworkers and meeting new families.” Most of all, Mandy enjoys the day programs afternoon entertainment. “I love seeing both the participants and the staff dance, sing and have a good time!”
Outside of work, Mandy loves to exercise on her indoor bicycle and watch her son’s baseball games.
Fun facts: Mandy has a cat named Scooby, who more often acts like a dog. She and her husband share the same initials (MLK) – what are the odds!
Dana Castoria joined the LIAD Center in 2017. Her personal interest in health and wellness ignites her passion to help execute impactful change in her community. Dana finds "gratitude in making people smile, giving them something to look forward to, and helping people find comfort and positivity.”
With a degree in Public Health and interest in communications within the nonprofit field, Dana ecstatically found herself at the LIAD Center. “Working at the LIAD Center is a once in a lifetime experience, truly. I go to work genuinely excited for the day – I get to meet kind-hearted people, be creative in my work, feel incredibly supported and motivated by my coworkers, and help to make a beneficial impact in someone’s life every day. Who else can say that?”
Dana discovered her passion for working with the senior population through some part-time work during college as a fitness instructor. “I find incredible gratification in helping people achieve their goals. But seniors, specifically, we can learn so much from – how to look at life, what decisions truly matter, how to be the best version of yourself. Merging the two has provided me so much joy and sense of purpose.”
Dana often takes her lunch break at the same time as the day programs to converse and socialize with participants and staff. “Spending my lunch with the participants and staff is so motivational. It’s a simple “hands-on” mid-day reminder of why our work is so important and necessary.”
Outside of work, Dana enjoys exploring new places (cities, restaurants, etc.) and traveling. She lives by the saying “carpe diem” – rarely entering a weekend without plans and a year without a trip outside of New York.
Fun facts: Dana has a passion for interior design, is an amateur photographer and loves to eat whole lemons like they’re oranges.