meet Our Staff
Behind all of our success stories, you’ll find our dedicated team of compassionate dementia-trained professionals looking to make a difference. Although we can teach many skills, you can't teach compassion and the desire for providing services to impact the greater community, which is a requirement. All of our professionals are hand picked for their innate ability to comfort, love, and find solutions.
Our people are special. Each day they embody the very essence of our founders and are committed to working together to achieve our common goal. Every member of our staff is here to make an impact — one person, one family, one community at a time.
Whether you contact us via phone, complete a contact form, or visit us in person; you'll immediately recognize the spirit of service permeating throughout every one of our employees. And we couldn’t ask for a better team.
Tori Cohen, LCSW Executive Director
Tori Cohen is Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center’s Executive Director. A former hospital social worker, after her grandmother’s dementia diagnosis, Tori felt pulled into working in this field. Tori joined the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center team in 2003 as a Social Worker, then in 2015, was appointed Executive Director. She has used her personal experiences to help shape and grow Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center into the program it is today. When not at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center, you can find Tori at home with her husband and three kids, at spin class, or watching Wimbledon matches!
Danielle Schwartzberg, Director of Special Events and Community Outreach
Danielle Schwartzberg joined the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center in October 2019 as the Director of Community Outreach and Special Events. She has a vast experience in not-for-profit as well as in marketing, event planning, public relations and fundraising. Danielle’s passion for community service coupled with her professional experience makes her proud to be a part of the team. When she isn’t at the LIAD Center, you can find Danielle at home with her husband and two boys. She enjoys quality time with friends and family, exercising and travelling.
Dana Castoria, Engagement and Marketing Manager
Dana’s personal interest in health and wellness ignites her passion to help execute impactful change in the nonprofit field. As a Hofstra University graduate with a degree in Public Health and a demonstrated history in communications, Dana is committed to merge the community, individuals and professionals of Long Island to help Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center achieve its mission. Having joined the team in July 2017, she came from an assisted living facility and with over 5 years’ experience in the senior care field. Dana helped Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center plant it’s feet and grow in the new Westbury location, and believes her efforts to attain the resources to further develop and sustain its services is her part in caring for and supporting diagnosed individuals and caregivers. Outside of the office, you can find Dana exploring Manhattan, at a dog-park or spending time with her family and friends, especially if a board game is involved!
Frank Abrignani, Director of Finance and Operations
Frank joined Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center in November 2018 as Director of Finance and Operations and oversees all of Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center’s financial functions. He was drawn to the LIAD Center by the opportunity to utilize his prior experience working in accounting and financial reporting departments in order to support the growth of the organization. In his spare time, Frank enjoys spending time with his wife and their two dogs, working out and playing golf.
Gregg Suchow, Administrative Assistant
Gregg Suchow joined the LIAD Center in 2020. Her contagious smile and go-getting personality shines through her role as Administrative Assistant. After a long-standing career in the entertainment industry, Gregg joined the LIAD Center to exercise her passion for the memory care community, driven by her own experience as a caregiver. Her greatest joy thus far has been building relationships with the LIAD Center’s families. Outside of the office, Gregg enjoys spending time with family, friends and her chihuahua, Judith! She also enjoys gardening, live theater, music and being a social butterfly!
Melissa Katz, LCSW Director of Caregiver Services and Grant Management
Melissa Katz, a New Jersey native, fell in love with Long Island during her Master’s in Social Work studies, and found a home at Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center in November 2014. After running the Early Stage Program for four years, Melissa is now facilitating caregiver support groups and implementing new programs for the LIAD Center’s family caregivers. Additionally, Melissa runs the In-Home Respite Program, helping to give caregivers a break when it comes to taking care of their loved ones. Melissa’s long-time passion for working with families, conducting research and improving health equity in New York has led to her new role as Director of Caregiver Services and Grant Management. When not at the LIAD Center, Melissa can be found doing endless work on her new home with her husband and French Bulldog, Harvey.
Mandy Klarman, LCSW Director of Onboarding and Client Coordination
Mandy joined the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center team as a member of the staff in October 2018. She previously spent time at the LIAD Center as a volunteer. Mandy’s prior social work experience was in inpatient psychiatry. Her passion for working with those affected with dementia came from her personal experience with her grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Mandy is now the Director of Onboarding and Client Coordination. She meets with families to walk them through the intake process and to ensure a smooth transition into the day program. When not at the LIAD Center you can find Mandy spending time with her husband and two boys. The most likely spot to find her is on the sideline of her boys baseball games!
Gia Mannone, LMSW Director of Day Program Services
Gia Mannone, LMSW is our Director of Program Services. She also oversees interns and volunteers. Gia first joined the team as an intern in 2019 while studying for her MSW at Stony Brook University. She then graduated in 2020 and shortly after, joined our team as a licensed social worker. She enjoys being hands-on with program and participants so you will see her walking around the center and even joining in on the daily activities! Gia found her passion for social work and the Alzheimer’s and dementia population through personal experience with her mom and other relatives. In Gia’s spare time she likes to explore Long Island for fun coffee shops, spend time with her friends and family and pets, as well as volunteer for other nonprofit organizations close to her heart. Fun fact about Gia, she went skydiving in May 2021!
Lindsay Knudsen, LMSW Part Time Social Worker
Lindsay jumped onboard the Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center in February 2015. She supports the volunteer/intern program as well as day program. Lindsay, a former Wheel of Fortune contestant and workout enthusiast, channels her energy into making our services enjoyable and safe for our families. Lindsay is an avid animal lover, and in her spare time, enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, and two dogs!
Jillian Viup, LCSW Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations
With interest in working with the Alzheimer’s population due to understanding the impact the disease can have on an individual and caregivers, Jillian joined the LIAD Center in August 2020. She has experience in providing psychotherapy with individuals, couples and families. Today, with a Master’s degree from Stony Brook University and a clinical license in social worker, Jillian is the Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations. Jillian’s passion for building relationships and learning how experiences can influence an individual shapes the genuine, hardworking professional she is in her work. Out of the office, Jillian enjoys baking, reading, running…and adding to her mug collection!
Grace Johnson, LCSW Part Time Social Worker
Grace Johnson first experienced Alzheimer’s disease when her best friend’s father received the diagnosis. As a regular visitor to the household, she experienced firsthand how dementia changed this person and affected his family through the various stages and transitions of the disease. Grace holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and license in clinical social work, has a keen interest in program development, and enjoys working with individuals and families.
Day Program Assistants
Contact Long Island Alzheimer's & Dementia Center
If you have questions about any of our programs or would like to speak to an individual employee, we encourage you to call (516) 767-6856 or visit our state-of-the-art center to see our talented team at work. We're conveniently located at 1025 Old Country Road, Suite 115 in Westbury, New York.