Our Staff - Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center

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.

Our Team


Tori Cohen, LCSW Executive Director

Tori Cohen

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!

Ellen Contarino, Chief of Finance and Administration

Ellen Contarino joined Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia Center in November 2021 and is responsible for all the Center’s accounting, financial reporting, human resources and operational functions. She began her career in public accounting at KPMG. After 25+ years in corporate accounting, Ellen’s life experience, both professionally and personally, drew her to the opportunity at LIAD Center. She could think of no better way to spend her day than to contribute her training and experience to an organization doing such meaningful work and having such a positive impact on society.

When not at the LIAD Center, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family and boating off the South Shore!

Sima Matthes, Director of Philanthropic Communication and Community Outreach

Sima Matthes

Sima Matthes, J.D. joined Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia Center in July 2023 after four years as the Center’s grant writing consultant. She is now responsible for grant writing as well as community outreach, social media, and donor relations. Sima is a Long Island native, and a career nonprofit employee with over 20 years of experience in development and fundraising communications for organizations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Ohio. She is President-Elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Long Island (AFP-LI) board.

When not at the office, Sima enjoys spending time with her son, her cats, Oscar and Flash, and her friends and family. She is an aspiring drummer who enjoys live music and theater, and who is at her happiest when she’s near the water.

Gregg Suchow, Office Manager

Gregg Suchow

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!

Social Workers

Melissa Katz, LCSW, Senior Director of Programs & Services

Melissa Katz

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.

Gia Mannone, LMSW Director of Day Program Services

Gia Mannone

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!

Mandy Klarman, LCSW Director of Onboarding and Client Coordination

Mandy Klarman

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!

Jillian Viup, LCSW Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations

Jillian Viup

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!

Emma Fogarty, Manager of Caregiver Services

Emma Fogarty

Emma Fogarty, LMSW joined the LIAD team in December. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University, and her masters in Social Work from Jacksonville State University. Emma was one of LIAD Center’s social work interns from 2021-2022. She is responsible for facilitating support groups; hosting an annual bereavement group; conducting caregiver education; and implementing special caregiver events and projects.

Justin Bayoneto, Day Program Coordinator

Justin Bayoneto

Justin originally joined the LIAD Center as a part-time Program Assistant back in October 2017. During his time since, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Health Science at Stony Brook University, followed by completing a Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Fordham University in 2022. Justin is now working towards applying to medical school with aspirations to one day become a family physician. At the LIAD Center, Justin can typically be found hosting fun PowerPoint games he’s created for clients or leading fun physical activities such as chair exercise and table bowling. When not at LIAD, you can find Justin cooking big meals at home, exploring new restaurants, or hanging out with his two dogs Brandee and Bonbon!

Day Program Assistants

  • Justin Bayoneto
  • Dominique Alexander
  • Brenna Weir
  • Pat Kaiser, MA, MT, LCAT
  • Andrea Carroll
  • Donna Wright
  • Ciara McDonald
  • Kay-Shawn Malone
  • Monique Paddy

In-Home Respite

  • Lauren Kahaner Konezny
  • Leann Werner


  • Anthony Badalucco
  • Larry Hymowitz
  • Bill Roberts
  • Paul Hellman
  • Gerry D'Agostino

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.

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