Meet the LIAF Staff - Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation

Meet the LIAF 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 LIAF’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 LIAF 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 LIAF into the program it is today. When not at LIAF, you can find Tori at home with her husband and three kids, at spin class, or watching Wimbledon matches!

Christine Rice, Director of Special Events and Community Outreach

Christine Rice

Christine Rice is celebrating her fourth year at LIAF.  A former caregiver for her parents, she understands the complexities of the disease and its stress on caregivers.  Originally a first-grade teacher, Christine uses her compassion, empathy, and active listening skills to help our clients feel welcomed.

One of 10 siblings, Christine is accustomed to being around large groups of people, making her an excellent choice for our Outreach Coordinator.  A mother to two wonderful kids, Mary and Will, Christine enjoys touring the sights of the city, and living vicariously through the Olympic ice skaters on television.

Sharon Langone, Data Base Coordinator


Sharon came to LIAF in 2014 with 12 years of experience in non-profit settings.  She began her career by setting up the first computerized HR information system for her then non-profit employer. She continues today to enjoy compiling, organizing, and helping to analyze donor information to keep LIAF running smoothly. Her drive to “keep track of things” serves her well at work and at home as a mom to two boys. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, crafting and spending time with her family.

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 LIAF 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 LIAF 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, on the beach with a volleyball, dog-watching at a 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 LIAF in November 2018 as Director of Finance and Operations and oversees all of LIAF’s financial functions. He was drawn to LIAF 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.

Tatiana Vivieca, Administrative Assistant

Tatiana is the first friendly face you will see at LIAF, joining the team in April 2019. Following the footsteps of 1 of her 4 siblings, Tatiana embraced her passion for working with the elderly population and began her career in senior care at 15 years old at an assisted living facility. She has built over 15 years’ experience working with seniors in various settings, has a background in the non-profit field and is committed to helping families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Tatiana serves as LIAF’s primary contact, assists with various special projects, and does plenty of behind the scenes work to keep LIAF running smoothly. A jack of all trades during the day, but dedicated fiancé and mother of a beautiful daughter during the night. Tatiana loves to draw, dance, and can fill any room with smiles, fun, and positive energy!

Social Workers

Melissa Katz, LMSW Director of Caregiver Services and Grant Management

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 LIAF in November 2014. After running the Early Stage Program for four years, Melissa is now facilitating caregiver support groups and implementing new programs for LIAF’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 LIAF, Melissa can be found doing endless work on her new home with her husband and French Bulldog, Harvey.

Lindsay Knudsen, LMSW Director of Day Program Services​​

​Our Director of Programs is Lindsay, who jumped onboard LIAF in February 2015. She is also the go-to person for volunteers and interns. Lindsay, a former Wheel of Fortune contestant and workout enthusiast, channels her energy into making our day program a fun and safe place for our friends. As an avid animal lover, Lindsay is the right person to head up our dog therapy program, which comes to LIAF three times per month. In her spare time, Lindsay loves to hang out with her husband, daughter, and two dogs!

Grace Johnson, LMSW Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations

​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. Today, with a Master’s degree from Columbia University and license in social work, Grace is the Director of Counseling Services and Health Operations. Grace enjoys working with individuals and families and has a keen interest in program development.

Mandy Klarman, LCSW Director of Onboarding and Client Coordination

​Mandy joined the LIAF team as a member of the staff in October 2018. She previously spent time at LIAF 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 LIAF 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!

Day Programs

Gloryanne Pinar, Early Stage and Brain Fitness Facilitator

Gloryanne Pinar

Gloryanne Pinar has been the Early Stage Program Facilitator at LIAF for over 5 years. In addition, she conducts off-site Brain Fitness programs that focus on memory conditioning to enhance, and to improve cognitive functioning. She has devised a unique strategy for cognitive stimulation that is educational, energetic, entertaining, engaging, but mostly, enjoyable! When not attending to her academic demands, she enjoys scenic walks, reading, crossword puzzles, and online fitness challenges, and puzzles. She holds an AA in Liberal Arts, BA in Psychology, and she will complete her MSW in May 2018.

LIAF Staff

Program Assistants

  • Justin Bayoneto
  • Mavis Lawrence
  • Kayshawn Malone
  • Steven Marty, Moderate Stage Program Facilitator
  • Donna Wright
  • Rhasha Wright
  • Rachel Hinken
  • Megan Montgomery
  • Rosemary Blue, Home Health Aide

In-Home Respite

  • Lauren Kahaner
  • Juliette Green
  • Tanike Troya


  • Leslie Turner
  • Peter Cacciola
  • Larry Hymowitz
  • Allan Rabinowitz
  • Paul Hellman
  • Anthony Badalucco

Contact Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation

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.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease?