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, Administrative Assistant


Dana is the first friendly face you’ll meet at LIAF. Having joined the team in July 2017, she came from an assisted living facility and with over 5 years’ experience in administrative assistance. Dana serves as LIAF’s primary contact, assists with various special projects, and does plenty of behind the scenes work to keep LIAF running smoothly. Entertainment Coordinator during the day, and certified Zumba instructor by night, Dana fills any room with fun and positive energy!

Social Workers

Melissa Katz, LMSW Director of Early Stage and In-Home Respite Programs

Melissa Katz

Melissa Katz, a former dance student, is always grooving along to some of our favorite oldies.  A Jersey native, she fell in love with Long Island during her Master’s studies, and found a home at LIAF in November 2014.  She runs the Early Stage Program, providing compassion, comfort, and fun to those newly diagnosed to the disease.  Additionally, Melissa runs the In-home Respite Program, helping to give caregivers a break when it comes to taking care of their loved ones.  When not at LIAF, Melissa can be found doing endless work on her new home with her husband and fur-baby, Harvey.

Lindsay Knudsen, LMSW Director of Moderate Stage Program, Interns and Volunteers​​


A three-year LIAF veteran, Lindsay is the go-to person for volunteers and interns.  She also runs the Moderate-Stage Programs, putting fun twists on bingo and exercise for our clientele.  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.  When not competing in mud-runs or 5ks, Lindsay can be found hanging with her two dogs.  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.

Grace Johnson, LMSW Director of Late Stage Program and Transportation

Grace Johnson

​Grace Johnson, our newest Social Worker, is excited to be part of LIAF. She comes to us from a psychotherapy mental health practice, where she worked for several years after receiving her Master’s. She became interested in LIAF due to the growing need of resources for seniors and their families. Grace is proud to be LIAF’s Late-Stage Program Director, as well as the Transportation Coordinator. When not at work, Grace loves playing frisbee with her dog, Nash.

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.

Eddie McDermott, Coordinator of the Music and Memory Program

Edward McDermott

Edward McDermott is the Music & Memory℠ Coordinator at LIAF. He became interested in working with Alzheimer’s patients after his grandmother’s diagnosis. Every day at LIAF, he sees the positive impact music has on participants in the Social Adult Day Program. When LIAF launched the Music & Memory℠ program, Eddie started thinking of numerous ways to implement personal music for each participant, taking the time to seek out songs and video clips that would mean something special to each person. Eddie looks back with excitement on his first year at LIAF and looks forward to expanding the music program in the future. Eddie graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in English and Global Culture. When he’s not working, Eddie likes to spend time with his chinchilla, Li’l Baked Brie.

Program Assistants:

Justin Bayoneto
Mavis Lawrence
Kayshawn Malone
Steven Marty, Moderate Stage Program Facilitator
Donna Wright
Rhasha Wright
Rachel Hicken

In-Home Respite

Lauren Kahaner

Amanda Kelly

Tanike Troya


Leslie Turner

Peter Cacciola

Larry Hymowitz

Allan Rabinowitz

Paul Hellman

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?