Virginia Isaacs Cover holds both Masters of Social Work and Masters
of Business Administration degrees. She
has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities and chronic
medical conditions throughout her career in non-profit health care agencies and
universities. Now retired, Ms. Cover
continues to conduct a private practice assisting young adults and their
families in developing and managing self-determination supports to permit them
to live in work in the communities rather than in segregated settings. Ms. Cover is also the parent of a young adult
who has autism and Klinefelter syndrome.
With the support of a self-determination plan, her son lives
successfully in an apartment in the community, working part-time and studying
at a vocational college for an associate’s degree.
Denise Galloway is the Executive Director and founder of
Letitia Agada Services, where she serves people with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
She earned her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and her Masters of Social Work
(MSW) at Adelphi University and a Masters in Public Administration at Baurch
College. Denise has an extensive career working with and serving people with
disabilities. Her vocation in service to others is also being extended to the
community as she pursues her studies for Holy Orders as a Deacon in the
Joseph Gartner MD is a board certified child, adolescent,
and adult psychiatrist. His post graduate
training for adult psychiatry was at the State University of New York at Stony
Brook, and for child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of
California-Los Angeles. He currently
practices child, adolescent and adult psychiatry at the Maryhaven Center of
Hope seeing individuals with developmental disabilities who are in residential
treatment. He also continues to do
psychiatric evaluations for children, adolescents and adults via positions with
Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Education (BOCES) and the Cody Center at
the State University of New York.
Marcia Gaudet graduated from University of California, Los Angeles
with a BA in Education. She taught in elementary schools in California before
moving to the East Coast. She raised 4 children on Long Island, the
youngest of which has Down Syndrome. Because of him, she became active in
Early Intervention Programs as well as becoming an Advocate on the Committee
for Special Education for the many special needs students being educated in our
local public schools. She was employed for 15 years at St. Joseph's
College, Patchogue, NY in Student Services helping college students develop
leadership potential and in Campus Ministry creating and coordinating spiritual
and service programs for students and faculty. She and her husband, Jack,
are founding Community Leaders of a Faith & Light community on Long Island
and have been serving as leaders for 4 years.
Jean Lanier has been in business in the financial industry
of insurance and banking since 1970. He was until 2004 CEO and founder of Euler Hermes a publicly
listed company, the world leader in trade credit insurance. Since 2005 he has
been an independent director serving on the board of banks and
insurance/reinsurance companies. Jean and his wife Judith have been involved
with l'Arche since 1992. Jean has been director then chairman of the board of the
French Foundation “les amis de l'Arche”. Since 2009 he has been a director on the board of the
International Foundation of l'Arche chairing it since 2012. He is also a board
member of l'Association Jean Vanier.
Sunanda Mehta is currently Nursing Quality Analyst for Stony
Brook University Medical Center. She previously served as the administrator for
the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities multidisciplinary
clinic. She is also one of the founding members of MUSKAAN, a vocational
training center for adults with mental disabilities in New Delhi, India.
Finding few services in India for children with developmental disabilities such
as her son, Ashvin, Ms. Mehta and other parents started the Center in 1989. Ms.
Mehta served as Executive Director from 1989 to 1999. The Center started with 2
clients in a garage, and under Ms. Mehta’s tenure, grew and developed into a
professionally run organization supported by parent volunteers, private
donations, and government grants. Ms. Mehta’s son now lives in a group home for
adults on Long Island.
Thomas Preston PhD is the director of the Neuropsychology Service at Stony Brook
University Hospital and is on the Neurology faculty there. Dr. Preston earned his PhD at Vanderbilt
University, and completed graduate and postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University
and the University of Rochester. He has
25 years' experience working with developmentally disabled individuals and
their. families, and has had a special interest in the rights of the disabled
and in the complex emotional, social, vocational, and housing issues they face. Dr.
Preston is married and has two adult children.
His wife, Kim, is a teacher of the deaf.
In his spare time, he likes to ride a bike, paddle a kayak, and bang on
Paul Rogers is and architect and has been a partner in
Chaleff and Rogers Architects for thirty years. He lives in Water Mill, NY, is
married and has three children. He has been the president of East End Special
Players for the past 10 years. This is a theater group for adults with developmental
disabilities. Paul is an elder in the Southampton Presbyterian Church.
Valerie Slonecki is a
native Long Islander with degrees in Biology and Hydrogeology. In recent years
her interests have been focused on walking the path of a Lightworker and
Special Needs Advocacy. In 2012 she completed the Early Intervention Partners
Training Program sponsored by the NYSDOH. Currently she leads FLLI Community
Group meetings and is the liaison between FLLI