Our Community

WE are a vibrant group of people who love to celebrate  life with all its 'ups and downs'. We support one another during difficult times and we celebrate and enjoy life.

Friends of l'Arche Long Island has a dedicated Board of 14 people who are working very hard to make a differen
kind of l'Arche community  for intellectually challenged adults a reality on Long Island. Monthly meetings are held on the  FIRST Monday of the month. The Board has completed the not-for -profit status application, are working to meet requirements  set by L'Arche USA and are working hard on many FUNDRAISING Efforts.


Virginia Isaacs Cover, MSW MBAis a social worker and health care administrator with extensive experience in working with adults with developmental disabilities.  She received an MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work, as well as an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Finance from Adelphi University.  She has worked for over 30 years in program development establishing innovative social services and health care programs to serve children and adults with special health care needs, including autism and 

developmental disabilities.  Among the programs that she established and managed was Suffolk Medical Home Network, a Federal grant-funded project that she directed providing integrated pediatric services for children with chronic health care conditions.  She also applied for the grant funding and established numerous adult services programs at the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Stony Brook University.  In her capacity with a number of large health care organizations, she developed experience in business, program, and strategic planning as well as marketing, public relations, and program evaluation.  Ms. Cover is currently serving as a broker working with adults with developmental disabilities to design individualized self-determination programs funded by New York State’s Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.  She has a 23-year-old son with autism and Klinefelter Syndrome who lives in a supported apartment community in Westchester County supported by a self-determination program.

Joseph Gartner, M.D., is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who graduated from the University of Nebraska, College of Medicine. He did his residency in Psychiatry at Stony Brook University, as well as a fellowship in Child Psychiatry at UCLA. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Stony Brook University, Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, where he has an extensive outpatient practice that focuses on evaluation and treatment of adults and children with autism and other developmental disabilities. He provides ongoing consultation to the Maryhaven Center of Hope Children’s Residential Center caring for children, adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities. He also works for Eastern Suffolk BOCES (Board of Cooperative Education) providing diagnostic evaluations for individual students as well as ongoing consultation and liaison to a specialized BOCES program for adolescents and young adults with more severe impairments of learning and associated emotional functioning. 

Peter Glass, MB, ChB, was born in South Africa where he did his medical training at the University of the Witwatersrand. After completing his training in Anesthesiology he immigrated to the United States with his wife Sabrina Glass. He joined the faculty at Duke University Medical Center. Dr Glass’ research interests were geared towards the pharmacology of anesthesia. He was a founding member of the Society for Intravenous Anesthesia (presently ISAP with a membership of approximately 500 physicians). Within SIVA he served as chair of several committees and rose to the President of the Society. Dr Glass has also been a member of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia where he has also served as Chair of numerous committees and is presently the President of the society (membership 1,800 physicians). In 2009 Dr Glass moved to SUNY Stony Brook as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology where he continues to serve. In this capacity he oversees a department of nearly 150 people with a budget of 35 million. He is responsible for developing the budget, strategic planning for the department, personnel decisions for all members of the department and yearly review of all employees, quality assurance, research and education functions of the department. Dr Glass was also elected President of the Stony Brook Clinical Practice Management Plan which is the private practice arm of all physicians at Stony Brook. In this capacity he was responsible for oversight of its $250 million budget, strategic planning, oversight of public relations and HR functions of the organization. Dr Glass has also served on several executive committees of Stony Brook Hospital (Deans Cabinet, CEO advisory committee, etc) with several specifically targeting strategic planning. In this regard he has become familiar with techniques such as SWOT analysis etc in developing strategic plans. 



Jean Lanier is a French and U.S. resident who holds an MS in Engineering and an MS in Applied Mathematics. His career has been in banking and insurance including experience at the CEO level. He is currently a non-Executive Director of Credit Suisse Group, and the non Executive Chairman of Swiss Re Europe and Suisse RE International.He also serves on their Audit, Risk and Compensation Committees. He is the former chairman of the French Foundation of L’Arche. He is also Vice-Chairman of the l’Arche Internationale Foundation, and has been active with l’Arche communities in Paris and Trosly for almost 20 years. Mr. Lanier’s skills include starting several financial organizations, including Pargesa SA and

Eurler Hermes, the world’s largest credit insurance group currently. These efforts required him to develop expertise in human resources, business and strategic planning, finance, and information management systems for risk management. He was ultimately responsible for the financial statements of those companies.

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.  Her responsibilities in this position included oversight of the revenue cycle, budget development and management, and maintenance of all regulatory standards, including quality assurance.  She also worked in the fundraising activities of the Center, including the Cody Walk and Cody Comedy Festival.  Previously, she had worked as a fiscal administrator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  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, Ashvan, 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.

Kristin Bodkin is a licensed associate real estate broker in the Stony Brook office of Coach Realtors, an independently owned company with 22 offices on Long Island.

She has been working in real estate for 25 years in the  Port Jefferson and Three Village areas.

She is a Certified Buyer Representative, a member of Long Island Multiple Listing Service, the New York State Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. She has served on the Board of the North Shore Chapter of the Long Island Board of Realtors and is a certified paralegal and a notary public.

Father Francis Pizzarelli, SMMis a Montfort Missionary Roman Catholic Priest educated at Montfort College, St. John’s University, The Catholic University of America and Fordham University.  He holds degrees in Sociology, Theology, and Religious Education, as well as a Masters Degree in clinical social work and post-graduate training as a drug and alcohol counselor.  He is a certified social worker, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and a member of the National Registry of Clinical Social Workers.  He holds an honorary doctorate from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt., for his work with troubled young people.  He is the founder and executive director of Hope House Ministries, an umbrella organization that caters to troubled youth and people of all walks of life who have found themselves overwhelmed by societal pressures and need help.  He is the founder of Communities Against Drunk Driving (CADD), a Board Member of Modern Courts, and Treasurer of the Way Back, Inc., a transitional community for the mentally ill.  He has dedicated his life to caring for those people who are the most broken among us, at the same time as developing the program management skills necessary to develop and operate financially viable organizations that are able to meet their goals.

Stephen Post, PhD., is Director and Founder of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University.  He founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, a 501c3 for exploring the interface of science and spirituality established by a million dollar grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  He is an Elected Fellow of the Hastings Center for distinguished contribution to ethics and life sciences, and is one of three people to have received the National Distinguished Service Award from the National Board of the Alzheimer’s Association in recognition of his outreach to ethics issues important to people with Alzheimer’s and their families.  He is a Trustee of the John Templeton Fund.  Dr. Post has authored a number of articles and books on various topics of involving ethics, love and compassion.  He has been interviewed on major television and radio shows, as well as in the popular media, and he makes ethics understandable and relevant to the lay population.  Among his skills is expertise in working in public relations, planning and initiating new and innovative programs, and funding and managing these efforts.

Nancy Treuhold is an attorney who practiced corporate and banking law at Winthrop Stimson in New York and Shearman & Sterling in Paris and New York.  She currently serves as President of the American Cathedral in Paris Foundation, which manages the Cathedral’s endowment, and as US Coordinator for the Friends of the Cathedral.  She acted as US Co-Chair of the Cathedral’s recent capital campaign.  She has  served as Vestry member and on the stewardship committee of the American Cathedral in Paris, and also of St. James Church, New York. She is Board Secretary of the Board of Foreign Parishes, Board of St. James Florence, and Board of St. Pauls Rome (these boards hold and manage the endowments of Episcopal Churches in Europe).  She has expertise not only in law, but also in fundraising, and financial and operations management of non-profit organizations. 


Thomas Preston, PhD, ABPP/CNis Director of the Neuropsychology Service and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Stony Brook University Medical Center.  Dr. Preston is a board certified neuropsychologist who has been practicing for over 20 years in medical settings.  He obtained his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University, and completed fellowships in clinical child psychology and neuropsychology at Yale University and the University of Rochester. 

Astrid Caropelo was born on February 23, 1953 in Germany obtained a degree in social studies and in early Childhood Education. Moved to the United States in1976. Joined Genovese Drugs as a part time cashier and was promoted the following year to Assistant Manager and in 1979 to a Store Manager. Then went on to manage several stores and was promoted to District Manager and then to Buyer. In 1994 bought her first store. A second company was started in 1995, Ace Hardware in East Setauket, NY, and in 2001 I started Ace Hardware in Waiding River, NY.

Tracie Saunders Rev. Dr. is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine and has been an Attending Anesthesiologist at SUNY Stony Brook University Medical Center (SBMC) since 1995 after completing her anesthesiology residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Center in New York City. She specializes in high risk Obstetric Anesthesiology, is a founding member of the Resource Center for Spirituality and Health Care Education at SBMC, and serves on the SBMC Institutional Ethics Committee.  Dr. Saunders earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia in 1985, a medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine in 1990, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary of New York City in 2010. She was awarded the Maxwell Fellowship from Auburn Seminary given to those seminary students who show the promise of excellence in future service in parish ministry.  The award committee wrote that Dr. Saunders: 

cares deeply about the pain and suffering of people and believes that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of an infirmity.  She brings this empathetic understanding with compassion to her faith community as a teacher and a preacher.  She will be a quiet wind of change in any parish setting.”  

Dr. Saunders was ordained in the Gospel Ministry at Faith Baptist Church, Coram, New York on December 18, 2010.

Valerie Sloneckie was born and raised in West Islip, She received her B.S. Biology and her M.S. Geosciences/Hydrogeology from Stony Brook University. She worked in a variety of positions but following the birth of her son Kazimierz Zbigniew Slonecki-Costanzo “Kaz” or “Kazi” (4yo, diagnosed at birth with Trisomy 21), she has turned to Special Needs Advocacy and was recently selected to participate in the Early Intervention Partners Training Program, sponsored by the NYSDOH, beginning April 2012. She has also become involved in Special Needs Policymaking and is working with the Assistant Director of the NDSS policymaking division regarding starting a Group Action Committee in New York, and would like to help a GAC form in the future. 

Joseph Winters has served as an executive and serial entrepreneur in the solid waste management and recycling industries for the past two decades. Beginning in 1998, Mr. Winters was the CEO and President of Winters Brothers Waste Systems, Inc. (Winters Brothers) until the company was sold by Mr. Winters and his brothers to a large, national company in 2007. With 430 employees and more than $150 Million in annual revenue at the time of the 2007 sale, Winters Brothers was the largest waste management and recycling company on Long Island and one of the largest privately held waste companies in the United States. In his 25-year career in the waste management business Mr. Winters has started up and strategically grown two companies from scratch. The first, operating in Vermont and commencing operations in 1994, became the second largest company of its kind in that state. The second, targeting the Long Island market, was started in 1998 with one truck and Mr. Winters and his brothers as the only employees and ultimately grew, through a series of strategic acquisitions and facility expansions, into the successful operation that it remains today. In March, 2011, Mr. Winters kicked off his third strategic engagement in the solid waste and recycling sector when he acquired, with others in his family, the assets of 25 solid waste and/or recycling companies operating in the Western Connecticut marketplace from the United States Marshalls’ Service. Mr. Winters is currently CEO and President of this new “Winters” platform with plans to strategically and sustainably expand in Connecticut and the Hudson Valley Region of New York State. Mr. Winters has proven his ability to develop, operate, manage and grow competitive and profitable businesses. That track record, along with his experience in finance, accounting, strategic planning and marketing, supported his being appointed to serve as a member on the Board of Directors of the largest regional bank operating in Long Island in 2007 where his participation provided insight into the various ecological business and financial trends affecting the Bank. In addition to his many business endeavors, Mr. Winters has always devoted his greatest attention and loyalty to his family and to his involvement in various charitable and philanthropic activities. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Ascent Funding Organization, a childhood autism education, research and advocacy organization operating in Long Island and the New York metropolitan area.

The Committee consisting of a large group of people who have disabled children and many who do not have but who are interested in playing their part to make sure everyone feels as welcomed and important in their community as possible. . It  meets once a month to discuss matters of mutual interest and to see how the members can  can help with fundraising for  and communication about, our new L'Arche Community.

Since L'Arche is all about COMMUNITY this group will play , and does play,  the  most important  role in ensuring that our future L'Arche Community will feel welcomed, cared for and card about in the long term.