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 who are working hard to make a different kind of L'Arche community for intellectually challenged adults a reality on Long Island.  


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 Episcopal Church.

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.

Mitchell S. Iden is a partner at Graubard Miller. Mr. Iden specializes in corporate law representing numerous privately held companies in all commercial and business matters including mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and employment relationships, secured transactions, licensing, and real estate transactions. Prior to joining Graubard Miller in October 1, 2010, Mr. Iden was a partner at Tannenbaum Dubin and Robinson, LLP. Mr. Iden lives in East Hampton with his wife and two children. His son,who is 21 years old, is autistic. Mr. Iden also serves as a trustee and vice president of The Jewish Center of the Hamptons.

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 a guitar.

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.

Elizabeth Shane, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine for Clinical and Epidemiological Research at Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City and Attending Physician at Columbia University Medical Center. Her research focuses on various causes and therapies for osteoporosis. She is PI on several NIH grants, and serves on the Advisory Council of the National Institute for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and as Associate Editor of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. She has served on the Council, as Program Chair for the 2001 Annual Meeting, and as President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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

Stephen Smith is Managing Partner of  Stephen M. Smith & Company, L.L.C., Stephen has over 30 years experience in public accounting and advising clients in financial matters; particularly, in the entertainment and media services industries.  Stephen received his B.B.A. in Accounting from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants