Our Team


MichaelMichael Hoffner, LMSW
Executive Director

Michael earned his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Franklin Pierce College. After spending time teaching science in an alternative high school program Michael returned to get his Masters in Social Work from Fordham University.  Michael has worked in Youth Ministry, as the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Peter & Paul parish. As a clinician Michael has worked with all age groups, addressing a diverse range of topics, including: addiction, chronic mental illness, depression, stress and anxiety. Regardless of the age or presenting problems, Michael uses a spiritual and holistic approach to healing, helping the individual connect with their Mind, Body and Spirit.  As a man of deep faith Michael looks to both Saint Teresa of Avila and Mother Teresa as sources of hope and inspiration in his life.

Joanne Lauro, Certified Health Coach
Director of Nutrition
Joanne is a Certified Health Coach, wife and mother of two sons. She decided to become a health coach to fulfill her passion of working with people to improve their health and family life. Joanne received her training at Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and has obtained Continuing Education Units from Purchase College, State University of New York. Joanne leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual counseling and wellness and weight support groups for eating healthy and creating a lifestyle change for overall wellbeing. She has a passion for helping people who are suffering with health discomforts; obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stomach issues and cancer to name a few.

Dawn Timony, RMT
Reiki Practitioner 

Dawn Timony is a Reiki Practitioner & Teacher practicing since 2007. She has championed the use of Reiki (Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation) as a method of self-care to support those struggling with mental health issues and those working in the mental healthcare field.  In addition to her work with the Community Growth Center, Dawn maintains a private Reiki practice in Smithtown, NY. She offers private sessions and all levels of Reiki training.

Dawn has a BA in Sociology and continues to study with the International House of Reiki and Reiki in Medicine.

Executive Board                 

 Christine Keene, LMSW

Christine currently works as the Program Manager of the Child & Adolescent Clinic at Zucker Hillside Hospital, where she performs administrative tasks. Christine first became interested in social work as a volunteer during her college years, where she volunteered her time at The Safe Center LI. It was here that Christine learned the impact that helping others had on not only those she helped, but herself as well. Christine went on to receive her bachelor's degree in Health Science Studies with a Minor in Psychology from Quinnipiac University and her Master's degree in Social Work with a focus on Community Based Leadership from Fordham University.   Christine gained clinical experience from Harlem Children's Zone, The Safe Center LI, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Family and Children's Association, and Project C.O.A.S.T.  Christine will bring both her administrative and clinical skills to the CGC to provide the best possible care to the clients.

Dr. Monica Bennett

Gregory Nizich

Sana Kunwar Tirmizi