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LUV MICHAEL TEAM

Luv Michael is a Non-Profit 501c 3 organization that produces high quality organic, gluten-free, and nut-free granola without all the harmful chemicals and toxic allergens.

THE FOUNDERS

Michael Kessaris, a young adult with autism, is the INSPIRATION for LUV Michael. Michael was born and raised in Long Island. Whether rowing for PortRowing, serving at the Altar of his church, or helping his mother to prepare for family dinners, Michael has shown his parents that given the opportunity and the right environment anything is possible. Despite displaying an early interest in food and cooking, finding a career for Michael in the culinary world was not easy.  Luv Michael has enabled him to make new friends and find colleagues with a similar interest. Together they are sharing in the journey toward meaningful employment.

Dr. Lisa Liberatore wears two big hats: one as a board-certified ENT- otolaryngologist in private practice in New York City; and the other as Michael’s mother and the founder and President of Luv Michael. Whichever hat she is wearing, Dr. Liberatore works non-stop to ensure the success of Luv Michael in providing training, education and the opportunity of employment to other young Autistic persons, like Michael, all of whom she regards as her children.  Dr. Liberatore continuously attends medical conferences and collegial forums in order to keep abreast of the most current research on the autism disability with an emphasis on approaches and programs directed toward providing a meaningful life and career for persons on the Autism Spectrum.  Dr. Liberatore realizes that Luv Michael is succeeding in its mission because she sees the profound impact that this program is having on the participants and their families. Since the very beginning, Dr. Liberatore’s has felt God’s blessings through the endless contributions from the supportive community surrounding the Luv Michael mission.

Dimitri Kessaris, MD is a urologist in private practice in New York, and with his wife, Dr. Lisa Liberatore, is the co-founder and Vice President of Luv Michael.  When Dr. Kessaris started the Port Rowing adaptive program in 2011 to enable Michael and others to have the experience of rowing that Dr. Kessaris enjoyed, he was, once again, shown that when given the chance, autistic persons will exceed your expectations: Michael brought his rowing team their first award. Luv Michael is the next challenge and Dr. Kessaris wholeheartedly and generously underwrites the majority of the company’s operating budget.

 

THE LUV Michael “Team”

Kimarie Diaz, Director of Operations – Kim has 24 years of experience in healthcare management.  She has been with Dr. Liberatore for 15 years and with Luv Michael since its beginning. Kim applies all of her management skills to Luv Michael’s operations. A trusted administrator, she oversees all of the day-to-day business and operation of LUV Michael. Her particular talent is in organizing and implementing new information and data in a start-up and nonprofit context keeps Luv Michael moving forward.  Kim serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors.  Kim’s motto is “whatever it is, bring it on and let’s get it done!”

Clare Davis, Director of Communications –  Clare was introduced to Luv Michael as Dr. Liberatore’s patient in 2016.  She fell instantly in love with Luv Michael’s mission and, especially, the granologists.  Clare originally began as a “hands-on” volunteer in the kitchen and classroom. However, her experience and skill in communications, marketing and advertising were soon apparent and she was convinced to join “the  LUV Michael Team” on a more full-time basis.  Clare is responsible for communicating to the many constituencies that Luv Michael serves, including staff, volunteers, participants and their families, retail and wholesale partners, and media. In addition, Clare oversees  LUV Michael’s Blog and other social media and manages all video and photography tracking the growth and development of the LUV Michael brand and operation. Clare organizes and accompanies Granologists at all tastings and demonstrations.

In the rare, spare moments when she is not working for LUV Michael, Clare is committed to and enjoys a rigorous exercise regime.

Sarah Kull, Director, LUV Michael Learning Center  – Sarah brings to Luv Michael a multi-faceted education curriculum and many years of experience as a special education teacher. Sarah has worked with Michael since childhood which, combined with her experience in implementing strategies to foster learning and addressing challenges that persons on the Autism Spectrum may have in the workplace, makes her the perfect teacher for the Granologists. She brings out the best in each of her students whether they have a lot of languages, a little language, difficulty in concentration, or anxiety issues.

Ricardo Cordero, Food & Beverage Director / Board Member – Ricardo has more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of bakery, food, beverage products and processes. A renowned expert in Co-Manufacturing, Co-Packing & Private Label, Former Executive Chef, Former Manufacturing methodology process expert and current Manufacturing Specialist. President & CEO of Ricardo Food Group. His hobbies include antique camera collecting, and is considered by many Chefs and foodservice professionals as an outstanding Pizza Connoisseur and Innovator.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Each LUV Michael Board member brings a wealth of talent, experience, and commitment to LUV Michael’s mission helping LUV Michael to flourish and grow.

Lisa A. Liberatore, MD FACS
Founder & President

Dimitri Kessaris, MD
Founder & Vice President

Anne Skopas
Board Member

Stephen Kamen
Treasurer

Kimarie Diaz
Secretary

Anita Tesher
Board Member

Paolo Cugnasca
Board Member

Ricardo Cordero
Food & Beverage Director / Board Member

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Roslyn Haber PhD

Suzanne Reek

George Tenedios

Father Constantine Lazarakis

Michael Brown Esq.

Spiro Litsas

Sam Watkins

Deborah Antar

Joqueta Handy, PhD

Alexander Kessaris

Elliot Merberg

Heath Friar

Christina Gable

Anastasia Karloutsos Lazarakis

Beth Mart

Dana Offenbach

Fergus Linskey

David Williams

Kristel Morreale

Clare Davis

Tina Fairhurst

Marietta Karpathiou

George Kessaris

OUR FOOD

Luv Michael is an innovative company which produces the highest quality organic, gluten-free, and nut-free products located in Port Washington New York and founded in 2015 by Lisa Liberatore, MD and her son Michael. All of our products are created to address the growing awareness in both food allergies and other toxic agents found in many of our food items.

OUR PROCESS

Our company was formed around a 17-year old man diagnosed with Autism, who had a passion for cooking. All of our products are made by individuals with Autism from start to finish. Luv Michael has developed a food-based curriculum, which breaks down all the processes and procedures so that all of our employees can work efficiently in the kitchen in order to produce a quality product that they are proud of.

OUR PROFITS

Luv Michael is committed to creating and providing meaningful culinary jobs to the Autistic population. The profits from Luv Michael aid in the growth of our business and allow us to develop new training modules for our employees. Your purchase will allow us to train, educate and employ more individuals on the Autism spectrum.

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