Board of Directors and Staff
Lois Howes, President
Lois Howes has always been active in the arts and is a former fashion illustrator and designer and currently a travel advisor and has been for over 30 years! A mother of two daughters who often are part of her group tours (in 2021 the group went to Iceland), Lois has been to all parts of the world including Asia, Africa, and most of Europe.
Lois is the past president of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce and is currently president of Friends of Freeport, a 501(c)(3) organization formed after Superstorm Sandy that has been instrumental in the rebuilding of over 400 homes and is still busy on more. She is always involved in many community organizations including the Nassau Council representing the Freeport Chamber for many years, now serving as the 2nd Vice President.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Raquel Pachas is a true community servant, dancer, accountant, and teacher who has been part of the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport for over 30 years. A former Spanish teacher in Lynbrook schools, she has a variety of degrees including a BA in Spanish and Education from Hofstra University and a Masters in Spanish Literature, as well as an MS in Bilingual Education from C.W. Post. Involved in too many community organizations to count, Raquel has been honored as a Woman of Distinction, Newsday’s Volunteer Award in Arts and Education and Everyday Hero award, Hofstra University’s Estabrook award, and the Long Island Arts Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dolores Parsons has been involved with the arts council as a board member for the last 15 years, inspired by her mentor, Raquel Pachas. Dolores’s career has included a variety of different roles, including as a legal senior admin at one of the largest insurance companies, where she retired after over 30 years. She also spent a lot of time raising her family. Dolores enjoys taking watercolor classes and visiting museums, and has traveled internationally and lived in Japan.
Laura Schofer is a retired community journalist. During her 25-year tenure, she won awards for her newspaper writing from the National Newspaper Association, the New York Press Association, and the Press Club of Long Island. Her first novel "The Fingerprint of Destiny" was self-published in 2013. She is currently working on her second novel. Additionally she has written several plays; "Silent History," produced at the Spiegel Theatre at Hofstra University and "Cleaning Lessons," produced by the NEAR Theatre of Huntington. Laura has a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University and a B.A from Wheaton College. She was also a dramaturge and associate producer for an off off Broadway theater group, Works By Women. She is a member of the Women’s National Book Association and is the Vice Chairman of the Nassau County Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee. She is also an associate member of the Dramatists Guild.
Mireille Taub is a retired literacy specialist having taught in the Freeport School district for 34 years. Since retirement, she has had a number of short stories published. Mireille has a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Brooklyn College, a master’s degree in Reading as well as a professional diploma in Special Education from Adelphi University. She also studied at the Ecole du Louvre, (Sorbonne, Paris France) and since retirement has worked extensively with the Nassau County Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center as an educator, presenter, and Chair of the Reel Upstanders Film Series.
Robyn Workman is a lifelong Freeport resident who has been involved in the community in many capacities. She studied voice and piano from an early age and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts cum laude from Long Island University. A performer and entertainer for over 30 years, she produces, directs, manages, and teaches the performing arts. In 2022, she established Sparkle on Stage Cultural Arts Center, a non-profit dedicated to empowering, enriching, and entertaining our community by providing a permanent home for the cultural, performing, and visual arts. Robyn is currently an Event Coordinator and board member and in 2018 was honored to receive the Arty Award.
Lauren Daitz was an Art History major at Adelphi University and wrote her thesis on Vincent van Gogh. While her professional career has focused on business development as a proposal manager, her interest in the arts has remained strong throughout her life. A lifelong resident of Long Island, she joined the board when she returned to the south shore in 2021.
Trista L. Bercarich
Trista L. Bercarich has been involved in the performing arts, including dance and violin, since she was a child. Beginning with dance lessons at 2.5, and picking up the violin in third grade, she continued her studies and ultimately taught dance lessons in the Massapequa area for 11 years. Involved in many different things, she has worked with senior citizens since 2007, and is a USA Weightlifting Sports performance coach and still competes occasionally. Trista is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Public Administration.
Laurence Dresner, Executive Director
Laurence Dresner has led a dual career in both music and finance since 1980. He is an accomplished composer whose many pieces have been performed to audiences throughout the United States and Europe. He has also written several musicals that have been performed off-off Broadway and other venues, including cabaret. His music has been performed by The American Chamber Ensemble, The Poetica Ensemble, the Motyl Chamber Ensemble, the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, ensemble 132, Canta Libre Chamber Ensemble, and the Monmouth Winds Quintet, to name a few. With a strong interest in all forms of music, Larry has been involved in musical theatre with several off-off Broadway shows, cabaret, and has directed talent productions, jazz bands, and produced chamber concerts. Larry is a board member of several organizations including the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport, and the Long Island Composers Alliance. He is a previous board member of Opera Night, and the Long Island Arts Alliances’ Arts Advocacy Team. He has a Masters in Composition from New England Conservatory of Music. Larry has also been a personal financial planner for over thirty years and has his own personal finance company where he helps his clients with investment management and tax preparation.