Board of Trustees

  • Helaine Dandrea, President of JMMTA
    Helaine is an independent consultant for long term care facilities, pharmacies, laboratories, and law firms. She has 20+ years of experience in pharmaceutical sales, business development, Long Term Care pharmacy management and pharmacy contract management.  Helaine is also the founder and Vice Blue Pax Pharma, a wholesale generic drug company located in New Jersey. Helaine has held executive positions with Omnicare as well as management positions with Merck and Novartis.  Helaine holds a B.S. In Chemical Engineering and an M.S. from NYU and has studied art conservation in Italy. Helaine is a member of the Board of Trustees of Community Health Action of Staten Island, and a member of the Greater New York Boy Scout Good Scout Committee.

  • Beverly Garcia-Anderson, Vice President, Immediate Past President
    Beverly has served on the museum board since early in 2001 and became board president in 2003.She served as the President of the board until December 1, 2014. She has also served as President of three other Boards of Trustees: Project Hospitality, The Greenbelt Conservancy and the Friends of the College of Staten Island. She has been a member of the Board of Skylight and has served as an Elder of Olivet Presbyterian Church. In addition to her volunteer work, she retired from the Department of Education in 2002 achieving positions as Founding Principal of East New York Family Academy, Principal of McKee Vocational and Technical High School and Deputy Superintendent of District 15. After her retirement, she worked as a consultant mentoring new Principals and is currently the CEO of New World Preparatory Charter School on Staten Island.


  • Margaret “Peg” Harrington, Secretary to the JMMTA
    Peg graduated with a BA in History from St Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, an MA from Brooklyn College in Asian Studies, a Professional Diploma (MA) in Educational Administration & Supervision, Richmond College, and an EdD from Fordham University in Supervision & Administration. Peg served as a teacher and Principal of Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, Superintendent of the Queens High Schools, Superintendent of all NYC High Schools, and Chief Executive for School Programs & Student Support Services at the NYCDOE before retiring to become the COO/CEO of Victory Schools, a privately owned educational management company. After retirement Peg has served on a number of Not for Profit Boards including the National Principal’s Leadership Institute, Boys & Girls Harbor (both in Manhattan), and the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art where she also volunteers. She enjoys world travel and leading the travel groups for the JMMTA.


  • Jeffrey Gaal, Treasurer of the JMMTA
    Jeff has a lifetime of not-for profit accounting experience. He has held various comptroller-ships, internal and external audit positions and consulted for multinational corporations over his 30 plus years of working in this field. He is a Certified Tax Professional and is well versed in governmental regulatory audits. His accounting experience has bought him to over 53 countries auditing healthcare, micro-finance and woman’s rights organizations. Jeff’s work also includes service on many not-for-profit, Staten Island-based organizations. He has a BBA in accounting from Pace University.


  • Charles DeStefano, Esq.
    Charles was fascinated with the Tibetan Museum from his first visit at the age of sixteen and he has come full circle by becoming a Member of our Board in 2008. He lives with his family on Lighthouse Hill and loves being a neighbor of the museum. He graduated Fordham University (BA) and Pace Law School (JD) and worked at the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs as an intern for two years. He is an attorney with offices in Sunnyside and also currently serves as President of the Staten Island Trial Lawyers Association. Charles also serves as a Board Member of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association, the Workers Center of Port Richmond, and the Pro Bono Scholars Committee. For the past 2 years, he has been acting as an informal “ambassador” for the museum by distributing invitations to interested persons throughout the globe


  • Louis Pillarella
    Louis is the owner of a clothing Company based out of Manhattan N.Y. He holds a B.A. from The Fashion Institute Of Technology. He travels to Asia for business and enjoys world travel for pleasure. Louis is proud to call himself a Native Staten Islander and has served on the executive Board for The Friends Of Seguine Mansion. He is generous with support to many Staten Island Historic Properties, Pema Ts’al Saka Monastic Institute, Whitney Museum of American Art and FIT Couture Council. After travel to Tibet with the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art he felt drawn to serve, promote and preserve the Tibetan culture and artifacts through the Museum.

  • Ernest E. Smith Jr.
    Ernie Smith was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2019 after serving on the Advisory Board at JMMTA.  He has been a licensed real estate broker/sales associate in New Jersey for over 25 years.  Ernie worked for Prudential New Jersey Properties in a management capacity for 17 years and remained with the company when it later evolved into Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.  Ernie is active in a variety of Buddhist organizations in the tri-state area.  He has a BA from Colgate University.

  • George Sieghardt, Esq.
    George is a partner at the Staten Island based law firm Jacobi, Sieghardt, Bousanti, Piazza and Fitzpatrick, PC. He has been a member of the Jacques Marchais Museum’s Board of Trustees since 1996. He has also served as the Treasurer to the Museum. Mr. Sieghardt holds an A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. from Fordham Law School. George is the past-president of the North Shore Kiwanis Club, past-president of the Richmond County Bar Association, and former Delegate to the New York State Bar Association.


  • Barbara Tallon-Reilly
    Barbara is a senior executive, with over twenty five years’ experience in the delivery of health care in diverse settings that include: Skilled Nursing Facilities, Academic Medical Centers, Community Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Centers, and Private Practice. Ms. Reilly has held several positions over the years including Chief Nursing Officer/Senior Vice President Clinical Operations for one of the largest skilled nursing facilities in New York State. She is currently employed as Administrator for a clinic with over 130 offsite locations. Ms. Reilly has worked as a consultant for a national firm throughout the years. She is a graduate of St. Vincent’s Nursing School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing she graduated from the State University New York: Health & Science Center Brooklyn as a Nurse Practitioner. She holds a master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the New School, NYC. She belongs to several professional organizations. She has lived on Staten Island for over 25 years and has an interest in civic affairs.


Advisory Board and Pro-Bono Specialists
  • Rudy Bacich
  • Tenzing Chadotsang
  • Michael DiMauro, P.C.

  • Arlene Esposito

  • Leela Fazio-Fiorino

  • John Kilcullen

  • Chetra Kotzas

  • Nancy Myers Benbow

  • Tsering Phuntsok

  • Annabella Pitkin, PhD

  • Matthew Walby