Board and Staff



Virginia Romano – Executive Director

As Executive Director, Virginia manages the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation’s overall administration and strategic grantmaking program. Her professional career in the nonprofit sector includes direct service to executive management positions and private independent foundation work. Prior to joining the Dresner Foundation, Virginia was the Human Services Program Director and a Senior Fellow at The Kresge Foundation.




Lori Dresner – President

The daughter of Joseph and Vera Dresner, Lori honors the cherished memories of her mother, father, and brother, Larey, through good works. Lori seeks to ensure that the Dresner legacy is continued into perpetuity through the foundation.

The majority of Lori’s professional life was spent in Paris, France, where she produced commercials for a number of international companies.  Living abroad, she developed a strong understanding of human values and relationships. She travelled extensively around the world to the poorest of countries, where she has seen first-hand the positive effect of charitable organizations.

Lori brings this knowledge and organizational expertise to the foundation. She is grateful to be in a position to make a profound difference in other people’s (and animal’s) lives.


Kevin P. Furlong, CPA – Board Chair and CFO

In Kevin’s longstanding relationship with the Dresners, he’s served as a friend, advisor and CPA. He warmly remembers Joseph Dresner as a man with a rough exterior and a big heart, and he is honored to have a role in continuing Joseph’s generosity.

As a former partner of the accounting and consulting firm, LBF Group, PLLC and past board member of state and local charitable organizations, Kevin’s breadth of experience is critical to the foundation’s stewardship. In partnership with the other trustees the Dresner legacy of caring for those most in need will endure.


Gary Weisman – Vice President

Gary feels he’s still learning from the example of his lifelong friend, Joseph Dresner. In his role as a Board member, he strives to alter the course of people’s lives in significantly meaningful ways that emulate Joseph Dresner’s boundless compassion for others.

Gary is singularly focused on seeing the Dresner Foundation thrive. He draws upon 35 years of experience as a successful business owner, a wide spectrum of professional talents, and considerable personal drive in his work for the foundation. His hope is to ensure that his friend’s memory is honored in perpetuity.


Mark Cohn – Secretary

Mark Cohn is a shareholder in Seyburn Kahn, a business law firm located in Metropolitan Detroit. As the head of the firm’s real estate practice group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, he represented Joseph Dresner and his partners for over 25 years. What started out as a professional relationship turned into a lasting friendship.

Mark has had a long-term role in implementing Joseph and Vera Dresner’s philanthropic efforts. As a board member, he continues that work, applying his 30+ years of legal and business experience to further the Dresners’ philanthropic goals. Mark’s focus is to help the foundation establish lasting and successful relationships with like-minded organizations that make a meaningful difference.




Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS – Chair MDS SAB

Professor of Medicine and Director, Leukemia Program Cleveland Clinic , Cleveland, OH

Rafael Bejar, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine University of California, San Diego – Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA

Amy E. DeZern, MD, MHS

Assistant Professor of Oncology and Medicine Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD

Maria Figueroa, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine University of Miami Miller School of Medicine – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL

Bart Scott, MD

Associate Member, FHCRC
Associate Professor, UWMC
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

David P. Steensma, MD

Senior Physician, Division of Hematological Malignancies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA