FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 27, 2020 • BUZZ • THE QUEENS COURIER 51
Queens Botanical Garden Board of Trustees welcomes four new members
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Queens Botanical Garden’s Board of
Trustees welcomed four new members to
its team to support the Garden’s mission by
using their expertise in steering initiatives and
bringing the organization’s goals to fruition.
Th e new members — Edward Ip,
Raymond Jasen, Ari Jonisch, and Li Li —
will join the Garden’s team of 15 talented
“I’m thrilled to welcome all our new
board members — an outstanding group
of individuals excited about helping the
Garden grow,” said QBG Board Chair Neil
Edward Ip is the founder and CEO of
POS.com, a fi nancial technology startup
Douglaston Community Theatre’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ conveys companionship and love
BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
In the mood for a thought-provoking
classic that will truly touch your heart?
Then don’t miss Douglaston
Community Th eatre’s production of
“Driving Miss Daisy,” the Pulitzer Prizewinning
comedy-drama that inspired the
Oscar-winning fi lm, starting Feb. 28.
Alfred Uhry’s play, which opened Off -
Broadway in 1987, was inspired by the
relationship between his grandmother
Lena Fox, and her longtime chauff eur and
friend Will Coleman. Th e movie, released
in 1989, starred Jessica Tandy as the fi ercely
independent Miss Daisy and Morgan
Freeman as her wise driver, Hoke. It won
four Academy Awards, including for best
picture, and three Golden Globe Awards,
including for best comedy or musical.
“Th e play has something for everyone —
humor, drama, pathos,” said Barbara Mavro,
who plays Daisy alongside co-stars Dan
Bubbeo (Daisy’s son Boolie) and Denzel
Hawker (Hoke), in the DCT production. “In
a series of scenes from 1948 to 1973, the relationship
between Daisy and Hoke grows, as
they deal with the issues of prejudice, acceptance,
and eventual love and respect.”
“Driving Miss Daisy” will make you
laugh, cry and think.
“Th e challenge is working through all
its stereotypes of racism, ageism and sexism,
so that the play’s message shines
through,” said director Vincent Scott, who
previously worked at Urban Stages in
Manhattan, and recently directed “Cat’s
Cradle” and “Gingerbread Lady,” as well
as other DCT plays.
“Th is ‘Daisy’ is unique because Mavro
must rely on her relationship with the
actors to convey her message,” Scott added.
“We have chosen to have a minimum
set, leaving the actors to simply use their
actions and reactions to convey Uhry’s
message of companionship and love.”
Like Tandy’s astonishing transformation
from a sprightly widow in her 60s
to an infi rm old woman drift ing in and
out of senility in her 90s, Mavro’s role
is a tough one to pull off since she must
convince her audience that she’s gradually
getting older — with no makeup
changes. One challenge is showing the
aging process through physical movements
and changes in voice. Another is
quickly changing costumes for each of
the 12 scenes, according to the seasoned
actress and longtime Little Neck resident,
who has been doing theatre since 1972
and debuted at DCT in 1979 (most of her
performances have been with this group).
Interestingly, Mavro said she felt a connection
“We are both independent women.
While she had to accept having a chauffeur
when she could no longer drive, I am
hoping that when my time comes, driverless
cars will have been perfected! We both
had careers in education — mine was as
a high school math teacher. And religion
is an important part of both of our lives.”
Much of what is depicted in the play
still resonates today.
“Miss Daisy, a white southern Jewish
widow, truly believes, and states on more
than one occasion, that she is not prejudiced,
and yet there is ample evidence that
she is. I think that we, as people, are oft en
blind to our own biases,” Mavro said.
“In this production, you really feel, fi rsthand,
the characters’ struggles
— and smile, as they
overcome their adversities
and become friends,” Scott
said. “You will leave the
good and may even
call a friend.”
Founded in 1950,
Douglaston Community Th eatre is the
oldest active community theater in
Queens, producing three productions
each year (spring, fall and winter).
You can catch “Driving Miss Daisy”
at Zion Church Parish Hall (243-
01 Northern Blvd.) on Friday, Feb. 28,
Saturday, Feb. 29, and Friday, March 6, at
8 p.m., on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m., and
on Sunday, March 7, at 2 p.m.
To reserve tickets ($19 for adults, $17
for students and seniors), visit: www.
or call 718-482-
that presents solutions for the retail,
healthcare, and hospitality industries with
offi ces in New York and Florida.
A proud New Yorker and Long Island
City resident, Ip is an entrepreneur with
a passion for solving complex business
operations and strategic challenges. He
is an active member of Mensa and EO
(Entrepreneur Organization of NY) and
serves as advisory board member to several
private companies and nonprofi t organizations.
Some of the current and past
nonprofi ts include the American Cancer
Society, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital,
New York Lions Club, and Taste of Tribeca.
“I am excited and honored to join the
board of trustees at Queens Botanical
Garden, whose roots go back to the times
when Queens hosted the historical World’s
Fair,” said Ip said.
Raymond Jasen is Partner-in-Charge of
Tax of KPMG’s New York Financial Services
business unit, covering multiple offi ces and
approximately 500 tax professionals.
Having spent more than 27 years in the
fi nancial services industry, Jasen has led
in-house teams of 15 to over 250 tax professionals
and staff in the areas of tax planning,
fi nancial reporting, income tax compliance,
tax controversy and litigation, regulatory
relations, tax transformation, tax technology,
and operational risk management. Jasen
is a graduate of Harvard Law School and
he currently serves as a Board Member at
Flushing Town Hall. A Great Neck resident,
Jasen goes to the Garden almost every
Sunday to read and relax on the bench he
adopted in honor of his grandparents.
“In the midst of all of this energy, Queens
Botanical Garden provides the people of
Flushing with a serene and beautiful haven
for peaceful contemplation and a place to
recharge and become reacquainted with the
wonders of nature," Jasen said.
Ari Jonisch is president of Main
Street Radiology and CEO of Radiology
Associates of Main Street, PC.
Jonisch is chairman of the Department
of Radiology at NewYork-Presbyterian
Queens and chief of the Musculoskeletal
Section of Main Street Radiology. Jonisch
also serves as clinical assistant professor
in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical
College of Cornell University. He received
his medical degree from SUNY Upstate
Medical University, Syracuse aft er completing
his BS in Biology at Binghamton
University. He completed his residency
at Yale New Haven Hospital Radiology
Residency. He has four children and currently
resides in Harrison, NY.
“Having this botanical experience in the
heart of Queens is a tremendous asset for
the borough and the city. Hopefully I can
contribute in some small way,” Jonisch said.
Li Li is branch manager at Dime
Community Bank on Main Street in
Li has over 19 years of experience in
retail and commercial banking, having
worked previously at HSBC, Sovereign
Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, among
others. Li is a graduate of Binghamton
University with Bachelor of Science
degree in Management. She is fl uent in
Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese, and
English. Li has two children and lives in
“I am thrilled to join the lovely QBG
family!” Li said.
Photo courtesy of Queens Botanical Garden
(From l. to r.) QBG Executive Director Susan Lacerte with new board members, Edward M. Ip; Ari I.
Jonisch, MD; Li Li; Raymond D. Jasen; amd Neil Fleischman.
Courtesy of Douglaston Community Theatre
Barbara Mavro (Daisy) and Denzel Hawker (Hoke).