2017 Speakers

Duncan Trussell

Host of “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour” Podcast

Pro Float Inc

Special thank you to Pro Float for making it possile for Duncan to join us.

Duncan Trussell is a stand-up comedian and host of the wildly popular podcast The Duncan Trussell Family Hour known for its blend of humor, fringe ideas, eclectic guests, and great interviews.

He regularly tours the country as a stand-up comedian and has performed at Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin. In addition, Duncan has appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time, and wrote and acted in the MTV series Story Pig.

You’ve also seen him on Scyfy’s Joe Rogan Questions Everything, TBS’ The Pete Holmes Show, two episodes of Drunk History (Tesla Vs. Edison and Edgar Allen Poe), and you’ve heard his regularly occurring character, Ron James, on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. He’s also a regular on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

Duncan will be doing a recording of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast on stage at the Float Conference!

Christopher Ryan

Author and host of the “Tangentially Speaking” Podcast

Chris Ryan is the creator of the popular Tangentially Speaking Podcast and will be joining Duncan Trussell at the Float Conference for a live, on-stage edition of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour Podcast. Chris has been floating for many years, both here in Portland, and elsewhere in his travels.

Chris co-authored the New York Times best-seller, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships, with his partner-in-crime (and wife), Cacilda Jethá, MD. After receiving a BA in English, he went off on many adventures before pursuing a P.h.D. in Psychology from Saybrook University. There, his research focused on distinguishing the human from the cultural, first by focusing on shamanism and ethnobotony—studying how various societies interact with altered states of consciousness and the sacred plants that provoke them—and later, by looking at similarly diverse cultural perspectives on sexuality.

Chris and his work have been featured just about everywhere, including: MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, and more. He is currently working on his next book, Civilized to Death: Why Everything’s Amazing but Nobody’s Happy.

Dr. Justin Feinstein

Head Researcher at the Float Clinic and Research Center

Dr. Feinstein is Director of the Float Clinic and Research Center (FCRC) at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. The FCRC’s mission is to investigate the effects of Floatation-REST on both body and brain, as well as explore its potential as a therapeutic treatment for promoting mental health and healing in patients who suffer from anxiety.

His presentation will unveil the results from the first float study in individuals spanning the spectrum of different anxiety disorders, including PTSD, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Generalized Anxiety.

Nick Dunin

Owner of Beyond Rest – A chain of 8 float centers in Australia

Nick Dunin co-founded Beyond Rest with his brother Ben four years ago. Since then, it has expanded into eight centres around Australia. With 16 years experience in running his own businesses, Nick leveraged his strong skill set in internet marketing to grow the centres.

The growth of Beyond Rest has been driven by authentic marketing, architecture, and customer service. A strong culture at the heart of everything they do combines with their unique mission, which aspires to enhance the entire float experience.

Through floating Nick had a tremendous shift in his own state of being. Going from a strong alpha male with numerous addictions and no direction, to having a purpose driven, passion filled vision of raising consciousness – assisting people to wake up and take back their power from the system.

Glenn Perry

Creator of the first commercial float tank

Glenn Perry, mentored by Dr John C. Lilly, developed the first ever commercial float tank, the Samadhi tank. Since then, he never stops tinkering, continuing to push the world of floatation forward with his own ever present brand of functional innovation and design, focusing on improving the user’s experience at an affordable price.

Glenn will be here to speak alongside his wife Lee.

Lee Perry

President of the Samadhi Tank Company

Lee Perry, as president of the Samadhi Tank Company, has spent the last 40 years working to keep the business of floating a journey into the realm of service and adventure. As a part of the Floatation Tank Association, she focuses on advocating best practices, educating health departments on regulations for this industry, and supporting new float businesses.

Lee will be giving a presentation alongside her husband Glenn Perry.

Ashkahn Jahromi

Float Conference organizer and MC

Ashkahn Jahromi will serve as host and MC for the 2017 Float Conference. He’s spent every day of the last year preparing by pumping iron with 600 pound microphones.

As one of the owners of Float On here in Portland, Oregon, Ashkahn has dealt with his fair share of salty messes, and through it has learned a thing or two about float tanks, the operation of a float center, and float tank sanitation and regulations.

Ashkahn will be presenting with Graham Talley about the business philosophy that Float On practices, and speaking at the How to Start a Float Center Workshop, a crash course in building and running a float center.

Graham Talley

Float Conference organizer and owner of Float On

Graham Talley, one of the original founders of Float On, will be speaking at both the conference and the How to Start a Float Center Workshop.

Graham has been lecturing on small business, happiness, national monuments, and (most recently) float tanks for the better part of a decade. His interests and areas of expertise extend from water sanitation to treasure hunts, from complex systems design to experimental theater.

Jake Marty

Owner of Float On – Speaking at the Start a Center Workshop

Jake Marty, another one of the Float On owners, will be speaking at the How to Start a Float Center Workshop. He will be sharing experiences from the last several years where he spent countless days (and nights) fighting the good fight against salt damage and defending against rogue sound waves trying to sneak into beautiful, peaceful float rooms.

Jake will also be conducting the NSPF Certified Pool/Spa Operator training course taking place on the Monday following the Float Conference.

Whichever city Jake is in, he can often be found atop the nearest mountain anticipating the sunrise.

Jason MacDonald

Canadian Health Inspector

Jason began his career as a health inspector in 2005 after years of managing a successful retail business. He initially focused his attention to the inspection of aquatic facilities in Edmonton, and for several years was the health inspector for the world’s largest indoor waterpark at West Edmonton Mall. After that, he shifted his focus to personal service inspections. As a topic expert in this area, Jason gives many presentations across Canada on infection prevention and control issues that arise in these settings. He is also a guest lecturer to Environmental Health students at Concordia University College in Edmonton, Alberta for both swimming pools and personal services.

Jason completed the After Degree Program in Environmental Health at Concordia University College in 2004 and also holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and Chemistry from the University of Alberta. In 2011 he was elected to the National Executive Council of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors and served as the President of the Alberta branch.

Dr. Sahib Khalsa

Researcher at the Float Clinic and Research Center

Dr. Khalsa is Director of Clinical Studies at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. His research on the heart-brain connection focuses on improving our understanding of how people feel their heartbeat, and how the human brain maps cardiac sensation. The long-term goal of this work is to develop new treatments that re-establish a functional dialogue between the heart and brain in psychiatric illness.

Sahib will be presenting the results from an experiment LIBR has been running on how float tanks effect people with anorexia.

Dr. Ricardo Gil-da-Costa

Co-founder of Neuroverse, brain sensing technology used at LIBR

For 19 years, Dr. Gil-da-Costa’s pursuit of how the mind and brain work led him to behavioral field studies in Africa and Central America and neurophysiology laboratory research from Harvard University to the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Most recently, he co-founded and serves as C.E.O. of Neuroverse, Inc., a neurotechnology company that has created a new class of mobile brain interfaces for health and consumer electronics applications.

Whether conducting research in the oceans and jungles, investigating the evolutionary and neural foundations of human cognition and language, serving as a Hollywood science consultant, or developing novel brain imaging methods and brain-machine interfaces, Dr. Gil-da-Costa’s work has not only contributed seminal findings to the field of cognitive neurosciences but has also pushed the boundaries of scientific inquiry and translational application outside of the traditional laboratory structure. His work leading the Neuroverse team continues this expansion by creating a brain interface for use in everyday life.

Stephen Johnson

Psychiatric Nurse, Fascial Anatomist, and Philosopher

Stephen Johnson has been a boxer, modern dancer, actor, coach and trainer. He has worked as a Psychiatric Nurse for 27 years, and conducted a private practice as a Structural Integrator for over 20 years. He is an Anatomist specializing in Fascial Anatomy, has conducted research, and taught at various schools. He is a Bio Somatic Movement educator, a yoga teacher in the Ashtanga style, a long time meditator in both Soto and Rinzai traditions and a practitioner of Tai Chi / Qi Gong.

En route to an ordination in Interfaith and counseling with an emphasis in the science-spirit interfaith, eco-spirituality and somato-spiritual practices. He is the director of The Spirit Assemblage, which is an educational forum for the definition and exploration of non-religious spirit as it manifests in the self and culture.

Colin Stanwell-Smith

Owner of Floataway manufacturing
Sponsor Talk

Colin Stanwell-Smith is a British engineer and technologist who decided to make float tanks in 1999 after a career in high tech product development. He owns Floataway, a manufacturing company with a range of float tanks and associated technology.

Colin, along with his wife Gini, worked with Justin Feinstein at the Float Clinic and Research Center to develop their research oriented float tanks, built with a host of sensors to aid in the research.

He is also now the president of FloatawayUSA and co-owner PopUpFloat, two new USA companies, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Interested in giving a conference talk?

Apply to speak here!