Our History

The Float Conference began in 2012 when the owners of Float On decided to organize and host an event for anyone and everyone interested in floatation and the float industry. The conference had a simple goal: to foster growth in the float community by literally bringing everyone together.

Word started to spread, and in October of 2012, float center owners, manufacturers, researchers, and enthusiasts all gathered in Portland, Oregon for the first ever Float Conference. It was the largest float event that had ever been held, and it was so much fun that it simply had to become an annual event.

The conference has seen incredible growth over the years, expanding to include workshops and community run activities, and bringing larger and larger groups together from every corner of the world.

In 2018, after seven years of running the event, Float On decided it was time to pass the torch. The Float Conference was converted into a 501(c)(6) non-profit and setup to be run as a collaborative effort amongst members of the float industry. A board was established, as well as an operations team, and for the first time ever, the event moved from Portland and began traveling to a new city each year.

The Float Conference is now only possible thanks to members of the float industry pitching in to help. If you’d like to help out, sign up for our conference planning mailing list below! We will send updates and callouts to that list when there are roles that need to be filled.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Jesse Ratner-Decle

Jesse is a float enthusiast as well as a holistic nutritionist. He co-founded Float Toronto, a five-cabin Centre in the great white North, in 2014 with his buddy Sean. He has a deep appreciation for the collaborative nature of the float industry and has been invited to speak at the Float Conference to share strategies on community building and marketing. This chapter of owning and operating a Float Centre as been a tremendous life highlight! At the time of writing this, the records on his stores software system, ‘HelmBot,' says he’s floated 333 times - that’s kinda neat!

Andy Larson

Andy opened Float Milwaukee in August of 2015. Float Milwaukee was the Milwaukee, WI area’s first dedicated floatation center. Float Milwaukee has expanded to include three float pods and two open float pools. Andy has past and current experience as a director and treasurer of nonprofit boards and is excited to be part of the transition of the Float Conference to a nonprofit endeavor. Prior to starting Float Milwaukee, Andy worked for Joy Global for over four years as State Tax Manager, where he was responsible for the entire state and local tax function. Previously, he worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton for eight years. Andy is a CPA in the state of Wisconsin. He has an MS in Taxation from UW-Milwaukee and BBA degrees in Accounting and Finance from UW-Whitewater.

Matthew Smith & Jamie Phillips

From floating a thousand people out of their basement to now operating 6 tanks in Edmonton, AB, Matt and JP have always been hooked on what floating could really do for people. These guys love the industry and entrepreneurship, admiring how people from all walks of life, from all over the world, are building businesses and lifestyles that support their communities. In a weird twist of fate, with Matt originally hailing from a wellness background and JP having years of industrial mechanical experience, these two besties happen to be a great combo for operating a float center.

Gloria Morris

Challenged with juggling her responsibilities as a mom, big data technologist, and consultant, Gloria found balance when she floated for the first time in 2015. Float Sixty (her baby) was born nine months later. Now with three locations and two more in early development she is putting her consulting skills to the test in her own businesses. Gloria has a bachelors and masters degree in management and technology adoption but her real education comes from constantly tinkering with software and data.

Roy Vore

Dr. Roy Vore is the senior consultant with Vore & Associates LLC, a consulting company specializing in aquatic facility management, operator training, and risk management. He is internationally recognized as the pool and spa sector's leading authority on recreational water illness. Since 1991 he has been the aquatics industry’s voice, translating the complexity of microbiology into the everyday language of operators. His efforts include drafting portions of the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code, writing the NSPF’s recreational water illness manual, and a variety of fact sheets on microbial issues for APSP. Dr. Vore has over 90 scholarly papers and presentations on the selection and use of industrial biocides, biocide testing methodology, the microbiological of swimming pools and spas, and the governmental regulation of biocides. Roy became interested in floating due to the unique physiology of float tanks and the potential for non-pharmaceutical treatments for our overly stressed society. Roy’s hobbies include making beer and bird watching – which usually includes drinking the beer.

Nicole Walcott

Nicole suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while serving in the US Army, that forced her to separate from the Army and caused crippling chronic pain. In 2016, floating changed Nicole’s life, and she sought out on a mission to bring this life-changing therapy to her community. Within the following nine months, she opened Floating Shanti in downtown Fayetteville, NC. Over time, Nicole realized that her company needed to be more inclusive of all the services they offered, not just the beloved float. In early 2020, she rebranded and streamlined the company to become Shanti Wellness: one company with three divisions to meet the needs of three unique target markets. Shanti Wellness embodies and perfectly reflects the multi faceted approach to Wellness, that Nicole has seen so much success with: Individual Services (through Fayetteville Wellness Center), Corporate Wellness plans + Services (through Shanti Corporate Wellness), and Wellness services to fit the unique needs + requirements of military units + government agencies (through Shanti Government Wellness).

Ashkahn Jahromi & Graham Talley

Graham and Ashkahn are two of the founders of Float On, a float center located in the misty beer-filled land known as Portland, Oregon. They had the pleasure of founding this conference and organizing it for seven years before turning it into an industry run non-profit. They now serve on the board mostly to crack jokes during the board calls that they find funny and everyone else finds disruptive and mildly unprofessional. They hope to one day follow in the footsteps of Lot’s wife and be turned into pillars of salt.

Amy & James Harder

Amy and James opened Float Harder in Portland, Maine in the Spring of 2016, 5 years after their first float in Denver, Colorado. Since opening, Float Harder has hosted over 21,000 floats! More importantly, it has donated over $18,000 through its quarterly giving event, Float For Philanthropy, and supported dozens of community events. In 2018 James and Amy began operating New England Float Partners, offering float tank installation, maintenance, service and repairs throughout the Northeast. In 2019 James accepted a position on the Float Tank Association interim board, and joined the Float Conference team. Amy decided James shouldn’t have all the fun, and in 2020 got involved with both organizations as well. As board members, Amy and James look forward to helping one day bring the conference to Portland, MAINE!

Peter Sharp

Peter is an Aussie living in ASIA. He partners in a hands-on way with terrific people in the areas of Health & Wellness, Retail Real Estate Planning and Energy Service Stations. Peter is also the co-owner of Float Therapy ASIA in Hong Kong and of Cue Creator in Australia, a bespoke billiards manufacturing business, in addition to a Retail Planning Company in China and a Real Estate Development Company in India. He worked for Walmart for nearly 20 years in ASIA and is very proud of his accomplishments over the years. Retailing, Service and Retail Real Estate is in his DNA. Peter serves as Vice Chairman of the ICSC Asia Advisory Board and a Board Member of the Floatation Tank Association (FTA). Of course, he finds the best day of the week always includes floating.

Kim Hannan

With more than 15 years of training and marketing experience, Kim is passionate about helping individuals and business owners create a ripple effect on the world. She is a registered yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teacher, co-owner of Sukhino Float Center & Salt Cave, founder of Sukhino Yoga on the Go, and founder and creative director of Mindfull Solutions, whose sole purpose is helping the people who help people. She is most fulfilled when she's able to share the knowledge she has gathered along the way in order to help others have fun, be successful, and live a peaceful life. Her "multipotentialite" ways means she's always taking on fun and interesting projects, including jumping in to serve the float community as a board member.

Lovinder Gill

Lovinder is a filmmaker and college professor whose life took a left turn when he floated for the first time. Now he’s the owner of Nirvana Float in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Floating helps him work through the stories for his screenplays and his filmmaking helps him market his float center - a perfectly symbiotic relationship. Lovinder’s produced and directed documentaries all around the world including in Nepal on Mt. Everest, in India, Bolivia, Palestine and Guatemala. After spending many years exploring the world, Lovinder is happiest in a float tank exploring within himself.

International Liaisons

Vivian McKinnon


Multi award winning speaker, author, and entrepreneur Vivian McKinnon is qualified and experienced in many therapeutic approaches. The idea to open a float centre came about during her first float in Edinburgh in 2004 where Vivian knew instantly this ‘strange and a bit different therapy’ could help other people; especially those living from addictions, physical and mental pain. Vivian set up Hydro-ease, Northern Irelands only dedicated floatation centre in September 2015. With lived experience in these areas, Vivian knew in that moment her life’s purpose became clear. She now dedicates her work to empowering people to heal from the pain of their past. To identify and utilise the skills and tools in the life they have, to create the life they desire and, In the process, release the magic from within.

Nail Gareev

City Float , Rus Float

Nail Gareev is a float enthusiast and a professional psychologist. In 2007, he opened the first floatation center in Russia. For over 12 years, he focus has been making floatation a part of modern city culture. Nail is the head of Rus Float, a Russian float industry association, through which he organizes the annual RusFloat Conference aiming to increase floating popularity in the country. Nail discovered floating during a severe identify crisis, finding it to be an amazing instrument to reestablish one’s connection with the Self. Floating changed his picture of reality and provides support in his everyday life. Nail has developed a method combining float therapy with psychotherapy, which helps people to achieve deep positive changes in their existential state.

Operations Team

Jocelyn Jester, CMP

Float Conference

Jocelyn is an event planner with a focus on non-profits. After earning a BS in Tourism Management from Indiana University, Jocelyn spent some time in Colorado planning a conference at which she met the Float On crew. Later, the Float Conference became her main gig. Jocelyn moved back to Indiana for a few years, and is now settling in to Portland, Oregon. When she isn’t working, Jocelyn can be found practicing yoga, drinking delicious beers, or petting cats.

Esther Paul

Float Conference

Esther started floating recreationally as a teenager. After a car accident, she began floating as a healing modality for a back injury. Now she can't get enough! Esther enjoys being a part of bringing so many awesome people together through her position with the Float Conference. Other passions of Esther’s include coffee, yoga, hiking, and world religions/spirituality. She lives in Portland, but loves to travel all over the world.

Non-Profit Administration

The Float Conference is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. That means that we belong to you, the float industry. As such, we thrive to maintain a level of reporting and transparency aimed towards giving you an understanding of how the organization runs. Below you will find our Bylaws and Procedures, a financial breakdown of each year of the conference, and notes from all of our board meetings. We have taken the time to summarize and format this information to make it easily digestible for you. Please let us know if there's any other information about the Float Conference that you would like to see!