2014 Speakers

Glenn Perry

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 as a representative of the Floatation Tank Association, an organization that supports the success of floating.

Lee Perry

Lee Perry, as president of the Samadhi Tank Company, has spent the last 38 years working to keep the business of floating a journey into the realm of service and adventure. As chairman of the board of the Floatation Tank Association, she focuses on advocating best practices, educating health departments on regulations for this industry, and supporting new float businesses.

Along with being here as a representative of the FTA, Lee will also be giving a presentation alongside her husband Glenn Perry.

Dr. Justin Feinstein

Dr. Justin Feinstein is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research and an expert in the neuroscience of fear. His research has been published in a number of top scientific journals and has been featured in the popular press including the New York Times, NPR, New Scientist, and the NBC TODAY Show.

His presentation will focus on a new research facility he is opening to investigate the effects of flotation on the brain and its potential use as a therapeutic treatment for a number of different psychiatric conditions including anxiety, anorexia, and addiction.

Aubrey Marcus

Aubrey Marcus, a lifelong multi-sport athlete, has continually dedicated himself to the pursuit of self-improvement. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, Aubrey founded a marketing company where he learned the inner workings of companies from multiple industries. In 2010, the timing was right for Aubrey to fulfill his lifelong dream and create a brand of his own, in a field close to his heart. Onnit was born. On top of being a very active CEO, Aubrey manages the Warrior Poet blog and podcast, dedicated to expanding exploring the tools of modern philosophy and spirituality. Aubrey is also the host of the Onnit podcast and a guest on many popular podcasts and radio shows, including the Joe Rogan Experience and the Jason Ellis show.

Rich Martin

Rich Martin works for NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation), an international organization focused on creating standards and certifications for the protection of public health.

The NSF has recently started work on developing a standard for the certification of floatation tanks, and Rich has been the spearheading force in the development of this standard.

Rich has spent the better part of 20 years working in the field of health safety and operation of pools/spas and drinking water through a number of accredited standards organizations.

He will be at the conference as a representative of the NSF to give a presentation on their emerging float tank standard, and what it means for the floatation industry.

Rich also is a guest in episode 5 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Dr. Lauretta Young

Lauretta Young MD has held various clinical and administrative roles for the Kaiser Psychiatry Dept., including physician hiring director, residency training director, head of consult service, quality management director, and chief of the department of over 250 clinicians. While with Kaiser, she developed and administered a wide range of mental health services which won several national quality awards.

Having retired from Kaiser in 2009, Lauretta now teaches at PSU in Community Health and does consulting work as an expert witness. She holds a BS in general science from OSU, an MD from OHSU and is board certified in psychiatry and neurology. Lauretta is also currently the Director of the Integrative Self-Care Initiative for Students at OHSU, where she has initiated programs to encourage OHSU students to practice floatation therapy.

Most recently, Lauretta has been hired to be the Chief Medical Officer for Health Republic Insurance, and will present on her plans for integrating float tanks into health insurance as a form of preventative medicine.

Dr. Young also appears in Episode 2 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Bob Crandall

For almost four decades, Bob Crandall has worked and studied in a wide range of water quality, environmental, technical, and policy areas within the private and public sectors. While Bob is retired now, he most recently worked as Assistant Executive Officer for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the agency responsible for protecting water quality for the vast majority of Californians. Prior to that, he served in various capacities with the State’s Dept. of Toxic Substances Control and the California Environmental Protection Agency.

After completing his undergraduate work at Stanford University, Bob returned to school at the University of British Columbia for his master’s degree in Environmental Planning & Natural Resources Mgmt. – one of the first, if not the first, degreed environmental programs in North America. His thesis, “Public Policy for Public Spas and Hot Tubs”, became a reference for public health agencies and industry.

Bob later both served on NSF technical standards committees for UV disinfection and worked as Director of Research for Ultraviolet Technology where he applied his expertise to develop the use of UV and Hydrogen Peroxide to treat spas and therapy pools, in addition to UV disinfection for other various water quality applications. He secured the first public health dept. approval for the use of a non-halogenated disinfectant, and overall was successful in obtaining approvals in more than 50 State and County jurisdictions.

Bob will be at the conference to discuss the science behind a UV / Hydrogen Peroxide sanitation system, and his efforts in getting it approved within health departments.

Bob is also a guest in episode 6 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Tom Fine

Thomas H Fine is one of the biggest names in the research of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy). He established, alongside John Turner, the Floatation REST research program at the University of Toledo College of Medicine (formerly the Medical College of Ohio), where he now is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Over a twenty year period, Tom and John published numerous papers and edited several books regarding the physical and mental results of floatation therapy, focusing on psychophysiological and endocrine changes associated with repeated use of a Floatation Tank, and the effects of floating on various stress related disorders (most notably his research on cortisol level reduction in the floatation environment).

Listen to Tom Fine in Episode 1 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Jay Gunkelman

Jay Gunkelman is recognized as one of the top leaders in the field of EEG and QEEG, and has processed over 500,000 EEGs since 1972. In addition, he has served as president of The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research, as well as a board member and treasurer of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and as a past-president of the Biofeedback Society of California.

Jay is one of the earliest researchers of float tanks, and one of the only researchers to take live EEG recordings of brainwave activity during a float session. Jay also was one of the first to incorporate floatation tanks in as a tool to facilitate biofeedback.

Jay has conducted, published, or participated in hundreds of research papers, articles, books, and meetings internationally. He is the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Brain Science International and is a popular lecturer worldwide.

Jay joins us in episode 9 of the Float Conference Podcast.

James Nestor

James Nestor has written for Outside Magazine, Dwell Magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Men’s Journal, and more. His science/adventure book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Eamon Dolan Books) just recently had its big public release.

Many of the same physical transformations that occur within our bodies inside the float tank also occur while freediving in the ocean. Nestor, who has floated for more than six years, will explore the float/freediving connection in his lecture.

James is also in episode 3 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Ashkahn Jahromi

Ashkahn Jahromi will serve as host and MC for the 2014 Float Conference, and spends 30 minutes every night practicing his microphone spinning tricks in preparation.

As one of the owners of Float On here in Portland, Oregon, Ashkahn has amassed a huge body of knowledge on float tanks, the operation of a float center, and how to clean salt off of his clothes.

Ashkahn will be presenting about Float On, and speaking at the Float Center Workshop, a single day crash course in building and running a float center.

Graham Talley

Graham Talley, another owner of Float On, will be speaking at both the conference and the Float Center Workshop aimed at helping float centers get up and running. Graham is excited to have everyone out to Portland again, and can’t wait to share what he and the Float On crew have been up to this past year.

In the very little off-time he has that is not devoted to running a float center, he runs a small business workshop in town called CAKE, aimed at providing resources and advice to help startups and small business thrive. View Graham’s presentation from 2012!

Graham joined Ashkahn in episode 7 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Stephen Johnson

Stephen W. Johnson RN,LMP,CSP,BME has worn many hats over the years. Stephen has been a boxer, modern dancer, actor, coach and trainer. He has worked as a Psychiatric Nurse for 27 years, 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.

Stephen is currently working on a series of Lectures/book “The Body: Physic and Meta-Physic”

Stephen Johnson will be at the Float Conference to present a view of float tanks as a key tool for anatomical and spiritual integration. Watch his talk from last year!

Stephen also appears in episode 4 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Nick Janicki

Nick Janicki’s journey through the wellness industry began with True REST Float Spa in Tempe, Arizona. Deeply moved by the profound benefits his clients experienced after each float, he became inspired to push this incredible product to the next level. He felt that he could create a pod that was more efficient and reliable. He recognized the potential and great necessity for a US Based Float Pod and Float Pod Therapies was born in 2013. The Float Pod was developed with the careful consideration and feedback from thousands of clients, friends, and family members over the years.

Dr. Robert Schreyer

Dr. Schreyer is a Licensed Physical Therapist and co-owner of the Aspire Center for Health + Wellness, which offers REST floatation, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language pathology for individuals with Neurological and Orthopedic conditions. In addition to his Practice, Dr. Schreyer is also a Faculty Professor at Touro College in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program where he teaches Human Anatomy, Prosthetics & Orthotics, Clinical Neurology, and Neurological Rehabilitation while conducting research on a regular basis. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Hunter College. Dr. Schreyer’s Research agenda includes exploration of the use of REST floatation for individuals with neurological conditions.

Dr. Schreyer has recently had the honor of Co-authoring a Chapter on Multiple Sclerosis in the popular physical therapy textbook Physical Rehabilitation with Susan O’Sullivan. And has taught a continuing education course on Physical rehabilitation for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease for Medbridge education.

During his presentation he hopes to inspire and educate the float community to perform research. Through presenting his own research he will discuss a means for everyone to put together “research” that can be presented and shared throughout the float community and public alike.

Robert is a guest in episode 10 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is the founder and CEO of Zero Gravity Institute in Austin, TX. ZGI is a state of the art floatation center and private research facility. He is also the designer and manufacturer of the new, technologically advanced Zero Gravity Float Rooms.

Kevin has been floating since 1986, when he went to work for the world’s first commercial floatation center. With a history of over 500 floats, including a recent research project titled “100 floats in 100 days”, Kevin brings a vast amount of knowledge, insight and experience to the world of floatation and the tank manufacturing industry.

In addition to his work with Zero Gravity Institute and Zero Gravity Float Rooms, Kevin is also actively consulting on over a dozen new float centers opening around the world and has recently started working on a new book called “Floating – Evolution of the Next Consciousness”. He has been featured in several magazines and periodicals, and has appeared on many popular podcasts including; “Tangentially Speaking” with Christopher Ryan Ph.D, “The Warrior Poet” with Aubrey Marcus, “Not Just Paleo” with Evan Brand, and “Fat Burning Man” with Abel James.

Pete O’Brien

Pete O’Brien is a former professional baseball player (Texas Rangers 1982-88, Cleveland Indians 1989-90, Seattle Mariners 1990-93) and continues to be very active with the Texas Rangers in Community Outreach projects. Pete and his wife Donna opened At Peace Floatation Spa in 2008 and have seen the great strides the industry has made over those years.

In 2014, At Peace Floatation Spa created its subsidiary, At Peace Spas. At Peace Spas is in the business of manufacturing float spas, offering tiered pricing, so that cost is not a barrier to entry for prospective spa owners. Their goal is to make the most user friendly product on the market.

Kirk Sullivan

Kirk Sullivan is the President of San Juan Fiberglass Pools. San Juan Pools started in Seattle in 1958 and has grown from a small manufacturing company to a global operation with multiple manufacturing and distribution around the world. San Juan currently produces over 100 different fiberglass pool and spa models in nine different colors.

In the summer of 2012, San Juan was approached by Delta Floats and asked to develop a commercially approved fiberglass float tank and as a result the Float-es Epsom Salt float tank was created. Building on its vast experience in the commercial pool/spa industry, the San Juan Float-es has been design to meet the needs of the commercial float industry and to provide the user with the best possible floating experience.

The Float-es offers an industry first 24/7 filtration/sterilization/heating system which runs while the user floats. This allows the floater to maintain a fixed position in the tank and reduces the “ping pong” effect of hitting the walls.

San Juan Float-es also includes an optional MicroSilk oxygenation system which allows for both active and passive floating. The patented Microsilk system by Jason International saturates the epsom salt fluid with billions of negatively charged oxygen bubbles that offers the user with many proven health benefits.

Dr. Jeffrey Bruno

Jeffrey Bruno, Ph.D., is a psychologist who practices in Pacifica, California. Dr. Bruno has applied mind-body healing methods for over 30 years. His first flotation isolation tank was built at Lawrence University in 1978. Jeffrey completed his master’s thesis at the University of Wisconsin – Madison on the use of Chamber REST. REST research continued under the supervision of Tom Fine and John Turner, pioneers at the Medical College of Ohio.

Jeffrey is opening a state of the art “Mind Spa” featuring chamber REST and sensory healing modalities near San Francisco, CA. Also, Jeffrey recently authored (2014) “Eat Light & Feel Bright: Microalgae Solutions for Individual and Planetary Health.”

Jeffrey is also a guest in episode 8 of the Float Conference Podcast.

David Conneely

– Voted for by the float community –

David Conneely is the owner of iFloat in Westport, CT. He is a certified program facilitator for the human biocomputer and a certified floatation facilitator. David has training in yoga, shamanism, and dreamwork which has led him to found a shamanic organization in New York City and facilitate many workshops on personal growth around the United States.

In 2008, David studied under John Worthington, author of the Office of Shaman, and former owner of Colorado Tank Works (started in 1974). The work he did was based on Lilly’s model of the mind as a biocomputer, which brought David to teaching workshops about these tools, and eventually to owning iFloat.

Get to know more about David in episode 13 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Bertil Fanger

– Voted for by the float community –

In 1986, on his search for health (after importing some micro organisms from India), Bertil found floating. He experienced a lot of benefits from his first float and immediately began planning his own float center. Bertil started a center with two Samadhi tanks in Stockholm, Sweden. He wanted to create the perfect floating experience, so he developed his own tank which he started to sell.

Bertil Provided the Swedish Olympic support with a tank and helped begin the Swedish Floating/REST research. He’s been working with Floating ever since, and can’t see himself without a tank in the future. Bertil spends quite a few hours floating every week, and is always amazed with what happens.

Get to know more about Bertil in episode 11 of the Float Conference Podcast.

Spencer Fossier

– Voted for by the float community –

Spencer is the owner of NOLA Float Tanks, which he opened after floating at Float Houston last summer. What initially drew Spencer to the tanks was the alternative treatment for ADHD, which he had been diagnosed and medicated with in 4th grade. After using the tanks to center his mental state, Spencer noticed that he became more balanced in his external musculature.

By the time of the conference, Spencer will be CHEK Golf Specialist certified which he is going to use to incorporate float tanks as physical therapy. He suffers from back pain like many others and would like to help himself and as many other people as possible to work through these physical symptoms of stress.

Spencer was a guest in episode 12 of the Float Conference Podcast.