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.

Lydia Caldwell

Doing research on float tanks for the Air Force

Lydia Caldwell is a contract physiologist with Air Force Research Labs in the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. She serves as a member of the STRONG (Signature Tracking for Optimized Nutrition and Training) Team, focusing on human performance monitoring and augmentation of the elite combat athlete. The STRONG Team has been conducting preliminary research to assess the use of flotation as a recovery tool in collegiate athletics with the hope of translating this research to the military community.

Bob Mangine

Athletic Trainer for University of Cincinnati football team

Bob Mangine is an athletics trainer for the football team at the University of Cincinnati, supervising a program that addresses the health and well-being of the team on a year-round basis.

Bob has served as Director of Rehabilitative Services at the University of Cincinnati since 2002., and has worked with both amateur and professional athletes since 1976, when he first arrived at university. In 1982, he assisted in the development of the nationally-recognized Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. After serving approximately 10 years with the organization, he started his own practice which merged with NovaCare Rehabilitation in 1998.

Bob has recently started incorporating regular floating into his athletic team’s training, and has been working with the Air Force’s STRONG program (which will be presented on by Lydia Caldwell) to conduct research on how his athletes are affected by floating.

David Vobora

Founder of the Adaptive Training Foundation

Retired NFL Linebacker, David Vobora, specializes in human performance training that also inspires and motivates his clients to higher levels of achievement and fulfillment in service to others.

As the owner of Performance Vault and founder of the non-profit Adaptive Training Foundation, David works with athletes of all types – professional, Olympic, collegiate, tactical forces and, especially, those with severe disabilities, including many military veterans, but also victims of catastrophic injuries and illnesses.

David has been integrating floating into his Adaptive Training technique by bringing his clients into float during their training program, and will be coming to the conference to share the incredible results he’s been seeing.

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.

Obada Al Zoubi

Works in the Float Clinic and Research Center

Obada is a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma working towards his degree in Computational and Electrical Engineering. After leaving Syria, Obada earned his Master’s degree at the American University of Beirut, where he studied the application of machine learning toward deciphering neuroimaging data. In 2016 he moved to Tulsa to begin his doctoral program and has spent the past two years working in the Float Clinic & Research Center.

Stephen Johnson

Psychiatric Nurse, Fascial Anatomist, and Philosopher

Through professional athletics and performance, to a decades long practice of meditation, yoga, scientific/philosophical/poetic immersion. Retiring from a 30+ year career as a Psychiatric RN, researcher, educator, therapist and Anatomist. Continuing a private practice of an increasingly simple but deepening somato/spiritual nature. Developing into a ‘Float Contemplative’ in which suspension and immersion dynamics inform a growing intertwinement of science and spirit. Hopefully thinking, moving, communicating from a more interconnected sensibility. Editing an upcoming book of essays on the essence/heart/spirit of the float experience. Board member of the Float Tank Association.

Sandeep Prakash

Voted in Speaker

Sandeep is a Ph.D. candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and describes himself as a “psychologist gone rogue.” He’s done research that challenges conventional boundaries of psychology and indigenous shamanic arts, such as tantric Yoga in India and San Pedro visioning in Peru.

His current research on floating inquires into the lives of people who have used floating to heal from emotional trauma. While complementary brain research can show how symptoms change over time with floating, rich qualitative data sheds surprising insights on just how people approach their ghosts in the tank to transform their relationship to trauma.

Sandeep is the co-founder of a new float center, as well as a workshop facilitator, teacher, and musician.

Logan Skees

Voted in Speaker

Logan Skees is 25 years old and served four years in the United States Marine Corps between 2010 – 2014. In between deployments to Afghanistan as an Infantry Rifleman, he was stationed and trained at Camp Lejeune, NC.

After two successful combat deployments, he faced the cold reality of returning to a life as a civilian that he knew very little about. Logan’s talk will share an inspired testimony on how he overcame the stresses of war on the front lines in Afghanistan, his transition home, and how floating helped him find his purpose in life through entrepreneurship.

Logan’s work through Trainerspace has allowed him and his team to empower other combat veterans during their transition home. He fundamentally believes that Float Tank therapy has produced the most profound effects in his life

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.

Peter Marsh

Co-founder of Popupfloat
Sponsor Talk

Peter Marsh entered the float industry in 1992 when he co-founded the center Floatworks in London. In 2008 he co-created the highly successful i-sopod float tank.

Currently Pete is developing a portable float tank and centre concept utilising inflatable technology.

Popupfloat LLC is a collaboration with Floataway USA these unique products will open up some interesting new markets for the float industry.

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.

Tom Taber

Founder of Float Booth – Speaking at the Workshop
Sponsor Talk

Tom Taber is drawn to projects and companies that make a difference in the world. He spent 16 years designing software to track complex fiber optic networks. He’s studied yoga and meditation in Thailand. He helped make modern eco friendly earthen buildings more accessible. And he’s assisted WIKISPEED in developing affordable 100MPG vehicles.

In 2016 Tom began testing materials, equipment and designs for a new type of floatation room in Austin, Texas. He has since led his development team to build their first prototype.

Tom is passionate about giving more people a positive floating experience.

Kyle Stremme

Works at fetchrev.com – Speaking at the Workshop
Sponsor Talk

Kyle Stremme, a small business digital marketing retention expert, will be speaking about how to launch your float center with pre paid floats. He will be sharing experience he has gained through 3,000+ conversations he has had with small business owners and strategies that work to get your float center in the black sooner so it can focus on retention and memberships. He works as a sales advisor for start up software companies who specialize in small business growth. In addition he works for www.FetchRev.com, a small business revenue retention software.

Raised in the Midwest chasing cows, Kyle decided to fly around the world, out to Eastern Europe to volunteer in the Peace Corps, then to teach and travel in Asia, before settling in San Francisco. Float Matrix in SF gave him his first floating experience. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where you will find him hanging out under Fir trees or chasing his 3 sons under 4 years old.