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Speakers and More

PRESENTERS AND FACILITATORS

From Float Research to float center marketing, and just about everything in between - here are the amazing people that shared their knowledge and expertise with us this year!

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2022 Float Conference Presenters

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

James Nestor

James Nestor

Speaker

James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Scientific American, Outside, The New York Times, and more. His latest book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, was released May 26, 2020 by Riverhead/Penguin Random House and was an instant New York Times and London Sunday Times bestseller. Breath explores how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly--and how to get it back. Breath spent 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in the first year of release, and became a bestseller in Spain, Italy, Germany, and Croatia. Breath will be translated into more than 35 languages in 2022 and has sold more than one million copies in the first years of release. Breath was awarded the Best General Nonfiction Book of 2020 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors and was a Finalist for Best Science Book of 2021 by the Royal Society. Nestor has spoken at Stanford Medical School, Yale School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, the United Nations, Global Classroom, and appeared on more than 60 radio and television shows, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Joe Rogan Show, and more. He lives and breathes in San Francisco.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Justin Feinstein, PhD

Justin Feinstein, PhD

President and Director of the Float Research Collective

Speaker

Dr. Feinstein has spent his career exploring the intimate connection between the body and brain, and developing new technologies to help bring this connection to the forefront of awareness. Utilizing both the lesion method and functional neuroimaging, his research explores how the human brain produces primal states of emotion that ultimately manifest as anxiety and avoidance behavior. His research has helped advance the neuroscience of fear, revealing important clues about the causal role of the human amygdala and insula in the experience of fear and anxiety. He is also at the forefront of discovering new treatments that naturally alleviate fear and anxiety without the use of drugs.

Dr. Feinstein completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Iowa and his postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. He earned his undergraduate degree in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, and completed his clinical internship at the San Diego VA hospital with a focus on the treatment of veterans with PTSD using Prolonged Exposure therapy. Between 2013-2020, Dr. Feinstein founded and directed the Float Clinic & Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, the only laboratory in the world studying the neurobiological effects of Floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) and its potential as a treatment for promoting mental health and healing in patients who suffer from anxiety and stress-related disorders.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Roy Vore,  PhD

Roy Vore, PhD

Resident Microbiologist, and Senior Consultant for Vore & Associates, LLC

Speaker

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.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Flux, PhD

Flux, PhD

Float Researcher at Laureate Institute for Brain Research

Speaker

Flux has been doing research science for over a decade in about a dozen different labs on topics ranging from biotechnology to mental health. Flux has a B.S. in Biotechnology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, an M.S. in Neuroscience and Physiology from NYU focusing on primate visual perception, and a joint Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder, where his work focused on the role of the immune system in novel mental health therapeutics. He recently completed his predoctoral clinical internship at the Indian Health Care Resource Center in Tulsa, OK providing mental health services to indigenous peoples. Currently, Flux is working as a consultant on a variety of academic and industrial research projects. Flux is incredibly passionate about science communication, and has extensive experience as a graphic designer, which he applies to his presentations and educational illustrations. Flux has presented at the Float Conference each year starting in 2018 and is thrilled to be back for his fifth year.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

McKenna Garland

McKenna Garland

Float Researcher at Laureate Institute for Brain Research

Speaker

McKenna Garland is a fourth-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Tulsa, who joined the Float Clinic and Research Center (FCRC) at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in 2019. Her presentation will provide information regarding the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of floating in a clinically anxious and depressed sample from a recently completed study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Emily Choquette, PhD

Emily Choquette, PhD

Float Researcher at Laureate Institute for Brain Research

Speaker

Dr. Emily Choquette is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa Oklahoma. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Florida and completed her clinical internship at the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Houston, TX. Her previous research and clinical work centers on women’s health, disordered eating, and substance use. She is currently working with Dr. Sahib Khalsa examining the therapeutic effects of floatation for treatment of body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa. She is interested in leveraging novel therapeutics and technology to alleviate suffering from mental health conditions.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Glenn Perry

Glenn Perry

Float Pioneer | Samahdi Tank Co

Speaker

Glenn Perry, along with his partner Lee, who died last year, were inspired by Dr John Lilly to start Samadhi Tank Co and the floatation tank industry. Glenn invented the use of lots of salt to allow people to float weightlessly in the isolation tank. Together they designed and sold the first commercial float tanks. They also started the first float tank center to assist in selling those tanks. Additionally, they trained others in a method of running those centers and how to interact with the floaters to allow the floater to be comfortable floating instead of afraid and how to get the most out of their time floating. They have always been especially passionate about the amazing benefits of frequent floating in as distraction free environments as possible.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Jenn Huang

Jenn Huang

Recreational Water Scientist and Auditor

Speaker

Jenn Huang holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Truman State University. A dedicated scientist and auditor practiced in technical and regulatory support, product analysis, method development and implementation and GLP, ISO and cGMP documentation and quality standards, she has over 15 years of experience in biotechnology, healthcare, manufacturing, immunology and biopharmaceutical research with over 6 years in the water treatment industry. She has contributed to over six peer-reviewed publications, with two as a co-author. Some professional affiliations include American Chemical Society, Association of Water Technologies, American Water Works Association, CMAHC, and PHTA. She is currently an active member of Alpha Chi Sigma Professionals chapter (national professional chemistry), a former member of CMAHC Chlorine Stabilizers Ad Hoc Committee, and Technical Director of the Isocyanurate Industry Ad Hoc Committee, in addition to being active with the PHTA Recreational Water Quality Committee. Most importantly, for the past few years, she has specialized in harassing your friendly neighborhood bug guy, Roy Vore, on his limited skills in chemistry and the English language.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

James Carroll

James Carroll

Speaker

James Carroll is the founder and CEO of THOR Photomedicine. He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, Co-Chair Biomedical Optics Society conference on Photobiomodulation (PBM) mechanisms.

PBM is remarkable because it achieves two things with one mechanism: pain relief and healing. Red and near-infrared photons are absorbed in mitochondria, improving cytochrome c oxidase activity, which leads to increased ATP production and reduced oxidative stress. The downstream effects of this this are less inflammation, less pain, and faster tissue repair.

As a recognised authority on photobiomodulation, James has co-authored 27 academic papers on photobiomodulation. He has given a US Congressional briefing on PBM as a solution for the opioid crisis and a White House briefing on PBM as a solution for the opioid crisis. He spoke at the United Nations Global Health Impact Forum on Photobiomodulation for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson

Float Enthusiast

Conference Master of Shenanigans (MC)

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.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Graham Talley

Graham Talley

Co-Founder of Float On, Float Tank Solutions, & HelmBot | Float Conference Board Member

Speaker

Graham is one of the founders of Float On, a six tank center in Portland, Oregon that opened its doors in 2010. Somewhere between then and now, Float On (with Graham firmly in tow) got itself tangled up in pretty much every aspect of the floatation world – from software and consulting to book publishing and music recording. Outside of his salty endeavors, Graham has a broad range of interests that include experimental theater, philosophical debates, complex systems design, and board games.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Ashkahn Jahromi

Ashkahn Jahromi

Co-Founder of Float On, Float Tank Solutions, & HelmBot | Float Conference Board Member

Speaker

Ashkahn is one of the founders of Float On in Portland, Oregon, and one of the founders of this very conference! He likes to think of himself as a sort of Johnny Appleseed character for floating, travelling around and salting the earth everywhere he goes. He's done a lot of really impressive stuff over the course of his life, including holding the Guinness world record for fastest one-handed sorting of peanut m&ms! Well, he doesn't actually officially hold the record, but he did try it one time, and he's pretty sure he did it faster than whatever it said in that book. Anyway, he's a cool guy. You should go say hi to him if you see him around.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Joel Frohlich, PhD

Joel Frohlich, PhD

Researcher at University of Tübingen, Germany

Speaker

Dr. Joel Frohlich is a postdoctoral neuroscience researcher at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He received his PhD in neuroscience in 2018 from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the laboratory of Dr. Shafali Jeste and recently completed a three-year postdoc studying consciousness in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Monti at UCLA. Dr. Frohlich discovered floating in early 2020 while living in Los Angeles and soon after discovered Dr. Justin Feinstein's float research. They are now collaborating on the first ever analysis of Bluetooth EEG collected during floating in healthy participants and patients with anxiety disorders.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Dr. David Berv

Dr. David Berv

Chiropractor, Chief Experience Officer at The Float Zone

Speaker

Dr. David Berv has practiced for over two decades as a chiropractic sports physician and acupuncture diplomate, serving as the clinical director of an interdisciplinary health care center in Richmond, Virginia. Chronic pain and multiple sclerosis fostered a recycling of his skills and vision in the creation of The Float Zone, a float therapy center, where he is the “Chief Experience Officer”. Dr. Berv has facilitated over 15 clinical case studies on the benefits and effects of float therapy on various health conditions. Dr Berv has been frequently featured in podcasts, magazine articles and social media outlets.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Kathryn Sullivan

Kathryn Sullivan

Illustrator and Graphic Designer

Speaker

Kathryn Sullivan is the illustrator and graphic designer for Float On and its affiliated companies, including Float Tank Solutions and HelmBot. She's been drawing float tanks since Float On's opening in 2010. In addition, Kathryn designed many of the Float Conference's signs and t-shirts over the years.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Samuel Whiting

Samuel Whiting

Speaker + Activity Facilitator

Samuel Whiting is a leader in the field of human potential and has worked with and been inspired by revered mentors, coaches, and scientists like Dr. Jack Feldman and Dr. Andrew Huberman of Stanford University’s Department of Neurobiology, and Wim Hof.

Sam is a certified Wim Hof Method Instructor and leads sessions, trainings, and programs worldwide and online, in addition to consulting with high-level executives, athletes, special operators, pursuers of Guinness World Records, and beyond.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Marshall Hammond

Marshall Hammond

Float Tank Solutions Blogger

Speaker

Float Tank Solutions Marshall Hammond is a writer, musician, podcaster and float tank expert. He is a blogger at Float Tank Solutions, and formerly was general manager of Float On in Portland, OR and an editor at Coincidence Control Publishing. He co-hosts the podcast Deep State History, and is a member of the band Psychic Driver.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Kim Hannan

Kim Hannan

Creative Director and Owner of Mindfull Solutions, Director of Strategy and Co-Owner of Sukhino Float Center and Salt Cave, President of the Float Conference Board of Directors

Workshop Presenter

With more than 18 years of training and marketing experience, Kim is passionate about helping individuals and business owners create a ripple effect on the world. Her work as a float center owner, yoga teacher, volunteer in the wellness industry, and business consultant allows her to share the knowledge she has gathered along the way in order to help others have fun, be successful, and live a peaceful life.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Mandy Rowe

Mandy Rowe

President of TrueREST Francising

Workshop Presenter

Mandy Rowe is the President of True REST Franchising. Inspired by the True REST vision she joined the corporate team in 2016 as the director of franchise sales and development. Now, as the President she leads the corporate team, oversees new location development, and enjoys the innovation side of float therapy and Float Pod manufacturing. Through True REST she found, and recently joined, the board of the Yellow Ribbon Fund that helps returning American service men & women, injured during active service, keep their families together during the recovery process. In her free time Mandy enjoys playing tennis, paddleboarding, and being a gymnast.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Marilyn Melendez

Marilyn Melendez

Owner of Urban Float Vancouver

Workshop Presenter

In 2014, Marilyn Melendez embarked on the journey of opening a float center, realizing her goal in 2016 in Vancouver, WA. Prior to living that float life she was an Enrolled Agent, who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. She specializes in individual and closely held business taxes, as well representation before the IRS. Currently she is focusing her efforts on operations, marketing and human resource management at the accounting firm she co-owns with her mother in West Palm Beach, FL, most recently being appointed president of the firm in 2021. She also owns The Vessel Society, a co-working space and social club, that creates a safe community space for marginalized folks in Portland, OR.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Rachel Benton

Rachel Benton

Owner of Float Nashville

Workshop Presenter

Rachel Benton is a wife and mother of two beautiful children, owner of Float Nashville, a collegiate professor with an MBA, and a real estate investor. With all that she does, she feels the most passionate about her role as an educator and sharing with others the tools she has used to keep her in alignment on her journey of life.

Join her in the Human Design workshop as she introduces you to the primary modality that she has used to not only understand her energetic design, but the design of the people that she has relationships with as well. Human design is a modality to help us better decipher who we truly are. Like astrology, the lesser-known discipline uses your birth information to create a unique chart that can give insight into your life, purpose, and more. Rachel will walk you through the details of the Human Design system, inform you on how to use the information to live your life in flow, teach you how to use it to make real time business decisions, and how to use the system to transform your relationship with your employees to better help retain the amazing talent you attract.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Dylan Calm

Dylan Calm

Co-Founder of Art of the Float and Co-Owner of the Float Shoppe

Workshop Presenter

Dylan initially left his job in IT inspired by the idea that delivering wellness to Portland, Oregon would be more fulfilling. Turns out he was right! He launched The Float Shoppe with his wife Sandra in 2011. Dylan co-founded Art of the float in 2013 as a blog which has grown into a pillar of the float community delivering a podcast, float media content, a financial modeler and more.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Kat Roberts

Kat Roberts

Workshop Presenter

Kat was a high energy, no pain no gain, no rest entrepreneur that hit rock bottom in 2017. Completely burnt out, depleted, and newly diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease, she started the difficult journey to healing and breaking up with stress! This journey is what led her to discover floating and was delighted with how much it contributed to her healing and replenishment. Complementing her Coaching and Reiki practice, it ultimately led her to open Surface Float Wellness Centre in 2020. Opening her business in the midst of a global pandemic was a stressful and demanding endeavour. A Master Level Reiki practitioner, Kat infused her business practices with this beautifully soothing and connecting energy and was able to overcome challenges without crashing and burning!

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Richard Bonk

Richard Bonk

Workshop Presenter

Richard Bonk M.Ed. has over 30 years experience in health and wellness as a counselor, researcher and currently works facilitating programs for mental health, as a meditation facilitator, intuitive consultant and artist. With a special interest in the intersection between body and mind, Richard utilizes techniques to enhance consciousness such as creativity, hypnosis, dream-work, nature immersion, yoga and mindfulness and other forms of meditation, informed by a personal practice of over 40 years. He is also one of the world’s few floatation (tank) elders, having floated for over 35 years and was involved in early research at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Rachelle Gagne

Rachelle Gagne

Workshop Presenter

Rachelle is the co-owner of Kineo, a growing wellness brand, alongside her Husband. She has been in the wellness world for over 10 years, facilitating multiple modalities; polarity, massage, conscious breath, and reiki. She closed her local practice just before having a baby and has since been home raising him and bringing Kineo to life. She is intensely passionate about her role as a mom and creating tools and offerings that encourage people to align with their greatest potential and become the absolute best version of themselves. She's a Maine native, has a wide open heart toward the ocean, and loves to express her creativity and guidance through writing.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Leo Tonkin

Leo Tonkin

Workshop Presenter

A pioneer and visionary with a passion for respiratory health and wellness, Leo was the first to bring salt therapy to North America in 2012.



Leo is the Founding Chairman of the Salt Therapy Association, a not-for-profit trade organization providing research, education, and innovation for the salt therapy industry, and has recently been named Initiative Chair for the new Respiratory Wellness Initiative from the Global Wellness Institute.



As CEO of SALT Chamber, which has completed over 1,400 worldwide projects, Leo has become a leading authority on the design, build, and installation of salt therapy rooms, concepts, and facilities as a new business and for day spas, med spas, wellness centers, health practitioners, and senior living communities and rehabilitation facilities to add salt therapy to their existing services.

Meet the 2021 Board of Directors

Linda Nadia Hole MD

Linda Nadia Hole MD

Workshop Presenter + Activity Facilitator

Dr Linda Nadia Hole MD, is a Qigong Master practioner, author, & physician of over 40 years experience; & consulting editor for landmark textbook Chinese Medical QiGong. Besides her family, dolphins, floating, & dancing - her passions include healing in the way of Love; and the Sacred Ho'oponopono Breath of Aloha, Peace, and Qi