Dave Room, Co-Founder/CEO. Dave’s most important identifier is Melia’s Papa. His teenage daughter Melia is his joy and inspiration. Since receiving a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University, Room has worked on the innovative edge of a number of emergent fields including yield management, environmental performance measurement, intranet development, ecommerce software and renewable energy. In the process, he had leadership roles in several tech startups and a non profit he co-founded called Bay Localize. With the intention to uplift tens of millions of children worldwide, Room co-founded BALANCE Edutainment, co-authored Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature and executive produced the nine-award winning companion album. Dave has coined the term “The Awakening Journey” as a modern alternative to the Hero’s Journey, and is actively participating in the AR/VR for Good conversations. Dave is an Active Dreaming teacher, a SoulCollage® Facilitator and a Green For All fellow. Check out his blog at MeliasPapa.com. Twitter: @meliaspapa.
Gustavo Sanabria, Part-time CTO. Founder and CEO at IGS Group, which is composed of three companies, with offices located in USA (New York) and Argentina (Cordoba and Buenos Aires), with clients in the five continents. IGS (Immersive Global Solutions) is dedicated to the creation of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experiences, for mobile, wearables and web/malls. IGS Serious Games is focused in the Design and Development of 2D and 3D training games and simulations, e-learning tools and courses development. IGS Mobile specializes in the design and creation of mobile apps and games, mostly under requests from our clients.
Allah El Henson, Animation Producer. Art has always been a major part of Allah’s life. He attended the Academy of Art University. He chose to study animation because he had already mastered the other forms of art at the school. He started out studying 2D animation. His skills impressed his instructors, the Lab Techs, and his peers. Later he delved into 3D animation with Maya. His skills were so advanced that he was allowed to skip several required classes. After the intro class, he began producing his own animated shorts. His first film won an award at the AIGA World Studio Scholarship Program. He produced music videos honoring music legends, Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur, which became YouTube sensations. The animation scenes that really interest Allah are action, fighting and comedic scenes. He does animation for gaming as well as feature animation. He handles all technical issues including lighting, rigging and rendering.
Andre Jonson, Music Supervisor. Andre Jonson is CEO of Dream Catcher Productions, an entertainment production company which develops potent international musical talent. As a multi instrumentalist and vocalist, Andre was mentored by Legendary Record Producer David Rubinson (Herbie Hancock, Santana) and master percussionist Bill Summers (Los Hombres, Caliente, Quincy Jones). A well-seasoned veteran in performance, composition, arrangement, production, musical director, and management, Andre was an artist for Warner Bros, a Producer for EMI, as well as lead Vocalist-Guitarist for Bill Summers and Summers Heat, The Freaky Executives, Native Son, Mike Bolivar, and One Love. Composed material for the majority of the artists he’s worked with from Hard Rock to Reggae, Funk, Jazz and World Music. He has worked on commercial jingles, television theme song, movie sound tracks and countless albums and CD projects.
Aaron Ableman, Co-Founder, TV Show Host. Aaron Ableman (aka A-Natural) is an entertainer, author, and ecologist. He grew up under the guidance of a farmer/author (his father) and a public health care nurse (his mother), studying with Hopi elders, Oxford Rhodes scholars and various spiritual leaders. He has worked with Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Cypress Hill, Raffi, K’NAAN, Joan Baez, amongst many others. From India to Haiti, he has produced educational entertainment programs for at-risk children and youth. His life and work have been heralded in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, CNN, New York Times, Montreal Mirror and San Francisco Examiner.
Anré D. Williams, President of Global Merchant Services for American Express Company
Mr. Williams is the President of Global Merchant Services for American Express Company. Anré is a Director of Illinois Tool Works Inc. and Ryerson Inc., a Trustee of St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Continuum Health Partners Inc., and a Board Member of Junior Achievement of New York. He holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Arne Wong, Animated Television Director. Arne Wong has 35 years of experience in television, films, and commercials. Mr. Wong worked on the concept development and was the Director of the first 40 episodes of Nickelodeon’s groundbreaking megahit Dora the Explorer, which generated over $11B in revenue in its first ten years. He was Co-Producer, and Storyboard Supervisor on Thru The Moebius Strip, the first digital animated feature film produced in China, with Jean “Moebius” Giraud. Wong was the Director and Producer of the Clio Award-winning Best Animated TV Commercial Sunkist Orange. He also directed Tales of the Maya Skies, which immerses the audience in Maya science, art and mythology using full dome digital technology. Mr. Wong has 11 animation department credits including five animated feature films – Tron, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Heavy Metal, Thru The Moebius Strip, and Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu as well as six animated television series – Dora the Explorer, CatDog, Robot Chicken, Mouse on the Prairie, and Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
Carter Collins, Founder of the Ascend Award
Carter Collins, a Roxbury, Massachusetts-born, street-educated professional musician, passionately nurtures several interests. Presently, he devotes much of his time and resources toward eRoads, a campaign that promotes energy sustainability through the application of solar PV and other renewable technologies to our local highways, railways, and other large-scale infrastructure. Often, his initiatives also include stormwater harvesting. Rate payers will benefit from their access to clean, safe, low-cost energy and rainwater solutions.
Elana Yonah, Founder of EDUTOPIA
Elana Yonah has over 25 years of experience in media, education and development. A former producer with KQED-TV, and a contributing writer for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Ms. Yonah was the co-creator of the international video-based magazine EDUTOPIA while serving as senior associate with the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Elana co-founded the US’s first national media education membership organization, the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
Johnny Smith, CEO of SVAGames.
Johnny is an African-American military veteran and family man. He has recruited a team of 20+ veteran technology professionals for his company SVA Games, which has the most advanced toys-to-life technology.
Philip Zimbardo, PhD, Founder of Heroic Imagination/ Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University
Phillip G. Zimbardo is an internationally recognized scholar, educator, researcher and media personality, winning numerous awards and honors in each of these domains. He has been a Stanford University professor since 1968, having taught previously at Yale, NYU and Columbia. Zimbardo’s nonprofit Heroic Imagination is focused in supporting people in becoming everyday heroes. Zimbardo’s career is noted for giving psychology away to the public through his popular PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology, along with many text and trade books, among his 300 publications. He was recently president of the American Psychological Association.
Ralph Guggenheim, CEO, Alligator Planet
As a founding member of Pixar with Steve Jobs, the pioneering computer animation company, Ralph was Vice President of Feature Animation where he managed the growth and development of the studio from seven people to more than 350 employees. Among his many accomplishments, Ralph produced Toy Story for Pixar and Disney for $30 million, and which grossed over $350 million worldwide. Subsequently, Ralph was an Executive Producer at Electronic Arts, the computer game manufacturer, where he produced Majestic, an innovative online episodic experience that established the Internet as a storytelling medium. The Company will contract Ralph’s company to help manage its animation work.
Ras Carey, Entertainment Producer
Mr. Carey is a highly-respected entertainment producer, communications technology inventor, and Ethiopian cultural ambassador to the United States. He has worked to develop and manage some of the top reggae acts in the world (The Abyssinians, members of Bob Marley and The Wailers, and more) and he has developed numerous other music shows for the global stage.
Ricardo Gressel, Marketing and Communications Expert
Over the last sixteen years as a brand builder and communications agent, Ricardo has developed strategies, and managed successful marketing interventions for leading ICT brands across Africa, including Cell C, Neotel and Virgin Mobile in South Africa; Econet in Kenya; and BTC in Botswana. Most recently, Ricardo has been contracted by Kenya Power to lead and facilitate brand engagement workshops that bolster leadership in employees. Twitter: @ricardotweetin
Sherry Smith, Managing Director of the Making Waves Foundation.
A passionate advocate for youth and education access, Sherry she has oversight over all aspects of the Foundation, including finance, development and communications, human resources, business services, and the Foundation’s College and Alumni Program (CAP). She holds a B.A. degree from Santa Clara University and a Master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as a certificate from Stanford’s Executive Program in Nonprofit Leadership.
Warren Strudwick, M.D., Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Oakland Raiders
Dr. Strudwick is a board certified Orthopaedic surgeon and a Qualified Medical Examiner, specializing in sports medicine and injuries to the knee, elbow, and shoulder. Warren is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Basketball Physicians Society, the National Football league Physicians Association, the Sinkler Miller Medical Society, the United States Olympic Committee Physicians Society, United States Olympic Sports Medicine Society, the USA Weightlifting Federation, USA Boxing, and the American Medical Association. He is presently a team physician with the Oakland Raiders and the U.S. Track and Field Team. Past appointments include team physician for the Golden State Warriors, the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, The University of California at Berkeley, the Berkeley High School Football Team, and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Yu-kai Chou, Partner at Enterprise Gamification Consultancy
Yu-kai Chou is a Gamification Pioneer (started in 2003) and Partner of the Enterprise Gamification Consultancy (EGC). He has been a regular speaker/lecturer on Gamification throughout the world, including at organizations like Stanford University, SxSW, Accenture, TEDx, and Google. Yu-kai is most known for his Gamification Framework Octalysis, and is Rated #1 among the Top 40 Gamification Gurus according to UK-Based Leaderboarded. He has also been interviewed for his expertise by the Wall Street Journal, CBS, PBS, Nielsen Online and more. Previously, he was the Co-Founder and CEO for RewardMe, a digital loyalty platform bringing Gamification into offline environments.
Zero Nylin, Tour Manager and Front of House Engineer
Zero is an independent entertainment tour manager and premier front of the house engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked in this capacity all over the worldwide with top jazz and R&B artists including McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, George Benson, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Kenny G, Dave Grusin, his brother Don Grusin, Tom Scott, Lee Ritenour, Chaka Khan, Player, Ike and Tina Turner, and Sammy Davis Jr. Zero attended Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.