Our Team

team.jpg

*

MICHAEL ROSSATO-BENNETT

(Executive DirectorMichael Rossato-Bennett is the Writer, Director, and Producer of ALIVE INSIDE – winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary – and Founder/ Director of The Alive Inside Foundation - www.AliveInside.org   An Architect of Change, he works to heal our disconnections. He believes we are living in a time where great human change is possible. His films aspire to help us navigate the changes we must make to be Alive Inside together. In addition to ALIVE INSIDE, Rossato-Bennett is in mid-production on "Alive Inside 2," "Being Here” “Movement of Freedom” and several other documentaries.  At the Alive Inside Space in New York City, he produces new tech designed to increase human connection and reduce loneliness.

Here is Michael's TED Talk, explaining the journey of making, "Alive Inside."

 

TONY FISHER

(Comm-University Co-Director) Tony, with Michael Rossato-Bennett, came up with the idea of Comm-University, a way of using eldercare centers and elders as a teaching tool.  Tony was the driving force in creating the Comm-University pilot at Healdsburg Senior Living.  Starting with one private school the program eventually expanded to 13 schools bringing 400-600 students into the center each month.  The students shared music and life with the elders and everyone bloomed.  The teachers found freedom in using elders as an educational resource, the students found true purpose in changing elders' lives, and the institution bloomed financially and emotionally.  Michael and Tony were working to make a follow-up film that they believed would transform eldercare and public schools nationwide.  They got 1/3 done with the film when Covid hit and the entire idea was rendered impossible.  Michael and Tony are waiting for the opportunity to restart this program.  Tony consults with elder care and now runs a family business in Alaska.  When it is safe to bring youth and elders back together Tony will help Michael and AliveInside.Org make this dream a reality.

 

STYLIANOS MAKRIDIS

(Strategy, Production and Development). Stylianos is an International executive and entrepreneur who combines diverse industry experience in Europe, United States, S. America, and Australia. He has held senior roles and built successful ventures for Fortune 500 companies. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and managed startups in niche investments, e-comm, healthcare, education, food, etc. He brings superior lateral thinking with an acute commercial acumen and creative skills honed by solving complex challenges at the intersection of people, technology, design, and business. 

When he is not working on a complex business challenge you will find him in the mazes of modern megacities or in the remote villages of India building his impromptu photographic narratives. He holds a BSc. In Economics and Marketing from Athens University of Economics and Business(AUEB), an MBA from Cardiff Business School(CARBS), and a Masters in Design(MDes) from the Institute of Design(ID) in Chicago.

Stylianos is also helping Produce and Write 'Alive Inside 2': [email protected]

 

BOB GALLAGHER

(Development Director) Bob is the founder/managing member of Integrated Marketing Group. As an entrepreneur, Bob has multi-industry experience in entertainment promotions, asset recovery, and marketing services. Bob and his team are committed to making a positive impact on seniors in isolation due to being shut-in, especially those diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. His mission is to continually search for opportunities to improve senior’s lives through Alive Inside’s offerings, and with a plan that is altruistic and scalable. 

FRAN PANNELLA

Fran Pannella has worked for over 20 years in geriatric nursing, eldercare, advocacy, and dementia education. She is passionate about the idea that there can still be Joy in Life after a diagnosis of dementia and is dedicated to finding and sharing positive ways to reduce stigma and support those living with dementia. She manages an Alive Inside inspired, Inter-generational program Connection Thru Music that she created at Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey and is a Community Liaison for a Senior Living Residence. She is a past Associate Director at Alzheimer's Association Greater NJ Chapter.

Fran is dedicated to spreading the mission of the Alive Inside Foundation and is currently working with other NJ non-profits and youth groups to share the power of music and connection to as many in need as possible and to help others start their own Alive Inside inspired programs. She is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner, ASFA – Senior Personal Trainer & LTC Fitness Leader and Brain Fitness Facilitator and a recipient of the Memory Bridge graduate. She developed and offers Movement~Music~Memories exercise and enrichment programs to individuals with dementia.

 

BERNADETTE GONZALEZ ORTA

(Higher Education Director) Bernadette González Orta is a Certified Clinical Psychologist, Private Psychotherapist, and Psychoanalyst. She teaches Psychology at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.  She plays piano and comes from a musical family (her grandfather was an orchestra conductor, writer, and composer).  

She has written and presented on music’s link to psychology: “Psychology Foundation of Music,” “Between Music and Psychoanalysis”, and “The power of Music: Intimidation vs Intimacy”.  She is the force behind the “Inspired by ALIVE INSIDE“ international expansion and universities. Presently, she is working with UIA psychology students and staff on a large-scale pilot program improving elders' quality of life and changing young people’s paradigm in regard to old age and human connections. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), the Psychoanalytic Federation of Latin America (FEPAL), and the Freudian Psychoanalytic Society in México City (SFCM).

 

CHARLES "CHIP" STALEY

(Alive Inside Facilitators DirectorCharles "Chip" Staley directs the Wind Symphony at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and is the Founder and President of ARTSpeaks, a non-profit arts advocacy organization.  Staley teaches graduate coursework at the VanderCook College of Music and co-directs the Birch Creek Adult Band Camp. Staley conducts the Wind Symphony at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and facilitates the "Alive Inside" Outreach program in Naperville. Staley serves as an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer, Inc. and teaches graduate classes for VanderCook College of Music.

 

WAYNE MESKER

(Director of Creative Advocacy) (Deceased) Wayne, a life-long musician & music lover, is the C.E.O. and Founder of Worldstock Entertainment, a spiritually guided, socially conscious, philanthropically focused company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Wayne’s continuous search for caring / concerned & like-minded friends from all walks of life has resulted in a continually expanding global network resulting in amazing projects & connections. Wayne founded the Rock Against Dementia and became one of the lead producers for WRAD (World Rocks against Dementia) after seeing 'Alive Inside' at the Cleveland International Film Festival in March of 2014.

AMANDA THURLOW

(Director of Social Media and Volunteer Outreach) Amanda is based in Canada where she is working diligently on spreading the word. Amanda became a licensed Holistic Practitioner 15 years ago and segued her way into elder care, working with senior citizens in a retirement home setting. Her passion is working with our elder community and is a compassionate advocate for their care.  On a personal level, music has been the cornerstone of her life.  Several years ago she attended the Harris Institute for the Arts in Toronto, Ontario where she took their Arts Management Program. Becoming a part of the Alive Inside Foundation, seemed natural to her, as she has a deep desire to improve the quality of life of our beloved and sometimes vulnerable members of our community.

 

connect

get updates




Alive Inside Coalition