Our Team

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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 together 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."

STYLIANOS MAKRIDIS

(Strategy and Development Director) Stylianos is a business designer, entrepreneur and executive who combines a diverse industry experience in Europe, United States, S. America, Australia. He has held senior roles in Innovation Strategy, Product Management, Business Design, and Marketing, in diverse industries including Financial Services, Retail Banking, Retail commerce, Broadcast Media, Automotive, Healthcare.
As an executive in Fortune500 companies, he has built new ventures for Citi, Shell, Goodyear, etc. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and managed startups in niche investments, healthcare, education, food, etc.
He combines superior lateral thinking with an acute commercial acumen and creative skills honed in solving complex challenges at the crossroads 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 photo narratives.

Stylianos is also a Producer and Writer on 'Alive Inside 2'  Contact: stylianos@polygonview.com

 

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”, “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 elder‘s 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).

 

TAI CAMPBELL

(Audience Engagement CoordinatorTai is the center of the storm for AliveInside.Org She handles Audience building, Marketing, and Publicity.

 

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) 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.

 

GARY ALTHEIM, Psy.D.

(Director of Youth Programming) Dr. Gary is the Founder/Executive Director of Growth and Development Services (GDS). A finalist for the Child Mind Insititute's Change Maker Award he is acknowledged for serving vulnerable, at-risk youth from some of the toughest neighborhoods in Northern Manhattan and New York City. Recognized by Parents Magazine, GDS helps address the burdens of family instability, loneliness, violence, mental health, and learning disabilities. Dr. Gary and Michael teamed up to create an intergenerational music program called Excel Alive Inside. The youth-led movement builds human connections, the youth change the lives of elders while at the same time bolstering their own social, emotional and educational capabilities. Excel Alive Inside Youth participants inspire us with acts of kindness toward their peers, elders with dementia, and the community.  The Excel Alive Inside Program is now being replicated and enhanced.

 

 

 

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