OUR TEAM

 

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 the founder of The Alive Inside Foundation. An Architect of Change, he works to heal our culture in transition.  His films are designed to inspire growth and raise our communal consciousness. In addition to ALIVE INSIDE, Rossato-Bennett is working on "Alive Inside Too," "Brian's Songs" and several other documentaries and books through his companies. He works in The Alive Inside Space in New York City.

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

 

Blazine Monaco

(Outreach and Strategy Director) Blazine Monaco is experienced in charitable organizational development from the ground up and is passionate about social responsibility and improving the lives of community members.  President of Charity Moves, her Nonprofit Business Development services include operational analysis and fundraising services for mission fulfillment.  She was Executive Director for Care for Others, a national, faith based organization founded by Mark and Mary Mekota and Jim and Laura DiLella in 2006 that strives to prevent hardworking individuals and families from potentially entering the cycle of poverty by providing them with financial assistance during a particularly difficult time. Blazine was Executive Director and Founder of The Littlest Heroes a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and teens with cancer and their families through services that heal the mind, body and spirit.

 

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.

 

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.

 

jackson hyland-lipski

(Executive Assistant) Jackson Hyland-Lipski is a filmmaker living and working in New York City. He is currently the Executive Assistant to the Alive Inside Foundation. Jackson works with award-winning screenwriter Peter Loffredo on his series City Rock, as Executive Producer. In 2014, Jackson worked at Radical Media as Archival Assistant for Academy Award Nominated 'What Happened, Miss Simone?', a Netflix original documentary about Nina Simone that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. Jackson concurrently worked for the film's Producer Amy Hobby as Head of Development for Ms. Hobby's and Anne Hubbell's production company, Tangerine Entertainment, which produces films and other projects helmed by women.  Jackson built the website for The Women's March and remains a contributing member. Jackson is a graduate of Northeastern University, where he received a BA in Film and Philosophy with a minor in Writing.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Robert Leon

Robert is the Chairman of the board of AIF.  Robert oversees the strategy, finance and operations of AIF.

ERIC J. BERTRAND

Eric is the CEO of Eyeball Digital and a Partner of Eyeball (www.eyeballnyc.com). Eric's focus at Eyeball has been on strategy, finance and operations as well as launching the digital advertising group.

Prior to eyeball, Eric was a PE/VC fund manager. In 2005, he founded and managed EJB Capital, a strategic advisory firm, which Greystone & Company hired in 2007 to lead their private equity effort. Prior to founding EJB Capital, Eric was a General Partner with Palisade Capital Management, where he jointly managed a private equity fund and venture capital funds. Eric began his private equity career with the Aetna's Private Equity Group.

Eric holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies from New York University. He graduated from Bryant University with a BS in Business Administration concentrating on Finance and Applied Actuarial Mathematics. Eric is a board member of several privately held companies as well as Unite For Sight, an international eye care related charity. Eric currently sits on the Bryant University Business School Board of Advisors, as well as the National Alumni Counsel. In addition, Eric is a mentor and judge for the annual New York University, Springboard, Junior Achievement and Bryant University Business Plan Competitions.

MICHAEL P. MAHER

Senior Director for Synergy Leadership Consulting, responsible for managing key strategic acounts and developing new technology clients.

ADAM LEVINSOHN

Adam Levinsohn is President of Levinsohn Textile, a consumer products design and distribution company. He has been leading teams in New York and China for over 25 years. Prior to joining Levinsohn, he developed women's apparel and menswear businesses for Macy’s. Levinsohn is a founding member of the New York-based MFOL, a group dedicated to the spiritual and emotional awakening of men. He holds a BA in Psychology and History from Haverford College.

 

ADVISORY BOARD
 

DR. BILL THOMAS, MD

Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House® which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.
He is the author of “Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life”, and has now embarked on a national tour to reimagine how Americans will approach aging in the 21st century. His synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 10 innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and US News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s best leaders.”

ROBIN GLAZER

Robin Glazer is the Director of The Creative Center at University Settlement. Together with founders Geraldine Herbert and Adrianne Assail, Robin helped bring the idea that "medicine cures the body, but art heals the spirit" to fruition. Currently, The Creative Center offers a variety of programs including Hospital Artists-In-Residence, an Arts Workshop Program, a gallery site featuring the artwork of professional artists living with illness and a training program for artists and administrators.
Since 2006, Robin has been the director of The Creative Center and has broadened the scope of art services to include the aging spectrum- from well older adults to the frail elderly living with dementia disorders. In 2011, Robin initiated a merger with the University Settlement- the oldest settlement house in the US which provides social services and cultural experiences to New York City's underserved populations including new and recent immigrants- enabling The Creative Center to bring creative art experiences to vulnerable populations including older adults living with dementia disorders. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts, a consistent funder of trainings for artists and administrators in the fields of arts in health and in creative aging, selected The Creative Center as a "Best Practice Site". The Creative Center is delighted to be a two-time recipient of LIVESTRONG's Community Impact Project which has replicated the Artist-In-Residence Program in 22 hospitals across the US.

 

SAMITE MOLUNDO

The world-renowned musician Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where he is one of East Africa's most acclaimed flutists. He performed frequently throughout Uganda until 1982, when he was forced to flee to Kenya as a political refugee. In 1987, Samite immigrated to the United States. Samite has released nine CDs internationally and composed film scores. In 2002, he founded Musicians for World Harmony, an organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among people. In that capacity he travels to sing, play music, and exchange stories with victims of war, poverty and HIV/AIDS. He has traveled extensively the war-torn and distressed countries of Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Latvia, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire to work in refugee camps, with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans.

 

Fran Pannella

Fran Pannella has worked for almost 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 support elders & their families on this Journey.  She is past Associate Director of the Greater NJ Alzheimer’s Association and is Manager of non-profit Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey'sRespite Care Assistance Program.   Fran is dedicated to spreading the mission of the Alive Inside Foundation and is currently working an Alive Inspired "Connection through Music" program for the respite recipients she serves.   As Owner of Dementia Living Solutions, she offers resources and positive solutions for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia.  She is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner, ASFA – Senior Personal Trainer & LTC Fitness Leader and Brain Fitness Facilitator. She developed Movement~Music~Memories, a specialized exercise program for individuals with dementia. 

Dr. Linda Gerdner

Dr. Gerdner PhD, RN, FAAN of Stanford University School of Medicine was the first to develop and test the use of individualized music for the non-phamacological management of agitation in persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The protocol has been tested by researchers and implemented by clinicians in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, France, Norway,  South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Dr. Gerdner’s evidence-based guideline was originally published in 1996 and is in its 5th edition. Dr. Gerdner lectures on music and dementia world-wide.

AND

Luz Dimarco

Fran Panella

Dr. Louise Aronson

DR. FRED W. SCHAERF

ANGEL DUNCAN

RICHARD B. HECHLER

Jennifer Wood

Dr. Nancy Dome

 

Artist Advisory Board

Glenn Hughes - Deep Purple

Rudy Sarzo - Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, etc.

Robert Sarzo - Hurricane

The Lumineers

Marcy Playground

Train

The Jerry Garcia Foundation

Spirit of Harmony Foundation

Jon Butcher

DILANA

Brother Trouble

Ira Dean - Trick Pony

Susan Michelson - Dick Wagner Memorial Foundation

Raymond Van Tassel - Rock Photographer

Greg Errico - Sly and the Family Stone

Mike Pinera - Blues Image

Val Halla

Dayna Jade

Sophia Radisch / Debby Giroux

Mindy Canter

Alexxis Steele - Steel Notes Magazine

Corky Byer - DJ/Promoter

Sandy Gennaro - Monkees, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett

Buffy Ford Stewart

Birdee Bow

Billy Wright

Rodney O'Quinn

Rich Granaas

Gerry Gallagher

Bruce Wall

Ann Silberman

Robbi Cohn - Photographer - Grateful Dead

James Crouch

Ann Angel - Author

Lucinda Rowe and Michael Connolly - National Recording Artists

Heidi Little - Musician/Activist

Xeno Rasumusson - Musician/Gerontologist

Paris Escovedo - Latin Jazz Musician

Lisa S. Johnson - Author/Photographer

Ali Handal

Joe Silva

Marc Rubinstein - Pig Light Show

Roberta Donnay

Kenny Roland

Joe Davis - Joe Davis Band