Speakers

Michael Aiello

Michael Aiello is the Director of Entertainment Creative Development for Universal Orlando's Entertainment Division and leads the Entertainment Creative Development team in the creation marquee and year round projects for Universal Orlando Resort.

In celebration of Universal Studios’ 100th Anniversary, Michael Aiello was writer and lead creative director for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. Narrated by Academy Award winning actor, Morgan Freeman, this all new nighttime lagoon show features Universal’s most iconic film moments, projected onto state-of-the-art water curtain technology and surrounded by colorful fountains and dazzling pyrotechnics.

 

Since 2003 Michael has played a major role in in Universal Orlando’s annual event, Halloween Horror Nights. From successfully partnering with New Line Cinema to co-create content based on “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well as Lionsgate to create maze content for the SAW franchise. In 2012 Michael co-created content for AMC's The Walking Dead and Konami's Silent Hill franchise and most recently partnered with Lionsgate and writer/director Drew Goddard and created a haunted attraction based on "The Cabin in the Woods" as well working with Sony Pictures to create a maze based on the "Evil Dead". Michael worked closely with John Landis to realize a maze based on the film "An American Werewolf in London”.

 

Michael has overseen concept development for the entertainment elements within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, as well as the new expansion Diagon Alley. Collaborating with Warner Bros. he lead his team in the creation of many elements based on the works of JK Rowling including a live version of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”.

Michael is currently leading the development team content for all content within Halloween Horror Nights 24, collaborating with AMC Network’s The Walking Dead, 20th Century Fox’s Alien vs Predator, SyFy Channel’s Face Off.

Daniele Baliani

As a scholar-athlete at Columbia University in the mid 1980’s, Daniele Baliani left soccer and the classroom to reconnect with his Roman roots and pursue a career in cooking. Though a complete novice at the time, Daniele marched into the kitchen of the world famous Le Cirque restaurant in Manhattan and persuaded (a then-unknown) Daniel Boulud to take him under his wing. While finishing his degree, Daniele began an old-world apprenticeship with Chef Boulud who subsequently shipped him off to Europe to further his culinary education in the kitchens of true masters: Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Montecarlo and Pierre Herme' at the famed Patisserie “Fauchon” in Paris. Following that year in France, Daniele moved back to the land of his upbringing and worked in Michelin star restaurants in Tuscany and Liguria in what can only be described as a living fairytale. He was all of 23 years old. 

 

By the mid 90’s, Daniele had moved to Boston and made a name for himself first as chef de cuisine at the acclaimed Back Bay restaurant "Pignoli" (3 1⁄2 stars Boston Globe) and most recently as Chef de Cuisine at “Il Casale” in Belmont, MA (named one of New England’s Best Italian restaurants by Boston Magazine). As befitting his eclectic background, Daniele has created several niches for himself within the industry; first as a chef and consultant to Fortune 500 brands followed by entrepreneur ( as founder and operator of a meal-delivery service in Manhattan “My Befana”) and lastly as an educator and businessman (sole proprietor of a boutique travel company “Pantheon Adventures” that specializes in gastronomic and cultural tours of the Mediterranean basin).

 

Always looking for new challenges, Daniele is now developing an Italian food and cultural center in the Boston area . He brings to this latest adventure 25 years of industry experience and a never ending desire to make food that stirs hearts and palates!

Dr.Brady Barr

Dr. Brady Barr is a reptile specialist and television personality.

 

In over 15 years, he’s traveled to more than 80 countries for National Geographic Television to host over 100 wildlife documentaries—more than anyone in National Geographic’s history.

 

In the process he’s worked with just about every animal imaginable—from crocodiles, alligators, and snakes to bears, sharks, lions, hippos, and more.

 

Among his many notable achievements, Brady was the first person to ever capture and study all 23 species of crocodilians in the wild.  He’s driven by a desire to get to know crocodiles and other species in their natural habitat so that we might best know how to save them in the wild (about a third of all crocodilians are endangered).

 

The author of multiple children’s books about reptiles, Brady is also the star of the educational XBOX game Dangerous Encounters, a collaboration with Microsoft. On the research front, Brady has participated in studies with leading scientists throughout the world including his ongoing research, supported by the National Geographic Society, into conservation of the American crocodile in Costa Rica, and his dietary study of alligators in the Florida Everglades.

 

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Brady received a Bachelor of Science in science education from Indiana University in 1987 and launched his teaching career at North Central High School in Indianapolis, teaching subjects like zoology, biology, and earth and life sciences.  With a highly interactive classroom style, Brady encouraged his students to “touch, see, and feel the animals firsthand.”  He went on to receive a Master of Science (1994) and a Ph.D. (1997) in Biology from the University of Miami.

 

Among his many media appearances, Brady has appeared in the FOX Network SpecialSupercroc and logged multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Oprah,The Today Show, The View, and CNN.  He’s a frequent contributor to National Geographic Kids Magazine, an ambassador for Nat Geo’s Young Explorers Program in Asia, and an Educator/leader at the National Geographic Explorers Club for Kids. His recent speaking engagements include keynote speaker at the National Science Teachers Association, Annual Convention World Congress of Zoologists, Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, and numerous schools, zoos, aquariums, & museums and fundraising events across the country.

 

Brady is married to Mei Len Sanchez-Barr, a marine biologist and educator who runs eco-educational programs for kids.  They have two children.

Currently a member of the Endangered Species Coalition of the Council of State Governments and the International Crocodilian Specialist Group, Brady also serves as a scientific expert for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Elizabeth Doherty Thomas

Elizabeth Doherty Thomas is a marriage and family therapist and social entrepreneur whose work is to help strengthen couples and families. She is also a writer, presenter, marketing, consultant, and active on social media. Inspired by the lived wisdom of everyday people, she loves learning from her clients and those she meets in real life and online.

 

Anna L. Rosales, RD

From guiding and instructing clients on clinical nutrition to directly working for food companies and restaurants Anna’s career has blended a love of cooking with her passion for healthy living. 

 

Anna is currently the Nutrition Manager of Barilla America. She was previously the corporate dietitian for Yakult, an international probiotic company, where she educated health professionals and consumers on the benefits of probiotics. The California Health & Longevity Institute at the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Westlake Village, CA retained her as a chef instructor and consulting dietitian for several years. 

 

Anna developed her clinical nutrition expertise as a dietitian at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA; her practice focused on oncology, cardiac care, diabetes management, gastrointestinal disorders, and many more nutritional issues. She has been recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. 

 

Anna is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art with a degree in Culinary Arts and New York University with a degree in Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She completed her dietetic internship with ARAMARK which included rotations at City Harvest, Richmond University Hospital, and Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Adam Rucker

Adam Rucker serves as an online Spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest airline in terms of domestic Customers boarded. Adam specializes in Social Media Communications.

 

In addition to his online media relations duties, Adam works as a “voice” behind the Southwest Airlines Twitter account (@SouthwestAir) and Facebook Fan page.  He is also a moderator and blogger on Nuts About Southwest (www.blogsouthwest.com) and Community Manager of the Southwest Airlines YouTube channel (YouTube.com/SouthwestAir).

 

A Texas native, Adam holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Natalie Shahmiri

Natalie is the Marketing Director for Smart Bomb Interactive, creators of the acclaimed social site for kids, National Geographic Animal Jam. With over a decade of experience in integrated media strategies for Fortune 100 companies, Natalie left the hills of San Francisco for the mountains of Salt Lake City to help take Animal Jam global, successfully launching in multiple territories around the world. A child and explorer at heart, she focuses on creating strategies and content that promote the sciences and exploration to Animal Jam’s 20+ million players, fostering children’s natural curiosity to learn about the world around them. 

 

Natalie started her career in toy development for the CDM Company and spent more years than she cares to count developing digital strategies at ad agencies and start-ups throughout California. She is a believer in the power of play, laughter, and collaboration. While not planning world domination for Animal Jam, she runs a successful design agency with her husband and tends to her growing family of animals.  

Please reload