Anat Baniel has gained an international reputation as the originator of the Anat Baniel Method® (based on the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais) for Infants and Children, an innovative, scientifically based approach that enables children with developmental challenges to more fully access their abilities.

While working as a psychologist in Israel, Anat became apprenticed to Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a renowned physicist who developed a method of somatic education to promote self-rehabilitation and awareness through movement. At the center of this philosophy was movement as a self-referencing, highly effective means of communicating with the brain to promote change.

For 15 years, Anat continued her close association with Dr. Feldenkrais, teaching, studying, and traveling with him all over the world. Concurrently, Anat opened her own practice and created her own method for working with children who had developmental problems.

In the past 25 years, Anat has trained over 1000 practitioners.
Anat holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tel Aviv.


Stephen G. Dilly, MBBS, PhD, is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors Aimmune Therapeutics. He was formerly the CEO at APT Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Dilly was previously Senior Vice President, Head of Development, and Chief Medical Officer at Chiron BioPharmaceuticals. Before that, he held a number of senior executive clinical, development and commercial support positions at companies including SmithKline Beecham and Genentech.

Dr. Dilly played important roles in the development and approval of numerous drugs, including Kytril®, Requip®, Kredex®, Paxil CR®, Cathflo Activase®, Raptiva®, Xolair®, Avastin®, Lucentis®, Cubicin® and Tarceva®. He is on the Board of Sangamo Biosciences. Dr. Dilly received a PhD in Cardiac Physiology from the University of London and holds an MBBS, graduating as a physician from the University of London.


Joe Feldman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE), a non-profit advocacy organization based in San Francisco. A former special-education teacher and one of California’s leading special-education advocates, Joe has devoted himself to the special-education process for almost thirty years. Assisting families at Individual Education Plan meetings, Mediation Conferences, and Due Process Hearings, CASE also provides free technical assistance consultation and training about special-education rights and services to students, parents, educators, and community professionals throughout California.

Prior to starting CASE in 1979, Joe taught students with severe disabilities at Fairfield School in San Francisco. An Actor from 1971-1976, Joe performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Napa Valley Theater Company, and the Montgomery Theater in San Francisco.

Joe received his B.A. in Education and Drama from the University of Iowa in 1971, and earned his Teaching Credentials (Learning Handicapped and Severely Handicapped) from San Francisco State University in 1977.


Bob Friedman is a past Board member of United Cerebral Palsy of the East Bay and past President of the Massachusetts Soccer Association. Along with his business career, he served on the soccer coaching staffs in the Olympic Development Program at Regional and National Team levels and on the soccer Coaching Instruction Staffs in California and Massachusetts. He has worked for a variety of software and hardware companies in Marketing, Business Development, and Training, and is currently President of Three Wonders Capital Management Co. He is a father of triplets, two of whom have quadriplegic cerebral palsy and whom have been benefiting from staff of The Avalon Academy for over ten years. He has successfully advocated for services for his children and has provided advice to many other parents helping them in their advocacy for their children.

Bob received an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Columbia University.


Matt Noonan is a Director of the San Francisco accounting firm of Lautze & Lautze where he assist clients with their numerous accounting, auditing, taxation, and business consulting needs. Serving a wide variety of closely-held companies in fields such as manufacturing, transportation and wholesale distribution, Matt also works with non profits including several trade associations and private schools. Prior to joining Lautze & Lautze, Matt worked with Ernst & Young (formerly Arthur Young & Company) and local accounting firm Rooney, Ida, Nolt & Ahern.

Matt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and is Chair of the California CPA Society Credit Grantor’s Committee, East Bay Chapter. He also serves on the Board of Directors of several non profits, and is a past director of San Leandro Industrial Roundtable and North Oakland-Emeryville Rotary Club.
Matt graduated from Santa Clara University in 1971 with a B.S.C. in Business and received his M.B.A. in Accounting from Golden Gate University in 1978, where he continued his post-graduate education in taxation, and retirement and estate planning.

ELAINE PICO, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.P.M. & R.

Dr. Elaine Pico has been an Attending Physician at the Children’s Hospital, Oakland for the last decade. Additionally, she is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Expert for Life Care Plan Needs.

In her extensive practice of over 700 patients, Dr. Pico is a Medical Consultant and Provider for California Children Services in 9 counties, including 12 different clinics. Her special interests include the management of children with a variety of neurological conditions including cerebral palsy, spasticity, neuromuscular disorders, traumatic brain injury and spina bifida.

Dr. Pico holds a Specialty Certification in Pediatric Rehabilitation. She is also Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a regular presenter at both national and international conferences.

Dr. Pico completed her residency in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. She earned an M.D. from U.C.L.A. School of Medicine in1991.


Dr. Gloria Soto has been involved in Avalon since before its inception and was the first member of its Advisory Council. Dr. Soto is Professor in the Department of Special Education at San Francisco State University. She teaches graduate coursework in special education, cultural diversity, augmentative communication and curriculum-based language and communication intervention.

Her area of professional expertise is in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her areas of research interest include applied educational issues such as multiculturalism, collaborative teaming, inclusive education and professional preparation, as well as more basic areas such as narrative language in AAC, language development through augmented means and the impact of graphic symbol use on language development. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences related to communication intervention and special education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters.

Gloria holds an M.S. from Universidad Pontificia, Spain and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.


Jeff Wohl is a partner in the San Francisco office of the international law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, where he specializes in employment law. Prior to joining Paul Hastings, he was a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he headed its San Francisco Employment Law Group and served as its first General Counsel. Recently inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Jeff has been named one of the best employment lawyers in the Silicon Valley.

A frequent speaker and moderator for The American Bar Association, National Employment Law Institute, Society for Human Resources Management, Practicing Law Institute, and California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Jeff also provides legal commentary for the San Francisco Chronicle and other general interest and legal publications, and has appeared in television and radio broadcasts.

Jeff serves on a pro bono basis as a judge pro tem for the San Francisco Superior Court and is an accredited mediator with the Northern District of California. He is also Chair of his office’s United Way Campaign and provides pro bono counsel to non-profits.

Jeff received an A.B. with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980.