Our Team New

Advisory Council


Anat Baniel has gained an international reputation as the originator of the Anat Baniel Method® Neuromovement 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 Chairman of Cognoa Inc, a company at the forefront of digital behavioral health for children. Cognoa's precision health platform is designed to support early identification and treatment of pediatric behavioral health conditions including autism spectrum disorders. He was formerly the CEO of Aimmune Therapeutics (NSDQ: AIMT) and APT Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Dilly was previously Senior Vice President, Head of Development, and Chief Medical Officer at Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, Vice President of Development Sciences at Genentech and before that head of clinical neuroscience at SmithKline Beecham.

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 Therapeutics. 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.


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.

The Avalon Academy