Sleep Initiative Members

Allison Howard

Initiative Chair

Founder and CEO, Nollapelli, United States

Allison Howard is the founder and CEO of Nollapelli, a new wellness linen company with innovative products that promote healthier sleep, skin and hair. She brings a background in chemical engineering and 20 years of corporate experience in the US and abroad. Allison is passionate about wellness, healthy aging, and simple ways to improve outcomes. She is based in Pittsburgh, PA, and was a member of the former Beauty Meets Wellness Initiative of the GWI.

JD Velilla

Initiative Vice Chair

Founder, Designing Sleep, United States

JD Velilla is the founder of Designing Sleep, a human performance and recovery company dedicated to improving lives through better sleep. Designing Sleep offers transformative services, including personalized sleep coaching, engaging corporate sleep workshops, and expert sleep consulting for forward-thinking companies. JD brings a unique blend of expertise and passion to the table. As a former consumer electronics and smart home product developer, JD has always been captivated by technology’s potential to enhance our lives. However, JD’s focus shifted to sleep during his tenure at a leading American mattress manufacturer. His journey of discovery and experimentation has led to a profound understanding of the importance of sleep in achieving a healthier and more balanced life..

Param Dedhia, MD

Canyon Ranch, United States

Are you healthy? Are you living the life you want? Helping people answer these questions is what inspires Dr. Param Dedhia to hop out of bed and get his feet on the ground every morning. During his ten years at Johns Hopkins, Param’s early career was rooted in internal medicine, gerontology, obesity medicine and public health. For the past 12 years, he was at Canyon Ranch where he served as executive health expert, integrative medicine practitioner and director of sleep medicine. With all these experiences, Param and his colleagues in nutritional science, exercise physiology and behavioral psychology continue to roll up their sleeves. Together, their goal is for us to connect to our best health and live the lives we want.

Julie Mallon

Certified Sleep Consultant Parental Educator

Julie is a highly-qualified professional with over 30 years of experience, having previously been a Health Visitor, Midwife, and community nurse in the UK and founder of Nurture2sleep. Julie has also trained as a Certified Sleep Consultant with Kim West and The International Maternity Institute. In the Middle East, Julie has been working as an educator in the field of maternal support services, delivering classes on antenatal and postnatal care, baby and child development, and behavior and parenting. Julie has also been working with adults to restore their sleep hygiene and their positive relationship with sleep. She has been working to educate clients on why their actions are needed to achieve sleep goals. This has resulted in maintaining ongoing proper sleep health. She has also been motivating and coaching her clients through a process with a customized plan and support to see them achieve sleep success.

Tammy Pahel

VP, Spa & Wellness, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, United States

Tammy Pahel, VP of Spa & Wellness at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort and American Spa’s 2019 Spa Director of the Year began her career in 1989 as Executive Director at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and led the property to a “Top Ten Spas” ranking by Conde Nast Gold List. She also led the spa operations for Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, The Spa at Caesar’s Palace and Deer Lake Lodge & Spa. Pahel is the Founder & Principal of Spa Management Solutions, Inc., which she launched in 1999. Committed to having a prominent voice in the spa industry, Pahel served on the International Spa Association Board for four years and participated for an additional eight years on various ISPA committees. She is currently the Director of Education for the Southeast Spa Wellness Association. Pahel has been innovating her entire career and has been continuously elevating the spa and wellness experience at Carillon since 2017. With her forward thinking approach and strategic partnerships with leading global technology brands, she has brought cutting edge technology and touchless services during a time when people are seeking different types of wellness services. Pahel strategically developed new revenue streams, increasing profitability and continues to enhance the guest experience more and more.

David Rabin, MD, PhD

Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Apollo Neuro, United States

Dr. David Rabin is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, health tech entrepreneur, and inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress on humans for more than a decade. He is the co-founder and chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, which has developed the first scientifically-validated wearable technology that actively improves energy, focus & relaxation, using a novel touch therapy that signals safety to the brain. Dr. Rabin is also the co-founder and executive director of the Board of Medicine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of physicians and scientists establishing the first peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical guidelines for the production and safe use of currently unregulated alternative medicines, including plant medicines. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and specialized in psychiatry with a distinction in research at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Rebecca Robbins, PhD

Instructor, Harvard Medical School, United States

Dr. Rebecca Robbins is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In her research, she designs and evaluates novel interventions to improve awareness about sleep and sleep disorders. Her research has appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, and Martha Stewart Living. She has made appearances on national television, including Fox Business News, ABC Nightline, and The Today Show. She is the co-author of a book entitled Sleep for Success! She has held teaching positions at Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, and Harvard College.

Ely Tsern, PhD

CTO and Co-founder, Bryte, United States

Ely is currently the CTO and co-founder of Bryte, the industry’s leading restorative sleep smart bed technology company.  He previously served as CEO and COO of Bryte and also as the VP and Chief Technologist at Rambus, leading roadmap initiatives from concept to production, including licensing and IP development and the invention of over 200 U.S. patents.  Ely received his bachelor degree in electrical engineering & computer science from UC Berkeley, and his masters and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford.

Els van der Helm, PhD

IE Business School, United States

Els is a sleep neuroscientist, adjunct professor at IE Business School, international keynote speaker, consultant, and boardroom advisor in wellbeing, performance, and leadership. She authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters based on her sleep research at both Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her doctorate in Psychology. After her PhD, she worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. For more information, visit or her LinkedIn.