Arts and Media
Chief Instigator, ASTRO
In 1994, Brett launched ASTRO Studios of California, aiming to create a company with a pure design-driven culture where he could blend design skills, innovative technologies, and lifestyle influences into supercharged products and brands.
ASTRO’s blockbusters include work for Nike, Microsoft, HP, Alienware, Nixon, Herman Miller, Xbox, Virgin, etc., plus numerous design awards, including two awards for BusinessWeek/IDSA Design of the Decade.
In 2006, Brett spun-off ASTRO Gaming, a hi-performance video gaming brand, that in 2011 achieved #13 on the INC 500 fastest growing companies list, then was acquired by Skullcandy Inc. Brett continues to guide both ASTRO organizations. He also sporadically blogs for INC.com and FastCompany.
Christy Hale is the illustrator of more than twenty picture books for children. She is both author and illustrator of Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building (Lee & Low Books, 2012), an ALA Notable Book, Horn Book Fanfare Book, and Kirkus Best Book of 2012, and The East-West House: Noguchi's Childhood in Japan (Lee & Low, 2009), a Kirkus Best Book of 2009. Christy has worked as a designer and art director for many New York publishers for more than twenty-five years.
Christy earned her BA in fine art and her MAT in secondary art education at Lewis & Clark College. She has taught art to all ages, including in the Communication Design department of Pratt Institute where she earned her BFA in illustration and design. Christy is a current Paly parent and former Paly student; she joined the Paly teaching staff in 2012 and currently teaches Art Spectrum and Graphic Design.
Leire Carbonell-Agüero has worked as an interpreter and project manager at Iinterpret since 2003. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies where she teaches Spanish conference interpretation.
Through Iinterpret, Leire as worked as a conference interpreter for a wide range of clients, including major technology companies in Silicon Valley, public agencies, and private corporations across the US. Her fields of specialization include business, law, political and diplomatic discourse, and information technology. Leire is an active member of The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS) and of the American Translators Association (ATA). She is a California State Certified Court Interpreter and a Federally Certified Court Interpreter.
Leire has a BA in translation and interpretation from the University of Alicante in Spain, and an MA in conference interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Based in Silicon Valley, Michal Lev-Ram covers technology and business news for FORTUNE and CNNMoney.com. Prior to joining FORTUNE, she wrote for Fast Company, Popular Science and other print and online publications. She was also a staff writer at Business 2.0 from 2005 to 2007 and holds a B.A. in journalism from San Francisco State University. She mainly focuses on mobile and enterprise technologies but has also written about mixed martial arts, candy factories, and vaccines for honeybees.
Interior and Home Design
Michelle Miner has been practicing architecture and interior design since 1995. After receiving her degree in interior design in 1995, she was immediately invited to work for an architecture firm, where she worked side-by-side with the head of the firm for 13 years. Michelle’s boss became her mentor and was able to share his vast knowledge of architecture and teach her everything she needed to know about designing beautiful homes and running a business. In this job, Michelle worked on projects from small remodels to very large custom homes.
Over the years, Michelle developed excellent relationships with some of the top builders in the area and the planning departments of nearly all of the municipalities from Stanford to Gilroy. She struck out on her own after her mentor retired. She established her team from among the best people with whom she had worked. Her practical, yet artistic approach to building design has led her to seek out the people who can best execute on her ideas. Michelle is especially proud that her team is responsive and customer focused.