Before becoming a sought-after public speaker and regularly escorting her grandchildren on “adventures with Noni,” Joan Barnes had an extraordinary entrepreneurial ride. In her late 20s, she founded the groundbreaking Gymboree, which became an international network of franchised play programs that allowed children and parents to play together and women to operate a business while raising a family and company-owned retail stores that featured specially designed playwear. Later, Joan developed an innovative yoga business that helped mainstream yoga, which she eventually sold to national chain Yoga Works. And, to give back after overcoming a debilitating eating disorder, Joan founded Begin from Within, a non-profit dedicated to helping people with food, weight, and body image issues. Joan continues to delight in groundbreaking consumer concepts and keeps her ear close to the ground. A native of suburban Chicago, Joan received a B.A. in dance and English from Briarcliff College, Briarcliff Manor, New York. She has two grown daughters and three grandchildren and lives in Mill Valley, California (Marin County).
In addition to co-authoring Play It Forward, Michael Coffino recently completed a book on “situational” basketball and has three others in process: a book on high school athletics, a handbook for the beginner high school basketball coach and a work of fiction (inspired by his formative years in the Bronx). Before writing became his daily professional passion, Michael spent 36 years as an international litigation attorney cajoling decision makers, teaching young lawyers the magical differences between the art of persuasion and the cudgel of argument, and mining solutions to legal problems not found in legal materials. Michael also coached youth and high school basketball for 24 years and had the privilege of imparting lessons and values that endure beyond the hardwood. Born and raised in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, Michael earned a B.S. in Education from the City University of New York and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Michael has two adult sons and lives in Tiburon, California (Marin County).