Speaker Bios

 Vegan Summerfest features experts in the fields of health, nutrition, animal rights, the environment, exercise and other related lifestyle topics,  plus talented chefs.   The following speakers are already confirmed, with more to be added. Please check back for updates.  This is a speaker list from a prior year.  The 2023 lineup will be posted in a few weeks.

Michael Greger, MD

A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues.  He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. His latest book is How Not to Die. More than a thousand of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org, with new videos and articles uploaded every day.

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Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

Adjunct associate professor of medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine; President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; founded the Barnard Medical Center where they work with patients to prevent and reverse diseases through nutrition and lifestyle changes; led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health; authored more than 70 scientific publications as well as 18 books and hosted three PBS television programs on nutrition and health  Visit Speaker’s Website

Kim Allan  Williams, MD, MACC, FAHA, MASNC, FESC

Vegan Cardiologist; completed his internal medicine residency at Emory University, and overlapping fellowships in cardiology, clinical pharmacology, and nuclear medicine at the University of Chicago; board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular computed tomography; joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1986; served as professor of medicine and radiology and director of nuclear cardiology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine until 2010, when he became the Dorothy Susan Timmis Endowed Professor and chair of the division of cardiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine; In 2013, Williams assumed the position of James B. Herrick Professor and chief of the division of cardiology at Rush University Medical Center;  past president of the  American College of Cardiology

Baxter D. Montgomery, MD, FACC

Founder of Montgomery Heart & Wellness, a cardiology practice and wellness center in Houston that offers a comprehensive approach to help people transform from conditions of sickness to wellness and eventually optimal health;  board-certified cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, he has treated thousands of patients with severe cardiovascular diseases for over a decade; developed a food prescription program that enables individuals to reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes without medications or surgeries. He has refined this process over the past 10 years with profound positive results in severely ill patients; he is the founder and president of the Houston Cardiac Association (HCA) and the HCA Wellness Center, which guides clients and patients toward optimal health through nutritional excellence.

Michael Klaper, MD

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and has practiced acute care medicine in Hawaii, Canada, California, Florida and New Zealand. Far more fulfilling to him is his current practice, focusing on health-promoting food and lifestyle choices to help people stay out of hospitals and off of operating tables. A long-time radio host and a pilot, he has served as nutrition advisor to NASA’s programs for space colonists on the Moon and Mars and on the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Students Association. To improve the health of his patients as well as his own, and to minimize suffering of sentient beings, He adopted a plant-based diet in 1981

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT

 The Plant-Based Dietitian, has a BA in Theatre and an MS in Nutrition, bridging her biggest passions for food, presenting, and helping people. She has authored five books, including The Healthspan Solution, Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guides), and The Vegiterranean Diet, as well as two peer-reviewed journal articles on plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals (in The Permanente Journal and Journal of Geriatric Cardiology), and she is the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. Julieanna is the co-founder and nutrition director for Efferos, co-host of the podcast, Science and Saucery, and she speaks and consults with clients around the globe. 

Ray Cronise, BSc

Ray Cronise is a scientist-innovator focused on disrupting diet and nutrition advice. He’s the mastermind behind Las Vegas magician, Penn Jillette’s 100-pound weight loss. A former NASA scientist and Matthew Kenney Culinary graduate, he’s teamed up with leading academic researchers at institutions such as Harvard and the NIH to publish work at the intersection of healthspan and plant-based diets. He’s authored The Healthspan Solution, Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guides), is the co-host of the podcast, Science and Saucery, and has been featured by Wired Magazine, TEDMED, ABC Nightline, The Atlantic, Men’s Journal, The Guardian, Presto, and The 4-Hour Body.

Virginia  Messina,  MPH, RD

Dietitian with more than 25 years of experience in the field of vegan nutrition; founding member of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and serves on the group’s newsletter editorial board; written ten books for vegans and is co-author of the first vegetarian textbook for health professionals The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets andVegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet speaks about vegan nutrition at events for both the public and physicians; on the board of directors of Vegfund, Eden Animal Sanctuary, and Alley Cat Rescue 

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Robert Breakey, MD

A 5th generation graduate from the University of Michigan Medical School who has.  He has followed a plant-based lifestyle himself since 1977, and has led dozens of seminars on Vegan Health for both lay and professional audiences over these past 35 years. He is the head of his medical group’s “IHA Lifestyle Medicine Institute Disease Reversal” initiative, and is on the Board of Directors for “Plant Based Prevention of Disease” (P-POD). He is also Co-Medical Director with the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group in Southeast Michigan.

Mark  Messina,  PhD, MS


Co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc.; an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, at Loma Linda University; Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute; organized and chaired nine international symposia on the role of soy in preventing and treating chronic disease; Chairperson of the editorial board of The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter on soy; given more than 600 presentations on soy in 51 countries and has published approximately 90 peer-reviewed papers on the health effects of soyfoods

Victoria Moran

Motivational speaker, certified life coach, certified holistic health counselor (HHC, AADA); author of ten books including the vegan weight loss classic, The Love-Powered Diet, the best-selling Creating Charmed Life, and the Oprah-featuredLit from Within and Shelter for the Spirit. vegetarian since age 18, and mother of lifelong vegan actress Adair Moran.

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Maribeth Abrams, MS, CNC

Certified Nutritional Consultant; Certified Holistic Health Practitioner; Certified Lifestyle Educator; author of The 4-Ingredient Vegan and Tofu 1-2-3; NAVS Board Member; Associate Editor Vegetarian Voice magazine; vegan for 20 years; mother of two teens vegan since birth.

Milton Mills, MD

Associate director of preventive medicine with Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM); co-author of PCRM’s report on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Rae Sikora

A full-time spokesperson for other species and the environment for over 35 years; co-founder of Plant Peace Daily, Vegfund and the Institute for Humane Education; she leads compassionate living and ethical consumerism programs internationally for diverse audiences ranging from schools and prisons to businesses and universities

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Mark Agrusti, E-RYT 200/RYT 500

Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga Teacher; Co-Founder of Yoga Lab. Collaborator on mindfulness-based interventions with the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State University. He is a long-term practioner of mindfulness & self-inquiry and has completed 1000+ hours of yoga training across a variety of styles. Mark’s teachings are insightful, practical, and accessible; inspiring students with a sense of curiosity to uncover strength, joy, compassion, patience, and resilience within their everyday lives. He offers classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings in the northeast region.

Ed Adams

Formerly taught mathematics at a high school and technical college in Wisconsin, and also worked as a student services counselor at the technical college. He developed an interest in line dancing as a hobby and has now been dancing for about ten years. He line dances regularly three times a week and has been teaching line dancing for about two years. Adams lives on a tree farm in Wisconsin and, with his wife Helen, is engaged in conservation. projects benefiting native and migratory birds, animals, and the environment.

Chip Ballew

Juggling teacher; with 20 years experience in the field teaching ball/club/ring/scarf juggling, diabolo, poi, juggling stix and other skill-toys and cooperative games; boomerang, frisbee, kendama, rola-bola, footbag, etc.; co-founder of the Vegetarian Club of the Ozarks; 20 plus years advocating for animals and veganism; vegan for 26 years.


Carol H. Barnett, PhD, JD

Co-Coordinator, Rochester Area Vegan Society; provides the recipes, cooking and food sampling for a six-week course in Plant-Based Eating which has reached more than 300 people in the Rochester area; mother of three adult children who are lifelong vegans.

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Ted D. Barnett, MD, FACLM

The “High-Tech Doctor with Low-Tech Solutions.” Diagnostic & Interventional Radiologist and senior partner with Borg and Ide Imaging in Rochester, NY, where he has practiced since 1986. Board-certified in Diagnostic Imaging (1984); board-certified in Vascular & Interventional Radiology (1995); one of the first 204 physicians board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine (2017). Dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine using the principles of Lifestyle Medicine and plant-based nutrition. Founder and CEO of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Group, (2015); Founder and President, Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute (2017), which licenses a medically-supervised 15-Day WFPB Jumpstart. Teaches a 6-week 12-CME Plant-Based Nutrition course, accredited for physicians by the University of Rochester, which has reached almost 1,000 people in the Rochester, NY area. Co-Coordinator, Rochester Area Vegan Society since 1995; father of three adult children who are lifelong vegans.

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Harold Brown

President, Farm Kind, Ltd.; born and raised on a cattle farm in Michigan and spent over half his life in agriculture including three years in the dairy industry; featured in the Tribe of Heart documentary, Peaceable Kingdom, the Journey Home, his story is one of transformation from animal farmer to vegan animal advocate; works as an advocate for sustainable independent family farms, environmental justice, social justice, and peace through non-violence.

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Jeffrey Cohan

Executive Director of Jewish Veg; writer of The Beet-Eating Heeb, a blog on theology-based veganism; earned Masters of Public Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkley; former director of community relations, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh; former print and broadcast journalist.

Sherry Colb

Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell University, where she teaches courses in animal rights, criminal-related constitutional law, and evidence law; author, Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger?; co-author (with Michael C. Dorf) of the forthcoming book, Beating Hearts: Animal Rights and Abortion; writes a bi-weekly column for lawyers, law students, and general audiences at Verdict.Justia.com, where her topics frequently address animal rights themes.

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Michael C. Dorf, JD

Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School; graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School; author of four books and numerous articles on law and its relation to social change; co-author (with Sherry Colb) of the forthcoming book Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights; as a vegan activist, he applies the lessons he has learned from studying other justice movements.

Anne Dinshah

Co-author (with H. Jay Dinshah) of the forthcoming book Powerful Vegan Messages; co-author of Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook; author of Dating Vegans; vice president of American Vegan Society; managing editor of American Vegan magazine; professional rowing coach; lifelong vegan, third generation vegetarian, and mom to vegan son Clint.

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Freya Dinshah

Co-author of Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids!  Teach Yourself to Cook a great new book that inspires kids to make healthy snacks and meals; author of The Vegan Kitchen which in 1965 was the first U.S. cookbook to use the word vegan in the title and espouse the vegan philosophy; lecturer & teacher; lifetime vegetarian (56 years vegan); President of American Vegan Society and editor of American Vegan magazine; inducted to the Vegetarian Hall of Fame

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Mylan Engel Jr.

Professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University specializing in animal ethics and environmental ethics; co-author (with Kathie Jenni) of The Philosophy of Animal Rights: A Brief Introduction for Students and Teachers (2010); lead editor of The Moral Rights of Animals (2016); he has developed a common sense approach to animal ethics, which he uses to defend ethical veganism and to argue that animal experimentation should be abolished.


Joann Farb

Microbiologist, and former biodecontamination consultant for Pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co Inc. Then an activist and founder of Vegetarians of Kansas City. Vegan for 20 years. Mother of two lifelong vegans. Her first book, Compassionate Souls — Raising the Next Generation to Change the World, was a primer for raising healthy compassionate children. Her newest book, Get Off Gluten aims to help vegan’s learn how getting off gluten can be beneficial, and to help gluten sensitive omnivores discover veganism for their health.

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Sarina Farb

Sarina is a life-long vegan and second generation activist dedicated to making the world a better place. She speaks and writes about growing up vegan and dealing with “pushback”.  Sarina was previously Tribe of Heart’s International Liaison, helping to make the award-winning animal films The Witness and Peaceable Kingdom: The journey Home understandable and accessible around the world. Also a science educator, Sarina is passionate about bringing ethics, holism, and true critical thinking into science curricula. She earned her degree in biochemistry and policy studies at Grinnell College where the also founded the vegan group AACT. 

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Jennifer Greene

Presenter forBeyond Carnism, the organization founded to expose and transform carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals; author of Demonstrating Our Values through Eating, an ethical eating curriculum developed for church groups or individual study, with 100% plant-based recipes; creator of “Eating on the Side of Love” Facebook campaign; board member of Unitarian Universalist Food Justice Ministry; founder of Vegan Long Island Meetup group; volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and has been responsible for getting several CCL conferences to go all-vegan with their menus

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Lee Hall, JD, LLM

 A 36-year vegan, Lee holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environment & Climate Law from Vermont Law School. Lee has taught animal law and environmental law, and has authored several books, including On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century. Lee penned the “Vegetarian” and “Environmental Racism” entries for the Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (Sage), and the chapter “Nonhuman Rights and Human Sustainability” for Springer’s Encyclopedia of UN Sustainability Goals (Vol. 12, 2020)—the largest peer-reviewed project ever undertaken on the subject. 

Amie Hamlin

She is the Executive Director, Coalition For Healthy School Food; wrote NYS Legislative Resolution that passed unanimously in the NYS Legislature in 2004 – requesting vegan entrees each day and nutrition education that includes information on multi-cultural and vegan eating styles; responsible for the first four vegetarian public (non-charter) schools in the United States (all in NYC) and a vegan option on the menu every day in NYC schools, oversees development of nutrition education curriculum (Food UnEarthed: Uncovering the Truth About Food), educational resources, and helping school transition to more plant-based menus; founder and president of Club Veg: Vegan Education Group in the Southern Tier of NY (Binghamton & Ithaca); founder of Growing Peace Farm, a veganic farm outside of Ithaca, NY.

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Sharon Jacks, NBC-HWD

Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach.  Health and Wellness training through Emory University Certified instructor for PCRM’s Food for Life Programs, including Employee Wellness, Weight Management, Cancer Project, Diabetes Initiative, Nutrition Essentials, and Kid’s Health. Founder and Lead instructor for Studio Veg Productions in Murfreesboro, TN.  Specializing in health promoting, delicious, plant-based nutrition and cooking classes. 28+ year passionate vegan cook and activist.  Raised two very healthy young men on a plant-based diet. Certified in Plant Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University.Holds certificate in the Wellness Forum Institute’s Diet and Lifestyle Intervention Course, as well as certificates in Men’s and Women’s Health. Director of Interior Design for National Healthcare Corporation, 30 years, specializing in functional design for Alzheimer’s patients.  Visit Speaker’s Website

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Author of Kitchen Divided and Eat Vegan on $4 a Day and co-author of Paleo Vegan; former cooking instructor for PCRM’s Cancer Project for 6 years and a frequent cooking instructor in Florida health food stores; certified personal trainer, certified running coach.

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Kathleen Kinsolving

She is a 30 + year vegan and earned a BFA in Film and TV at New York University’s TIsch School of the Arts.  She has presented film appreciation classes and lectures since 1994.  For the past 10 years, Kathleen has been teaching English at Centreville High School in Northern Virginia, where her students enjoy such literature and films as the anti-hunting short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” and the great avian rebellion in “The Birds.”

Joanne Kong

Nationally and internationally recognized speaker focusing on the ethical, health and environmental impacts of veganism. She is author of If You’ve Ever Loved an Animal, Go Vegan, and has given recent presentations at National Animal Rights Day, Green Food Fest in Jessheim, Norway, Veggie Pride Parade in New York City, and Oakland VegFest. A volunteer and speaker with the Humane Party, her highly-praised TEDx talk on veganism is included in Unbound Project, celebrating noted women around the world who advocate for animals.  A critically-acclaimed concert pianist, she will appear in the upcoming documentary, Taking Note, about vegan musicians.

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Vance Lehmkuhl

Vegan columnist (“V for Veg”) for the Philadelphia Daily News; cartoonist, speaker, piano-player and all-around entertainer; founding member of vegetarian pop band Green Beings; creator of “Edgy Veggies” cartoon for VegNews; author, Joy of Soy (collection of his vegetarian cartoons); illustrator (created NAVS “Food/Friend” T-shirt) and feature writer for Vegetarian Voice.

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Bob Leroy, RD, MS, EDM

Founder & Coordinator, Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) national conference; NAVS Nutrition Advisor since 1990; vegan since 1976; public health nutritionist & educator; fitness instructor; developer of nonprofit initiatives for continuing education of health professionals in plant-based nutrition; long-time activist promoting local food & economic self-reliance measures; advocate for personal & agricultural carbon-footprint reduction.

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Sally Lipsky, PhD

She has a Ph.D. in Education and Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Knowing the importance of day-to-day food choices in maintaining long-term health and well-being, she educates others about practical ways to implement and maintain plant-centered eating habits. She has authored articles, curriculums for healthcare providers, a monthly newsletter, and the recently published book Beyond Cancer: The Powerful Effect of Plant-Based Eating. Also, she is leader of the Pittsburgh Plant-Based Support Group in partnership with PlantPure Communities.

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Jill Nussinow, RD


Nutrition specialist with more than 25 years experience, culinary educator and Registered Dietitian teaching at the McDougall Program; author of 3 award-winning cookbooks Nutrition CHAMPS: The Veggie Queen’s Guide to Eating and Cooking for Optimum Health, Happiness, Energy and VitalityThe New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes and The Veggie Queen™: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment; and the recently released Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in your Pressure Cooker; producer, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes DVD and starring in Creative Low-Fat Vegan Cuisine DVD

Myriam Parham, RD, CDE

Registered Dietitian; certified diabetes educator; coordinates and teaches programs which promote plant-based lifestyle at the Florida Hospital Zephyrhills; president and co-founder of Florida Voices for Animals, Inc; presented nutrition lectures for Dr. John McDougall’s Publix program in Lakeland, worked on the GEICO research program with PCRM

John Pierre

Personal trainer to top celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs, and his client list has included Ellen DeGeneres and Emily Deschanel; vegan nutrition and fitness consultant who lectures throughout the US sharing the principles of compassionate living to people of all ages; best known for his innovative work helping older adults enhance cognitive functioning, and his fun, yet effective approach to functional fitness; author of The Pillars of Health.

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Kathy Pollard, MS

Kathy was an instructor for the renowned plant-based nutrition certification course offered through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell for six years.  She is adjunct faculty for the University of New England graduate program in nutrition, and co-founder of SustainableDiet.com, which supports successful transition to a whole food plant-based diet.  Kathy serves on the Board of Directors for the Plant-based Prevention Of Disease conference. Her upcoming book, Climate Party! is about the connection between food and climate change. Kathy holds a MS in applied clinical nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and a BS in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tim Radak, RDN DrPH MPH

Academic Coordinator for the Public Health PhD and DrPH programs at Walden University, where he has taught public health courses since 2010.  He previously served as Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Director at Appalachian State University, Senior Research Program Manager for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and Director of Nutrition for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  He has been credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist since 2000, and earned his doctorate in Public Health Nutrition at Loma Linda University. His research interests include:  the relationship between plant-based diets and reduced risk of chronic diseases;  epidemiology of chronic diseases;  essential fatty acids requirements and metabolism;  behavioral strategies for lifestyle modification;  body composition;  and nutritional assessment methodologies.

Allison Rivers Samson

She is a Self-care Coach, Speaker, and Workshop Leader who helps people make room for themselves, turn workouts into personal playdates, and makes healthy eating feel indulgent.

For 20 years, she ran Allison’s Gourmet, the first online vegan bakery and chocolaterie, which she retired in 2016. Allison is an award-winning vegan chef and authorNia Black Belt instructor, mama to lifelong vegan Olivia, and co-creator of The Dairy Detox.

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Roberta  Schiff,  MS

She has been presenting at Summerfest for over 10 years. She lives in Rhinebek NY where she is a health educator, nutrition counselor and coordinates Hudson Valley Vegans, planning events and educational outreach activities.

Kay Stepkin

Kay opened and ran Chicago’s first modern-day vegetarian business, The Bread Shop, from 1971-1996. The Bread Shop was a 100% whole-grain bakery, with an adjacent bulk food store and a restaurant across the street. The restaurant is still open, now owned by two former employees.

She incorporated Go Veggie!®, a not-for-profit, in 2001 and, through it, hosted Dine Outs, Turkey-Free Thanksgiving dinners, potlucks, cooking classes and an 8-segment televised cooking show: Go Veggie!® with Kay.   For over 4 years, she then wrote The Veggie Cook, a syndicated biweekly vegan column for the Chicago Tribune.

Go Veggie!® is now DBA the National Vegetarian Museum, which opened as a travelling exhibit in Chicago and suburbs in 2017.

Michael Taylor

He  is a business executive with 33+ years’ experience selling complex and high-level projects to executives, engineers, influencers and users. Understanding the art of the sell, support and how a customer buys is critical to success. Michael uses these same principals in successful “selling”/converting people to veganism and with a high degree of success in keeping them vegan. He travels in North America, South America and Europe for business and also contributes to VegWorld Magazine as the restaurant “critic.

Marcella Torres

Professional meal planner, dancer, PhD student in mathematical biology, and mother to a thriving vegan child; half of the husband and wife team of competitive bodybuilders behind Vegan Muscle and Fitness, where they have shared their training and nutrition tips, recipes and more since 2009; co-owner of Richmond, Virginia’s only plant-based personal training studio, Root Force Personal Training, which seeks to promote a fit and active plant-powered lifestyle and shatter the perception that strength and athleticism can’t be achieved with a plant-based diet – the mission: to generate as many fit vegan role models as possible to get the message across that a plant-based diet isn’t a handicap in the world of athletics – it’s an advantage!


Derek Tresize

Three-time natural bodybuilding champion and WNBF pro bodybuilder; A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology; half of the husband and wife team of competitive bodybuilders behind Vegan Muscle and Fitness, where they have shared their training and nutrition tips, recipes and more since 2009; co-owner of Richmond, Virginia’s only plant-based personal training studio, Root Force Personal Training, which seeks to promote a fit and active plant-powered lifestyle and shatter the perception that strength and athleticism can’t be achieved with a plant-based diet – the mission: to generate as many fit vegan role models as possible to get the message across that a plant-based diet isn’t a handicap in the world of athletics – it’s an advantage!


Blake Tumbleson

Meet Joe-Vegan. A life-long consumer of meat, sea food, and dairy until the age of 46, Blake did the “possible” and completely changed his diet, and his life. Signs of cardiovascular disease struck fear of an early death from his stressful and unhealthy life. He discovered the right baby-steps by doing just a little something each day. Losing over 50 pounds and easily keeping it off for the past 9 years through a vegetarian and later vegan diet, he’s learned to integrate a healthy lifestyle into a busy work and family life. Just an average Joe who became vegan…JoeVegan!


Robert C. Victor

Former Staff Astronomer at the Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, where he served for over 30 years; he still designs and produces occasional issues of their monthly Sky Calendar, and writes on sky watching for theCoachella Valley Independent, and for the California and the Michigan Science Teachers Associations; he received the Clifford W. Holmes Award for his “Major Contribution to Popularizing Astronomy,” and the Shiny Apple Award from Palm Springs Unified School District for sharing his passion and knowledge of the sky with students and parents.


Ariel Jing Xu, BS, LMT, RYT

Ariel is a Yoga, Mindfulness, and Meditation teacher; Licensed Massage Therapist in PA; co-founder of Yoga Lab Studio. Her classes combine functional movement, traditional Yoga postures, Pranayama (Breathing techniques), meditation, and mindfulness to balance students’ bodies and help them release into silence and stillness. Her practice and teaching was influenced by Chan Buddhism, and teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Ariel is a native of China.

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