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Speakers

The conference features experts in the fields of health, nutrition, animal rights, the environment, exercise and related lifestyle areas, plus talented chefs. The following speakers are already confirmed, with many more to be added. Please check back for updates.

MARIBETH ABRAMS, MS CNC (CT)

Maribeth Abrams

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

CHRIS ABREU-SUZUKI, PhD (NY)

CHRIS ABREU-SUZUKI, PhD

Math Professor, co-author of The Vegan Guide to NYC with Prof. Rynn Berry; ethical vegetarian since 1977, vegan since1992, frugivore since1996. In 1994, Chris met Rynn at a refuge for farm animals, Farm Sanctuary, NY, and in 2003 Chris & Rynn acted his 1st historical vegan-play on Leonardo Da Vinci's life as in Rynn's book Famous Vegetarians and Their Favorite Recipes.


CAROL ADAMS (TX)

Carol Adams

internationally-known author of the ground-breaking feminist-vegan work, The Sexual Politics of Meat, also, Living Among Meat Eaters, and How to Eat Like a Vegetarian Even if You Never Want to be One (co-written with Patti Breitman); her Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show has been shown on more than 100 campuses and in several countries and a 20th Anniversary Edition of the book is being released this year

PHIL ALLAMONG, ND (PA)

PHIL ALLAMONG, ND

CMT (Certified Massage Therapist); CTN (Board Certified Traditional Naturopath); Certified Tai Chi Instructor; founder and facilitator of the Lancaster Vegetarian Society

JONATHAN BALCOMBE, PHD (MD)

Jonathan Balcombe

Animal behavior expert who is a passionate advocate for animals and their living spaces; popular author and public speaker; Director for Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy in Washington, DC; author, Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good, which was the first in-depth examination of animals’ capacity to enjoy life; other books include Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, and The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure, and the forthcoming (June 2016) What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousin

CHIP BALLEW (MO)

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 (NY)

Carol Barnett

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

TED D. BARNETT, MD (NY)

Ted Barnett

Founder, CEO and Medical Director of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, PLLC, launched in 2016, which utilizes the plant-based Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) as the core curriculum of a year-long intensive lifestyle intervention; Board-Certified Interventional and Diagnostic Radiologist; teaches a six-week course in Plant-Based Eating which is accredited for physicians by the University of Rochester and which has reached more than 350 people in the Rochester area; Co-Coordinator, Rochester (NY) Area Vegan Society; father of three adult children who are lifelong vegans

JOHN BESKE (IL)

JOHN BESKE

is a long-time vegan activist, graphic designer and father; co-founder of Chicago VeganMania; partner (with his wife) of the vegan web store and resource, Vegan Street; designer, researcher and sometimes writer of the popular Vegan Street Daily Memes; worked in advertising, marketing and graphic design for more than 30 years, and is now almost exclusively uses this experience to find creative and innovative ways to build the vegan community and economy

JOHN BOLUS (FL)

John Bolus

America's sole instructor of Chinese Wand Exercise; ranked 1st in his state's 5K races in the 65-69 age group, 5th in National Sr. Olympics; professional musician (keyboards) frequently performing at top clubs, including the Ritz Carlton; released "Naples Medleys", a CD collection of easy listening standards

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HAROLD BROWN (NY)  

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

T. COLIN CAMPBELL, PhD (NY)

Dr. T. Colin Campbell Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutrition Biochemistry at Cornell University; project director, China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project, the most comprehensive study of health & nutrition ever conducted; author The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss & Long-Term Health and WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

JEFFREY COHAN (PA)

Jeffrey Cohan Executive Director of Jewish Vegetarians of North America; 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 F COLB, JD (NY)

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

MARTY DAVEY, MS, RD, LDN (PA)

Marty Davey

is the alter-ego of international YOUTUBE star, LaDiva Dietitian! who keeps her girl-ish figure with hilarious YouTube video recipes that have been viewed globally, including by US troops in Afghanistan and Korea; she is a registered dietitian and the nutrition instructor for Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy; in their EBook, You’re Not Dead, Yet: Nutrition for the Over 50 Crowd. Marty connects the nutrition dots while LaDiva’s video recipes make healthy dining de-lish

BRENDA DAVIS, RD (CANADA)

Brenda Davis RD

Registered dietitian, is co-author of 9 books including, Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition, Becoming Raw, The New Becoming Vegetarian, The Raw Food Revolution Diet and Defeating Diabetes; she is the lead dietitian in a diabetes intervention project in Majuro, Marshall Islands, and the 2007 inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame

GARTH DAVIS, MD (TX)

Garth Davis, MD

Vegan weight loss surgeon and leader in the field of bariatric medicine and non-surgical weight loss management; runs Davis Clinic for Medical and Surgical Weight Loss in Houston; serves as medical director of Bariatric Surgery at the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center; he has been helping people lose weight for more than14 years; author, Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It; he has researched diet and nutrition extensively and is passionate about teaching people how to live a healthy life

HANS DIEHL, DrHSc, MPH, FACN (CA)

HANS DIEHL, DrHSc, MPH, FACN (CA)

Founder of the Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Loma Linda, CA, where he is also Clinical Professor in the Dept. of Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University's School of Medicine; the clinical results of his pioneering efforts as a lifestyle interventionist with the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) have been published in more than 30 peer-reviewed medical journals; his program has shown more than 65,000 graduates how simple lifestyle changes can prevent, arrest, and facilitate the reversal of many of our largely lifestyle-related chronic diseases which consume more than 80% of our national health dollars; author, Health Power, (co-authored with Aileen Ludington) and the Optimal Diet Cookbook (with Darlene Blaney)

ANNE DINSHAH (NY)

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

FREYA DINSHAH (NJ)

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 (53 years vegan); president of American Vegan Society and editor of American Vegan magazine; inducted to the Vegetarian Hall of Fame

MICHAEL C. DORF, JD (NY)

Michael Dorf

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

GEORGE EISMAN, RD (NY)

George Eisman Nutrition director of The Coalition for Cancer Prevention Through Plant-Based Eating; co-founder and first chairman-elect of the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association; author of The Most Noble Diet, A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition and Don't Let Your Diet Add to your Cancer Risk; has taught nutrition at the college and university level since 1980; inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame (1993)

Rev. RUSSELL ELLEVEN, DMin (TX)

Russell Elleven

Minister emeritus of Westside Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Worth, Texas and vegan since 2006; earned bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University, master's degree from Vanderbilt University's Divinity School, and doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School; Board Certified Coach and Certified Wellness Practitioner; former board member of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry and contributor to the UUAM's Reverence for Life Program

MYLAN ENGEL JR. (IL)

Mylan Engel

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

STEPHAN ESSER, MD (FL)

Stepehn Esser, MD

physician, author and motivational speaker specializing in sports medicine and lifestyle modification; he is dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve their best health and maximize fitness, fun and function; he completed a Bachelor of Science at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Medical School at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and is presently completing a Fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL; prior to his career in medicine he was a competitive tennis player, achieving a ranking of #1 in the US in Men’s Open Doubles (2002)

JOANN FARB (KS)

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.

JOE GAZIANO, PhD (NM)

Joe Gaziano

Professor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Lewis University where he taught undergraduate classes in American government; has been teaching political science at Lewis since 1969 and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Lewis; animal activist who has worked for SPEAK (Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom) a national humane education organization; vegan runner, yoga and meditation practitioner and former retreat manager for Insight Chicago, a Buddhist meditation organization

JENNIFER GREENE (NY)

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

MICHAEL GREGER, MD (MD)

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.

LEE HALL, JD, LLM (PA)

Lee Hall Lawyer and grass-roots advocate connecting vegetarianism with ecology and animal rights; President of Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Environment (CARE) and co-facilitates Pennsylvania’s annual Chester County Vegan Festival; penned the “Vegetarian” and “Environmental Racism” entries forThe Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice; Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environment & Climate Law and a member of the adjunct faculty at Widener University; Hall's new book is On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century (2016)

AMIE HAMLIN (NY)

Amie Hamlin Executive Director of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food; responsible for first vegetarian public (non-charter) school in the United States; co-author of Food UnEarthed: Uncovering the Truth About Food full-year curriculum for 4th and 5th graders; wrote NYS Legislative Resolution that passed unanimously in the NYS Legislature in 2004, which requested vegan entrees each day and nutrition education that includes information on multi-cultural and vegan eating styles; founder and president of Club Veg: Vegetarian Education Group in the Southern Tier of NY (Binghamton & Ithaca)

LARA HEIMANN, MS, PT, RYT (NJ)

Lara Heimann Registered Yoga Teacher, with over 15 years of yoga teaching experience; her teaching style, YogaStream, is a fun-filled sweatfest that combines precise alignment with playful and creative sequencing to elevate the heart rate and calm the mind; she fosters her growing community through her studio classes, workshops in the tri-state area, international retreats, and teacher training at her school; she is registered physical therapist, certified natural foods chef and a holistic health coach

CHRISTOPHER HIRSCHLER, Ph.D., MCHES (NJ)

Christopher Hirschler

Assistant Professor of Health Studies and Faculty Director of Study Abroad at Monmouth University; Master Certified Health Education Specialist; author of “What pushed me over the edge was a deer hunter”: Being vegan in North America (Society and Animals, 2011); 15-year vegan; producer of videos that appear on YouTube; and athlete

ELLEN JAFFE JONES (FL)

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

MICAELA KARLSEN, MSPH (MA)

Micala Karlsen

doctoral fellow in Nutritional Epidemiology at the Tufts Friedman Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in Psychology from Cornell University; contributor to the New York Times bestseller Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health; a founding employee and former executive director of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation (now the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies); currently serves on the International Plant-Based Healthcare Conference Medical and Expert Advisory Board as well as the Board of Directors for the Plant-Based Prevention of Disease Conference; founder, PlantBasedResearch.org, which she now manages as a database of original, peer-reviewed research studies relevant to plant-based nutrition; co-collaborator of ThePlantBasedLife.com, provides transition guides, recipes, articles, and referrals for making a whole food, plant-based diet and lifestyle easy

MICHAEL KLAPER, MD (CA)

Michael Klaper, MD

is a gifted clinician,internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health; he has practiced medicine for more than 40 years, and is a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine; he is a staff physician at TrueNorth Health Center a nutritionally-based medical clinic specializing in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-foods, plant-based diet; for more than ten years, he hosted the popular medical information radio programSounds of Healing; he served as nutrition advisor to NASA’s programs for space colonists on the Moon and Mars

ELLIE LAKS (CA)

ELLIE LAKS

Founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation, humane educator, and author of My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope; she has always loved animals and the Gentle Barn has been her dream from the time she was 7 years old and even at such a young age, Ellie vowed that one day she would teach the world the beauty of these living beings and the important role animals play as therapy partners to children and adults, who have relatable experiences. Gentle Barn’s two locations (in Santa Clarita, CA and Knoxville, TN) are home to more than 190 animals

JAMES LAVECK, (NY)

James Laveck

co-founder of Tribe of Heart, a non-profit organization that creates award-winning, life-changing films about the journey of awakening conscience; producer of The Witness, an animal advocacy film classic, and the newly released Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, currently on the film festival circuit and winning numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Canada International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Environmental Film Festival at Yale; co-creator of HumaneMyth.org, a web resource encouraging truth, transparency and integrity in animal advocacy; public speaker on issues of critical thinking, social justice, and the essential role of grassroots activism and independent media in maintaining a healthy democracy

MARY LAWRENCE (CT)

Mary Lawrence

executive chef and owner of Well on Wheels, Connecticut's premier vegan personal chef service; frequent guest on radio and TV, including NPR and NBC affiliate WWLP-TV's "Mass Appeal; holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation at eCornell University and has studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute; her recipes have been included in the Best of Vegan Cooking by Priscilla Feral and on VegCooking.com; author, Easy Peasy Vegan Eats; her culinary creations can be followed on the blog, The Traveling Vegan Chef

VANCE LEHMKUHL (PA)

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

BOB LEROY, RD, MS, EDM (NY/NC)

Bob LeRoy

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

JACQUIE LEWIS, PhD (NM)

jacquie Lewis

faculty staff of Saybrook University where she teaches Non-human Consciousness; her dedication to animal rights spans 40 years; former president of SPEAK, Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom, a national animal rights humane education speakers bureau; founder and executive editor of Good Karma magazine, a Chicago area publication focusing on health, the environment and ethical issues

DAVID MADOW, DDS (MD)

David Maddow

plant based marathon runner, skier, backpacker; host of The David Madow Lifestyle Show Podcast has listeners from 123 countries; author of the forthcoming book Vegan in Seven Days; Dr. Dave loves to inspire and motivate people to live their best lives ever and is extremely passionate about living a fully charged life, claiming much of that comes from eating a healthy plant based diet

MILTON MILLS, MD (VA)

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

BAXTER D MONTGOMERY, MD, FACC (TX)

Dr. Baxter Montgonery Founder of the 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

VICTORIA MORAN (NY)

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-featured Lit from Within and Shelter for the Spirit. vegetarian since age 18, and mother of lifelong vegan actress Adair Moran

LORENA MUCKE (GA)

LORENA MUCKE

President and Founder of the Ethical Choices Program, a non-profit humane education program focused on raising awareness about the inherent cruelty of raising animals for food and its negative effects on our health and animals; the curricula that she developed has proven effective at encouraging youth to look at food as a social justice, health, environmental, and cultural issue that affects deeply our lives and the lives of every other inhabitant on Earth, human and non-human alike; she has a degree in Zoology from Texas A&M University and a graduate degree in Ecology and Sustainable Development

LANI MUELRATH, MA (CA)

Lani Muelrath

Award-winning teacher, author, TV host, and top plant-based vegan lifestyle coach; Certified Specialist in Behavior Change, Plant-Based Nutrition and Mindfulness Meditation Instruction; Lani has been featured on CBS TV, ABC TV, Prevention, USA Today, Huffington Post, and The Saturday Evening Post; presenter for Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, Complete Health Improvement Program, and guest lecturer at San Francisco State University and Associate Faculty at Butte College where her book has been adopted as required text.; author,The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transition to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight, andFit Quickies: 5 Minute Workouts

Dr RICHARD OPPENLANDER (MI)

Richard Oppenlander

is a sustainability consultant, researcher, and author of the award winning books, Comfortably Unaware and Food Choice and Sustainability which is being used by think tanks and strategists for developing initiatives to advance global change; he is a much sought after international lecturer on the topic of food choice and how it relates to sustainability, speaking most recently to the European Parliament; served as the lead consultant for two full-length environmental documentary films; serves as an advisor to world hunger projects in developing countries and with municipalities in the U.S.; he has spent the past 40 years studying the effects food choices have on our planet and on us; founder and president of the non-profit organization, Inspire Awareness Now

JOHN PIERRE (IL)

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 Pilars of Health

KATHY POLLARD, MS (MA)

Kathy Pollard

instructor for the renowned T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, offering the plant-based nutrition certification course through eCornell; contributor to the Campbell Center newsletter and instructor material; Board member of P-POD, which holds an annual conference offering training and professional CEUs; holds a MS in applied clinical nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and a BS in Mass Communications from the University of California; cofounder, Habits of Health support program, helping individuals to successfully transition to a whole food, plant-based diet and serves as a resource for doctors and healthcare practitioners

MARK RIFKIN, MS, RD, LDN (MD)

MARK RIFKIN, RD

Registered Dietitian in private practice, who focuses on whole-food, plant-based diets to prevent and treat chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression; MS in Health Education and has been conducting presentations on food-related topics since 1997; using good foods and great flavors, he also specializes in helping vegetarians and vegans optimize their eating habits; vegan since 1986

ALLISON RIVERS SAMSON (CA)

Allison Rivers Samson

ALLISON RIVERS SAMSON (CA) The Maven of Mmmm…is owner and founder of AllisonsGourmet.com, the first online vegan bakery, confectionary and chocolaterie; co-creator of The Dairy Detox; vegan mom; and holistic lifestyle coach. Allison teaches how nourishing ourselves with loving self-care allows us to share the delicious benefits with everyone in our lives; she rounds out her wellness programs as an enthusiastic Nia Black Belt instructor

MARLA ROSE (IL)

MARLA ROSE

author, award-nominated journalist, event-planner and mother; co-founder of Chicago VeganMania; co-founder of EarthSave Chicago and the Chicago Vegan Family Network; co-founder (with her husband) Vegan Street, which opens people's hearts and minds to compassionate living through powerful stories, images and support; author of The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero and When Vegans (Almost) Rule the World and has had essays included in several anthologies; awarded (with her husband) Mercy For Animals' Activists of the Year awards in 2009

KERRIE SAUNDERS, MS, LLP, PhD (MI)

Kerrie Saunders

Internationally known Consultant, Executive Director of PBNSG; bestselling author of The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention; co-star of When Bachelor Meets Homemaker food demo DVDs; founder of the Michigan Firefighter Challenge; former columnist of “Dear Dr. Kerrie” at VegNews Magazine and Global Diabetes Moderator for the Washington DC-based, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

MIYOKO SCHINNER (CA)

Miyoko Schinner

Entrepreneur for 30+ years in the food world as a chef and creator of delicious, decadent, healthful plant-based food, Miyoko is dedicated to pleasing the omnivore’s palate in all of us; former owner of a restaurant and natural food company that distributed products nationwide and supplied cookies and pastries to United Airlines; author of the best-selling and groundbreaking Artisan Vegan Cheese and the just-published The Homemade Vegan Pantry—the Art of Making Your Own Staples; founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, an artisan vegan cheese company, which set out to redefine the category of “cheese” with its unctuous, decadent, delicious flavors of handcrafted cheeses made from nuts; co-host of the national cooking show Vegan Mashup

MICHELLE SCHWEGMANN (OR)

Michelle Schwegmann

co-author (with husband Josh Hooten), Eat Like You give a Damn, a cookbook and guide for new vegans, which was Cookbook of the Year 2015 in VegNews Magazine; co-owner of The Herbivore Clothing Company (founded 2002) a vegan clothing, cookbook and lifestyle brand; Herbivore designs and makes clothing and accessories for people who like to fashionably proclaim their compassionate beliefs

JENNY STEIN (NY)

Jenny Stein

co-founder of Tribe of Heart, a non-profit organization that creates award-winning, life-changing films about the journey of awakening conscience; director of The Witness, an animal advocacy film classic, and the newly released Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, currently on the film festival circuit and winning numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Canada International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Environmental Film Festival at Yale; graduate of the UCLA film program whose work has been recognized by the International Documentary Association, CineWomen New York and the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival; co-creator of HumaneMyth.org, a web resource encouraging truth, transparency and integrity in animal advocacy

MARCELLA TORRES (VA)

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 (VA)

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!

ROBERT C. VICTOR (CA)

Robert 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 the Coachella 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

RON WEISS, MD (NJ)

RON WEISS, MD

Founder of Ethos Health and Primary Care in Long Valley, NJ, a vibrant practice integrated into 342 acres of rich, preserved farmland; he and his team guide and support patients medically, emotionally and practically through an intensive lifestyle program designed to reverse illness, preventdisease and promote sustainable health and well-being through a whole foods plant-based diet; he received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (where he is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine) and completed his internship and residency at The George Washington University Medical Center; holds baccalaureate degrees in botany and music from Rutgers University