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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

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

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

Long-time vegan activist; graphic designer; co-founder of Chicago VeganMania; and Vegan Street, a vegan web store and resource

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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

SHERRY F COLB (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

JIM CORCORAN (NM)

Jim Corcoran

co-founded VegFund, Plant Peace Daily, Santa Fe Veg and VegMichigan; has a BS in Emergency Medicine; certification in the Living Foods Lifestyle; certified fitness instructor; is a former softball champion/all-star; has been leading life-altering programs on health and the environment for over a decade now; his talks empower people to make informed and lasting changes in their lives; currently a business development consultant for Thai Vegan restaurant, one of the top 10 vegan chains in the country

FRAN COSTIGAN (NY)

Fran Costigan

pastry chef, culinary instructor, author and long time vegan, is internationally renowned as the “Queen of Vegan Desserts;” the sumptuous, yet healthful desserts in her bestselling cookbook, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, satisfy vegans and omnivores alike, and her highly anticipated new book, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy Free Desserts; she is graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute and has worked as a pastry chef in both traditional and vegan kitchens, including New York City’s famed Angelica Kitchen, before moving into the teaching kitchen over 20 years ago; home cooks and professionals enjoy her lively classes, which include the unique Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®, and she presents demonstrations and workshops at events throughout North America and Europe; her work has been featured on television and radio, and in print and online publications

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

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)

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.

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; her new book is On Their Own Terms: An Animal-Rights Handbook for Classrooms and Communities (2015)

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)

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

JOEL K. KAHN, MD (MI)

Joseph Kahn, MD

Preventive Cardiologist; Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine; Director of Cardiac Wellness at Michigan Healthcare Professions; founding member of the International Society of Integrative, Metabolic and Functional Cardiovascular Medicine; first physician in Michigan to be certified by the Society of Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication; author, The Whole Heart Solution; frequent commentator on Fox News, HuffingtonPost, and Mindbodygreen, among others; his goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks through educating on the lifestyle for optimal health and longevity; devoted athlete, vegan and yoga practitioner

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

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

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

DAWN MONCRIEF, MA (DC)

Dawn Moncrief Founding Director of A Well-Fed World, aWashington DC-based hunger relief and animal protection organization that partners with and financially strengthens vegan feeding and farming programs for people in need... farm animal care and rescue efforts... and pro-veg outreach campaigns; she holds two master’s degrees from The George Washington University: one in international relations, the other in women studies—both with a focus on economic development; her work highlights the ways in which animal agriculture in the U.S. and internationally exacerbate global hunger and global warming; she also draws attention to the ethical and environmental dangers in “gifting” animals for food in poor countries and "humane" meat marketing

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

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

MYRIAM PARHAM, RD, CDE, CLC (FL)

Myriam Parham

Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills; Certified Lactation Consultant; mother of a vegan child. President and co-founder of Florida Voices for Animals, a nonprofit  organization dedicated to educating people about animal rights and healthy, sustainable plant-based diets


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, M.S (PA)

Kathy Pollard

instructor in plant-based nutrition for the renowned T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, through eCornell; she is passionate about educating others about achieving optimal health through whole, plant foods, and will be unveiling her newest educational project at Summerfest!


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

Co-founder of Chicago VeganMania; EarthSave Chicago; Chicago Vegan Family Network and Vegan Street; author of The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero and When Vegans (Almost) Rule the World

ROBERTA SCHIFF, MS (NY)

Robeta Schill

vice president, Mid-Hudson Veg Society; health educator; nutrition counselor

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

RAE SIKORA (NM)

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

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 andproduces occasional issues of their monthly Sky Calendar, and writes on sky watching 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