Part I: Jody Rasch, Vegfund
Jody Rasch is a consultant in the areas of social investing and microfinance. Prior to this he headed the Social Performance Group at Moody’s Corporation working on projects including microfinance and social investing. He developed the Moody’s Social Performance Assessment (SPA) which provides a gap analysis of practices for microfinance institutions. He also served on various advisory boards including Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative, the SMART Campaign’s Certification Task Force, Grameen Foundation’s Social Performance Advisory Committee and the Global Impact Investing Rating Service (GIIRS). Mr. Rasch has presented on social and financial issues at conferences worldwide, including Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Prior to joining Moody’s in 2002 Mr. Rasch owned, for 15 years, a training company that conducted financial training programs for international commercial and investment banks. He also headed the New York derivatives sales desk of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has worked in the corporate treasury departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rasch has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University.
Mr. Rasch is on the Board of Directors of two not for profit organizations. Battery Dance Company, which conducts cultural diplomacy in over 60 countries and the United States through its “Dancing to Connect” program; and VegFund which supports grass roots activists in promoting a vegan lifestyle. Mr. Rasch is also a painter (www.raschart.com) and is completing his first novel, “The Day After Yesterday”, which has an animal rights theme.
Part II: Jane Velez-Mitchell, Jane Unchained
Jane Velez-Mitchell is the editor of JaneUnChained.com, a multi-platform social media news outlet that reports on crimes against people, animals and the environment. Her reporting on animal issues has won four Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States.Velez-Mitchell is often seen commenting on high-profile cases for national TV shows. For six years she hosted her own show on CNN Headline News. Velez-Mitchell also reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, and was a news anchor for many stations including KCAL-LA and WCBS-NY. She is the author of four books. The 2014 non-fiction New York Times bestseller, “Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias” details a gruesome, twisted crime and the salacious trial that gripped the American public. “Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door” delves into the secrets unearthed in more than twenty of the most widely covered murder cases of recent times and the secrecy and deceit embedded in these tragic scenarios. “Addict Nation: An Intervention for America” with Sandra Mohr focuses on greed and consumption. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir titled “iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life.” She is active in the LGBT community, an animal activist and a vegan and lives with her partner, Donna Dennison, and their companion animals in Manhattan.
Lorelei Wakefield, Vegetarian Diets for Companion Animals
Lorelei Wakefield, VMD, is a vegan veterinarian and founder of Veterinary Concierge Care which provides private VIP home care for NYC’s beloved dogs and cats. She also runs Wakefield Vet, a consultation service for non-profit groups as well as individual animal caregivers needing advice outside New York City. She is an expert in vegan dog and cat nutrition, as seen on Animal Planet, in Cat Fancy magazine and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Wakefield works regularly with the ASPCA and volunteers to advocate for farm animal rights.
Part I; David Coman-Hidy, The Humane League
David Coman-Hidy is the Executive Director of The Humane League. Under his leadership, The Humane League has grown into a national presence with offices spanning from coast to coast—winning campaigns against some of the largest foodservice and retail corporations in the world and reaching millions of young people each year with a message of compassion for farmed animals. During David’s tenure, The Humane League has been ranked as “Best In America” by the Independent Charities of America and named a “Top Charity” by the charity navigator Animal Charity Evaluators for three consecutive years.
David, age 25, has spoken on factory farming and effective advocacy at conferences and on campuses across the country. He has advised dozens of successful campaigns and his thoughts on activism have been published in Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy alongside experts Peter Singer, Bruce Friedrich, and Matt Ball.
David graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emerson College’s honors program in only three years after winning the communication college’s Forensics Award and entrance into the Gold Key Honours society. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his partner and two cats, Olive and Basil.
Part II: Julia Barnard, Vegan Tapas
Life changed for Julia Barnard in 2003 when she moved from the UK to Adelaide, Australia. She set up her own counseling practice and discovered a love of cooking. Through her counselling work, she embraced Positive Psychology and the science of happiness. She has written many articles on happiness and well-being which are published on her popular website makethechange.com.au. In 2010 she authored the workbook Promoting Happiness which enabled the reader to get actively involved in the process of creating their own happiness. In 2012, Julia took some of her own advice and followed her passion for cooking to create a vegetarian cookbook: Vegetarian Tapas. Her motivation to write it was given a boost the day she was served over-priced carrots as a tapas dish. She has been a vegetarian since 1995. August 2014 saw the publication of the paperback edition of Make the Change: Over 250 Tips for Your Wellbeing and Happiness. March 2015 saw the publication of Vegan Tapas. Realising how many recipes from Vegetarian Tapas were already vegan she spent time in the kitchen veganizing those which weren’t. She’s done all the hard work – so you don’t have to. She is most proud of her vegan Scotch egg! Julia still runsmakethechange.com.au and still lives in Adelaide with her husband and cats.
Part I: Jessica Nadel, Greens 24/7
Jessica Nadel writes the popular blog Cupcakes and Kale. She has a passion for healthy, local, plant-based eating and thinks that in a diet of vibrant, nourishing meals there is room for a cupcake or two, as well. She is also the proprietor/baker at Oh My Bakeshop, a natural and organic bakery of special-order vegan goods. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
Part II: Christina Ross, Love Fed
Christina Ross is an Ambassador of Healthy Living, a dynamic conscious recipe and product creator, educator of vitality through the art of eating and living vibrantly, a freelance writer and blogger. Christina’s recipes and healthful lifestyle tips have been published in Natural Child World Magazine through her column “Love-Fed.” Christina also contributes recipes and articles to popular sites and works such as RawfoodRecipes.com, Clean Food Living, Vegan Food Share, Organic Soul, Sheknows.com, Just Eat Real Food, RawGuru.com, and Kris Carr’s MyCrazySexyLife.com. Christina keeps her many fans full of nutrient rich content through her blog Love-Fed.com and through television appearances, which have taken her to TODAY, Good Day Chicago, as well as San Diego Living. Learn more at love-fed.com.
Part I: Wayne Weiseman, The Permaculture Project
Wayne Weiseman is a Permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and author. He lives in Carbondale, Illinois with his wife, Frances and daughter, Halima. He was certified to teach Permaculture by Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture, and is recognized by the Worldwide Permaculture Network as an instructor of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course. Mr. Weiseman is certified by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to teach continuing education in Permaculture to licensed architects and landscape architects. Wayne has taught hundreds of Permaculture Design Certificate courses and advanced work, lectured and consulted internationally for many years.
Part II: Donna Zeigfinger, Green Earth Travel
Seasoned world traveler Donna Zeigfinger founded Green Earth Travel in 1997 with one mission in mind: to provide a wide range of travel options for people who crave adventure and care about the planet. Since then, the company has remained on the cutting edge of conscientious traveling and become the nation’s premiere vegetarian/vegan/eco travel agency.
Green Earth Travel lives up to its name by booking tours that promote sustainability, biodiversity and leaving a light footprint on the planet. Donna uses her own eco-travel experiences to meticulously plan each vacation package and turn fantasy vacations into reality. She specializes in creating customized Volunteer Vacation and Adventure Travelpackages for groups, individuals, couples and families.
Donna doesn’t do cheap cookie-cutter vacations. Instead, she consults with each prospective client to identify exactly what they want to get out of their trip, and then helps people choose from a menu of options. After that, she makes all the arrangements – taking the stress and worry of pre-trip preparation completely off of her clients’ shoulders. The personal touch Donna brings to vacation planning, as well as her attention to detail and outstanding customer relations, are all part of what make Green Earth Travel’s signature travel services special.
Part I: Simon Lester, Pascha Chocolate
Simon Lester is an Entrepreneurial CEO & strategist who focuses on consumer facing industries & investment opportunities. He founded PASCHA born from a desire to create the simplest, purest and most delicious chocolate, without any of the additives or ingredients that might trigger allergic reactions for those with food allergies or intolerances.
Part II: Jaimela Dulaney, MD, Plant-Based Wellness
Jaimela Dulaney was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. She went to West Virginia University for undergraduate and medical school. She then did her residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. She was on faculty at WVU before moving to Florida to begin private practice. Exercise is key to a healthy life. Dr. Dulaney leads by example enjoying marathon running and triathlon. She completed her first Ironman Florida in 2013 and does several marathons each year.
Christopher Leonard is the former national agribusiness reporter for the Associated Press. His work has appeared in Fortune, Slate, and The New York Times. He is a fellow with The New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute in Washington, DC. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he lives outside Washington, DC.
Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN, is an award-winning blogger, educator, recipe developer, and the author of Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. An associate editor for Simply Gluten-Free magazine, she lives in Ontario. Visit her online at rickiheller.com.
Part I: Gary De Mattei, The Transition Kitchen
Gary De Mattei is co-founder of Responsible Eating And Living and the host of the Transition Kitchen. The Transition Kitchen is part of the REAL GOOD NEWS IN REVIEW web series. TK will be showing all who are interested just how easy and delicious it is to quit the animal while seamlessly transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. THE TRANSITION KITCHEN features step-by-step vegan versions of omnivore favorites. More about Gary at GaryDeMattei.com.
Part II: Kittee Berns, Teff Love
Kittee Berns has been an ethical vegan for more than 24 years and a gluten-free vegan since 2008. Author of the cookzine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, she is the creative force behind the popular blog Cake Maker to the Stars found at http://kitteekake.blogspot.com.
Part I: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately
A recognized expert on all aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking,The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and a multimedia host, beloved for her entertaining and unparalleled cooking shows, her informative videos, and her inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought,” which was voted Favorite Podcast byVegNews magazine readers. Colleen is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and has appeared on The Food Network and PBS.
Part II: Ann Gentry, REAL Food For Everyone
Ann Gentry is a pioneer in the world of vegan cuisine. She is the creator, founder, and operating owner of Real Food Daily, one of the premier organic vegan-food establishments in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100% vegan menu using zero animal by-products and foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. She is the author of The Real Food Daily Cookbook and lives in Los Angeles with her family.