WNY Vegfest - Buffalo, NY Vegan Vegetarian Festival

Speakers and Performers at WNY VegFest

Interested in becoming a speaker at WNY VegFest?
CLICK HERE to Download the 2017 Speaker Packet
Questions? Contact Sara: sara@wnyvegfest.com (Speakers only; NO SOLICITING)

More bios will be added once we receive official confirmation from our invited speakers!


2017 SPEAKERS

Information to be announced as we get closer to the event.

Jordan David

Jordan David

I am a father, bodybuilder/lifter, fitness and nutrition coach, and last (but not least) an animal rights advocate. Besides having an online fitness and nutrition coaching business for vegans, I also have an apparel brand designed to spread awareness and contribute to an animal sanctuary donation program. It has raised thousands of dollars for sanctuaries which are doing some amazing things and saving lives! I now also have a small animal sanctuary myself and my goal is to grow this sanctuary to at least 5 to 10 acres within the next year. This is my purpose, this is my drive.

Veganism is not just a plant-based diet, it is a lifestyle that is beneficial to everything and everyone on this planet. There is no questioning a vegan lifestyle is the most beneficial for our health, the health of our family and friends, the sustainability of our planet, as well as the peaceful coexistence of all beings (not just the ones we deem worthy of it). Plain and simple my mission is to leave this world a better place than the one I was born into and I know without question veganism is the way by which we can all contribute to this vision. We are all in this together!

Lee Hall

Lee Hall

Cuteness, Memes, and Animal-Liberation Imagery: A Slideshow and Discussion
Whether we’re sharing on social media or picking out a greeting card, does our chosen imagery reinforce animals’ vulnerability, or their strength?

Lee Hall is the author of On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century.

Lee holds a Master of Laws in Environmental Law with a focus on climate, and has taught both Environmental Law and Animal Law. Lee’s immersed in public advocacy and media as a CounterPunch writer and a speaker at festivals, book clubs, podcasts and radio shows.

Lee is also a volunteer board member of Compassion for Animals · Respect for the Environment (CARE), which runs the annual Chester County Vegan Festival (Pennsylvania).

Lee's studio for the Art of Animal Liberation can be found at patreon.com/leehall

Jordan David

Geoff Palmer

Competitive Natural Vegan Bodybuilder

Geoffrey Palmer is the CEO and Founder of Clean Machine®, an all-natural, vegan sports nutrition supplement company. Mr. Palmer is a 32 year vegan with almost 30 years’ experience in the Natural Products Industry with companies such as Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe, 24 Hour Fitness, as well as several top supplement and sports nutrition companies.

Mr. Palmer is an author, lecturer and patent holder and is a Champion in both Natural Bodybuilding and Natural Physique competitions in the Masters Class.

 

 


2016 SPEAKERS

Jessica Meyers

Jessica Meyers Altman

Jessica is a certified plant-based chef, and has a certification in plant-based nutrition. She is a passionate educator, and has taught science, community gardening, and food education for the last 17 years. She holds a Master’s in Science Education and is a certified NYS biology teacher.

Jessica now combines her passion for cooking & gardening with her passion for teaching. She writes recipes and photographs her food blog, www.gardenfreshfoodie.com, a blog devoted to plant-based, gluten free, seasonal recipes. Jessica teaches healthy cooking classes in the Buffalo, NY area wherever there’s a table and an outlet! Her recipes are featured weekly on the Food Revolution Network (a program begun by John Robbins, of Diet for a New America & The Food Revolution) as well as a plant-based prepared food company called Veestro.com. She has been featured on Forks Over Knives, www.tastespotting.com, www.foodgawker.com, and www.findingvegan.com

LIVE FOODS DEMO: Jessica will talk about the benefits of eating 2 powerhouse foods-greens & beans. She will create a massaged kale salad with lentils for you to sample.

Food Blog: www.gardenfreshfoodie.com
Facebook & Instagram: @gardenfreshfoodie

Tom Campbell

Dr. Tom Campbell

Nutrition in Medicine: Bridging the Canyon between Medicine and Plant-based Nutrition

Thomas M. Campbell II, MD is the co-founder and clinical director of the University of Rochester Program for Nutrition in Medicine, where he works with individuals and groups to prevent and treat illness through diet and lifestyle. A board certified family physician, Dr. Campbell is the medical director and an educator at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, a nonprofit organization in Ithaca, NY, which promotes optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research in partnership with eCornell, Cornell University’s online course provider.

A graduate of Cornell University, Thomas is author of The Campbell Plan: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using The China Study’s Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet. He is co-author, with his father T. Colin Campbell, PhD, of The China Study. The China Study has sold over a million copies and in 2011 the documentary Forks Over Knives was released, inspired in part by the work presented in The China Study.

Dr. Campbell got his medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and completed residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester, Highland Hospital. He was awarded the UB 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians award for Excellence in Family Medicine along with UB’s 2010 Humanitarian Zebra Award for “dedication to patients and willingness to consider unusual diagnoses.” Thomas regularly presents on the topic of nutrition and health, both for professional audiences and laypeople. He has published in the Israel Medical Association Journal and in CME publications Primary Care Reports and Integrative Medicine Alert. He has completed multiple marathons.

Joel Hefrich

Joel Helfrich, PhD

Help Us Open the Rochester River School, the First Vegan Public School in the Nation

Joel is a father, historian, vegan, activist, and cofounder of the Rochester River School and Rochester River Foundation, as well as the foundation’s vice-chair. Joel teaches history, science, technology, and society, and environmental studies courses at Monroe Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and elsewhere. He received his BA in history from the University of Rochester, an MPhil degree in American Studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota. He works on animals rights, environmental, historic and sacred sites preservation, and other social justice issues.

www.rochesterriverschool.org

Tim Kaufman

Tim Kaufman

At 400 pounds Tim Kaufman was on multiple prescription medications and almost immobile. He had serious medical conditions and lived on a very unhealthy diet. Tim is now an athlete that thrives on a whole food plant-based lifestyle. He is healthy, free of all medications, and has lost nearly half his body weight. Tim has earned multiple degrees in engineering and education. He is passionate and devoted to help others transition to a plant-based lifestyle. He uses his website www.fatmanrants.com and his Facebook page to connect with people that are ready to make the change.

Tim will be presenting his journey to a plant-based lifestyle. He will also talk about his experiences as he transitioned. He will sort through some of the misinformation about what a healthy lifestyle looks like. He will also discuss the challenges, pitfalls, and stereotypes of this way of eating. "Eat plants and move your body, all ya gotta do is a little more than ya did yesterday."

Tracy Murphy

Tracy Murphy

Tracy is the founder and president of Asha Sanctuary and will recount her heart-wrenching and inspiring story “Saving Albert”, a newborn dairy calf, and how saving him against all odds continues to profoundly change thousands of lives across the world.

A former business executive, Tracy made the life-changing decision to leave a very lucrative career to direct Asha Sanctuary. The refuge for abused farmed animals is heaven on earth for these innocent victims lucky enough to live there and serves as a prominent educational center in our Western New York community.

Tracy holds a masters degree of leadership at Duquesne University and bachelors of management. She founded and still serves as the director of the Buffalo Vegan Society. Tracy shares her life with three rescued dogs, Beemer, Odin and Samsara and a rescued cat, Scarlet.

Casey Taft

Dr. Casey Taft

Dr. Casey Taft is a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and an internationally recognized researcher in the area of violence prevention. He has consulted with the United Nations on preventing violence and abuse globally, has published over one hundred journal articles, book chapters, and scientific reports, and is the author of recent books on the prevention of violence towards human and non-human animals. He is also co-owner of Vegan Publishers, a vegan-themed publishing company, and sees the prevention of violence towards nonhuman animals as a natural extension of his interpersonal violence work.

Topic: Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy

How can we as animal advocates best help nonhuman animals? In this talk, Dr. Taft, Professor of Psychiatry and anti-violence expert, applies principles and methods from the field of clinical psychology to enhance the potential impact of the animal advocacy efforts of individuals and groups. Practical tips and strategies for talking to friends, family members, and others are also provided, with illustrative examples given.

 

 

More coming soon!


2016 PERFORMERS

Jason Pfaff

Jason Pfaff

Buffalo based SOUND PILOT Jason Pfaff (brother of the late bassist Kristen Pfaff) writes in multiple genres under his own coined genre 'multidimensional music’, while producing music (including Hip Hop) for other artists worldwide. Performing since 1993, Jason's first serious band (indie-rock force trio) 'The Rainbow Girls' were signed to Buffalo's Cashcow Records, releasing a 7" single to critical acclaim in Bilboard magazine. Later, focusing on genre defying works such as 'Ribcage', Pfaff performed with Buffalo's most progressive artists, deejays and event curators throughout the mid to late 90's. During the 2000's-2010's Jason performed with eclectic multidisciplinary artists and dancers at many multimedia events in Buffalo, primarily focusing on studio albums and international remixes.

Jason's latest performance ranges from ambient (and improvisational) piano playing, to experimental electronic based concerts with live pa and featured guest musicians (including high energy dance music). Pfaff owns and operates three evolving companies: Warm Jets Music Studio, Multidimensional Music Publishing, and Illuminaughty Records, while currently collaborating with local artists and professionals like Jeremy Cochise Ball. Jason will be featured in Pure Times magazine reflecting on the unprecedented positive response to his recent single and music video: "SERFS UP (FEAT. JANITOR JOE)". Focusing more on performance this year, Jason looks forward to The Buffalo Infringement Festival, and other shows.

Kid Magic and the Pacific Groove

Kid Magic and the Pacific Groove

Kid magic and Pacific Groove ( Scott MacCallum and Nicolas Laport) are one of Buffalo's most dynamic duos. The bands roots are derived from reggae, hip hop, and folk rock. Two years ago Nick and Scott met on Elmwood in Buffalo NY outside panera bread and have been writing music for the project ever since.They've made there mark on Buffalo's underground music scene as Buffalo's most well known acoustic busking act. The bands "real life" approach to song writing combined with heavy rhythms make this duo a must see.

Erin Sydney Welsh

Erin Sydney Welsh

Erin has been writing songs and performing around Western New York for several years. She has been nominated for awards in Artvoice and won the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Lucille & Jack Yellen Foundation Songwriter's Scholarship in 2013. She sings and plays a range of cover songs on acoustic guitar, but she is best known for her witty originals and social conscience in songwriting.

Lenny Revell

Lenny Revell

Born in Buffalo, NY where he started piano at 9, songwriting at 16, and singing at 19. While playing various piano recitals in nursing homes, churches, and institutions in the WNY area, his love for audience grew. He's played at the Lewiston Art Fest in Western New York, and at the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas (NY); where he returned for other performances. During these performances, he was brandished as the "next Elton John." Lenny has also become a familiar face at the most popular piano bars in NYC. Lenny released his Debut Album 'Lessons' in September 2006.

He has performed at numerous charity events including the March of Dimes Walk, City Harvest Feed the Homeless (The Krystal Auto Mall in Brooklyn), & has been a repeated, and requested guest on the Ebony and Ivory show (93.5 FM in NYC), and the Joey Reynolds show in NYC.

Fleuron Rouge Bellydancers

Fleuron Rouge Bellydancers

Fleuron Rouge is a Performing Belly Dance Company, located in the Western New York / Buffalo, NY region with co-directors: Jill Nykkei, Samantha Shey & Nahara Mar. Jill, Samantha & Nahara started dancing together in 2006, formed Fleuron Rouge in 2007, and have been Performing Belly Dance and Choreographing Belly Dance together ever since. Fleuron Rouge mixes moves from Traditional Belly Dance, Modern Belly Dance, Tribal-Fusion, and Hip-hop to Bhangra/Bollywood to create their choreographies. At this time, Fleuron Rouge is best known for their Bhangra/Bollywood Style Dances as well as their Traditional to Modern Belly Dances.

My Rap Name is Alex

My Rap Name is Alex

My Rap Name is Alex creates songs about Peace and Love and Tolerance and Justice. Using loop music technology he creates a rich tapestry of sound and music and then performs lyrics about respecting and nurturing the interconnected web of life that covers our world.

 

 

More coming soon!


 

 

2015 SPEAKERS

Vlad Chituc

Vlad Chituc

Moral Rebels: The Science of Why Vegans Are So Annoying and What We Can Do About It

Vlad Chituc is a researcher and freelance writer at Duke University, broadly interested in ethics and the social sciences.

Jane Esselstyn

Jane Esselstyn

Jane Esselstyn is a fresh and charismatic voice on the plant-based, whole food diet. She brings her perspective and passion as a long-time health and sexuality educator to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her next door neighbor and mom, Ann.

Jane has worked as a science, outdoor, and health educator for over 25 years. During her years teaching sex ed to middle school kids, she has developed a powerful curriculum around healthy sexuality and development in the digital age. A tireless champion for kids and their health, Jane brings remarkable clarity, compassion, and humor to the most difficult conversations—for kids and parents alike. Jane met her husband and fellow educator, Brian Hart, while working as a field instructor for Outward Bound. They have three plant-based children. Jane graduated from the University of Michigan, where she competed nationally as a recruited swimmer and rower, and earned a B.S in Nursing from Kent State University.

Paul Fehringer

Paul Fehringer

Wild Spirit Education, Inc. is a non-profit organization  committed to environmental education and expanding public appreciation of nature. It offers programs to people of all ages.

Paul Fehringer is the Senior Naturalist and Executive Director at Wild Spirit. He has an Associates degree (AS) and a Bachelors degree (BS) in Environmental Studies from Empire State College in Buffalo. He is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and has worked extensively with all kinds of live wildlife.  His passion and expertise is with birds of prey, but his knowledge and experience extends to many aspects of the natural world.

His passion for nature carries into his lifestyle as Paul and his wife live in an Earth-friendly Earth-beamed house powered by solar and wind power. They are both vegan and try to live a zero carbon footprint lifestyle.

Lee Hall

Lee Hall

Attorney Lee Hall holds a Master of Laws in Environmental Law with a focus on Climate Change. Lee teaches Environmental Law for Widener University, and raises awareness of the food-climate connection through media – including Alternet, CounterPunch, Responsible Eating and Living with Caryn Hartglass, and The Allegheny Front, an award-winning public radio channel in Pittsburgh.

Lee is a board member of Compassion for Animals · Respect for the Environment (CARE), which established the Chester County Vegan Festival (Pennsylvania), and an author whose most recent book is ON THEIR OWN TERMS: THE HANDBOOK, Animal Rights for the Classroom and the Community (2015).

Kristin Lajeunesse

Kristin Lajeunesse

Kristin Lajeunesse quit her job, purchased, renovated, and moved into a Chevy van (dubbed Gerty), and set out with the intention of eating at and writing about every single vegan restaurant in the United States. Three years, 50 states, and more than 600 restaurants later, Kristin shares her journey about the food she ate, the people she met, and how living out of a vehicle and traveling full-time led to incredible life changing adventures and new career opportunities. Kristin is the author of Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman's Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, and Make Love, and is the founder of the award willing website, Will Travel for Vegan Food.

A self-employed business and lifestyle strategist, Kristin now works with small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to turn their passions into profitable careers. Kristin is also a founding member of the Vegan Weddings HQ website and the Unabridged Addiction podcast. She has a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College. Follow her travels and business adventures on wtfveganfood.com !

Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran (www.mainstreetvegan.net) is a vegan of three decades and an obesity survivor. She is a sought-after speaker and the bestselling author of twelve books including Main Street Vegan, Creating a Charmed Life, and new this spring, The Good Karma Diet. Her books have fans ranging from Michael Moore to Ellen Degeneres, and she was featured twice on Oprah. Moran hosts of the weekly Main Street Vegan podcast and directs Main Street Vegan Academy, an in-person program in NYC to train vegan lifestyle coaches.

Talk title: THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion

Jessica Meyers

Jessica Meyers

Jessica is a certified plant-based chef, and has a certification in plant-based nutrition. She is a passionate educator, and has taught science, community gardening, and food education for the last 17 years. She holds a Master’s in Science Education and is a certified NYS biology teacher.

Jessica now combines her passion for cooking & gardening with her passion for teaching. She writes recipes and photographs her food blog, www.gardenfreshfoodie.com, a blog devoted to plant-based, gluten free, seasonal recipes. Jessica teaches healthy cooking classes in the Buffalo, NY area wherever there’s a table and an outlet! Her recipes are featured weekly on the Food Revolution Network (a program begun by John Robbins, of Diet for a New America & The Food Revolution) as well as a plant-based prepared food company called Veestro.com. She has been featured on Forks Over Knives, www.tastespotting.com, www.foodgawker.com, and www.findingvegan.com

LIVE FOODS DEMO: Fermentation and the Art of Sprouting. Come learn how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own kimchi and grow your own sprouts. Demo of how to make kimchi, benefits of eating raw & fermented foods, as well as samples of kimchi and sprouts will be a part of this workshop.

Karen Ranzi

Karen Ranzi

Everyone wants their children to be super healthy, and Karen Ranzi has the recipe. She is an award-winning author, imminent speaker, raw food coach, certified raw food chef, speech therapist, and owner of SuperHealthyChildren.com. Karen has authored and published her groundbreaking book, Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods in 2010, winner of the Bronze Medal “Living Now” Award in the category of Health and Nutrition for Independent Publishers.

Karen travels throughout the United States and abroad delivering her impassioned message about raising healthy families. She has presented for universities, schools, health institutes, expos, associations, organizations and festivals. For the past 20 years, Karen has helped thousands of individuals and families to reach their health potential. Her latest book is titled Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families: 115 Easy Recipes and Health Tips for Energetic Living.

 


2015 PERFORMERS

Gaiaisi

Gaiaisi (pronounced Gaia's Eye)

Gaiaisi is a singer, rapper, environmental, human- and animal-rights advocate from Toronto whose music aims raise awareness on the most critical issues confronting our planet today, as well an entertainer who crafts songs whose only purpose is to dance, laugh and kick back to... Check out the music videos and hear the sounds @ www.gaiaisi.org

Sleepy Hahas

Sleepy Hahas

Indie Psych from Buffalo, NY. Influences include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Dead Meadow, QOTSA, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

My Rap Name is Alex

My Rap Name is Alex

My Rap Name is Alex is a Buffalo, NY born emcee and —along with Vendetta— handles the lead vocals for the BloodThirsty Vegans, a live hip hop/dance music band (also from Buffalo). His recently released debut cd is now available on his website MyRapNameIsAlex.com

Nadia Ibrahim Middle Eastern Dance Company

Nadia Ibrahim Middle Eastern Dance Company

The Nadia Ibrahim Middle Eastern Belly Dance Company of Buffalo, NY, under the direction of Nadia Ibrahim, performs a variety of dances from the Middle East. Their repertoire consists of Dance Orientale (Belly Dance), Lebanese Debkes, Cane, Sword, Karsilimar, Sudanese, Tunisian, Moroccan, and Greek. The costuming and belly dance steps are authentic and uphold the integrity of each given culture.

Master Chong's World Class Tae Kwon Do

Master Chong's World Class Tae Kwon Do

Master Chong's is the leading provider of martial arts classes in the Buffalo, NY area, with locations in Amherst, East Amherst, Hamburg, Lancaster, and Orchard Park. World Class Tae Kwon Do is the largest provider of martial arts in the area and has been serving local families for over twenty five years.

World Class Tae Kwon Do Centers were founded by Grand Master Sun Ki Chong. Grand Master Chong is one of the leading Tae Kwon Do instructors in the world. He is both a former three time Korean national champion, as well as a former five time head coach for the U.S. National Tae Kwon Do team.

Gold Summit Martial Arts Dragon Dance

Gold Summit Martial Arts Institute

In partnership with the Confucius Institute at University at Buffalo, Gold Summit trains students to perform Dragon Dance each year for Chinese New Year celebrations and other special events. Our dragon is 55 feet long and takes 7 people to maneuver!

Watch the Dragon spiral, twist, meander, and coil around both large and medium sized spaces. Experience the beautiful Chinese cultural tradition of the majestic Dragon ushering in positive forces, and repelling negative energy and bad luck.

 

 

 

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