Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community


Board of Directors

Eric Day

Eric Day - President

As a long time vegan I'm excited to be volunteering my time helping NW VEG reach more people in our community and promote our message of compassion, health, and sustainability. Beyond helping with a number of programs, I maintain the technical side of NW VEG and help it run more efficiently, allowing staff and volunteers to have an even larger impact. I can't wait to see you at one of our upcoming events!

Rachel Stein

Rachel Stein - Vice President

As a long time vegan (and, before that, vegetarian), I try hard to be a good ambassador for animal rights, environmental, and human issues. As a nonprofit professional, I love continual improvement and working to create efficient processes and governance. I am really enjoying using these skills and interests to help improve and publicize Northwest Veg and its work. I am involved in event planning (VegFest and the 10th Anniversary Party), bylaws, finance, and various other aspects of the organization. I have a degree in nonprofit management and extensive volunteer and professional experience with nonprofits, so I have a lot to offer to a growing organization in strategic planning, management, marketing, and other areas. I am excited about getting to know more vegans in the Portland area and helping plan events that will introduce even more people to Northwest VEG, and to the vegan lifestyle and all it has to offer.

Deanna Cintas

Deanna Cintas - Secretary

I moved back to Portland in 2006, and became vegan in 2007. I have been active in the Portland community ever since. As a community activist who loves to meet new people and support them in a vegan lifestyle, I love being a part of Northwest VEG. I have contributed to Northwest VEG by planning events such as the 10th Anniversary Party, Compassionate Thanksgiving, and more, tabling at community fairs, managing aspects of their social networking, acting as secretary during our board meetings and helping with logistics and other ideas. This is a great organization and I enjoy being a part of it!

Linda Sant'Angelo - Treasurer

Northwest VEG plays a prominent role in providing education and support about a plant based lifestyle to our community in so many exciting ways. The members of this organization continually inspire people to think outside the box. I love being a part of keeping things moving along and I would be happy to continue to serve as treasurer.

Peter Spendelow

Peter Spendelow

I've been a Northwest VEG board member since November 2004 and was President from July 2006-June 2015. I've been employed by the State of Oregon since 1985 as an environmental specialist working on recycling and solid waste issues, and have combined that experience with my Northwest VEG experience to work on issues regarding how our food choices affect our environment. Northwest VEG's work is very important to me. I know of no other work more important for our environment, our health, and the other animals we share this Earth with, than to help people move to a plant-based diet.

Larry Simpson

Larry Simpson

I became a vegan approximately 9 years ago due primarily to the belief that the body can be self-healing if we support it with the correct nourishment. This was my narrow view of veganism at the time, which due to association with NW VEG has broadened to include issues such as animal cruelty, clothing, and our responsibility to make life choices that support our universe. I became interested in the board through participation as a kitchen assistant at Portland VegFest and exposure to the guest chefs and speakers. It became clear that this group supported all of our efforts to educate and support those who were attempting to change their lives. I look forward to assisting and supporting NW VEG to reach a broader group of individuals to have a positive impact on their lives. NW VEG is a dynamic, growing organization and I want to part of that growth.

Cindy Koczy

I have been a Northwest VEG board member for the past 8 years. I enjoy being involved with our Master VEG Program, monthly potlucks and tabling events. My dedication and compassion for the movement makes me a valuable addition and I look forward to continuing to promoting all the the benefits of plant based diet. Power to the vegheads!

Wendy Gabbe Day

Wendy Gabbe Day

I'm excited to continue on the NW VEG board and continue teaching Veg Kids cooking classes, as well as volunteering with the Race for the Animals and Portland VegFest. In addition to NW VEG, I'm a cooking instructor, author of the cookbook, Scatter Vegan Sweets, and proud mama of a vegan toddler. I've been a vegetarian since birth, and a vegan for most of my life. I played college basketball and like to stay active with hiking, biking, and yoga. Our cooking adventures can be found at:

Amanda Otto

Amanda Otto

It means so much to me to join the board of Northwest Veg and contribute to an organization that shares my values and passion for animal rights and compassionate living. Vegetarian since 2005, I made the transition to vegan in 2010 in an effort to diagnose a food allergy but once I learned more about a vegan lifestyle I realized it was an excellent fit for me and I haven't looked back since. A native Oregonian, I work as a Senior Training & Development Specialist at a local credit union and recently obtained my Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy degree from Portland State University. I am primarily contributing my time on the board to the Supervisory committee.

Cathy Berlot

Cathy Berlot

Becoming vegan is one of the most important things I have ever done. I am excited to be able to help plan activities sponsored by Northwest VEG that help me to share my ever-growing awareness of how what we consume affects other animals, our own health, and the health of the planet. I was excited about being involved with our first 22 Day Veg Challenge, and the accompanying Vegan Mentor Program, which continues to be an ongoing resource of Northwest VEG. I am also on the Board of Directors of One Step for Animals which has produced a wonderful leaflet that explains that the single step everyone can take to make a profound difference for animals is to stop eating chickens. I would be happy to provide these leaflets and tips on leafleting to anyone who is interested. You can reach me at


Jaclyn Leeds

Jaclyn Leeds - Executive Director

I am delighted to be serving as Executive Director of Northwest VEG. A native of New Hampshire, I moved to Portland in 2010 to study animal protection law and fell in love with Oregon. The work that Northwest VEG undertakes in providing educational resources and sharing the many benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, as well as in building community in the Pacific Northwest, feels like a natural fit for my own passion. In addition to advocating on behalf of human and non-human animals and the planet, I enjoy hiking with my rescue dog Ebony and teaching yoga. I look forward to meeting you at one of our many events, and I welcome your ideas as we continue to grow and thrive. You can reach me at

Melissa Chavez - Event Coordinator

Board Meetings & Documents

Each month, usually at 10am on the second Saturday, the Northwest VEG board of directors and employees meets to discuss various issues including membership, volunteering, finances, communications, publicity, event planning, and social activities. Members are welcome to attend these meetings and participate in the discussions. However, if there are items that need to be decided by voting, only board members may vote. If you are interested in attending, please contact