Board of Directors

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Heather Williams - PRESIDENT

I am honored to serve on the board of directors of Northwest VEG. Since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle in 2013 I have been passionate about educating others of the benefits of a plant based diet. My vegan journey began as a quest for improved health, but soon evolved into a complete lifestyle change as I became aware of the multi-faceted impacts of our food choices - for the animals, the planet, and the welfare of other humans. I am proud to be a part of the important work Northwest VEG is doing in our community. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my dog, hiking in the majestic PNW forests, and volunteering at local farm animal sanctuaries with my husband. You can reach me at heather@nwveg.org.

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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.

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Jason Williams - SECRETARY

Since going vegan in 2013 my interest in veganism has only intensified. I am originally from Pennsylvania where I was very involved with the Erie Vegan and Vegetarian Society and Erie VegFest until relocating to Portland. I feel there is no good argument against veganism and if everyone knew the unbiased truth we would live in a vegan world. Therefore I enjoy actively promoting a plant based diet and veganism at every opportunity. When not volunteering for Northwest VEG, my wife and I enjoy volunteering at local farm sanctuaries. You can reach me at jason@nwveg.org.

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laralyn ellsworth

I decided to go vegan for life in 2013. I originally did so for my health, but since then I've learned so much about the others reasons for being vegan, that there is a moral imperative to avoid unnecessary harm to animals, and that the future of our planet depends on eliminating industrial animal agriculture. Now I am vegan not just for my health, but for the animals and the planet as well. I began volunteering with NW VEG in 2018 when I moved with my husband to Vancouver, Washington, and I joined the board in 2019. In my free time away from tech start-up life, I am usually experimenting in the kitchen, spending time in the forest or my garden, leading a bookclub, exploring Portland's world-class vegan restaurants, analog gaming, participating in vegan outreach & activism, and swapping recipes at NW VEG potlucks. You can reach me at mailto: Laralyn@nwveg.org.

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Cindy Koczy

I have been a Northwest VEG board member since 2006, and am also on the board of Vegan Iron Chef. 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!

Staff

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Jaclyn Leeds - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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 jaclyn@nwveg.org.

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DANIELLE GEORGE - volunteer & outreach coordinator

Originally from Wichita, KS, I moved to the Seattle area in 2003 and fell in love with the region. I became involved in volunteer coordinating for several roller derby organizations across the world and really loved the work and passion I found in building a community. I feel the same spark in doing work to help grow the vegan community here in the PNW! When not working with volunteers at NW Veg, I can be found fostering animals for the local humane society and baking tasty vegan treats.