Welcome New VO Team Members!
As you probably noticed in our e-newsletter on Monday, Vegan Outreach is going through some changes. Below are some exciting additions and promotions, and there will be more in the coming weeks.
Michelle Cehn – Facebook and Instagram Manager
As her title suggests, Michelle will be running VO’s Facebook and Instagram pages. She comes to Vegan Outreach with more than six years of experience in social media management and has worked with organizations including Farm Sanctuary, PETA, PCRM, Mercy For Animals, and Vegan.com. Michelle is on a mission to make the world a kinder place through social media and other creative activism including through her bite-sized vegan videos and her lifestyle website, World of Vegan.
Michelle has been passionately vegetarian since age eight, and became vegan in college, where she started an animal rights group and spent many afternoons leafleting at universities, concerts, and events. Michelle is an entrepreneur at heart and loves photography, outdoor adventures, and vegan mac and cheese. Michelle lives in Oakland with her dog, Chance, her bunny, Pancakes, and her husband, Dan.
Alex Bury – Organizational Development Consultant
We’re excited to welcome Alex Bury as a consultant, helping VO’s Director of Development, Lisa Rimmert, with fundraising projects and VO’s Board of Directors with strategic planning. Alex brings vast fundraising experience to VO after working at PETA and HSUS for over a decade. She is also passionate about expanding the animal rights community to more people of color as well as including women in leadership positions. Some of her fundraising for VO will be geared toward such projects.
Alex earned a degree as a professional chef at the Culinary Institute of America and owned the Sonoma county, gourmet vegan restaurant Sparks in the early 2000s before realizing she could help animals most by raising funds.
An enthusiast of endurance sports, Alex has completed the Death Ride, a 130-mile bike ride that includes 20,000 feet of climbing. She also loves to hike uphill and, as a native Alaskan, to cross-country ski. Alex lives in Davis, CA, with her partner Jack, VO’s Executive Director, and her turtle, Richard.
Vic Sjodin – Director of Outreach
Vic brings eight years of experience leafleting colleges in most parts of North America. He is the second most prolific leafleter of all time, clocking in at over 847,000 booklets handed out. Vic has been VO’s leafleting specialist for some time and has vastly increased the success rate of many of our Outreach Coordinators and volunteers. Formerly VO’s Director of International Outreach, Vic paved the way for our exceptionally successful Mexico program and has a strong interest in expanding to other countries.
Later this month, Vic will start a 10-week nationwide tour of India, distributing booklets at universities and training activists in how to effectively leaflet.
Our leafleting program is in great hands with Vic. We’re looking forward to an exciting 2016 with new countries, new schools, and many more new vegans thanks to his leadership!
Thomas Goodman – Outreach Coordinator
Thomas dipped his toe in the leafleting waters last semester by doing a 7-week tour of Canada and Upstate New York. He did such a good job and enjoyed it so much that he became a full-time, traveling Outreach Coordinator this semester.
As a born-and-raised vegetarian, Thomas learned grassroots animal activism from his mother, Mary Nolan-Goodman. An alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Thomas majored in psychology and was a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology. After college, Thomas worked with students with ADHD and other backgrounds to improve academic, social, and life goals. Later, Thomas interned for HSUS, ASPCA, and Farm Sanctuary. In his free time, Thomas enjoys teaching tennis and spending time with his two feline companions, Sarah and Sylvia.
We’re excited to welcome Thomas as a full-timer!
Jean Bettanny – Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator
VO is extremely lucky to have volunteer Jean Bettanny, who is now in charge of our Vegan Mentor Program. Within a couple of weeks, she has revamped the program and set up maps to pair mentor and mentees in the same area. Jean is no stranger to maps, as another one of her projects is to keep the Adopt a College maps of schools up to date. Jean became interested in running the Vegan Mentor Program after being exposed to it in yet another project she runs for VO – following up with each person who requests a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Jean has been a passionate advocate for animals since 1994 and a supporter of Vegan Outreach since 2000. Before settling in Port Townsend, WA, she had two careers, one as a computer programmer / systems analyst and later as a hairstylist / salon owner. She earned a degree in Romance languages from the University of Maine in 1966. She has lived all over the US, and in Germany and Argentina. Some of her hobbies are partner dancing with her husband, Tom, playing online chess, movies, playing bridge, and traveling via RV with Tom to dances all over the Western states while sampling great vegan restaurants along the way.
We look forward to working with all of you in 2016, to continue to bring a vegan lifestyle into the mainstream and spare as many animals as possible!
Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to expose and end cruelty to animals through the widespread distribution of our booklets promoting plant-based eating and compassion for animals.
All donations are fully tax-deductible.