2015 Speaker Lineup!

Here are your official Speakers for Vida Vegan Con 2015:

Terry Hope Romero VVC speakers

Terry Hope Romero, Vegan Latina

Terry Hope Romero is the bestselling author of Vegan Eats World, Viva Vegan!,co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and most recently, revitalized an entire freaking course with her latest book, Salad Samurai. The Queens-based superstar joins us for her third VVC experience to discuss everything you need to know about the world of crowdfunding and Kickstarter-dom. Terry’s also one of three featured chefs on the series Vegan Mashup, which super successfully used the platform to launch their first and second season (airing now on public television!). We’ll have way more to come from Terry at VVC2015, so stay tuned for big news!



Miyoko Schinner VVC speakers (1)

Miyoko Schinner, of Artisan Vegan Life

No doubt one of the most recognized names in veganism thanks to her longtime career and more recently, revolutionary and scientific vegan cheese making techniques published in 2012’s Artisan Vegan Cheese, Miyoko Schinner is another thrilling, new addition to this year’s conference.  Just last year, she launched Miyoko’s Kitchen, her signature (and not to mention, in demand!) cultured nondairy cheese-making company,  adding even more accolades to this 3-time cookbook author (The [New] Now & Zen Epicure; Japanese Cooking, Contemporary and Traditional; Artisan Vegan Cheese), legendary Unturky guru, professional chef and Vegan Mashup television host. Miyoko joins us in May to discuss her adventures and lessons in vegan business ownership and creation. Her newest cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, hits stores later this year.


Gene Baur VVC speakers

Gene Baur, of Farm Sanctuary

Most recently featured on the one-and-only Daily Show discussing the purpose and benefits of eating mindfully, Gene Baur is a widely respected activist, author and the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene published his first book Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, in 2008, and it’s much-anticipated follow-up, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, arrived just last month. Gene has been described as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine, and will be no doubt be inspiring both of our audiences in just over two weeks, with a Welcome Address during Friday’s Vegan Bazaar (which is open to the public and has plenty of room for more attendees!) and his solo presentation on Saturday morning during our early conference sessions, entitled The Paths to a Mindful Life.


Ayinde HowellVVC speakers

Ayinde Howell, I Eat Grass

Ayinde Howell is the co-author of 2014’s stellar cookbook, The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them, and we bet you’ve heard of his long-running, eclectic vegan website, ieatgrass.com. In addition to serving as the website’s Editor in Chief, Ayinde is the owner and chef of acclaimed culinary-event focused company, Wildflower, and host of the new vegan cooking series “Like a Vegan” on Ulive.com. Ayinde’s hit recipes have appeared in The New York Times, VegNews Magazine and Essence, among others. This multi-talented vegan force joins our 2015 lineup for a very special class: talking energy, idea-growth, charisma and serious goals in Entrepreneuralim 2.0: Consistency.



Gena Hamshaw, of Choosing Raw

Another crowd favorite from past years with an inspiring,recent cookbook to her name, the lovely Gena is a former book editor turned certified clinical nutritionist, who will be calling upon her years of expertise and prowess to share tips on embarking on your own contemporary healthcare career. Stay tuned for passionate, realistic advice on how to incorporate and embrace veganism in the much-debated “nutrition wars” these days.


Brian Patton VVC III 2015 speakers


 Brian Patton, of The Sexy Vegan  

Cookbook author, podcaster, and the 2013 Vida Vegan Galarama host, Brian is presenting his first VVC class this year. He’ll be breaking down social media and teaching us how to tweet like you give a damn. He’s released two cookbooks….so far: The Sexy Vegan and The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home.



Fran Costigan VVC speakers


Fran Costigan, Queen of Vegan Desserts 

A highly regarded veteran of the culinary world, Fran Costigan is a pastry chef, author, speaker, culinary consultant, demo instructor and graduate of both the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute. There is no doubt that Fran knows her chocolate, and she’ll be returning to our lineup for 2015 to show us all how it’s done while “demo’ing the demo” at our opening dayVida Vegan Bazaar, sharing everything you need to know for showcasing your own cooking demo, with whatever setting you’ve got. The Big Apple-based “Queen of Vegan Desserts” is the author of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally and her latest hit, the epic Vegan Chocolate.


Nicole J. Georges, of Invincible Summer  

You just may recognize Nicole from VVC2013, where she delivered our opening talk on artistry, community and veganism. This year, the inventive, longtime writer and illustrator ⸺ and recent Lambda award winner for her graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura ⸺joins our exciting speaker lineup to share everything you need to know on touring for your own book or project.


Whitney Lauritsen VVC speakers


Whitney Lauritsen, of Eco-Vegan Gal  

Whitney is the founder and voice behind Eco-Vegan Gal, the long running video series and online empowerment resource, and a past attendee, to boot! As a fantastically well-informed vegan media enthusiast, she joins us at VVC2015 to discuss making “Kick-Ass Vegan Videos” in the land of YouTube. She’ll talk about to easily create entertaining content, engaging your audience, making the most of your YouTube channel and the ins-and-outs of monetizing your videos. Check out our VVC Speaker Series interview with Whitney.


Ginny Messina VVC III 2015 speakers

Ginny Messina, of The Vegan RD  

Ginny’s back for her third round of VVC, and we couldn’t be more honored to bring you arguably the best-respected voice in vegan nutrition. This year she’ll be talking about a super hot topic, preventing ex-vegans. Ginny is a co-author of both Vegan for Life and Vegan for Her.



Grant Butler VVC speakers

Grant Butler, The Oregonian’s FoodDay 

Highly respected food writer and longtime journalist, Grant Butler is renowned in-and-outside of the vegan community for his well-received column as a culinary professional who went vegan…and stayed vegan. He joined us in Portland atVVC2011 as a moderator and returned as a popular speaker in 2013 with a talk on writing “Restaurant Reviews with Authority”, which sent tons of attendees on the right path. He’s heading to Austin to discuss bringing fresh ideas to your food writing, a class you seriously won’t want to miss. You can read his continuing columns, including “Going Vegan” and “Table Talk”, on OregonLive.com.

Jill Pyle VVC speakers

Jill Pyle, Vegan Cuts  

The face of the hugely successful Vegan Cuts, reliably and consistently sparking the community with excitement over new vegan products, Jill will share her self-made expertise on turning your passion into a profitable career. Hello, next wave of Internet entrepreneurs! This one’s for you—and everyone else who enjoys getting vegan treats in the mail. Check out our VVC Speaker Series with Jill,



Jojo Huxster VVC speakers


Jojo Huxster, vegan.in.brighton

More likely recognized as the delightful presence behind the blog “Vegan in Brighton”, Jojo Huxster joins us from the UK, via recent travels in Austria, Japan, and one of her favorite cities in the US, Austin, TX. In addition to her positively infectious and inspiration travel blogging, Jojo runs Operation Icing, her not-for-profit bakery, and recently helped organize the 2014 Vegan Month of Food (aka VeganMoFo). She describes herself as animal loving, food obsessed, body positive and a feminist. Appropriately, Jojo, an alumnae of VVC2013, is traveling across the globe to join us all in Austin and talk all about her travel bug + style, including what she’s learned, where’s she’s headed next, and how to thrive as a vegan while exploring the world.

Hannah Kaminsky VVC speakers 

Hannah Kaminsky, of Bitter Sweet

Hannah Kaminsky is many things: multi-cookbook author, award-winning blog writer, baker, photographer, recipe developer and food stylist, to name a quick few. She’s certainly a much-loved member of the Vida Vegan Confamily and returns for two very special workshops on food styling and on-location photography. Stay tuned for signup!



Matt Ruscigno, of True Love Health  

We’ve got no shortage of diverse, vegan nutrition experts for Vida Vegan Con III, and that is such a beautiful thing! Matt is a longtime vegan, registered dietician, and endurance athlete with an impressive background that includes co-authoring No Meat Athlete and Appetite for Reduction. His latest project is the documentary web series, Strongest Hearts, which profiles vegan athletes. Matt is joining us to discuss quite frankly, (and surely in detailed, mesmerizing facts) how “Science Is Awesome!” and why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism. Get ready!



Jackie Sobon, of Vegan Yack Attack

Let’s get to the point: Jackie is a modern-day culinary blogging mastermind (and VVC2013 attendee), which means she’s an expert food photographer, recipe developer and internet personality, galore! She’s joining us to get real on modern blogging etiquette and social media essentials in regards to own path to super-blogger (and soon-to-be cookbook author!) status.



 Monique Koch, of Brown Vegan

Monique Koch is a welcome newcomer to the VVC family who showcases her down to earth charisma on her blog and growing series of Youtube videos. Monique focuses on healthy cooking & family life, and will be presenting on what she does so well: keeping honesty and authenticity in your online presence. Check out our VVC Speaker Series video interview with Monique right here.


Susan Voisin VVC III 2015


Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan  

An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013 + VVC2011, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. Get those questions and flashes (jk!) ready!



Sayward Rebhal VVC speakers

Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite  

The “socially conscious, totally fabulous” author behind the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, Sayward Rebhal is an authority on vegan parenting, freelance writer, urban farming enthusiast and vegan lifestyle coach with a devoted blog following. She’s currently in graduate school in Southern California, exploring evolutionary biology. Sayward joins our lineup again to share her personal story and inspirational thoughts on “How to Deal With Facing Failing Health as a Vegan”.

Michelle Lee VVC speakers


Michelle Lee, of Broadview Design

Michelle Lee is a creative professional based out of Vancouver, B.C. with a fondness for cats and vegan food (check, check!). She’s a two-time VVC attendee who’s joining our lineup for the first time to share her super relevant thoughts & guidance on the importance of branding. We’re talking brand development, establishment, DIY methods, voice, logo, identity and just how and when to hire a professional, and what to expect And if you run in the right vegan circles, you just may recognize her as@food_and_catz over on Instagram & Twitter (and a lot of delicious vegan food and meow-makers). Check out our VVC Speaker Series interview with Michelle.

Joshua May VVC speakers

Joshua May, of Clue 

No stranger to VVC after lending a much-appreciated andmuch-needed helping hand to our registration table in 2014, Joshua May joins us at VVC2015 to get down to business on the technical side of things and discuss the costs, reach, ROI and expectations about building your very own app. It’ll be a must for all the community managers and entrepreneurs out there, and more! He truly appreciates dolphins and just may have coined the term “scrofu” (aka scrambled tofu). You can catch up with him over on Twitter, @notjosh.

Christy Morgan VVC speakers


 Christy Morgan, The Blissful Chef

Seasoned personal chef, cookbook author, blogger, food coach, and VVC alumnae, Christy is a Certified Personal Trainer and the editor of Definition magazine. She’s joining our 2015 lineup to talk about finding common ground in different forms of activism. She’s also a bodybuilder, and recently gave a yoga and fitness retreat in Indonesia.

Bianca Phillips VVC speakers


Bianca Phillips, Vegan Crunk

Like to eat out? Drink out? Both out? Bianca Phillips is a savvy journalist with the The Memphis Flyer by day, and the personality behind the popular and long-running Vegan Crunk blog by night (and all other times!). Bianca returns to our lineup this May to share her take on the ethics of vegan dining and boozing (and requisite blogging, of course). Plus, we hear she has a thing or two or three to share about DIY Vegan Homebrewing. Her first cookbook,Cookin’ Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South, was released in 2012.

Joni Marie Newman VVC speakers

Joni Marie Newman, Just The Food

More culinary royalty! Joni Marie Newman is the undisputed Queen of Veggie Burgers and as the author/co-author of eight vegan cookbooks and guides including The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, Vegan Food Gifts, andFusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, certainly knows her way around a cookbook. She’s returning to our VVC2015lineup ready to help you tackle your own cookbook development dreams, from concept to proposal to testing to publication. Get inspired, get thinking, get writing! Catch our VVC Speakers Series interview with Joni over here.



Lacy Davis VVC speakers

Lacy Davis, Super Strength Health 

Another new speaker to our 2015 lineup, Lacy is a health coach and vegan fitness enthusiast teacher who’ll present on the must-have-discussions of veganism, body image, ED recovery and the influence of online media. She “refuses to let society dictate [her] sense of fulfillment and self-worth,” and really digs tacos and green smoothies. (High-fives!) Check out our VVC Speaker Series video interview with Lacy right here.



Randi Milgram, LaughfrodisiacRandi Milgram2 VVC speakers

Randi owns our heart because she started her witty, engaging blog after attending VVC 2013! In her free time, she’s been known to veganize the recipes from Friends,but by day, she’s a lawyer specializing in intellectual property. She’ll be presenting a unique class on legal info for online content—what rules you need to follow and how you can protect your work and your brand.


Amey Mathews.VVC speakers


Amey Mathews, Vegan Eats & Treats 

We bet you know Amey Mathews of Vegan Eats & Treats from her charming drawings she somehow manages to include in her already exciting blog posts. (Secretly, her fine-art skills would blow you away!). Amey is passionate about yoga, art, animals, travel and is one creative and flexible cookie. She’ll be sharing those passions and talent in her very own “Let’s Make a Zine!” workshop atVVC2015. Hi Amey!!

ColleenHolland.VegNews2015Please welcome the following special moderator for Saturday and Sunday’s conference greatness: Colleen Holland of VegNews and HealthyVegan! Special blog post to come.

Meet the moderators for Friday’s Vegan Bazaar panels: Stephanie Bogdanich & Joanna Vaught! Read more about the Austin Community Panel and Vegan Family & Parenting panels here ⸺ and get your ticket for a special taste of Vida Vegan Con on Friday!

Stephanie "Smurfy" Bogdanich + Joanna Vaught
Stephanie “Smurfy” Bogdanich + Joanna Vaught

Please note that our application to speak at Vida Vegan Con III closed on July 9, 2014. All speakers and class proposals were approved & embraced through an open application process. Please, do not inquire about speaking or being placed on the waitlist: we’ve got a super packed schedule in store!





Look for our 2015 Speakers at both The Vegan Bazaar + Vida Vegan Con, all weekend long! For the very latest updates, head to our blog. Full weekend tickets are now sold out.