Eddie Garza – Speaks at 12 pm

Eddie Garza is Senior Manager of Food & Nutrition for the Humane Society of the United States and is a leading figure in the movement to reform food systems in Latino communities. Garza and his work have been featured by a wide variety of media outlets in the United States and Latin America, including CNN, Telemundo, Univision, ¡Hola! TV, Fox News Latino, TV Azteca, Latin Times, and Caracol Radio. Garza has collaborated with some of the nation’s most influential school districts and higher education institutions to develop and implement innovative plant-based meal programs, and has conducted culinary trainings and ideations for major hospitals, restaurant groups, culinary schools, and public school systems in regions with high Hispanic populations. He’s a sought-after speaker, culinary coach, published writer, and thought leader on issues related to Latino health, and has lectured and presented at top universities, public school forums, and major conferences, including the Texas Association for School Nutrition and SXSW.
Follow Eddie on Twitter and Instagram @theeddiegarza and Facebook.com/theeddiegarza.

Will Tucker – Speaks at 12:45 pm

Will is a fitness expert and award-winning professional vegan bodybuilder. He constantly dispels the myth that large amounts of animal protein is required to build an outstanding physique.  His philosophy is that all the nutrients the body requires are available in a well-balanced plant-based diet that is high in carbohydrates with minimal amounts of protein and healthy fats. As a certified fitness trainer, he helps his clients develop plant-based nutrition plans that fit their individual preferences and needs.  For over 10 years everyone from soccer moms to CEO’S, medical professionals and even celebrities have called on Will when they need to get in shape in the shortest time possible.

* 4x Natural Bodybuilding Champion
* Owner WTF! (Will Tucker Fitness)
* Author/Certified Fitness Trainer/Speaker
* Contributor to Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine
* Vegan For 5 years

Emily Byrd – Speaks at 1:30 pm

Emily Byrd works at The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit taking a radically different approach to end our reliance on factory farming. Emily grew up in hog country, North Carolina, sailing and swimming in one of the most endangered rivers in the United States. Consequently, she developed a keen interest in the links between animal agriculture, environmental destruction, nutritional choices, and social change. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism, she worked as a writer and editor for Food News Media, reporting on the food industry and the structures that govern it. Emily has also volunteered with a number of organizations seeking to connect low-income families with sustainable plant-based foods and nutritional education. At GFI, Emily works to spread the word about how we can create a healthy, humane, and sustainable future for food by leveraging markets and food technology to take animals out of the food system. Her talk is titled, Nerds Over Cattle: Foodtech to End Factory Farming.

Health Panel – Begins at 2:15 pm

Moderator –  Jessica McCarton

Jessica McCarton is currently attending Winthrop University to pursue a career in nutrition as a registered dietitian nutritionist. She is expected to graduate college in May 2017. She plans to focus her career in preventative care through diet and exercise and utilize her culinary experience to help others make better food choices. Jessica has worked and continues to work with Nourish for several years in a variety of ways – providing nutritional guidance, inventory and labeling, design and control, kitchen prep, marketing, and preparing delicious plant-based meals. She is active in her community and has developed a program for low-income kids to develop sports skills and prevent injury.

Kristen D’Amato

Kristen D’Amato is a Psychic Healer, Women’s Wellness Practitioner, and founder of the Women’s Center for Whole Body Healing in Asheville, NC. Kristen uses her innovative system, the Wheel of Whole Body Healing, to support women suffering from overwhelm, chronic anxiety, and physical pain, who fear their symptoms will never change. In addition to seeing clients individually, Kristen has a large online presence offering live group energy healings to women around the globe. Kristen’s first book, Food for the Light Body, is a plant-based, gluten-free cookbook with easy-to-make, delicious recipes for all types of people. The cookbook shares the connection between a plant-based diet, healing, and optimal health. Kristen, her husband Tristan, and their son Azeza are fully plant-based and live in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC. To find out more about Kristen visit her website: www.kristendamato.com

Shannon Bourret

Healthy living has always been a part of Shannon’s life, and she is passionate about encouraging it in others. Shannon’s educational background includes exercise science and kinesiology, and before joining the Whole Foods Market family in 2012, she worked as a children’s cooking camp counselor and a leader at a healthy lifestyles clinic. Outside of Health Starts Here activities at Whole Foods Market and in the community, Shannon loves exercising—especially running outdoors—and experimenting with plant-based recipes in her kitchen.

Elizabeth Morris, MD

Elizabeth Morris, MD is a Family Medicine physician with Greenville Health System, focused on the dietary prevention and reversal of disease.  As an athlete growing up, she was always interested in nutrition as a means of optimizing performance and earned herself a spot on Team USA in 2005-2006.  It wasn’t until her medical training that she realized her side interest could be her main focus, and so she dedicated her elective time to working with various “nutrition” doctors around the US, including John McDougall MD and Neal Barnard MD.  (Caldwell Esselstyn MD next month!).  Plant-based diets were easily a common theme.  She holds a leadership position with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is a core team leader of the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative, and serves on the Lifestyle Medicine Task Force at USC School of Medicine in Greenville.  Questions welcome!  Email theBethMorris@gmail.com

Priyumvada Naik, MD

Priyumvada Naik is a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician in the Charlotte area.  A vegetarian for 20 years, she became an ethical vegan over six years ago and noticed dramatic health benefits. After some research, she realized that her medical education did not address the multitude of environmental, animal welfare, and health benefits of a plant-based diet. Tired of seeing people become seriously ill and even die from reversible diseases in her Intensive Care Unit, she now counsels her patients about the benefits of a plant-based diet.