Ready for Vida Vegan Con’s Speaker Reveal #6? We’ve been featuring a handful of our speakers each week for VVC2015, and here is the sixth, and almost final, installment. Our speakers come from all over the world and range from cookbook author to activist to blogger to athlete. So many incredibly talented passionate and inspiration people applied to speak, and we’re so so excited to share, in no particular order, this group of awesome speakers:
Here they are, in randomly random order, your sixth set of Vida Vegan Con III speakers (and there’s a wee bit more to come!):
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 day Vida 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, Vegan Chocolate.
Julie Hasson, Julie’s Kitchenette
With an impressive professional background that includes an array of popular cookbooks, cooking videos, websites, working as a private chef for celebrities, the founding of a famed Portland food cart, and new line of gluten-free baking mixes ⸺ not to mention helping us bring a little more Portland flavor to Austin ⸺ Julie Hasson returns to our lineup to discuss her diverse and successful experience, and get real on building a smart vegan business. Julie’s latest cookbook was released just this past week: Vegan Casseroles.
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 at VVC2015. Hi Amey!!
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, 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, and Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, certainly knows her way around a cookbook. She’s returning to our VVC2015 lineup ready to help you tackle your own cookbook development dreams, from concept to proposal to testing to publication. Get inspired, get thinking, get writing!
And definitely get ready: Vida Vegan Con returns in May!
From Bryant Terry to Terry Hope Romero, The Sexy Vegan and 20+ other vegan all-stars, check out the rest of our exclusive lineup reveals below:
Ready to register? Mark those calendars, commence the vegan taco call and grab your spot today!
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Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX
We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We used and abused a dry-erase board… You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. Why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?! (Seriously, Google, how about sponsoring us?)
But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’ll feature a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we posted last week).
As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, smartypantses, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire.
So here they are, in randomly random order, your first handful of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:
Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan.
An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. She’ll also be sharing teaching duties in a class on monetizing your blog.
Sasha Perry, of Strongest Hearts.
New to VVC, Sasha is a veteran filmmaker who was recently a producer and shooter (the camera kind!) on a little show called “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Sasha will be presenting on video and film as activism through storytelling. Get ready to get inspired!
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.
Tashina Combs, of Logical Harmony.
Tashina has become the go-to resource for vegan cosmetics and bodycare and we’re glad to welcome her to her first time speaking at VVC. She’ll be teaching us about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, what to look for, what questions to ask, and who you can trust.
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.
There you have it, round one, with so much more to come! Ready to register? Especially as we announce speakers, these tickets are gonna go fast. Put in for your vacation time and reserve your spot today!
Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX
Joining us in our walk down memory lane are some of our favorite Vida Vegan Con alumni. What are their upcoming projects and seasonal shenanigans—and what did they take home from VVC2013?
Today we’re checking in with John McDevitt. Running Vegan Omaha and helping the kitties via The Teal Cat Project, it’s ironic the he’s the voice behind The Laziest Vegans in the World. Hey, John!
What have you been up to this summer?
Traveling, relaxing, gardening, and jogging.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
Because I really like Jess, Janessa, and Michele. Plus, all of the presenters and attendees are amazing.
Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
The VeganMofo class ruled.
How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
Not much. Still lazy as ever (blogwise, anyway).
How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
Ha! Not at all. I did enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives, though.
Who were you really excited to meet?
Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?
I just love the vibe of the conference. So many vegans in one place, it’s pretty amazing! Happy to see everyone from 2011 and meet the 2013 newbies.
So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Yes, a couple! Can’t wait till VeganMofo to find even more cool vegan blogs.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
I like to see people having fun with blogging and not take it so seriously.
What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Maybe expand the conference beyond blogging?
What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?
A vegan cruise, just do it! [Editor's note: We've done some research, and we haven't ruled it out.]
Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)
Until next time, Mr. McDevitt.
See John’s coverage of the past Vida Vegan Con here (and catch up on convenience foods galore)! And stay tuned for more of our Month of Memories, from us (Janessa, Jess & Michele) and our Vida Vegan family, all VeganMoFo long.
After wrapping up VVC 2013—you know, returning rental fire extinguishers and dropping off the recycling from the Galarama—Janessa, Jess, and I all collapsed for a few good hours. Like real hard.
But then the sun rose, and it was back to spreadsheets and emails and meetings. Even with Janessa flying all over the damn globe, we’ve been videochatting and scheming and daring to dream. And we gotta tell ya, we’re pretty excited about the future of Vida Vegan. (Aside from VVC3, because yes, we’re obviously planning that too!)
The website: Vida Vegan Headquarters. Sure, we’ve given ourselves a little spit ‘n’ polish here, but by mid-2014, we hope to bring you an expanded site, where we can share so much more with you, including an events calendar and forum threads…because not everyone wants to be on Facebook, and besides, we can be a lot better organized here.
Vida Vegan Focus. More one-day intensives, like our Fall 2012 Tech offering, where we focus on one main topic for a small group. In 2014 and 2015, we’re looking at topics like Photography, Ethical Business, Blog Building, and Organization & Outreach.
The Vida Vegan Creative Retreat. What could you do with five or so days to focus on writing or photography while eating all vegan food in a relaxing setting? Maybe with breaks for yoga or meditation or a little nap under a tree? We’re location-scouting for a very intimate group (think a maximum of 30) for some loosely guided artistic/work retreat.
Online courses and guides. We know not everyone can travel to our events—although we are definitely getting out on the road to reach more of you—so we’re developing some very focused online courses and downloadable guides so you can get your learn on while still in pajamas (which is exactly how we do a lot of our planning). Let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!
Local events. We’ll also be producing some smaller, Portland events…maybe even one in early December 2013.
Sooo…that should keep us all busy for a bit!
Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear. We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.
The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)
That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.
You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.
One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).
What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.
We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.
While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!
Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!