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Raleigh Presenters


Featuring expert doctors, researchers, and activists to discuss timely topics such as health, diet, animal welfare, and the environment.

Note: Schedule Below Subject To Change.

10:00am - Mike and Denise Young | NON-PROFIT UPDATE + LONGEVITY HABITS

Mike Young is the Founder of 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, and has a website full of food and recipe resources, a YouTube Channel, local community groups, and live in person outdoor festival events up and down the US East Coast. He’s the type of person that’s continually in search of improvement and doing the best he can do with everything. Mike has always been a forward thinker, and this has propelled him into leading a whole foods plant based lifestyle. He believes there’s nothing more important to do today than spread the good news of this lifestyle since everyone and everything benefits! Mike can be found perpetually on social media. Mike is also a Lifestyle Nutritionist @ with a passion for human health. Author of the vBook “Live to 150” available FREE here:

Denise began her non-profit leadership work as the President of her COA. She leads projects and analyses financial data as a Senior Systems Analyst at Freddie MAC. Denise began her Plant-based journey after Mike encouraged her to read The China Study in 2017. Denise lost her beloved Aunt and Grandmother to diabetes and watched several family members struggle with breast cancer. She’s committed to educating people about a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t exploit animals and is better for the environment. Since switching to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet, Denise has lost 20 pounds, has resumed running and recently won first place in her age group in a competitive 5K!

10:30am - Cyd Notter | “How to Reduce Inflammatory Sugars in Your Diet”

Live Remote Interactive Video Chat Presentation via our Video Wall

Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies, a certified instructor for The Starch Solution and other dietary courses, a past newspaper columnist, and the founder/author of The “Plan A” Diet. She offers a variety of health and cooking classes, provides nutritional coaching on both individual and corporate levels, speaks to local groups, and has worked with school district employees and a hospital’s fitness center. Her book, titled The “Plan A” Diet, released in October, 2019.

Come and learn 3 steps you can begin implementing today to get started toward your health and weight goals. First, how to shed 1-3 pounds a week without counting calories or eating tiny portions. Second, why ditching this one highly-processed food allows you to accelerate your weight loss AND improve your health. And third, how you can reduce or eliminate medications with a single food component that most people lack.


Rita Haddad, MA, CLEPC Art Psychotherapist, Certified Coach, Author, Mentor, Speaker Specializing in weight, inflammation, digestion, fatigue, energy After a lifetime of being in constant angst about her body and weight, Rita had to arrive at a place of empowerment, self-compassion, and acceptance. She had to re-learn how to eat and how to have a deeper appreciation for her ever-changing body. As a mother of four, Rita’s body has been in flux for nearly a decade. The deeply rooted and often subconscious ideals she maintained about herself and her body were no longer working. Something had to change! With degrees in Psychology and Human Development, as well as Counseling, she has a deep and wide knowledge of the psyche and human behavior. Firsthand experience with weight hate, body image dysmorphia, disordered eating, and over exercise elevate Rita’s expertise in Eating Psychology & Mind Body Nutrition. With these complementary degrees and certifications, Rita presents excellent tools to her clients, helping them to access and free up unconscious and toxic beliefs so they can transform their Life and their health. She has outlined her new and exciting approach to healing the relationship with food, body, and weight in her book Eating for Energy & Weight Loss, and its accompanying journals, Mindset Makeover Workbook and Food & Symptom Tracking Journal. Join Rita at the Sana Anima Wellness Center tent to personalize your Healing Journey, browse the books, and sample her therapeutic healing products.
Presentation: The Fountain of Youth – eradicating the sneaky culprit behind your mystery illnesses so you can Live again. People everywhere are suffering from mystery illnesses that doctors are struggling to diagnose and treat. Everything from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to weight gain and bloating have one likely cause. Join me at Raleigh VegFest where I will share what the likely cause of these mystery illnesses is, and exactly how a plant based vegan diet can be your Fountain of Youth.

Noon - Katya Gorbacheva | “How to become an elite athlete plant based“

Katya Gorbacheva, one of the strongest vegan women on the planet, is a nationally qualified powerlifter with USAPL, Elite Powerlifter with USPA / IPL, and proud member of the @plantbuilt @Veganstrongteam. Personal Record as of 10.9.22 is 936 lbs at 161 lb body weight. Katya’s passion is to educate that plants have all the protein you need to get strong and popularizing strength sports among men and women of all ages.
Katya is passionate about fit tech, athletic performance coaching, and environmentalism. The three came together in her coaching company, TotalBodyLab, where a team of elite powerlifters help plant-based athletes succeed in competitive sports and personal wellness goals.
At TotalBodyLab Katya mainly focuses on strategy and sales and occasional content creation. She’s been featured on Plant Based News, Veganlinked, VegfestExpos, and more.


Talena Chavis was born and raised in North Carolina. She grew up in Raleigh and graduated from Carolina University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college she performed stand-up comedy on the amateur circuit for three years. In 2005 she and her husband Dan co-founded a non-profit animal rescue: AniMall Pet Adoption and Outreach Center. For more than decade AniMall was the catalyst for thousands of animals finding forever homes.

Kingsley will also be attending the festival. Kingsley is an eastern chain king snake. King snakes are called king because they are Apex predators that cannibalize other snakes. In the case of the eastern chain king they are most notable for consuming copperheads. Although king snakes are native to North Carolina the eastern chain king snake has been all but extirpated in the Triangle area. Unfortunately their decline can largely be attributed to human intolerance, fear and ignorance regarding the role that snakes play in the ecosystem. There is a long-held belief that if you see a pattern on a snake that it is venomous. In reality almost all snakes are born with a pattern although some of them grow out of it once they reach maturity. Although Kingsley may frightened you his stripes may startle you he is a docile non-aggressive snake. This have been some recent sightings of kingsnakes around Wake County so there is a possibility that they could be making a comeback. Until then if you see one of these in your yard – consider yourself to be lucky indeed!


Live Remote Interactive Video Chat Presentation via our Video Wall

Dr. Will Tuttle, visionary author, educator, and inspirational speaker, is author of the acclaimed Amazon #1 best-seller The World Peace Diet, published in 16 languages. Since 1985, Dr. Tuttle has delivered an unparalleled 4,000+ live audience presentations encouraging compassion and vegan living, in over 50 countries worldwide and in all 50 U.S. states.

2:30pm - Ellen Jaffe Jones | VEGAN AUTHOR, RUNNER & COACH

Live Remote Interactive Video Chat Presentation via our Video Wall
Ellen Jaffe Jones is a former 2-time Emmy WinningTV investigative reporter from Miami and St. Louis. She’s the author of 6 popular vegan health and fitness cookbooks including “Eat Vegan on $4 A Day,” “Vegan Fitness for Mortals,” “Vegan Sex,” and “Vegan for One.” When Covid shut down her book tour, she used her experience in real estate to become a Florida realtor with her vegan long-time real estate broker boyfriend. She’s been a runner for 40 years, got a gold medal for sprinting in the National Senior Games and has placed currently in 235 5K or longer races for her age group since ’06 “just” on plants. She’ll cover the questions she gets asked most, like “How do you do all that?”