Meet the people who made it all happen in 2017!
Our 2017 Leadership Team was made up entirely of dedicated VOLUNTEERS working for months to bring this inspiring day to our island community. These are the Everyday Changemakers that helped make VegFest Oahu 2017 a transformational experience for you. (See also the 2016 Team.)
Core Leadership Team
Joy Waters – Founder and Producer. Joy, the entrepreneur behind Positive Media Hawaii, is a relentless optimist on a mission to inspire people to be engaged citizens. Her passion is creating life-changing media content and events. A vegan foodie and long-time advocate for plant-based living, she produced the TV show Tasty and Meatless long before Hawaii had its first vegetarian restaurant. She is also the Organizer of the Oahu Vegan Meetup. Joy decided to produce VegFest Oahu because she believes this event will strengthen the local, plant-based community and be the tipping point towards more sustainable island perspectives.
Andrea Nandoskar – Speaker Series Manager. Andrea is co-founder of MOGOLEHA (MOst GOod LEast HArm) Hawaii, a group of four feisty plant-based friends who launched Hawaii’s first Humane Education Week. The MOGO gals are dedicated to living lightly on Earth and creating catalytic experiences that help people experience the benefits of a compassionate lifestyle. Andrea is also co-founder of Green Earth Media, a local event production company that produced the Oahu Premiere of the Sundance film FUEL.
Tania Fukuda – Vendor Manager. Life-long vegetarian and vegan, Tania is passionate and enthusiastic about spreading the message of compassion for all. Tania further spreads her compassion, nutritional knowhow, and alternative perspectives, through her work as a financial planner using a unique holistic approach, with a focus on family protection and personal empowerment. She works at the Honolulu office of New York Life Insurance Company.
Michael Wall – Music Stage Manager and Interfaith Temple of Compassion Manager. Michael is a percussionist, public speaker, group facilitator, educator, author, and songsmith in service to empowered learning, nurturing community, and the celebration of Spirit. He is proud to be a vegan, and is deeply committed to compassion for all beings. He is an Advanced Artistic Teaching Partner through the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Art’s Artists in the Schools Program. For more on his many projects, visit Creative Living Services.
David Atcheson – Website Wizard. David is a community activist with a background in software and conservation. He was an early steering committee member of the group Transition Oahu, helping promote awareness of and resilience to energy, climate, and economic challenges and is a graduate of Oahu’s first permaculture design certificate course. He is active in the Honpa Hongwanji Buddhist community in Hawaii. Self-employed in web communications, David has provided significant pro bono assistance in maintaining VegFest Oahu’s website.
Vicky Garnier– Graphic Design. Bio coming soon.
Brian Heithaus – Free Samples Tent Co-Manager. Brian is a singer / songwriter and music producer who is stoked to have discovered the vegan lifestyle. Promoting compassionate choices became a big passion after he realized, while studying abroad in Hong Kong, that, contrary to popular belief, consuming animal ‘products’ causes great harm to animals, the planet, and the human body. Now he wants to share this with the world so they can enjoy the benefits of a healthy, sustainable diet and lifestyle. Brian is also a promoter / server at What It Dough, Oahu’s first vegan pizza kitchen.
Christina Culianos – Free Samples Tent Co-Manager. Originally from New York, Christina moved to Oahu two years ago. She is an animal lover, vegetarian, and loves hiking through our beautiful mountains. She has experience in Marketing and Event Production and is enthused to be able to combine her skills and passions in community outreach through VegFest Oahu. As a former bacon lover and carnivore, Christina hopes to inspire and educate others interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet and be the voice for our furry friends who don’t have one.
Judy Jakobovits – Event Day Volunteer Manager. Judy is a retired realtor who now serves the community through various volunteer projects, including Rotary Club of Hawaii Kai, Hawaii Humane Society, and now VegFest Oahu! Judy has been a resident of Hawaii for over 40 years and loves playing poker and spending time with her grandchildren.
Matt Jisa – Social Media Contributor. Vegan since 2003, Matt sits on the Board of Directors for The Vegetarian Society of Hawaii and Animal Rights Hawaii and helps with their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Born and raised in Ohio, he moved from New York City to Hawaii in 1989.
Otis Schaper– Music Stage Sound Engineer. Otis generously donated use of all equipment needed for the Music Stage as well as long hours at the event to make sure the bands sound their best. A musician in his own right, Otis is known as the “Bob Dylan of Haleiwa” and often plays at local venues. Otis owns The Factory, a surfboard manufacturing company. He has been a vegetarian for over 20 years.
Terry Bear – House of Truth Manager. Bear is the Founder and Facilitator of Imagine A Vegan World, a social group that meets thrice-a-month, where members share and support each person’s grander vision of a happy, healthy, whole, plant-based way of life, and a compassionate world for all beings. Bear is a vegan in thought, word and deed. She has a pet sitting service, loves thrift shopping, Kailua Beach and Down To Earth’s Beet Burgers! Her favorite quote is: “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”
Joe Teipel – Music Stage Emcee. Joe is a well known local and national media personality. Through his company, Joe Teipel Enterprises, he has served over 5000 events with his announcing, auctioneering, emcee, voice-over and on-camera skills. Joe first became a committed vegetarian out of love for his two precious Yorkies who opened his heart to compassion for all God’s creatures.
Doorae Shin – Sticker Sales and Greening Advice. Doorae recently received her B.A. in Sustainability Studies at the University of Hawaii and now works for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation bringing the Plastic Free Hawaii message to public schools. Read her vegan musings on her blog.