Our Organizing Team is made up of dedicated activists working for months to bring this inspiring day to our island community. These are the Everyday Changemakers that are helping make VegFest Oahu 2018 a transformational experience for you. (You can see the organizing team of past events at 2017 Team and 2016 Team).
Joy Waters – Founder and Festival 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.
Christina Culianos – Assistant Event Coordinator, Vendor Manager, Venue Liaison. 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.
Special Mahalos To
David Atcheson – Discounted Professional Services for Website Services. David is a community activist with a background in software and conservation. He was an early steering committee member of the group Transition Oahu, 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 provided support via discounted rates for web maintenance.
Beckie and Bud Kowalski – Editorial Support for Social Media. Beckie and Bud are the Publishers of Natural Awakenings Magazine, an online source for the latest approaches to natural health and sustainable living. They provided research and writing support authoring social media posts and graphics for the VegFest Oahu Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Plastic Free Hawaii and Doorae Shin – Water Refill Station. One of Kokua Hawaii Foundation‘s projects which provides resources, tools, and trainings to educate schools, business partners, and community members about the environmental and health benefits of going plastic free to minimize single-use plastics in our islands. We are grateful for the use of their Water Refill Station which they offer free of charge to events to help create a Plastic Free Hawaii. More than 15 Oahu events have eliminated the need for 13,891 single-use plastic water bottles in the last year alone. Deep thanks to Doorae who will deliver, set-up, maintain, and pack up the Water Refill Station on event day.
Nick Pecoraro – Speaker Patreon for Genesis Butler and VeganEvan. Nick came up with the brilliant idea to invite the vegan kid superstars to present in our Inspirational Speaker Series 2018. He connected their Moms (Genelle and Shannon) with our Producer, started a GoFundMe campaign to fundraise for their travel expenses, and found them housing with local residents. Huge Mahalo to Nick for these efforts, without which we would not be having VeganEvan and Genesis as part of our Speaker Lineup 2018.
Otis Schaper – Event Day Crew: 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.
Hannah Mizuno – Event Day Crew: Host at the Free Samples Tent. Hannah is the founder of Honolulu’s first vegan book club called Compassionate Reads. She also works at Leahi Health restaurant and is skilled feeding crowds. She’s taking on Hosting our Free Samples Tent on event day. Last year we fed over 1000 people! For some, this is their very first taste of a vegan “sausage” or “cheese”. We are so appreciative to leave the smooth flow in Hannah’s hands on festival day.
Tony Querubin – Event Day Crew: Electricity Expert and Host at the Speaker Series. Tony is the expert who will hook up our generator to PA system, make sure the House of Truth has power with his solar powered Yeti battery he is loaning us for the event, and coordinate the transitions between the presenters at our Inspirational Speaker Series. Mahalo for helping us make all systems go!
Marie Le Bouef – Event Day Crew: Host at the House of Truth. Marie is a passionate vegan and volunteers time at many activist projects, including ALF. She is bringing her people skills and enthusiasm to us to make our House of Truth an Aloha Activism experience for our attendees.
William diGiorgio – Event Day Crew: Host at the Learning Kitchen. William is a chef and the leader of the social club Imagine A Vegan World that meets regularly in Honolulu. He is our Host at our Learning Kitchen 2018 and also will be a Chef presenter doing a food demo.