KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Captain Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson is a world-renowned and well-respected leader in the fields of environment and conservation. He is best known to television viewers as a defender of marine mammals on the long-running television show Whale Wars, a series that highlighted Sea Shepherd’s work defending whales in the Southern Ocean.

Watson, also a co-founder of Greenpeace, first founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977. The non-profit marine conservation organization’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans. “If the oceans die, we die” is Captain Watson’s oft-quoted motto, which guides Sea Shepherd in its goal to conserve, defend, and protect ecosystems and species.

Under Captain Watson’s leadership, Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. Captain Watson has commanded over 200 primarily offshore voyages in storms, ice packs, through canals and treacherous currents, and faced dangerous confrontations without a single accident or a single injury to his crew or to anyone else.
Captain Watson has received many awards and commendations over the years. He was Toronto City TV’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 1990, he received a Genesis Award in 1998, and he was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also awarded the George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism. He was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000.

Films highlighting Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd’s work include How to Change the World, The Cove, Sharkwater, Chasing the Thunder, among others. This year, Sea of Shadows, a documentary featuring Sea Shepherd’s activities protecting the vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way). A documentary about the life of Captain Watson is set to premiere this April at the Tribeca Film Festival (Participant Media).
Sea Shepherd’s work will also be highlighted in the soon to be released Seaspiracy (same filmmaker as What the Health), an IMAX film about endangered species, and two feature films about sharks (signed NDA). A true visionary, Captain Watson understands the power of the camera and knows that it is a powerful tool to affect change, rally people into action, and instigate media coverage. Since the early years of Sea Shepherd, he has utilized the power of the camera, passion, and pure determination, to create a lasting impact on the lives of marine wildlife.



pattrice jones | cofounder of VINE Sanctuary

pattrice jones is a cofounder of VINE Sanctuary, an LGBTQ-led farmed animal refuge in Springfield, VT. Prior to founding the sanctuary in 2000, pattrice was a social change activist in a wide range of movements dating back to the 1970s. A nationally recognized leader in animal advocacy, pattrice has taught college and university courses on effective activism. pattrice’s publications include two books — The Oxen at the Intersection (Lantern, 2014) and Aftershock: Confronting Trauma in a Violent World (Lantern, 2007) — as well as numerous contributions to edited collections, including Animaladies (Bloomsbury, 2018); Animal Oppression and Capitalism (Praeger, 2017); Ecofeminism (Bloomsbury, 2014); Sister Species (University of Illinois Press, 2011); Minding the Animal Psyche (Spring Journal, 2010); Contemporary Anarchist Studies (Routledge, 2009); Igniting a Revolution (AK Press, 2006); and Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? (Lantern, 2004).


Maria Giurcan Creator/Author Vegan World Trekker

Maria Giurcan – Vegan Travel Tips
Maria is the creator/author of the veganworldtrekker.com vegan travel blog. She has visited 6 continents (except Antarctica) and many parts of the USA. 

Maria’s presentation will cover the vegan dining scene across the globe. She will share vegan travel tips on the topic of dining, travel accessories, travel snacks, travel skincare, accommodations, tours, travel apparel and footwear, luggage, and translation tools for vegan dining.


CeCe Chen

CeCe Chen, a native of New Hampshire, is a mother, wife, helicopter pilot and certified health coach specializing in plant-based nutrition.  CeCe earned her certification in Plant-Based Nutrition at the Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell under Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as certification in Health Coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. 

She is the managing director of PlantPure communities Plant Pod Transform Health & Fitness.  In addition to being a plant-based nutrition advocate, she also received her Barre certification at Exhale in New York City.  She is the owner of The Wandering Moose Coffee and Gift Shop and Vertical Ventures Aviation located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

CeCe specializes in supporting individuals to make positive changes to lifestyle and nutrition based on a whole foods plant based diet and regular fitness.  She coaches individual, group, and corporate clients through fitness sessions, workshops, cooking classes, and grocery shopping tours.

CeCe resides with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, Haley and Dillon, in Sugar Hill, NH. 


Beth Perera

I am positively crazy about plant-based nutrition, and my goal is to share what I’ve learned with every living soul who eats. This is not always a popular path on which to walk, but I know this is right for me and for the planet. One of my happiest moments on this journey was reading an article in a large, well-respected medical journal, asking physicians to recommend a plant-based diet to all patients.(1) Beth 2017 in blue apron holding book.

I ate everything for the first 47 years of my life, and like so many others, until I had a health crisis, I was not motivated to change anything. I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because I had the opportunity to make some changes. I had painful arthritis-like symptoms in my feet to the point where I could not comfortably wear shoes. Living in Vermont, I knew shoes were not optional, at least not in the winter! Arthritis “ran in my family,” with older relatives having knees and hips replaced. I was far too young for these aches and pains, so I started reading. What I discovered changed my life. I did some online reading, and then picked up the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I discovered that arthritis did not run in my family; cheese ran in the family! I eliminated dairy products, and within seven months, my feet were back to normal. I was elated! Then I was angry… angry that this was not common knowledge. I purged my kitchen of all animal products and went on a binge… an educational binge. Read more here https://positivelyplants.com/


Meghan Jardine

Meghan Jardine, MS, MBA, RDN, LD, CDE, is the associate director of diabetes nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C. –based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting preventative medicine, especially better nutrition, and higher standards in research. Mrs. Jardine works PRN as a clinical dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy for Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas.

As a diabetes educator and registered, dietitian nutritionist, Mrs. Jardine works to develop programs to educate physicians, health care professionals, and the public about nutrition as preventive medicine and the health benefits of plant-based diets.

Prior to working at the Physicians Committee, Mrs. Jardine coordinated a large multi-site diabetes education program serving Dallas County in Texas.  After seeing firsthand how the complications of diabetes can negatively affect quality of life and long term health outcomes, Mrs. Jardine has been committed to helping people prevent and manage this devastating disease.

Mrs. Jardine is the editor of Educator’s Corner for Practical Diabetology, a professional journal providing busy physicians and diabetes educators with straightforward, practical information to enhance the care and treatment they give their patients with diabetes.

Mrs. Jardine earned her bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from the University of Maine and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Texas Woman’s University. She also has a master’s in business administration from the University of Dallas.