Our Team 2019

Michiana VegFest is organized by passionate and energetic people who care about health, wellness, animals, and the environment. Meet some of the volunteers who are helping make this event happen. If you would like to join our team, fill out our volunteer application form and tell us about you and what you are interested in.

Mar. 13, 2015; Jocelyn Antonelli - Food Services Administration. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)
Jocelyn Antonelli

Jocie Antonelli is a registered dietitian, a wife, and mother of 3. She has been working in Campus Dining at the University of Notre Dame for over 22 years.

Her favorite health quote is: "The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison." She loves spending time with her family, thinking about nutrition, and going for long walks with her dog. Click here for more information.

Sept. 10, 2015; Jessica Brookshire (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)
Jessica Brookshire

As Associate Director for Public Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, Jessica focuses on building partnerships with local nonprofits and community groups while working with faculty, staff and students to promote engagement within our community.

Jessica has done extensive work with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the United Way of St. Joseph County (UWSJC) and was honored in 2012 with the Dedication Award from ACS and the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 from UWSJC. Click here for more information.

Michele Dahms

(Photo and biographical note forthcoming!)

Kelly Hofferth

Kelly invites you to connect if you’re passionate about food, animals, health of the planet and humans!

As of June 2018, Kelly is Co-Chair of the nonprofit organization Michiana VegFest, Inc.

Jane Hoffman

(Photo and biographical note forthcoming!)

Andrea Mather-Stow

(Photo and biographical note forthcoming!)

Brandi Parker

After researching veganism Brandi knew right away that an animal free diet aligned more with her true self. Growing up on a small livestock farm she had always struggled deciphering between friend and food. Since becoming vegan she has experienced a multitude of benefits! She has become passionate about helping others understand the positive advantages a plant-based lifestyle will have on their health, the exploited animals and the planet. 

Mar. 23, 2016; Emerita Faculty Catherine Perry (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)
Catherine Perry

Before moving to the U.S. over thirty years ago, Catherine lived as an expat in Switzerland and Morocco. She taught French and Francophone literature and film at Notre Dame until she retired in 2016. An ethical vegan who is also health-conscious and concerned about our natural environment, Catherine helped found the first veg student group at Notre Dame, VegND.  For the local group VegMichiana she enjoys organizing restaurant outings and films evenings at home where participants share vegan snacks. Nationally, she volunteers for the Humane Party as Editing Coordinator and The Pollination Project as Grant Advisor. Much of the free time she has left revolves around her husband and the care of their 4 cat friends. With the little time she has left, she enjoys reading and focusing on personal growth.

As of June 2018, Catherine is Co-Chair of the nonprofit organization Michiana VegFest, Inc.

Karen Sommers

Karen Sommers has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and a Master's degree in Counseling.  For several years she served as Coordinator of the Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Reversal Program for Beacon Health SystemBefore this position, Karen worked at United Way of St. Joseph County where she was the Vice President of Community Investment.

Karen has spent over twenty years in healthcare. Her healthcare history includes: Vice President of Marketing and Development; Executive Director of Oncology Services; Director of the Healing Arts Center; and Director of Memorial's Center for Integrative Healing. Her passion and belief is a holistic approach to one's health and well-being.

Karen is an organic gardener; long distance hiker; avid reader; bicyclist; and yoga instructor.

As of June 2018, Karen is Chair of the nonprofit organization Michiana VegFest, Inc.