Speakers 2020
 (to be updated by late summer)

Meet these experts on health, plant-based nutrition, the environment and sustainable living.
Many books will be available for purchase and authors will sign copies at VegFest.


Goshen Physicians Panel

11:30 am, Bendix Theatre
"Will I get enough protein when I go plant-based?"

Tricia Foster, DO, MRO, CME, is a board-certified family medicine physician with Goshen Physicians Osteopathic Family Clinic in Nappanee. She provides medical care for adults and children of all ages in the Wakarusa and Nappanee communities. Her holistic approach centers on preventive care and treatment of chronic illnesses and injuries for the entire family. Prior to joining Goshen Physicians, Dr. Foster served
as the Medical Director and Physician for Occupational Health Center in Bremen. She treated work-related injuries, provided pre-employment physicals and reviewed lab results for workers and employers. Dr. Foster also practiced family medicine and occupational health in Wakarusa, Indiana, for 10 years as a physician at Waterford Street Family Medicine.

Saira Khan, MD, is a board-certified primary care physician who provides expert medical care at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine & Urgent Care. After completing her residency in family medicine in Grand Rapids, she gained valuable experience as an urgent care doctor at different hospitals in the region. Performing the duties of an urgent care doctor and a doctor of family medicine, Dr. Khan has been an integral part of the medical community. She has both inpatient and outpatient family and pediatrics experience. An accomplished leader, Dr. Khan became a managing physician at several nursing homes as well as a Geriatric Liaison at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine where she was also a supervising physician instructor.

Abdul Basit, MD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, is a board-certified interventional cardiologist at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center. He is fellowship trained in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology. Dr. Basit treats a range of heart and vascular conditions, including chest pain, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, circulation disorders, arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. He uses minimally invasive procedures to open blocked arteries, widen narrowed heart valves and improve blood flow to organs and limbs.

Dr. Alan Goldhamer

Dr. Alan Goldhamer

12:30 pm, Bendix Theatre
"Can Fasting Save Your Life?"

Dr. Alan Goldhamer is the founder of TrueNorth Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides medical and chiropractic services, psychotherapy and counseling, as well as massage and body work. He is also director of the Center's groundbreaking residential health education program.

Articulate, inspiring and energetic, Dr. Goldhamer is one of the most pioneering and dedicated visionaries in health today. An outspoken professional who doesn't shy away from a spirited debate, he is deeply committed to helping people stuck in self-destructive cycles reclaim their ability to change their lives.

Dr. Goldhamer has supervised the fasts of thousands of patients. Under his guidance, the Center has become one of the premier training facilities for doctors wishing to gain certification in the supervision of therapeutic fasting.

Dr. Goldhamer was the principal investigator in two landmark studies. The first: "Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension" appeared in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Its publication marked a turning point in the evolution of evidence supporting the benefits of water-only fasting. The second study: "Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Borderline Hypertension," appeared in the October 2002 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Currently, Dr. Goldhamer is directing a team that is developing a prospective study, incorporating random assignment and long-term follow-up on the cost and clinical outcomes in the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure with fasting and a health-promoting diet.

After completing his chiropractic education at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Goldhamer traveled to Australia, where he became licensed as an osteopathic physician. He is the author of The Health Promoting Cookbook and co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering The Hidden Force That Undermines Health and Happiness.

Click here to read an in-depth interview of Dr. Goldhamer from January 2016.

Will Tuttle

Dr. Will Tuttle

1:30 pm, Bendix Theatre
"Food as Medicine: The World Peace Diet – For a Healthier Body & Earth"

Dr. Will Tuttle, visionary author of the acclaimed best-seller The World Peace Diet, published in 16 languages, is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and the Empty Cages Prize. He’s also the author of Your Inner Islands, on developing intuition, as well as editor of Circles of Compassion, on the interconnection of social justice issues, and editor of the new book, Buddhism & Veganism. A vegan since 1980, he is a frequent radio, television, and online presenter, and has created several wellness and advocacy training programs. Featured in Cowspiracy and other documentary films, he is the co-founder of the Worldwide Prayer Circle for Animals. A former Zen monk with a Ph.D. from U. C., Berkeley, Dr. Tuttle is a noted composer and pianist, and with his spouse Madeleine, a Swiss visionary artist, he lectures and concertizes extensively throughout the world promoting peace and cultural healing.

Dr. Tuttle offers his presentation to provide effective responses to such questions as:
* Are you concerned about the quality of food available today?
* Are you troubled by the high rates of chronic disease in our society? * Do you feel called to help create a positive future for our children and the world? 
* Would you like to understand the hidden roots of the dilemmas we face as individuals & a society?
* Do you aspire to skills in embodying healthy, sustainable living?

You will gain the tools to understand the power of food to heal us not just physically, but also culturally and psychologically, and how to more effectively bring this understanding to your community, friends, and family. Besides the lecture going more deeply into the teachings in The World Peace Diet, Dr. Tuttle will share practical keys to healthy relationships and lifestyle choices, and to connecting with your inner wisdom.

Dr. Pamela Popper

Dr. Pamela Popper

2:30 pm, Bendix Theatre
Title to be announced

Pam Popper is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, medicine and health, and the founder and President of Wellness Forum Health. The company offers educational programs to both consumers and providers that facilitate informed medical decision-making, diet and lifestyle intervention, and improved long-term health outcomes. Through its own network of providers, Wellness Forum Health offers direct-to-consumer healthcare services.

Pam serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C.  Pam was one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet.

Pam served as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at eCornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She has been featured in many widely distributed documentaries, including Processed People and Making a Killing and Forks Over Knives, which played in major theaters throughout North America in 2011. She is one of the co-authors of the companion book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 66 weeks. Her most recent films are Food Choices and The Yoyo Effect. Her most recent books are Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Can Save Your Life.

Pam is also a public policy expert, and continually works toward changing laws that interfere with patients’ right to choose their health provider and method of care. She has testified in front of legislative committees on numerous occasions, and has testified twice in front of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Pam is a straight-talking professional who is not afraid to criticize national health organizations, government agencies, medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural organizations and manufacturing companies, many of whom have agendas and priorities that interfere with distributing truthful information and promoting public health.

Robert Cheeke

Robert Cheeke

3:30 pm, Bendix Theatre
"Building Vegan Muscle"

Robert grew up on a farm in Corvallis, OR where he adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1995 at age 15. Today he is the bestselling author of the books, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, Shred It! and Plant-Based Muscle.

As a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, Robert is considered one of VegNews magazine's Most Influential Vegan Athletes. He tours around the world sharing his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder. Robert is the founder and president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. He writes books, gives lectures, and maintains the popular website VeganBodybuilding.com.

Robert is a 4-time magazine cover model and has appeared in more than 40 magazines including FLEX, Ironman, Natural Bodybuilding, Health Science, VegNews, Vegan Health & Fitness, Naked Food, and numerous international publications. He is considered to be the “Godfather of Vegan Bodybuilding,” building the industry from infancy in 2002, to where it is today with half a million online followers of his own brand, a fully funded national tour, and a network comprised of celebrities and influencers.

He is a regular contributor to No Meat Athlete, Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, Naked Food Magazine, and Forks Over Knives, is a multi-sport athlete, entrepreneur, and has followed a plant-based diet for more than 24 years.

Robert lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two rescued chihuahuas. He can often be found hiking among the cactus and wild horses in the Tonto National Forest when he’s not on his Vegan Strong national tour or in front of his laptop writing books.

Dan McKernan

Dan McKernan

4:30 pm, Bendix Theatre
Title to be announced

As the President and Founder of Barn Sanctuary, in Chelsea, Michigan, and host of the upcoming Barn Sanctuary series premiering on Animal Planet, Dan wears many hats and spends most of his days around animals. At Barn Sanctuary, which Dan founded in 2016, he and his team work to rescue and rehabilitate refugee animals from the local and national community and place them in loving homes when they’re ready. Being a Certified Animal Cruelty Investigator and NACA Certified Animal Control Officer, Dan displays compassion towards animals as if they were family.

John Lewis, Bad Ass Vegan

John Lewis, "Bad Ass Vegan"

MC for the whole event!

  • International public speaker
  • Serial entrepreneur
  • Wellness advocate
  • Activist for the wellness of all living beings
  • Film producer/director of Hungry for Justice

At the young age of 13, John Lewis weighed 315 pounds, but through hard work and dedication, he lost weight and excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years with a full-ride scholarship to Harris-Stowe State College. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

John’s education in business coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture--Bad Ass Vegan--a health and nutrition company that strives to educate individuals on plant-based nutrition. John’s love for his community brought forth the brainchild of “VeganSmart”, a plant-based protein shake company whose mission is to prevent obesity through education, physical activity, and plant-based nutrition.

Today, John has taken his passion for health and is now directing his first feature-length documentary focused on food and social justice. He has teamed up with the maker of the award-winning What The Health to create their joint venture Hungry for Justice.

Chef Demos 2020, sponsored by Martin's Super Markets
(to be updated by late summer)

Abra Berens

Abra Berens, Granor Farm, Three Oaks, Michigan

12:00 pm, Discovery Ballroom
Topic to be announced

Abra Berens is a chef, former farmer, and writer, who strives to make simple, delicious food that celebrates the Midwest. She believes that the meals we eat should change with the seasons and that their ingredients should come from nearby. She has been cooking since 2006, from the storied Zingerman’s Deli to chef-driven restaurants in Chicago. In 2017, she left her position as Executive Chef at Local Foods to join the Granor team. As the chef at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Abra combines her love of Michigan, cooking vegetables just-pulled from the ground, and sharing them with others around one big table.

Abra is also the author of the cookbook Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables, named a Best Cookbook for Spring 2019 by The New York Times and Bon Appetit.

April Howell from Martin's

April Howell, Martin's School of Cooking

 1:00 pm, Discovery Ballroom
Topic to be announced

April Howell’s culinary versatility is evident in her ability to adapt to the ever-changing audience she cooks for. April is a Minneapolis native, but currently resides in South Bend with her husband, Nathan and three amazing little ones ages 9, 7 and 4. After living as newly-weds in Manchester, England (2003-2006), April pursued her dream of working in the kitchen and enrolled in the National ACF Culinary Apprenticeship program through IvyTech Community College and spent the next three years (2006-2009) inside the kitchens on the beautiful campus of The University of Notre Dame where she also earned her Culinary Journeymans card through the Dept of Labor. April has had the opportunity to learn under admired mentors’ guidance in countless culinary environments, including culinary greats such as Chef Gordon Ramsay from the FOX television show Kitchen Nightmares. She has been awarded the American Culinary Federation’s South Bend Chapter Junior Chef of the Year award two years in a row, and is currently (2018-current) the President of the local South Bend ACF Culinary Chapter. Chef April has been with the School of Cooking since 2008 and has most recently been selected as one of Michianas 40 under 40! She is a popular instructor for our children and adult programs and enjoys being our Lead Cooking School Coordinator and Community Affairs specialist at SOC Heritage Square!