Speakers' Schedule

Speakers 2022

Several authors will be signing copies of their books, and there will be a wide selection available for purchase at VegFest.

Bendix Theatre Featured Speakers

Dr. Alan Goldhamer
"Escaping the Pleasure Trap" & "Can Fasting Save Your Life?"

11:30 am – 12:55 pm

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” was 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 Oct. 2002 issue of Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Currently, Dr. Goldhamer directs 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 via fasting and a health-promoting diet.

After his chiropractic education at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, OR, 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.

Glen Merzer
"A Convenient Truth"

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Introduced by Tyler Kanczuzewski, from our sponsor Inovateus Solar

Glen Merzer is a playwright, screenwriter, and author. He has authored or co-authored eleven books with a vegan message. His latest book, Food Is Climate: A Response to Al Gore, Bill Gates, Paul Hawken, & The Conventional Narrative on Climate Change, argues that the only way to reverse climate change is to put an end to animal agriculture.

Glen began his career in book-writing as co-author, with Howard Lyman, of Mad Cowboy (Simon & Schuster, 1998). Glen is also co-author of The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss (2018) and Unprocessed (2011) by Chef AJ, as well as other books advocating plant-based eating. The Tenth Anniversary New Edition of Unprocessed will be released in 2022. In 2020, Glen wrote Own Your Health (The Book Publishing Company), to which Chef AJ contributed over 75 recipes.

Glen grew up in Bellmore, N.Y., and attended New College of Florida in Sarasota. You can find him at www.glenmerzer.com.

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.

Robert Cheeke
"Building Vegan Muscle"

2:15 – 3:15 pm

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 MagazineNaked 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
Title to be Announced

3:30 – 4:30 pm

Introduced by Dr. Justin Christy, University of Notre Dame

As the President and Founder of Barn Sanctuary, in Chelsea, Michigan, and host of the Barn Sanctuary series that premiered 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.

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