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Our Team

Leadership Council

Our all-volunteer Leadership Council is made up of WFAR Members

Lisa Apfelberg (she/her) is the Deputy Executive Director  of Jewish Veg.  A lifelong defender of animals, the environment, and disenfranchised groups, she became vegetarian at age six (and has been vegan for almost twenty years). Lisa was recently selected to be a part of the Jewish Communal Women’s Leadership Project and is currently a student in the Executive Masters program at the Spertus Institute. Prior to working professionally in the vegan world, she always made herself available to teach her friends how to cook delicious food without using animal ingredients and hosted vegan cooking classes for her birthday parties. Lisa lives in Austin with her family and is currently spending her free time watching videos about the Tiny House Movement and perfecting her cooking skills.

Nicole Brodeur is a producer and angel investor based in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley. She serves on the boards of Ars Nova, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, Story Pirates Inc., and One Tail at a Time Portland and serves as a trustee of the Awesome Foundation Vegan chapter. She manages the Payne-Brodeur Giving Fund, which supports a variety of non-profit causes. As one of the first employees at the Story Pirates, she created their producing department before serving as the Development Director for their flagship Story Pirates Changemakers programs. Her favorite animal is the moose.

Alex Bury has been a professional fundraiser for 15 years. She’s worked at PETA, The Foundation to Support Animal Protection, and The Humane Society of the United States as well as consulting for several animal rights groups. Today Alex is the Vice President of Development at Vegan Outreach and on the board of the new nonprofit Changing The Streets. She lives in Davis, CA with her husband Jack Norris, Richard the turtle, and Zoey the dog.

Jennifer Channin has served as the Executive Director of the Better Food Foundation since 2021. She previously served as Director of Development at Better Food Foundation, Farm Forward, Found in Translation, and has worked in philanthropy for nearly twenty years raising tens of millions of dollars for farmed animal protection and social justice organizations worldwide. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Harvard, is an ordained minister, and a dual citizen of the US and Brazil. She lives in San Diego with her partner, Aaron, and their dog, Buddy.

Monica Chen is the Executive Director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition. A veteran teacher, she taught classroom environmental education to students at all grade levels. She also led programs in residential environmental education, taught sexual health, and served as an instructor for the Prison University Project at San Quentin. Monica earned her BA at UC Berkeley and her Master’s in Education, with a focus on the environment, at the University of New Mexico. She’s a huge fan of guinea pigs.

Deanna Meyler is the Executive Director of Peace Advocacy Network and has been vegan since 1998. She has a PhD in sociology, advanced certification in Community Leadership, is a Master Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator, and is certified in plant-based nutrition. Deanna is the founder of An Everyday Vegan, a lifestyle website, and the Philly Vegan Food Tour. Deanna’s personal mission is to make the world a better place one meal at a time.

Naijha Wright-Brown is a 2021 Baltimore Business Journal Enterprising Women of Excellence Honoree. Naijha has an MBA in Business from the University of Phoenix and is a successful serial entrepreneur.  Naijha is a partner and the Marketing Director for The Land of Kush, VeganSoul Bistro, and co-creator of Vegan Soulfest and Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week.  She is the Executive Director of the Black Veg Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is mission is to educate predominantly Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, on the benefits of holistic living, the plant-based diet, and veganism.  Naijha is Treasurer of the Board of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. She, also, has a digital talk show, Naijha Speaks, that helps people on a mission to find their vegan soul!

Founding Members

Thanks to our Founding Members who seeded our initial Grant Fund:

Alicia Robb
Jennifer Fearing
Leigh Bantivoglio
Nicole Brodeur
Nikki Bollaert
Rachel Perman
Tessa Hale