Introducing the 2022 Twin Cities Veg Fest Chairs: Breanna Knutson and Katelyn Maddox 

Breanna and Katelyn were terrific chairs for Twin Cities Veg Fest this year! They, along with a big team of fellow volunteers, led us to another successful festival. This highly rated event saw the growth of participation—both overall from last year and in diversity in participants and vendors. We can attribute much of the smooth operation to this team’s dedication and planning skills.

Both Breanna and Katelyn are fairly new volunteers. They started their work with us at last year’s festival. Breanna was assistant to last year’s chairs. Katelyn handled our Twitter outreach for the festival.

They both went on to volunteer for other CAA programs as well. Breanna took the lead on Postcards for Animals. Katelyn helped plan the 2021 ThanksLiving celebration. And then they plunged in and volunteered for the huge task of chairing this year’s festival!

Breanna and Katelyn both cite the CAA community as motivations for their work. It helped them find support among like-minded people.

The festival has had a big impact on them personally. Breanna went from vegetarian to vegan after learning more about the dairy and egg industry at the festival. And Katelyn may have found a secondary career as an event planner. 🙂

Read on to find out more about the motivation and interests of each of them. These are their responses to our questions:

Breanna with Farmaste Animal Sanctuary residents Mags and Timothy

Breanna Knutson

How long have you been volunteering for CAA and for the TCVF?

This was my second year volunteering for CAA and the TCVF! I started out volunteering for TCVF and also took the lead on Postcards for Animals.

How did you discover Compassionate Action for Animals and what made you decide to get involved? 

I originally discovered/heard of CAA because I had attended TCVF in the past and it was a big influence for me in making the decision to go from vegetarian to vegan after I learned more about the dairy and egg industry. I had seen a post about being a part of the committee for TCVF and I thought this would be a great chance to get more involved within the vegan community and meet like-minded people! 

What in particular attracted you to the TCVF Committee and being a co-chair?

TCVF was always an event that I loved going to. Last year I was the assistant to the co-chair and I had a really great experience. I wanted to continue to be even more involved in putting on this amazing festival! 

What do you love most about volunteering?

Being able to meet all of the other great people that also volunteer through CAA! I like being able to be a part of being TCFV because I get to be a part of introducing people to plant based eating and showing people how many great vegan options are out there. 

When you are not helping out with CAA stuff, what do you like to do? 

Outside of CAA I am interested in photography to hiking/spending time outdoors, working out, and hanging out with my two kitties!! 

What inspires you to eat plant-based and/or take action for animals? 

I have always loved animals and that is what originally got my interested in plant based eating. I also began to learn more about how being plant based is better for the environment as well!

Anything else you want to share: 

I am so glad that I started volunteering with CAA. I have met so many great people and it has been amazing to be a part of TCVF and other events hosted by CAA.  

Katelyn Maddox 

How long have you been volunteering for CAA and for the TCVF? I’ve been volunteering for CAA and TCVF for about a year and a half! I started my volunteering by running the TCVF Twitter for the 2021 festival. I also helped plan the 2021ThanksLiving event. This year, I volunteered as the co-chair of Twin Cities Veg Fest 2022. 

How did you discover Compassionate Action for Animals and what made you decide to get involved? 

I discovered CAA while looking for ways to get involved in the Minnesota vegan community after moving back to MN from Iowa. The vegan community in Des Moines was a huge reason why I enjoyed my time as a new vegan and I was thrilled to find a similarly supportive group here in the cities. 

What in particular attracted you to the TCVF Committee and being a co-chair?

I love pretty much everything about event planning. I had never been part of planning anything as big as TCVF, so I knew it would challenge me and teach me new skills. Post-festival, I can confirm I love event planning even more and I have decided it might be my second career if I ever burn out of public health. I also really liked my time on the committee last year and learning about different places to eat amazing food here in the cities.

What do you love most about volunteering?

I love making connections with fellow volunteers and community members. I had a blast planing Veg Fest and working with our fantastic committee, CAA staff, our day-of volunteers, and our exhibitors. I am a people-person and I have loved being surrounded by amazing people while advocating for animals. 

When you are not helping out with CAA stuff, what do you like to do? 

I am a full-time graduate student working towards my Masters in Public Health at the University of Minnesota. I also work for the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minneapolis Health Department. Outside of work and school, I love to read, bake vegan goodies, watch sports, weight-lift, and spend time with family and friends. 

Breanna and Katelyn with CAA Executive Director, Laura Matanah and last year’s chair Nathan Gaut.

Post navigation

Get Involved

Subscribe to our weekly update:


Donate

Volunteer

Veg Resources

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 5, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting

Monday, December 12, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting