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Volunteer joins staff
Theresa (she/her) has been a long time volunteer and now joins us as staff! She is the new Communications Coordinator.
As a board member she worked on strategic planning, fundraising and communications. She also loved greeting at in-person events (when those were possible!). Most recently, she helped organize the Annual Banquet and coordinated the auction.
She recently retired from her role as Community Education Manager for Anoka-Hennepin schools. Rather than a life of leisure, she wanted to focus on her favorite part of past jobs – communications. Working with us allows her to do that. All while still working to make an impact on behalf of farmed animals.
Our board of directors has recently added a new member. Alyssa (she/her) has been an animal advocate with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for about three years and now she’s adding CAA to that list. As a professional writer and marketer, Alyssa brings a creative lens to our work.
Alyssa is a Minnesota native, born and raised. She works for herself at Fabacts, LLC as a freelance writer and creative marketing specialist. She’s also a part-time indoor cycling instructor at the family-owned boutique spin studio, Surge Cycling.
Alyssa’s plant-based journey started almost immediately after she watched the documentary What the Health in 2017. That film inspired her to cut red meat cold turkey. As she educated herself on the dairy and fishing industries, it didn’t take much time to cut all animals products from her diet.
Since her transition to the vegan life, she’s taken an interest in agriculture, food politics, animal welfare and public health. As a fitness junkie and long-time health enthusiast, Alyssa is passionate about getting people to not only live a plant-based lifestyle, but one that’s intentional, compassionate, balanced and good for overall health. Alyssa’s approach to advocacy in her personal life is a little unconventional, often using sarcasm and humor to connect with an audience and get her message across.
We are pleased to welcome a new Program Assistant—Abbey Feola! Below we share a brief bio of her along with questions she answered so that we could get to know her a little better. She hopes to meet you soon at a CAA event so that she can get to know you too!
Abbey Feola, Program Assistant
Abbey (she/her) joined CAA as Program Assistant after volunteering at several CAA events and loving the open, welcoming atmosphere she found there. As Program Assistant, she supports participants taking the Explore Veg challenge and assists with a variety of other CAA programming. In her previous years at Macalester College and Habitat for Humanity, she created outreach programs and worked with volunteers around topics relating to sustainability and housing. She currently spends her time outside of CAA working in the financial industry, volunteering at pet rescues, getting involved in new sports, spending time with her friends and family, and taking care of her pets.
She answered some of our questions below so that we could get to know her better:
Looking to cut down on salt, oil, or sugar? Just love healthy, delicious, plant-based food? Either way, these recipes from Straight Up Food by Cathy Fisher are sure to please.
Smart and approachable, Kate Friedman’s collection of vibrant recipes from 5-ingredient Vegan Cooking will inspire both vegan beginners and seasoned chefs alike.
By Jodi Gruhn, Wholesome Minnesota Director
One of my favorite parts of my role as the Wholesome Minnesota Director is connecting with students. It has been a great pleasure to visit local high schools to help students connect the dots between human and planetary health and our food system. The majority of the students I have met have had no idea that animal agriculture had a role in climate change and hadn’t thought about how it contributes to the health crisis that plagues us. One student said, “How come no one tells us this stuff.” The good news? These students are now armed with information and some are activated to make change.
For recipes that are quick, easy and designed to be low-fat or no-fat, check out this month’s selections from Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon.
At CAA, some of the work we do for animals and people requires a lot of administrative details. That’s why we’re grateful for volunteers like Debra Johnson who have a keen eye for the particulars. Debra’s been helping us with data entry and other clerical duties, keeping our efforts humming along. Find out more about Debra and what inspires her to live plant-based.
Breanna Knutson is a frequent volunteer with CAA. She was assistant to the chairs for the 2021 Twin Cities Veg Fest, and most recently, she’s been helping us with the logistics of getting more than 2,000 Postcards for Animals out to volunteers and members of the community. Read on to find out more about Breanna’s passion for eating plant-based and what inspired her to get involved with CAA.