Board of Directors

Julie Knopp – President

Julie Knopp has spent the past decade working in education and social justice. She currently serves as the Director of Communications for Friends of San Lucas, a fundraising non-profit that supports a Guatemalan partner organization working to increase access to education, healthcare, and housing. A CAA volunteer since 2015, Julie joined the board in April of 2019 and became president in January 2020.

Learn more about Julie | Contact Julie

Nathan Gaut – Secretary

Nathan Gaut moved to the Twin Cities in 2016 from San Diego to pursue a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. He has been involved in the Twin Cities Veg Fest Planning Committee since the 2017 festival and has chaired the committee in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Nathan joined the board in October of 2017.

Learn more about Nathan | Contact Nathan

Stephanie Paquin – Treasurer

Stephanie Paquin has lived in the Twin Cities for the past 20 years, working in public accounting as a CPA and now as the Chief Financial Officer for a local wholesale distribution company. She became vegan in January 2017 and started volunteering with CAA in the summer of 2020. She is also a musician in several different Twin Cities bands.

Learn more about Stephanie | Contact Stephanie

Alyssa Foggia-Hamm

Alyssa 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 got involved with CAA in 2020 through her work with HSUS – just in time for Twin Cities Veg Fest planning! She jumped in to help plan our CAA food giveaway booth, and spent her first Veg Fest handing out samples of plant-based hot dogs and engaging with attendees.With the desire to make a big impact in her local community, she wasted no time joining the board of directors in 2021. She’s honored to be a part of our amazing board of directors and hopes to bring some of her writing and marketing talents to the table as needed.

Learn more about AlyssaContact Alyssa

Chris Homsey

Chris Homsey has volunteered for CAA as a member of the Twin Cities Veg Fest planning committee, having coordinated both cooking demos and speakers. She is a food scientist by profession and has worked in the areas of sensory science, consumer research, and product development. Chris joined the board in December of 2016.

Learn more about Chris | Contact Chris

Henry Patterson

Henry Patterson has volunteered with CAA since 2017 most recently as a member of the Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck planning committee, coordinating social media for the event. He is a project manager and manufacturing consultant by profession and works in the areas of operations and manufacturing process improvement. Henry joined the CAA board in January of 2019.

Learn more about Henry | Contact Henry

Dyne Stephenson

Dyne Stephenson has been an educator, animal advocate, and vegan, for over 25 years.  Since 2016, he has been a volunteer in many different CAA roles, including coordinator positions for the CAA Banquet and Twin Cities Veg Fest.  Additionally, he has attended and volunteered at Vegan Chili Cook Offs, Dine-Outs, potlucks, film screenings, and other events. We welcome him into his new role as our latest board member.

Learn more about Dyne | Contact Dyne

Mitch ThompsonMitch Thompson-On leave of absence

Mitch Thompson has volunteered for CAA as a member of the 2018 Twin Cities Veg Fest planning committee, co-coordinating the After-Party and coordinating all technology logistics and equipment. He works in the Twin Cities video production industry managing equipment rentals and is the drummer and manager for an internationally known local ska band. Mitch joined the board in December of 2018.

Learn more about Mitch | Contact Mitch

Joining the Board

If you’re interested in joining the board, please read the letter to prospective board members and board member responsibilities. Also, familiarize yourself with the CAA core values and bylaws.

Prospective board members must attend and participate in at least one board meeting before being considered for board membership. After that, the board will ask you to fill out the questionnaire for prospective members.

If you are interested in attending a board meeting, email info@exploreveg.org to find out when the next board meeting will take place.

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Upcoming Events

Sunday, May 1, 2022 - Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Twin Cities Veg Month 2022; Get 15% Off at Local Restaurants!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Tour of SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Veg Month Dine-Out: J-Selby’s

Saturday, June 4, 2022

CAA’s Bags Tournament