Board of Directors

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 was a member of the 2017 Twin Cities Veg Fest planning committee as the exhibitor logistics coordinator and is now becoming more involved with the University student group. Nathan joined the board in October of 2017.

Learn more about Nathan | Contact Nathan

Chris Homsey – Treasurer

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

Julie Knopp – President

Julie Knopp has spent the past decade working in education and social justice. She currently serves as the Director of Communications & Special Events for Friends of San Lucas, a non-profit that supports education, healthcare, and infrastructure development in Guatemala. 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

Gigi Abbadie

Gigi Abbadie has spent most of her career in the beauty industry working to make the world a better place for people, animals and the planet. She is a purpose-driven marketing strategist, and founder of Two Trees Strategy™ who passionately believes that the future of beauty and fashion is compassion! Gigi spends much of her free time helping rehabilitate wildlife and caring for baby squirrels. Gigi proudly joined the board in 2020.

Learn more about Gigi | Contact Gigi

Vic Massaglia

Vic Massaglia is an advocate for human rights and animal rights and believes in the power of compassion to make positive change. He has been working in higher education for over 25 years and is currently the Director of the Career and Professional Development Center at the School Public Health at the University of Minnesota. Vic joined the board in April of 2018 and is a past CAA president.

Learn more about Vic | Contact Vic

Abby Medberry

Abby Medberry was born in China but moved to Rochester, Minnesota at the age of five. A business student at the University of Minnesota, she is interested in international travel and learning about new cultures. She is a social chair for the University of Minnesota CAA Student Group and is passionate about social justice issues, politics, and how business can have positive impacts on society.

Learn more about Abby | Contact Abby

Stephanie Paquin

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

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

Mitch Thompson-

On leave of absence

Mitch Thompson

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

Theresa Zingery

Theresa Zingery is the director of the Adult Academic Program of Robbinsdale Area Schools and has extensive board experience. After thirty years as a vegetarian, she became a vegan in January 2015 and has volunteered for CAA in a number of capacities, with a focus on pay-per-view and virtual reality outreach. Theresa joined the board in October of 2017.

Learn more about Theresa | Contact Theresa

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - Tuesday, December 8, 2020

UMN Student Group Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Vegan Recipe Club via Zoom