Nelson Campbell

Chair of the Board

On the heels of writing and directing the 2015 documentary film PlantPure Nation, Nelson Campbell founded PlantPure Communities (PPC) in early 2016. Released in theaters in over 100 cities, the PlantPure Nation film (now on YouTube and Amazon Prime) examines the political and economic factors that suppress information about the benefits of plant-based nutrition, and makes connections to public policy, medical practice, food deserts, and farming.

As the Chair of the Board at PPC, Nelson continues to drive the strategic direction of the organization. His vision includes the Oasis Program, through which PPC is pioneering unique partnerships to bring the plant-based nutrition message into underserved communities.

Nelson also founded PlantPure, Inc. to launch a grassroots strategy that empowers people in local communities to share the message of plant-based nutrition. This strategy utilizes a social action platform to support local outreach initiatives, as well as plant-based food products provided at highly affordable prices in underserved neighborhoods, made possible by PlantPure’s decision to waive 100% of its profit margin on these sales.

Prior to his involvement with PlantPure Nation, Nelson worked for 25 years as a socially conscious business entrepreneur. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, and a Master’s Degree in Economics.

Louis V. Danna

Member of the Board of Directors

Louis V. Danna, a native of Houston, Texas, has over 40 years of experience in the world of finance and accounting, starting in 1971 when he joined the Houston office of Price Waterhouse & Co. upon graduation from Louisiana State University with a BS in Accounting, and becoming a Certified Public Accountant in 1973.

After leaving Price Waterhouse Louis joined his father in the family business, then in 1983 co- founded a new business in Houston, TX that was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1988. Following the sale of the business, Louis moved to New Orleans to join the produce business founded by his father-in-law, which was sold in 2004. Louis moved back to Houston where he served as CFO of a financial services business for which he was a founding passive investor/partner when it was sold in 2006. For the following 10+ years, Louis provided advisory services as a contract CFO helping business owners start, grow, finance, and/or sell their businesses. In 2016 Louis joined his son as a partner and CFO in the real estate development business founded by his son and continues in that role today.

Louis remarried in 2016 after being widowed in 1993, and together with his wife Jana have five married children and six grandchildren. With the health benefits of their new lifestyle, Louis and his wife have embarked on long distance hikes (100 miles or more) in the USA, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, with more planned in the coming years, along with other ways of more actively participating in life. Louis and Jana have committed to a very active role in the new “Harmony N Houston” PlantPure Pod and have hosted each meeting in Louis’s company office.

Dr. Benjamin Ha

Member of the Board of Directors

Dr. Benjamin Ha is a Family Physician with Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield, California. As an Assistant Area Medical Director for the Kern County Service Area for ten years, he led local efforts to improve clinical quality of care, chronic disease management, and health education for members. After discovering the power of whole food, plant-based nutrition to transform lives, he transitioned back to full-time clinical practice to spend more time working directly with patients.

In 2013, Dr. Ha co-authored an article published in The Permanente Journal entitled “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-based Diets,” and was a featured speaker and panelist at the First and Second Annual International Plant-Based Nutrition conference. He regularly volunteers his time to lecture about plant-based nutrition to community organizations and universities, and is a frequent guest on local television. Dr. Ha also leads a free monthly workshop to promote a whole food, plant-based diet as a powerful prescription for optimal health and wellness.

Dr. Ha is a North Carolina native and proud graduate of Duke University and the East Carolina University School of Medicine. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Long Beach Memorial before joining Kaiser Permanente in 2003. He lives in Bakersfield with his wife Nina and their two children, Ashley and Ben Jr.

Jody Kass

Executive Director & Member of the Board of Directors

Building on a life-long commitment to working for the public good, Jody was inspired to turn her attention to national nutrition policy after reading The China Study and meeting author/researcher, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. In the spring 2015, Jody joined the Board of Directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) where she served until early 2020. In 2016, Jody became the  Executive Director of PlantPure Communities. She brings experience in advocacy, nonprofit management, lobbying, organizing, collective action, and strategic planning from her 30-year career in community revitalization. Jody’s particular expertise is in the crafting of out-of-the-box solutions to thorny problems, and translating those solutions into legislative and regulatory policies that achieve systemic change.

Prior to national nutrition/food policy issues, Jody worked in the brownfields and community development arena. In 2001, Jody co-founded the nonprofit organization, New Partners for Community Revitalization (NPCR), which she directed until 2014. Under Jody’s leadership, NPCR’s work re-shaped the brownfields and community development framework in New York and $81million was appropriated to revitalize low income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Prior to NPCR, Jody was Vice President of the nonprofit NYC Housing Partnership, where she helped coordinate the construction of over 16,000 affordable housing units, representing over $1.5 billion in private investment in 50 NYC low-income communities. While at the Partnership, Jody served on Gov. Pataki’s Superfund Working Group and she also created and coordinated the Pocantico Roundtable for Consensus on Brownfields and co-led the Brownfields Coalition, an association of over 100 diverse organizations who came together in support of the legislative proposal that emerged from the Pocantico Roundtable and was ultimately instrumental in securing passage of the landmark 2003 NYS Brownfields Law.

Jody’s skill-set includes nonprofit management, lobbying, consensus building, navigating government bureaucracy, training, technical assistance, event conceptualization and coordination, fund raising, complex negotiations on technical and budgetary matters, public speaking, media campaigns, and strategic planning. She has received many awards, including the 2014 NYC Brownfield Partnership Distinguished Service Award; the 2013 Brownfields Leadership Award from NALGEP; the 2009 Leadership in Sustainable Not-for-Profit award from Sustainable Long Island; the 2008 Hero of the Harbor Award from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance; and the 2004 Advocate Award from Environmental Advocates.

Jana Mullins

Member of the Board of Directors

Jana Mullins is the Director of Outreach and Community Engagement at Brookwood Community, a nationally and internationally recognized residential, educational, and entrepreneurial non-profit organization serving adults with disabilities in Brookshire, TX.

Prior to her employment with Brookwood Community in 2013, Jana was a Program Officer with Rockwell Fund, Inc., a grant making foundation in Houston, TX, for over 14 years. The foundation supports numerous nonprofit organizations in the areas of Health and Education. Jana has served over 20 years in the nonprofit sector and holds a B.S. in Business from Barry University in Miami, FL, and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, CA. In 2008, in connection with her master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, Jana published her first book titled Open Hands, Lessons on Giving and Receiving, which received a Champions of Literacy Award.

Jana and her husband live in Houston Texas. Together they have 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with their family and grandchildren and are passionate about living a healthy, active life through their commitment to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, and enjoying long distance hiking, sometimes encompassing 100 miles or more throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Diego Ponieman

Member of the Board of Directors

Dr. Diego Ponieman is the Chief Medical Officer at SOMOS Community Care, a network of nearly 3,000 diverse community based primary care physicians, specialists, and service providers serving NYC communities. As immigrant physicians who have experienced first-hand the challenges of their patients, the SOMOS vision is to create a network of independent but collaborative community physicians and providers to best serve the needs of patients. Dr. Ponieman is responsible for SOMOS Community Care clinical projects, which are focused on reducing avoidable hospitalizations through proactive, coordinated care and evidence-based interventions with Medicaid members who are at risk for or are experiencing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Dr. Ponieman uses nutrition and lifestyle changes as a strong therapeutic intervention. He is working with SOMOS Community Care and underserved communities through local clinics in order to empower patients to take control of their health through whole plant food Oasis Jumpstarts, and to transform food deserts into healthier neighborhoods.

Dr. Ponieman was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he completed Medical School at the University of Buenos Aires. He completed his Internship and Residency at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. He later completed an Academic Fellowship in General Internal medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he remains a faculty member. He also sees patients as a Primary Care Physician at his private practice Metropolis Medical in upper Manhattan.

Dr. Ponieman has received many awards, including:

–        Clinical Excellence in Biopsychosocial Integration. Montefiore Medical Center Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

–        Daniel C. Leicht, M.D. Award for Social Medicine Project for Outstanding Achievement. RPSM. Montefiore Medical Center. Bronx N.Y.

–        Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Medical Students. Leo M. Davidoff Society of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.