Nelson Campbell

Nelson Campbell

Founder of PlantPure Communities
President of PlantPure Communities

On the heels of writing and directing the 2015 documentary film PlantPure Nation, Nelson Campbell founded the nonprofit organization 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 President of PPC, Nelson continues to drive the strategic direction of the organization. His vision includes grassroots strategies for empowering people in local communities to share the plant-based nutrition message, including in our many under-resourced communities, and for addressing climate change and other environmental problems through a change in our food choices.

Nelson also founded the PlantPure, Inc. foods business. This business supports PPC’s strategies with its commitment to provide food products into under-resourced communities through non-retail channels at discounted prices.

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

Treasurer of PlantPure Communities
Chair of the Board of Directors
Member of the Board of Directors

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

After leaving Price Waterhouse in 1976, Louis spent seven years in the family business started by his grandfather in 1930 and continued by his father in 1949, before starting his own business in 1983 which soon became the largest customer of the family business. He sold his business in 1988 to Chrysler Corporation and moved his family to New Orleans where he joined his father-in-law and two brothers-in-law in their family business that started in 1960. In 2004, when the family business in New Orleans was sold, Louis moved back to Houston as the CFO of a financial services business for which he was one of the founding capital investors in 2001. Louis engineered the sale of that company two years later and the following 10 years provided business advisory services to closely held businesses as a contract/interim CFO, one of his clients being his son Bryan. In 2016 he became a partner with his son in the commercial real estate development business Bryan founded in 2005, and Louis continues in that partnership today.    

Louis remarried in 2016 (being widowed in 1993), and together with his wife Jana they have five married children and eight grandchildren. Louis and Jana converted to a whole food plant- based lifestyle in early 2018, and with the health benefits realized, Louis and his wife have since embarked on long distance hikes (100 miles or more) in the USA, Spain, Portugal, and Italy with more planned in the coming years. As co-leaders of the PlantPure Communities Pod “Harmony N Houston”,  Louis and Jana are very active in their local community and are passionate about being a catalyst for change to a plant-based lifestyle for those that are battling life threatening health conditions and for those who are open to such change to extend their lifespans and to avoid threatening health conditions.

Caroline Dyar

Caroline Dyar

Executive Director of PlantPure Communities
Secretary of PlantPure Communities
Member of the Board of Directors

Since September 2016, Caroline Dyar has played an integral role in the development and leadership of the 501c3 nonprofit PlantPure Communities (PPC). Caroline has led the organizational operations and the implementation of a wide range of pioneering PPC programs and initiatives. During her first four years at PPC she served as the Director of New Initiatives and Operations, and then as Vice President. In October 2020, she became the Executive Director at PPC.

Before working at PPC, Caroline was the Program Manager for over nine years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values. She is a Black Belt Nia Technique teacher and trained as an Integrative Health Coach at Duke Integrative Medicine. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Media Studies. She is passionate about animal rights and equal access to health and wellness education.

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

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. For four years Jody served as the Executive Director of PlantPure Communities, retiring from the position in September 2020.

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 8 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.