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“Being part of the inaugural PAC for PPC was an absolute honor. It was an incredible learning experience and also an opportunity to contribute to a network that gave so much to The Virsa Foundation Pod right from its inception. My personal plant-based healing and my professional journey as a whole food plant-based advocate would’ve been incomplete without the amazing resources, education and nutrition resources offered by this network. PPC feels like an extended family – one that I can count on for so many blessings!”
–Nivi Jaswal

About the Pod Advisory Committee

Formed in 2021, the PPC Pod Advisory Committee (PAC) is a panel of dynamic Pod leaders in the PPC Pod Network who represent thousands of Pod members from around the globe. Members of the PAC are chosen based on the success and growth of their Pods, their unique perspectives, skills, and dedication to PPC’s vision, and their innovation regarding community engagement in whole food, plant-based initiatives and programming. Check out the PAC member video interview series and read more about the 2021 PAC in our press release.

As Pod leaders, members of the PAC are integral to the plant-based grassroots movement, having invaluable first-hand experience which can ignite, transform, and enrich PPC’s endeavors to create vibrant global change. PAC members have the unique opportunity to take on a more impactful role within the Pod Network, share what has worked in their communities, network with other Pod Leaders, consider PPC’s outreach strategies, suggest new initiatives, and create greater change in the global whole food, plant-based movement. Read their bios below.

The Pod Advisory Committee envisions a vibrant Pod Network that: IGNITES creative leadership in communities across the globe; WEAVES together leaders’ diverse strengths, skills, and expertise for collective benefit; TRANSFORMS leaders’ ability to catalyze a societal shift in the health of people and the planet. The time is now!

Current Members of the PAC

Maya Acosta

Maya Acosta is a co-leader of the Plant-Based DFW Pod located in Dallas, TX. For years Maya has been passionate about helping everyday people understand that they have the power to upgrade their health. Her outreach work first began at her husband’s vascular center. Maya formed the organization called PlantBased DFW where she and her husband Dr. Riz offered lectures, potlucks, documentary screenings, and walks with the doc in order to educate the community about the benefits of adopting a whole food plant based lifestyle. Today her podcast Healthy Lifestyle Solutions offers additional support with guests such as plant-based physicians, dietitians, health coaches, and chefs who speak about the benefits of consuming a plant-based diet. She has also invited everyday people to share their testimonies on how plant based nutrition has halted, and in some cases reversed, disease. Today, Maya creates content for their YouTube channel as another way to share information with her Pod. The channel includes Podcast interviews, lectures, food demos, videos on the benefits of lifestyle medicine, and videos on how to grow your own green leafy vegetables using a hydroponics system.

Bill Daniels

The lives of Bill and his wife, Nonie, changed dramatically for the better after viewing the documentary, Forks Over Knives, and, shortly thereafter, Bill read Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study. Before being inspired to transition to a whole food, plant-based diet, Bill’s heart disease prevented him from walking up a steep hill without chest discomfort. Now, he can do it with ease! Bill’s early work-life focused on theater and horticulture. He then moved into the field of environmental, health, and safety for the next 31 years, with over ten of those years leading regional and global environmental compliance and employee health and safety campaigns. Bill holds degrees in Theater, Theology, and Health Science. In addition, he has completed certificates in Plant-Based Nutrition, Native Plant Propagation, and Permaculture Design, and is an Advanced Master Gardener. Upon retirement in 2019, Bill became the co-leader of PEA (Plant-based Eating Advocates) Pod in Bloomington, IN. PEA Pod’s small band of plant-based advocates continued to be active throughout the pandemic, meeting for picnics and Zoom get-togethers. PEA Pod’s current focus is to provide programs, resources, tools, knowledge and support to group members and the general public regarding living a low fat, whole food, plant-based life. Guest speakers have included Nelson Campbell, Founder and President of PlantPure Communities, Samantha Morton, Indiana State Director of the Humane Society of United States, and author and PEA Pod co-leader, Glen Merzer.

Meryl Fury

Meryl A. Fury, MS, RN started her plant-based journey at age 15. After years of studying nursing, human health, meditation, and personal transformation, Meryl realized that eating only plants was the healthiest option for her. This awareness fires Meryl’s passion to make a difference for people and planet through whole food plant-based (WFPB) eating. A member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Meryl has her Master’s degree in Nursing and holds certificates from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in Plant-Based Nutrition, and from Rouxbe Online Culinary School, Fork Over Knives Plant-Based Cuisine. She is on the Board of Directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is CEO of Plant Based Nutrition Movement. She leads monthly plant-based sharing and support groups online. Meryl is also a Food For Life Instructor and Co-Host of 6 Million Seeds Podcast.

Sally Lipsky

After a diagnosis of late-stage cancer, Sally Lipsky learned about the power of plant-based eating. This changed her life’s trajectory, and she became a plant-based nutrition educator and author. In 2014, she began Plant-Based Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA, as a way to offer much-needed support and connection among those adopting a plant-based lifestyle. 

The Pod offers a variety of resources and events, which used to include monthly meetings in-person at four area locations pre-COVID. They now offer twice-monthly Zoom programs with a topical program and a cooking demonstration, which are posted on their YouTube channel. There is a monthly newsletter and Facebook page to share events, recipes, and information. A free cookbook and additional recipes are available on the Pod’s website, as well as a local directory with healthcare practitioners, instructors, and products related to a plant-based lifestyle. Their community outreach has included food drives and partnerships with local food pantries; connections with local physicians and medical residents; special events like Dining with Plant-Based Docs and Pop-Up Dinners; plus articles, recipes, and letter-to-editors in local media.

Beth Love

Rev. Beth Love leads the Eat for the Earth Pod in Santa Cruz, CA. She is the author of the Tastes Like Love book series. A gifted speaker, facilitator, teacher, and ordained New Thought minister, Beth has motivated and educated people in diverse contexts such as nonprofit organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and the California State Prison system. She has inspired large and small audiences, in-person and through radio and television, from local community TV to The Oprah Winfrey Show. 

Due to her concern about the contribution of animal agriculture to the climate crisis and other environmental issues, Beth started Eat for the Earth, an organization that encourages plant-based and plant-rich diets to sustain all life on Earth. Eat for the Earth provides education; for example, through food preparation classes, their recently completed 31 Days of Inspiration to Heal program, and their traveling educational exhibit. The organization also engages in systems change work; for example, through advocacy with their county board of supervisors for policy changes to increase plant-consumption in their community.

Kent Marsh

Kent is a co-leader of the Harmony N Houston Pod located in Houston, Texas USA. He is a retired urban planner whose purpose in life is to provide the education and experience of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle to as many people as possible. His current Pod projects include organization of the seven Houston-area Pods into a regional Pod called PlantPure Houston for more communication and interaction between Pods, and a WFPB immersion pilot called 10×10 that focuses on participant mentoring of 10 participants for 10 days. His vision is to create as many working Pods as possible in schools, churches, community organizations, and neighborhoods so that all may share in the benefits of a longer, healthier life. Be Happy, Be healthy, Be WFPB!

Karoline Mueller

Karoline is the Pod Leader for Bayou City Beet – one of the several Pods in the wider Houston area coming together as PlantPure Houston. The partner Pods strongly believe in supporting each other. Members participate in potlucks, restaurant outings, and online meetings with special guests. Pod leaders connect with area organizations to increase awareness of the power of food for health and sustainability.

Karoline’s quest for health started in childhood seeking freedom from obesity and depression. In 1981, her family added whole grains and lots of raw vegetables to their standard repertoire. After coming to the United States from Germany to study for her Ph.D. in Chemistry, she learned more and more about diets. First, she explored vegetarian, then vegan, and in 2011 she discovered whole-foods plant-based. The last was where she found her community. In 2015, she trained as a Food for Life Instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to deliver nutrition and cooking classes. After watching PlantPure Nation in 2016, she was excited to join the Pod movement.

Amy Tasetano

Amy is the leader of two Pods in southwest Florida, Venice Healthy Eating and Effective Plant-Based Armchair Activism (an online Pod). The Venice Pod has been active with twice monthly potluck dinners and recipe demos. Amy Tasetano is a health and life coach, and founder of, where she interviews plant based physicians, dietitians, chefs and more. Be Green With Amy has a large YouTube and Facebook following, as well as a regular podcast. Virtual and local members can join a global audience for live Q+A sessions with plant based experts on her Be Green With Amy LIVE events. Amy holds a BBA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and earned a Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell in 2018.

Michelle Tree

Michelle Tree is the Pod Leader of Plant-Based Living Winnipeg in Canada. She is a passionate food educator and animal advocate who believes in the power of whole foods to transform communities.

Since founding the group in 2016, Michelle has grown PBLW to 1400+ members, hosted over 40 potlucks and meetups, held rallies, and campaigned for, and spoken publicly about, the benefits of a plant-based diet. Taking advantage of the opportunities for education, Michelle has completed the Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from e-Cornell and the Moving Medicine Forward Master Class in Plant-based Clinical Nutrition.

Michelle’s skill set includes photography and video editing which she does both personally and professionally. In the spring, summer and fall you’ll often find her in the garden, where she grows organic vegetables for her family and friends.

Cheryl True

Cheryl True MD is a Family & Lifestyle Medicine Physician in Davenport, IA. She started her Pod Heartland Rooted in 2016. The Pod has typically held monthly meetings that consisted of a potluck with time for fellowship and an educational session. The Pod has also hosted community lectures and healthy food demos, a monthly whole food plant based meal prep workshop, and a spice blends workshop. Heartland Rooted has a vibrant website, an active Facebook page & group, and also keeps in contact with members by email. Dr True has many interests and activities. She is an active member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has her own businesses True Lifestyle Medicine Clinic & LM4U, is Medical Director of the Rock Island County Health Department, is Director of Education for digitalLM, is a Walk with a Doc group leader, and serves on a variety of boards and committees. She enjoys cycling, outdoor activities and cooking. She and her husband enjoy sharing their home with their many pets.

Former Members of the PAC

Deborah Davies

Deborah Davies is co-leader of Plant Pod Cymru, the first Pod to be established in Wales, UK. The group has gone from strength to strength and enjoys lively engagement with members. In September 2020, Dr Michael Klaper honoured Plant Pod Cymru with a talk and Q&A session live on Zoom. Deborah took early retirement from her post as an administrator at Swansea University in 2019 having been a student/employee there since 1990. She studied languages and holds a Master’s degree in Italian.

Deborah feels strongly about animal rights and has been involved in campaigning and educating the public on this issue for several years. Since retiring she has had time to expand her knowledge of plant-based nutrition and is an enthusiastic advocate for a whole food, plant-based lifestyle.

Harriett Emerson

Harriett Emerson is the Pod Leader for Salt Lake Thrive which was founded in 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT. Since then, Thrive has hosted almost monthly community educational meetings in Salt Lake City, including events online since Spring 2020. Thrive is also seeking to partner with food pantries, churches, and other community organizations to increase awareness of the many benefits of a plant-rich lifestyle. 

Harriett has a Master’s Degree in City Planning and, as a Community Planner, has assisted many local, state, federal, and nonprofit organizations with developing and implementing strategic plans. 

Talia Greene

Talia Greene is the Pod Leader for the Pod known as Plant-Based Trinbagonians on the sunny Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago. From inception her Pod has held various potluck events, plant-based challenges, and a community grow box, and remains committed to adding more content. 

Talia is very passionate about living a plant-based lifestyle having experienced and witnessed a whole body transformation and health benefits since becoming plant-based five years ago; the proven scientific supporting evidence that is provided for whole plant foods being the optimal base of nutrition helps keep her encouraged to spread the word. She aspires to reinvent the awareness of whole foods locally as a pivotal aspect of health and wellness as the population grapples with high statistics of noncommunicable diseases.

Talia shares this message of gratitude and inspiration: Thank you to PlantPure Communities and all other Pods who have embarked on such a life changing mission — you got this!

Nivi Jaswal

Former corporate executive, Nivi Jaswal, has had quite a journey from marketing Processed Foods & Beverages to becoming a Mayo Clinic trained Board-certified coach. That journey was shaped by her ketogenic diet and various structural biases she faced in the international corporate world being a young, ambitious, and high-achieving woman of color. 

After healing on a whole foods, plant-based diet, Nivi launched her Boston-based nonprofit The Virsa Foundation and accompanying Pod, which primarily focused on serving communities in Punjab, India before the pandemic. A Bachelor’s in Psychology and an MBA in Consumer Behavior Marketing has enabled Nivi to develop a unique nonprofit that is committed to ethical, responsible behavior-change research, coalition building, and campaigning with a focus on Intersectional Feminism and Veganism. From underserved rural women artisans in India to low income underserved women of color in the U.S, Nivi’s work celebrates the Divine Feminine with plant-based nutrition and Veganism at its core.

Lianna Levine Reisner

After running a PlantPure Pod in Manhattan, NYC, Lianna – now the Network Director – launched Plant Powered Metro New York in early 2019 with four other local PPC Pod leaders to develop a more coordinated metro-wide movement for whole food, plant-based nutrition. PPMNY was designed to connect and support more leadership in the field and achieve deeper impact through collaboration. 

Lianna was first drawn to plant-based nutrition through the writings of T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and his colleagues who made a compelling case — helping her to lose 20% of her body weight, reverse endometriosis and hormonal imbalances, and heavily reduce her allergies and eczema, among many other benefits. She is now passionate about applying her expertise in collaborative change, community engagement, positive psychology, and network-based organizing to the local plant-based movement. Lianna holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell, and she is a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy. With a Master’s from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhood School of Management, she has worked as an organization development and change consultant through her practice, Partner for Change, supporting leaders to bring about positive change. She lives in the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Jacque Salomon

Jacque Salomon is co-founder of Seeds to Inspire 501(c)(3). In 2018 she and co-founder, Jessica Smothermon, decided to take Jacque’s personal struggles with exploitation and oppression and create opportunities for learning in Phoenix, AZ. However, early in 2020 it was evident that Jacque’s own personal story of healing and restoration of health must also come to the forefront. She has transmuted these two journeys into service to help facilitate learning and support regeneration of health through whole foods, plant-based nutrition in communities most vulnerable to Covid-19, climate destabilization, racialized violence and systemic racism. 

In response to the social, economic, health, and environmental crises, Seeds to Inspire shifted their lens. They decided to hyper-focus on the urgency to reach their underfunded and underrepresented communities comprised mostly of Indigenous, Black, and Racialized people. Through collaborations with PlantPure Communities, they not only provide learning opportunities, but through Seeds to Inspire Pod they are bringing vitality boosting, compassionate foods to communities on and off the reservations in the Phoenix Metro area as well as displaced populations living in tent communities.