Jody Kass

Executive Director

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.

Caroline Dyar

Vice President

Caroline works with the Executive Director on organizational development and with all staff on new initiatives and the design and implementation of PPC’s programmatic framework and guidelines. She started working for PlantPure Communities in September 2016. She is a Black Belt Nia Technique teacher and trained as an Integrative Health Coach at Duke Integrative Medicine. She spent a year at Bryn Mawr College before graduating 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.

Jessie Stahl

Senior Policy and Program Coordinator

Jessie began working for PlantPure Communities in June 2017 after graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University. Jessie’s role at PPC involves the staffing and management of PPC’s various advocacy initiatives, such as: the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign, Advocacy Council, Food-Climate Connection Campaign, and the Moving Medicine Forward: Dr. Klaper and PlantPure Communities Nutrition in Medical School Initiative. Jessie also provides support for the creation of future toolkits and PPC webinars. She aspires to obtain a masters degree in nursing and become a nurse practitioner. Jessie is passionate about spreading awareness to others of the many benefits of a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

Ella Stephens

Pod Support Programs Manager

Ella began working for PlantPure Communities in September 2017 after graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. Ella’s focus is creating informational Toolkits for the Pod Network. She is excited to start her career in educating others about plant-based nutrition, and aspires to obtain a PhD on the topic. Ella is passionate about changing the world by making a positive impact on society’s health and the sustainability of the planet.

Kera Linn, RD

Pod Operations Manager

Kera completed both her Bachelors of Science in dietetics and dietetic internship at Iowa State University to become a Registered Dietitian. She is passionate about educating children and adults about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. Kera began working for PlantPure Communities in January 2018 as a Regional Manager to help support group leaders in the PPC Pod Network, and was promoted to Pod Operations Manager in January 2019.

Joshua Wayne, MPH, MSW

Regional Manager

Josh first became involved with PlantPure Communities Pod Network as a group leader of Pure Sprouts – Athens, GA, a Pod he started in February 2016. In April 2018, Josh began working for PPC as a Regional Manager. He graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a B.S. in Psychology and a Spanish Minor. In 2019, Josh graduated from UGA with a Masters of Public Health (MPH) and Masters of Social Work (MSW). Josh hopes to combine the community wide prevention efforts of public health with the macro social work view that attempts to address systemic barriers to healthy behaviors. When Josh isn’t working with PPC, he enjoys walking in the forest, listening to the birds, and practicing acro yoga.

Heather Patrick

Regional Manager

Heather Patrick joined PPC in April 2018 to help support and grow the Pod Network. Heather holds a B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Connecticut College. She spent several years living abroad, studying and teaching sustainable farming in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. Heather is Co-Founder of Wild Earth Farm and Sanctuary, a nonprofit farmed animal sanctuary and sustainable education farm. She is certified in permaculture design and seeks a “Grow Beyond Vegan” approach to make plant based living regenerative for the earth.