Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
During his association with the Cleveland Clinic, which began in 1968, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.
In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, That same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease, which brought together more than 500 physicians and health-care workers. In April, 2005, Dr. Esselstyn became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Esselstyn received the 2013 Deerfield Academy Alumni Association Heritage Award In Recognition of Outstanding Achievement & Service, and the 2013 Yale University George H.W. Bush ’48 Lifetime Of Leadership Award.
His scientific publications number over 150, “The Best Doctors in America” 1994-1995 published by Woodward and White cites Dr. Esselstyn’s surgical expertise in the categories of endocrine and breast disease. In 1995, he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. The Esselstyns have four children and ten grandchildren.
Dr. Kim Allan Williams was born and raised in inner-city Chicago, and attended the College of The University of Chicago (1971 to 1975), followed by the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine (1975 to 1979), internal medicine residency at Emory University (1979 to 1982), and overlapping fellowships in Cardiology at the University of Chicago (1982 to 1985), Clinical Pharmacology (1984 to 1985), and Nuclear Medicine (1984 to 1986). He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.
Dr. Williams joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1986, specializing in clinical cardiology, nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology. He served as Professor of Medicine and Radiology and Director of Nuclear Cardiology at The University of Chicago School of Medicine until 2010. Among numerous awards and honors for his teaching in the medical school, residencies and fellowships, he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha in 2008.
In 2010, he became the Dorothy Susan Timmis Endowed Professor of Medicine and Radiology and Chairman of the Division of Cardiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. At Wayne State, he has started the Urban Cardiology Initiative – a program of education of physicians on disparities in healthcare, primary school education on cardiovascular health and community health screening in inner city Detroit. In November, 2013 he returned to Chicago as the James B. Herrick Endowed Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Williams has published numerous peer reviewed articles, monographs, book chapters, editorials, and review articles in the field of nuclear cardiology and minority health issues, with emphasis on education and innovations in perfusion imaging and quantitation of ventricular function. His research interests include selective adenosine receptor agonists, fluorinated perfusion PET imaging, health care disparities and payment policy, and appropriate use of cardiac imaging.
Dr. Williams has served on numerous committees and boards at the national level, including the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the Certifying Board of Nuclear Cardiology, the Certifying Board of Cardiac Computed Tomography, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). He served as President of ASNC from 2004 to 2005. He served as Chairman of the Board of ABC from 2008 to 2010. He also served on the Cardiovascular Disease Examination Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM-CV) until 2012. He currently serves as the ACC President-Elect and is slated to serve as ACC President in 2015.
Thomas M. Campbell II, MD is the co-founder and clinical director of the University of Rochester Program for Nutrition in Medicine. A board certified family physician, he has an active primary care practice in Rochester, NY. In addition, Dr. Campbell is Medical Director of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, a leading provider, in partnership with eCornell, of online certification in plant-based nutrition.
A graduate of Cornell University, Thomas is author of The Campbell Plan and co-author, with his father T. Colin Campbell, PhD, of the bestselling The China Study. Dr. Campbell got his medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and completed residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester, Highland Hospital. He has published in the Israel Medical Association Journal and in CME publications Primary Care Reports and Integrative Medicine Alert. He has completed several marathons.
A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org, with new videos and articles uploaded every day.
Dr. Richard Oppenlander is a sustainability consultant, researcher, and author whose award winning book, Comfortably Unaware has been endorsed as a must-read by Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Dr. Neal Barnard, among others. Dr. Oppenlander’s most recent book titled, “Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work”, has won numerous awards including the 2014 International Book Award and the 2014 Green Book Festival Award and is being used by think tanks and strategists for developing initiatives to advance change.
Dr. Oppenlander is a much sought after international lecturer on the topic of food choice and how it relates to sustainability and served as the lead consultant for two new full-length environmental documentary films. He also serves as an advisor to world hunger projects in developing countries and with municipalities in the U.S. Dr. Oppenlander has spent the past 40 years studying the effects food choices have on our planet and on us. He started an organic plant based food production company, operates an animal rescue sanctuary (with his wife Jill), and is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, Inspire Awareness Now. Visit the Comfortably Unaware website for more.
Rich is a world-renowned, plant-based ultra-endurance athlete, in-demand public speaker, wellness advocate, #1 bestselling author and inspirational hero to a global audience of wellness seekers as a transformative example of courageous and healthy living.
After succumbing to the sedentary throes of overweight middle age, at age 40, Rich made a decision to overhaul his life, adopting a plant-based diet and reinventing himself as an ultra-distance endurance athlete. Just a few years later, Rich stunned the multisport community with top finishes at the Ultraman World Championships, a 320-mile, 3-day double ironman-distance triathlon widely considered one of the most grueling endurance events on the planet. In 2010 Rich topped this feat and cemented his place in the pantheon of endurance greats when he was the first of two people to complete EPIC5 – a 703-mile adventure of well, epic proportions that entailed completing 5 ironman-distance triathlons on 5 separate Hawaiian Islands in under 7 days total.
Rich chronicles his journey in Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself (Crown Archetype, 2012) — an inspirational memoir of heroic plant-fueled athletic prowess which quickly became a #1 bestseller and has been translated into six foreign languages. Not only did this book completely change the way people think about diet, fitness and elite athletic performance, it serves as a powerful example of the indelible power of the human spirit to face and overcome life obstacles, including alcoholism and financial devastation; the courage to shed the mantle of social expectations; and the ability within all of us to discover, unlock and unleash the best, most authentic version of ourselves that dwells deep within.
Picking up where the book leaves off, in 2012 Rich launched the wildly popular Rich Roll Podcast, currently topping charts on iTunes. With over 5 million downloads to date, Rich is touching and changing the lives of a passionate devoted audience that spans the globe.
Hitting shelves Spring 2015 is Rich and his wife Julie’s first cookbook: The Plantpower Way (Penguin) – a plant-based primer for the active modern family.
A graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School, Rich’s feats of boundary-pushing athleticism have been featured on CNN and in the pages of Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Outside, Triathlete, VegNews, Sweat Equity, Chatelaine, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, The Huffington Post, Stanford Magazine, 3/GO Magazine, Sweat Equity and Men’s Fitness Magazine, which named Rich as one of 2009’s “25 Fittest Men in the World.”
Along with his wife and four children, Rich resides Malibu Canyon outside of Los Angeles. When he isn’t writing, podcasting, traveling the world as a public speaker or spending time with his family, you can find him lost on the remote trails of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Robert Ostfeld, M.D., MSc., a cardiologist, is the founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Cardiology Fellowship at Montefiore-Einstein.
Dr. Ostfeld earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; his MD from Yale University School of Medicine; and his Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Ostfeld completed his medical internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and his cardiology fellowship and research fellowship in Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – both teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.
His professional interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, medical education and clinical research. He earned the Outstanding Full Time Attending of the Year award at Montefiore for excellence in teaching medical residents; the Program Director’s Award for dedicated service on behalf of the Montefiore-Einstein Cardiology Fellowship; and was elected to the Leo M. Davidoff Society at Einstein for outstanding achievement in the teaching of medical students.
Baxter D. Montgomery, MD, FACC received his undergraduate degree from William Marsh Rice University in Houston. His Medical Degree was earned from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He completed an internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine and affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. He completed a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases along with completing special qualifications in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Dr. Montgomery is the founder and president of Montgomery Heart and Wellness, which guides clients and patients toward optimal health through nutritional excellence. He serves as clinical assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology/clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he is responsible for teaching doctors who are undergoing subspecialty training in general cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology.
Dr. Montgomery has acquired additional interests and expertise in the area of cardiovascular disease prevention and reversal using nutritional interventions. He noticed that despite treating his patients with the latest advances in technology and medication, they continued to gain weight and grow sicker.
He started researching nutrition’s role in disease reversal and found that plant foods were the common denominator in determining wellness. He has developed a novel food classification system and food prescription program that enables individuals to reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes without medications or surgeries. He has refined this process over the past 15 years with profound positive results in severely ill patients.
Dr. Montgomery is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and member of the international Heart Rhythm Society. As a board-certified cardiologist with expertise in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, he has treated thousands of patients with severe cardiovascular diseases for over two decades. The current scope of his practice includes treating patients with various forms of advanced heart disease with implantable medical devices, catheter procedures, and electrical studies of the heart. He is also very active in clinical research in areas of cardiovascular diseases and cardiac rhythm disorders. Other aspects of the practice consist of the use of noninvasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for the evaluation and treatment of individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
In April of 2010, Dr. Montgomery was named the recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine by the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine for his work in disease reversal using nutritional interventions.
Dr. Montgomery enjoys the blessings of four wonderful children.
Lindsay S. Nixon is the bestselling author of the Happy Herbivore Cookbook Series: The Happy Herbivore Cookbook (Jan 2011), Everyday Happy Herbivore (Dec 2011), Happy Herbivore Abroad (Dec 2012), and Happy Herbivore Light & Lean (Dec 2013). Since 2011, Nixon has sold more than 200,000 books.
Nixon has been featured on The Food Network and Dr. Oz. Her recipes have also been featured in the New York Times, Vegetarian Times magazine, Shape Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Bust, Women’s Health and WebMD, among others.
A rising star in the culinary world, Nixon is praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that make eating well easy, affordable, realistic and delicious.
Learn more about Nixon and try some of her recipes on her award-winning blog happyherbivore.com.
Ann Crile Esselstyn is a relentlessly energetic and creative advocate for the plant-based, whole-food way of life. She has devoted herself to inventing recipes toprevent and reverse heart disease in support of the research of her husband, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. Ann never stops looking for ways to bring that important agenda to delicious life, devising ever more practical and powerful ways to shop, cook, and engage even the most reluctant eaters in the plant-perfect diet.
Ann is the author of the recipe section of Dr. Esselstyn’s bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her daughter, Jane Esselstyn. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Masters in Education from Wheelock College. Ann taught English and History for 27 years at Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio, where she received the Hostatler Award for Outstanding Teaching. At the same time, she juggled the raising of four children. When not in the kitchen, Ann counsels patients, lectures around the world on how to prepare and eat plant-based foods, and spends time with her ten plant-based grandchildren.
Jane Esselstyn is a fresh and charismatic voice on the plant-based, whole food diet. She brings her perspective and passion as a long-time health and sexuality educator to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her next door neighbor and mom, Ann.
Jane has worked as a science, outdoor, and health educator for over 25 years. During her years teaching sex ed to middle school kids, she has developed a powerful curriculum around healthy sexuality and development in the digital age. A tireless champion for kids and their health, Jane brings remarkable clarity, compassion, and humor to the most difficult conversations—for kids and parents alike. Jane met her husband and fellow educator, Brian Hart, while working as a field instructor for Outward Bound. They have three plant-based children. Jane graduated from the University of Michigan, where she competed nationally as a recruited swimmer and rower, and earned a B.S in Nursing from Kent State University.
Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-based diet for almost 40 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with Chef AJ which airs on Foody TV. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and more. A chef, culinary instructor and professional speaker, she is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from a junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body
Based in Los Angeles, Chef AJ teaches a monthly sold-out seminar featuring cooking instruction, nutritional science and song parodies, all delivered with comedic panache. Never content to leave her audience with mere “just do it” advice, she teaches how to create meals to transform their health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction and addresses the emotional side of eating. She is the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss Program, which has helped hundreds of people achieve the health and the body that they deserve.
Chef AJ was the Executive Pastry Chef at Sante Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar, oil, salt and gluten free desserts which use the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the whole fruit.
Chef AJ is also creator of Healthy Taste of LA and the YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian, and is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. Chef AJ holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell University and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Dr. Terry Mason is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, overseeing hospital quality and safety, coordination of clinical care and graduate medical education. Prior to his role as CMO, Dr. Mason was appointed the Chicago Public Health Commissioner by Mayor Richard M. Daley. He received his Bachelors of Science degree from Loyola University and went on to obtain his medical degree from the University of Illinois College Of Medicine. After medical school he completed a general surgery residency at the University of Illinois and a urology residency at Michael Reese Hospital.
Dr. Mason is a nationally renowned health educator and is well known for pioneering the use of brachytherapy and for his expertise in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Dr. Mason recently served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Cook County Health and Hospitals system (CCHHS), overseeing the day-to-day operations of the third largest public health delivery system in the county.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Alan Goldhamer has been the director of the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. TrueNorth Health is a multi-discipline inpatient facility staffed by doctors of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic , naturopathy and psychology.
TrueNorth is the largest facility in the world specializing in medically supervised water-only fasting and treats over 1000 patients per year in their residential health education program.
The affiliated non-profit TrueNorth Health Foundation trains over 30 doctors a year in their internship and residency programs.
Dr. Goldhamer is the author of The Health Promoting Cookbook and co-author of The Pleasure Trap and was the principal investigator in two studies involving the use of water-fasting in the treatment of high blood pressure.
Brenda Davis, registered dietitian and nutritionist, is a leader in her field and an internationally acclaimed speaker. She has worked as a public health nutritionist, clinical nutrition specialist, nutrition consultant and academic nutrition instructor. She is the lead dietitian on a diabetes intervention project in Majuro, Marshall Islands. Brenda spent 8 months in Majuro in 2006 and returns for 4-6 week periods every year or two.
Brenda is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In July 2007, she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.
A co-author of nine books – award winners, Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition (2014) and Becoming Vegan: Express Edition (2013), and the best-sellers, Becoming Vegan (2000), Becoming Vegetarian (1994, 1995), The New Becoming Vegetarian (2003) and Defeating Diabetes (2003), Dairy-free and Delicious (2001) and Becoming Raw (2010) and Raw-food Revolution Diet (2008).
Brenda lives in Kelowna, British Columbia with her husband Paul. She has two grown children, Leena and Cory.
John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant who has devoted more than a quarter century to helping and improving the lives of others through his expertise in the areas of geriatrics, nutrition, fitness, women’s empowerment, green living, and cognitive retainment and improvement. While sometimes referred to as a “Trainer to the Stars” because he trains celebrities, rock-stars, and Fortune 500 Executives, John has a wide range of clientele, including military personnel, hard-core athletes, and many people with diverse backgrounds and fitness levels.
John’s unique ability to communicate valuable information in an easy-to-understand manner has made him a popular and sought-after speaker at numerous vegetarian, animal rights, fitness, and health-promoting conferences around the world. Presenting consecutively at Pennsylvania’s Vegetarian Summerfest for the past 21 years, John Pierre was recently inducted into the North American Vegetarian Society’s prestigious Vegetarian Hall of Fame. A partial list of John’s speaking venues include: Denver Veg Fest, Toronto Veg Festival, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain, Healthy Taste of Ventura, Get Healthy Marshall Texas, Torrence Memorial Medical Center, American Vegan, Hay House I Can Do It! events, corporate seminars, numerous radio interviews and podcasts, and private lectures for groups.
As a pioneer in the area of geriatrics, John Pierre was one of the first to create classes on fall prevention, and help establish the link between diet and balance abilities. His recent and highly-anticipated published endeavor The Pillars of Health was chosen by Dr. Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, as a favorite reading choice.
Along with John’s extensive volunteer commitment to numerous nonprofit organizations, he has devoted countless hours to presenting health-promoting and personal-safety oriented information to the Girl Scouts of America, elementary after-school programs, high-schools, and other higher-level learning institutions and universities.
John’s volunteer work also includes coordinating the collection and distribution of clothing and food to women’s shelters, volunteering in animal-shelters, and teaching comprehensive women’s safety and empowerment seminars and bootcamps. He has also lectured at orphanages, teen-runaway centers, and learning institutions with the goal of spreading the message about plant-based nutrition, peace, and a compassionate lifestyle; which contributes to increased levels of health for people, animals, and the environment.
Nelson Campbell is the Executive Producer, Director and Co-Writer of PlantPure Nation. This film examines the political and economic factors that suppress information on the benefits of plant-based nutrition, while making the connections of this idea to larger issues such as medical practice, farming, and food deserts.
He also leads a company that he established to create a financial mechanism for supporting a grassroots movement around the health message of plant-based nutrition (www.plantpurenation.com). Prior to this, he had 25 years of entrepreneurial experience building various companies.
Nelson has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University in political science and economics.
*Speaker lineup subject to change and improvement without notice.