Presenters & Live Music

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Ellen Jaffe Jones ( is an inspiring motivational speaker, personal trainer, running coach, author, and instructor of healthy cooking classes. As a former investigative reporter and anchor for 18 years in major market TV news, Ellen won 2 Emmys and the National Press Club award. She wrote her first book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, after seeing too many news stories saying eating healthfully was impossible on a budget. Ellen, an accomplished endurance and sprint runner, has won 104 5K+ Age Group awards since 2006. She placed 7th in US National Senior Games, W60-64 1500 Meters in 2013, and 1st in Florida’s W60-64, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meters races in 2014. In 2014 Ellen was also named PETA’s “Sexiest Vegan over 50.” She combined all of her skill sets with her latest release, Vegan Fitness for Mortals. Recognizing that fitness and diet are two sides of the same coin, Ellen developed routines for a variety of activities along with dietary recommendations that augment fitness—a winning combination designed to help anyone achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Kia Damon is the founder of Kia Cooks and the Supper Club from Nowhere. Her cooking focuses on mixing the flavors of the diaspora with the comfort foods of her childhood to create new and exciting ways to eat the dishes we love. Kia aims to make farm to table cooking more accessible to lower income communities and to show people that you do not have to sacrifice flavor to eat well!

Dr. Sharon Ames-Dennard, affectionately known as "The Psych Chef," serves up food for the mind and body at Nefetari's Fine Cuisine & Spirits where she is the Executive Chef. She hails from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She has traveled extensively and considers herself a foodie connoisseur. She learned her culinary skills the old-fashioned way, at the feet of her parents, aunts, and uncles. When she's not cooking or concocting recipes, she wears her other hat as a licensed clinical psychologist serving the Tallahassee community. She is married to Dana Dennard and has 4 adult children.

Fraser Bayley has a story that is extremely inspiring. He went from a life of relying on medications and dealing with anxiety, depression, and ADHD while working as a butcher at that time, to becoming a vegan bodybuilder who no longer relies on medications and is now living his best life. He is also the owner of Evolving Alpha and is helping so many others transform their health as well.

Chef Brian Burke has been a vegetarian for over twenty years and vegan for the last five began his love of cooking by watching and helping his Mom at very young age. He was immersed in the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle when he moved to the backwoods of Maine where he learned the ins and outs of vegetarian cuisine. Upon moving back to Massachusetts, he worked in many restaurants including opening a Mexican-American restaurant where he designed the menu and trained the staff. He had his own vegetarian cooking show on local television before landing a chef position at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health where he honed his skill by preparing vegan fare for upwards of 700 people per meal. He currently resides in Tallahassee with his two vegan daughters where he often holds cooking classes and demonstrations and works with the local Food Not Bombs chapter and homeless youth outreach programs to make available free, vegan food for those who might not otherwise have access healthy meals.

Myriam Parham, RD, CDE, CLC  is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She coordinates and teaches multiple programs which promote plant-based lifestyle at the Florida Hospital Zephyrhills; is president and co-founder of Florida Voices for Animals, Inc. She has presented nutrition lectures for Dr. John McDougall's program, worked on the GEICO research program with PCRM, has been a frequent speaker at the North American Vegetarian Society's Vegetarian Summerfest, is a frequent speaker at local community programs, and has served on the PCRM Professional Advisory board for many years. She is the mother of a healthy, active and thriving teenager who was raised vegan. 

VeganEvan is a passionate and talented young animal advocate committed environmentally sustainable world through his work as Co-President of Animal Hero Kids and Spokesperson for Solutionary Species, as well as through his own personal ideas and strategies for animal activism. Animal Hero Kids is an all-volunteer organization with a mission to empower children to be teachers and advocates for a solutionary lifestyle. VeganEvan has inspired many through his powerful speeches and knowledge. At only 7 years old, Evan has the potential to change the world through the incredible influence he has already had on ad on people he's met. In fact, Evan is in the process of starting up his own non-profit organization, called VeganEvan's Mission with the intent of intent of informing public schools to take animals off the school lunch menus! VeganEvan has spoken in front of large audiences at several major events throughout Florida, including Central Florida Earth Day, Central Florida VegFest, Tampa Bay VegFest, NE Florida VegFest, Space Coast VegFest, Sarasota's Solutionary Health Festival, and Gainesville VegFest. He has been granted the Russell Simmons Creative Animal Hero Kids Awards and the Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion from Supreme Master Ching Hai. In 2016, he earned PETA's Cutest Vegan Kid award.  Evan, his mom, and grandmother are solutionaries and have put in extraordinary effort toward the vegan movement. The three of them recently started up a new business called 3GV Designs and are using their products to support animal sanctuaries and solutionary organizations all throughout the country. Evan is very excited to be part of the 2018 North Florida VegFest!

Jessica Michaloski, RD, CDE is originally from Rochester, NY and went to school in Plattsburgh, New York, where she earned her degree in Nutrition Science. She is now a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and has been working in Tallahassee for 5 years.  Currently, she works at the TMH Metabolic Health Center, educating patients with conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.  She also helps run the Diabetes Prevention Program at the Metabolic Health Center.  This is a program for people with prediabetes, who want to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes. Jessica loves encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and helping people find their healthiest way of living.


Derek Sanders is a Tallahassee native and lead singer of Mayday Parade. Derek will be doing a solo acoustic performance.

Primary Colors

Primary Colors is a modern blues/classic rock band based in Tallahassee, FL, performing original music and covers by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Based in Tallahassee, Florida, and founded by Michael Lewis, The Common 'Taters and the Turn-Ups are a "core" group of musicians (the 'Taters) doing "roots" music, originals and tasty down home covers, with special visiting artists (the Turn-Ups).  The ‘Taters’ style of playing draws from a variety of diverse sounds, and features both electric and acoustic presentations of American roots music – just call it “Americana”.