Living Life on Purpose with Vic Strecher: PYP 219

Vic Strecher was a stellar public health researcher and entrepreneur when his life lost all meaning. A professor at the University of Michigan, founder of the Center for Health Communication Research, and creator of an online health coaching company that was bought by Johnson & Johnson in 2008, Strecher was at the top of his game. And then in 2010 his life fell apart when his daughter Julia died at the age of 21. Read more »

Putting Our Money Where Our Hearts Are with Lee Slonimsky: PYP 211

Lee Slonimsky is both a financial wizard and an accomplished poet. His abiding interests include social justice and animal welfare. Lee has managed to fit all these skills, interests, and passions into a singular and impactful life. He's the co-founder of Next Era Capital Partners LLC, the country's first hedge fund majority owned by Native Americans. He uses his investment chops to shift the capitalist game from amassing resources at any cost to using capital as a tool to reorient business toward more life-sustaining practices. Read more »

Saving America by Reforming Health Insurance with Ken Beckman: PYP 200

Ken Beckman is an actuary in the health insurance field. (Now hang on, you non-math folks - this is going to be a lot more interesting (and accessible) than you might think. Give us a chance here... :) After getting turned on to the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Ken began seeing the health insurance industry in a radically new light. If the best possible outcome is a slow decline mediated by appropriate drugs and timely procedures, then we're probably doing OK. Read more »

Ed and Amanda Smith on Leadership, Community, and Health: PYP 198

Ed and Amanda Smith are the co-founders of Healthfest, a three-day annual event in a small Texas town that's become an unlikely hub of plant-based nutrition in the United States. Marshall, Texas, population 27,000, is smack in the middle of the "stroke belt." Where beef is king, hunting is a rite of passage into manhood, and if it ain't deep-fried, it ain't food. And there, where Ed served as mayor, is where they decided to bring plant-based knowledge and practice. Read more »

Milan Ross on Losing 250 Pounds and Finding His Purpose and Passion: PYP 195

Milan Ross weighed about 500 pounds and suffered from diabetic neuropathy, hypertension, and high cholesterol when he took a job at Whole Foods for the health insurance. His wife had just been diagnosed with severe and progressive MS, and they were going to need a lot of help with medical bills as the disease took her mobility and quality of life. Read more »

The Power of One Plate at a Time with Ken Botts: PYP 176

Ken Botts has been in food service for over 35 years, since he discovered the financial rewards of frying chicken and slinging pizza as a teenager trying to pay for his own car insurance. At age 18, he discovered Diet for a Small Planet, by Francis Moore Lappé, and made the connection between the food we eat and the world we inhabit. Read more »

PYP 158: Sandi Kronick on Facilitating a Sustainable Food System

Sandi Kronick is founder and CEO of Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), an innovative food hub company that connects medium-scale organic farmers with local and far-flung markets. Located in Durham, NC, ECO is part of a new breed of mission-driven for-profit companies looking to help us eat better within a capitalist framework. Read more »