VEGAN LIVING PROGRAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Robin Helfritch Maratos
Vegan Living Program Founding Director, Robin has been organizing for animals since 2004 in Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC, and since 2012 in New York City and Long Island. With childhood and early adult roots in local animal rescue, and many years spent campaigning against fur, foie gras, circuses, rodeos and vivisection, Robin now focuses her efforts on all-encompassing vegan education and support.
She has organized animal rights and vegan education campaigns, conferences, festivals and programs on the grassroots and national levels. She is co-founder of the Vegan Living Program organization and it's signature program, which is now in it's 9th year and 4th city.
Robin's work in the VLP includes coordinating and co-organizing VLPs in current programs' cities and facilitating expansion in new cities, giving vegan education presentations, graphic design of printed and online materials, website and social media, advertising, marketing, and serving as the group's President.
Founding Director of the Vegan Living Program, Erin's roles in the organization include coordinating and co-organizing VLPs in current programs' cities and facilitating expansion in new cities, giving vegan education presentations, writing content for the VLP's email alerts, websites, literature, and social media, and serving as the group's Treasurer.
Erin began attending animal rights events as a teenager, her first demonstration being a vigil for turkeys with United Poultry Concerns in the mid 1990s. She has been organizing for animals on the grassroots level in Baltimore since 2003. Erin co-ran the Baltimore Vegan Living Program for seven years, and in 2018 joined the Long Island VLP organizing team. She is passionate about the connections between different struggles for justice, and values the experience she has gained from volunteering for labor and human rights organizations in addition to her work with the VLP.
Demosthenes serves as the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY, where he has been employed since 2009. Demosthenes has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989. He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network, the New York region’s largest and most active environmental advocacy organization. There, in addition to many successful efforts, he campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history - the Neighbor Notification of Pesticide Spraying law and the Safe School Grounds law.
With the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Demosthenes is part of a team that provides community education and fosters informed debate on key issues related to sustainability. His work also includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community. He is the Sustainability Institute’s lead organizer of the annual Long Island Vegan Living Program. In addition, he hosts the Sustainability Institute's Sustainable Living Film Series that boasts an entirely vegan menu at each screening, and makes the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism a central focus of each event. He is featured in the 2014 documentary film, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret that is streaming worldwide on Netflix.
Shelly began attending animal rights events in the mid-2000s. She’s participated in vivisection, circus and anti-fur demos organized by local grassroot organizations. She’s donated time to help local animal sanctuaries with cleaning stalls and other labor.
Currently Shelly is focusing on vegan education and support by co-organizing the Syracuse Vegan Living Program. She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the 2019 Syracuse VegFest. Her passions include her two deaf dogs, Rosalie and Leia, creating vegan dishes to share with family and friends to show how easy and delicious vegan cooking is, nature walks, and renovating her home with her fiancé. She also works at a local credit union and strives to educate low income residents about building solid credit to help achieve their American dreams.
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