Presenters

We are proud to offer educational, insightful and fun talks by thought leaders and industry professionals from Naples and beyond!

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Chadwin Taylor

More About Chadwin

Chadwin Taylor has experienced a dramatic weight loss journey and discovered that his son has autism — both of which have led him to a vegan lifestyle. Although he claims to be no guru in the world of fitness, special needs or vegan nutrition, Chadwin offers a humble perspective on taking personal responsibility for the lives we live and the world we shape. One choice at a time, he has reshaped his relationship with food, with animals, with Mother Earth and has learned his most valuable lesson from his 6-year-old son — unconditional love.

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Cyd Notter

Nutrition Educator & Writer
Founder of The ‘Plan A’ Diet™

More About Cyd

Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies, a certified instructor for The Starch Solution and other dietary courses, a past newspaper columnist, and the founder/author of The “Plan A” Diet. She offers a variety of health and cooking classes, provides nutritional coaching on both individual and corporate levels, speaks to local groups, and has worked with school district employees and a hospital’s fitness center. Her book, titled The “Plan A” Diet, released in October, 2019.

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Dr. Ronald L. Knaus

Board Certified Psychiatrist and Author

More About Ronald

Dr. Ronald Knaus, DO is a child & adolescent psychiatry specialist in Largo, FL and has been practicing for 52 years. He graduated from Kansas City Univ Of Medicine Bioscience College Of Osteopathic Medicine in 1967 and specializes in child & adolescent psychiatry.

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Dr. Nick Borja

"Eating to Prevent Cancer and Chronic Disease: The Emerging Science" 

More About Nick

Dr. Nick Borja was born and raised in Miami and graduated from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. He trained in general surgery at Parkland Hospital and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Borja now focuses on helping to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases through evidence-based lifestyle modification. His preventive medicine practice guides clients towards an active, plant-based lifestyle to reach their best health. To that end, Dr. Borja offers one-on-one counseling, plant-based cooking demonstrations, and other interactive events for the community. To learn more, please visit nickborjamd.com

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Nikki Benoit

Author / Coach / Reiki Master / Speaker / Yoga Instructor

More About Nikki

An east coast native, Nikki spent her college years and beyond as an activist for animals, the environment and social justice issues. Needing to make sense of and come to peace with everything along the way, she began her work on the spiritual level. When she realized that the conditions of our outer world are just reflecting the conditions of humanities inner world, her focus shifted to energy healing arts and yoga. Now a Reiki Master, yoga instructor, author, and speaker living in southern Florida, she hosts discussions on why animals matter, the magic of living a heart and intuition-lead life, and the importance of self-love - the recipe for global peace.

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Shelly Stauber

The Medicinal Gourmet
Private Chef & Food Coach

More About Shelly

Shelly Stauber is a medicinal private chef and food coach. The founder of MedicinalGourmet.com, she has been teaching and empowering people to improve and optimize their health by making a vibrantly healthy lifestyle both easy to achieve and delicious to follow! Clients have been discovering the secrets to harnessing the healing powers of plant-based foods, thereby revolutionizing their relationship with food. Shelly has been inspiring people and giving them the confidence to get back into their kitchens and create delicious, healthy meals and snacks that heal.

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Marcus Watts

Director of Fitness & Health

More About Marcus

Lifestyle & Fitness Coach with a specialty in helping busy professionals with high-stress levels overhaul their lifestyles on a limited schedule. After a near-death scare with two unexplained blood clots, and pulmonary embolism I was inspired to grow my knowledge in plant-based wellness. Since turning away from doctors, and healing in 16 months my vision is to help educate and inspire on the possibilities of living both PLANT-BASED and STRONG!

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Justin Clark
Fort Myers Anonymous for the Voiceless Chapter

Brad Talbott
Fort Myers Organizer for the international Anonymous for the Voiceless movement

More About Justin & Brad

Justin Clark

Justin is the co-founder of the Fort Myers Anonymous for the Voiceless Chapter. Anonymous for the Voiceless is an organization that hosts public demonstrations in which its members show the public videos of factory farming conditions and have conversations with the public about the subject of animal rights. Justin has been helping members of the public reach a vegan conclusion in their thought process about animals since November of 2017. In order to increase his effectiveness in creating a kinder world for animals, Justin has attended numerous academic trainings and lectures spanning across the subjects of societal change, individual behavioral change, animal ethics, and nutrition. In addition, he spends much of his free time studying debates, ethics, environmental science, and nutrition that relates to animal agriculture.

Brad Talbott

Brad Talbott is an avid musician and Fort Myers Organizer for the international Anonymous for the Voiceless movement. Brad has helped organize public art demonstrations along with others around the state of Florida in order to educate the public about the positive effects a plant based diet can have on your health, the environment, and the animals we share this planet with. He has had experience with hosting musical events as President of music club at Florida Gulf Coast University in addition to hosting and assisting local open mic nights throughout the community.

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Dr. Brian Taschner

Director of Lifestyle Medicine and Food Certification

More About Dr. Brian

Dr. Taschner has been practicing Cardiology in his hometown of Fort Myers, Florida since 2005. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Florida where he was accepted into the Junior Honors Medical Program, and later graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1998. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Virginia Commonwealth University where he served as Chief Resident of Internal Medicine and subsequently completed his Cardiology Fellowship at Saint Louis University where he was the Chief Cardiology Fellow.

Xylo Zohn Smith-Pajares Headshot

Xylo Zohn Smith-Pajares

Opening and Closing Meditations

More About Xylo
Fostering Fun through his Fusion Flow, XYZo now brings his energizing movement workshop to VegFest! Combining elements of Yoga, Free-form Dance, and Breathwork, XYZo's Fusion Flow Movement Workshop guides participants in connecting deeper to themselves & to each other. This workshop always leaves participants with a renewed sense of joy, gratitude, and confidence! All levels of fitness are welcome! Join us as we cultivate community through mindful movement!
 

Xylo Zohn Smith-Pajares, also known as XYZo, strives to uplift, educate, and inspire everyone with whom he interacts. He is currently finishing his undergraduate career at Florida Gulf Coast University, studying Contemplative Studies & Entrepreneurship, with plans to open healing centers. In addition to instructing hundreds of Yoga classes throughout his time at FGCU, he has been an event facilitator & community organizer, playing a key role in several events of many kinds. He is tremendously excited to continue sharing his passions with the greater community through VegFest!