Lauren looked at the burger on her plate in 1995 and spontaneously decided to stop eating animals. She went vegan in 1999 while attending a class at UC Davis about animal exploitation.
After getting her BA in Political Science and Economics, she spent four years managing a vegan cookie company before venturing into the world of software and becoming a technical writer.
In 2004 she became aware of Vegan Outreach and later participated in Team Vegan. In 2015 she became a member of the board of directors.
Lauren was born and raised in northern California and now lives in central Oregon. She enjoys reading and writing, hiking in the wilderness, and watching movies with her family.
Mark has been involved with Vegan Outreach since 1995, when he helped fund our launch to become a national organization. In 2004, he became a member of the board.
Mark became aware of veganism from his sister in the late 1980s; and then in 1990, while a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the campus group Students for Animal Rights. In 1995, Mark attended the vegan School of Natural Cookery and began disseminating recipes through his online cookbook at Vitalita.com.
Mark worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC until he graduated with a Master of Science in Computer Science in 1992. From there, he went to work on European Community projects in Italy for three years. After returning, Mark started his own IT systems consulting firm specializing in Oracle software implementations.
When not stuck in front of a computer, he enjoys baking, traveling, yoga, and getting around by bike.
Drew was born in Southern California and raised in the Central Valley. Living in an agricultural community, he saw the inhumane treatment of animals from an early age.
Drew become a vegetarian and joined the animal rights movement after viewing an undercover video that exposed the mistreatment of farmed animals. He gradually made the switch to vegan over the following year.
Drew has been part of Vegan Outreach since 2009, and was integral in starting our outreach program in Mexico. He works for Dolby Laboratories and brings to the board expertise in finance and accounting, as well as knowledge from his previous work in the bio-tech industry. Drew holds a degree in business administration from California State University, Fresno.
Patti began volunteering with Vegan Outreach in 2012 and joined the board in 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and master’s in business administration. She currently works as a project manager in engineering services.
Patti grew up in Iowa surrounded by, but oblivious to, animal agriculture. While she had always been a champion for companion animals and wildlife, it wasn’t until a thought-provoking philosophy class and a series of personal experiences that she became mindful of the unnecessary cruelty resulting from animal-based diets. She initially became vegetarian and ultimately vegan as a result of these experiences.
Jack is a cofounder of Vegan Outreach. He was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2005. Jack is also a registered dietitian, and is responsible for all of VO’s writings on nutrition. With Ginny Messina, he cowrote Vegan for Life.
Jack grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He attended Cornell College in Iowa, where he was a Division III All-American in the pole vault. He has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, philosophy, and sociology. He performed his dietetic internship at Georgia State University. For fun, Jack plays ultimate frisbee, takes hikes with his spouse, Alex, and hangs out with his rescued turtle, Richard, and dog, Zoey.