Directors and Staff
Board of Directors
Tom Progar – President
Tom graduated from Michigan State University with a finance degree and began his career working for the Detroit Tigers. After attending VegMichigan’s Vegfest, his eyes were opened to the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of a vegan diet. Tom has been involved in vegan advocacy for over 10 years now and is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Eastern Michigan University. It has become his life’s work to bring about a more humane, sustainable, and healthy food system.
Paul Krause — Vice President
Paul is a pharmacist and former owner of The Medicine Cabinet pharmacy in Southfield. “Going vegan is very comprehensive,” he states. “As a society, we need to start accentuating preventative health care through our food choices. Furthermore, the planet can’t sustain a meat-eating society much longer. Finally, the evolution of factory farming has lead to the continued imprisonment and torture of animals.”
Rhea Linn has served as the VegMichigan Greater Lansing Area coordinator since 2013, where she manages the Meetup group ‟The Greater Lansing Vegan Dinner Club.” The group has quickly grown to more than 1000 members in the past few years, holding monthly potlucks and restaurant nights to create a fun-loving, supportive vegetarian community. Rhea’s focus is on promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a vegan (plant-based) lifestyle. Rhea has been vegan since 1990.
Sarah Chouinard has lived in Michigan for 8 years, originally raised on the East Coast. Sarah is a new organizer of the VegAnnArbor Meetup group sponsored by VegMichigan and plans to host monthly dinners and events local to the Ann Arbor area in the future! Sarah has been a longtime vegetarian and transitioned to a vegan diet several years ago. Sarah has a background in biology, philosophy and business and her love for animals has brought the three together as she strives to promote a plant-based lifestyle, as well as provide education to those starting their own journeys. Sarah also spends time volunteering with animals and doing activism. “The love for all animals is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin
Noelle Grain – Membership Director and College Outreach Coordinator
Noelle Grain is serving as the Membership Director and College Outreach Coordinator, where she helps promote the many benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Noelle has spent 15 years working in public policy and corporate affairs in both environmental and animal rights advocacy. She has worked with major food and apparel brands to implement policies that benefit animals as well as in regulatory compliance as an environmental inspector and with various environmental NGOs. Noelle holds a B.S. in environmental policy and political science and an M.S. in community, agriculture, recreation and resource studies from Michigan State University.