Directors and Staff
Board of Directors
Tom Progar – President
Tom has been serving on the VegMichigan board for 5 years and was elected president in 2018. After attending VegMichigan’s Vegfest over 10 years ago, his eyes were opened to the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet and it has become his life’s work to bring about a more humane, sustainable, and healthy food system. He is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Tom graduated from Michigan State University with a finance degree and began his career working for the Detroit Tigers and later for his family’s business.
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.” Paul graduated from Wayne State University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Detroit.
Noelle Grain – Program and Operations Manager
Melissa McKimmy – Event Coordinator
As the Event Coordinator, Melissa McKimmy administers all facets of event planning and management throughout Michigan, focusing on promoting the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Her areas of experience include environmental sustainability, urban agriculture, land use, and human services. Melissa is currently a Steering Committee Member of the Capital Area Food Council. Melissa earned a B.S. in Anthropology from Central Michigan University and an M.S. in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies from Michigan State University.
Adrienne Gillespie – Director of Marketing
As the Director of Marketing, Adrienne Gillespie is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of the organization’s marketing strategies and communications. Her focus is on promoting the benefits of a vegan diet and compassionate lifestyle on all media platforms across the state of Michigan. Adrienne has spent the last nine years in sales, marketing, and business development. She obtained her certification as a personal and organizational development coach from the Coach Training Alliance and completed the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the Center for Nutrition Studies. Adrienne holds a B.A. in Geography and Fine Arts from Hofstra University in New York.