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Biography Example: Lisa, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Lisa Marie McDonald is an unapologetic entrepreneur, philanthropist extraordinaire, and lifelong animal advocate.

Business owner, world traveler, speaker, animal sanctuary founder and thought leader, her trove of accomplishments is as big as her heart.

As a jet-setting corporate consultant, Lisa was at the top of her field, helping some of the world’s biggest companies to boost their bottom line.

A MENSA member, she specialized in enterprise content management for corporate legal departments and law firms throughout the world.

But Lisa wanted more.

She wanted to turn her passion for love, kindness, and compassion into a business venture that would make the world a better place.

So, she and partner Joe Dinan started Sanctuary Brewing Company (SBC) in Hendersonville, NC, a one- of-a-kind, award-winning vegan microbrewery dedicated to good times, good deeds, and amazing beer.

Through SBC, McDonald is showing the world that philanthropy and profit can go hand-in-hand.

Lisa has lived all over the world, from Singapore to Australia to NYC; visited more than 20 national parks; and is an avid hiker, true crime watcher, scuba diver, and Ryan Adams fan.

Lisa’s love for animals, humans, and the planet is palpable.

She created a Kindness Wall at the brewery, where those in need can take seasonal clothing, umbrellas, and essentials bags filled with basic necessities.

She also offers free Sunday meals, and hosts Give Forward community days where people can get free haircuts, job placement assistance, and health checks.

In addition, in the three years since its opening SBC has raised more than $10,000 for environmental, social justice, and animal advocacy charities.

Under the umbrella of her Kindness Empire nonprofit, Sweet Bear Rescue Farm is Lisa’s latest venture, and she serves as caretaker to nearly 20 non-human residents including Charlotte the gregarious chicken, Paul and George the affectionate turkeys, and Ollie the cantankerous pig.

Singlehandedly, she’s helped dozens of individuals transition to a plant-based lifestyle, as well as transformed the entire community of Hendersonville, NC, into a vegan mecca (recently recognized as such by AAA Carolinas and Mountain Xpress) through monthly supper clubs, vegan grocery shopping trips, and documentary screenings.

Her unique story and the incredible change she’s helped to facilitate in her community and nationwide has drawn the attention of major influencers and publications from race car driver Leilani Munter to Paste magazine to actor Ricky Gervais.

Lisa is magnetic, fun-loving, hilarious — and as kind as they come.

Through her Kindness Empire, Lisa is bringing her sense of purpose and philanthropy to the rest of the world.

Plant-based paradise: Hendersonville is nourishing a growing vegan community

It’s no secret that Asheville is a popular destination for plant-based eaters — the city has long made headlines with its vegan-friendly food scene. But Hendersonville, Asheville’s smaller neighbor to the south, is becoming a serious competitor when it comes to vegan eats.

The small, close-knit town — population 13,840 — has seen a slew of vegan and vegan-friendly spots and options come to the table in the last several years. This could arguably be a domino effect started by the all-vegan Sanctuary Brewing Co., which opened in 2015.

Click to read the rest on MountainX.com. 

Why Healing Your Gut (and Keeping Your Gut Happy) Is Essential for Good Health Overall

Why is gut health so important? And what are the best foods for gut health? Get answers so you can heal your gut, stay regular, and achieve good health.

When someone suggests you should “go with your gut” — they’re more right than you probably realize.

Thanks to a whopping 40 trillion bacteria perpetually hard at work, your gut helps power your entire body.

Click to read the rest on FoodRevolution.org.

Chloe Coscarelli’s Journey From Cupcakes to Vegan Comfort Food

In the past few years, the mellifluous moniker of chef Chloe Coscarelli has become synonymous with crowd-pleasing vegan eats. After winning Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2010, the pretty chef with an infectious smile went on to write three popular cookbooks before opening her groundbreaking NYC eatery, By Chloe, in 2015.

The cheerful spot sells vegan burgers, shakes, air-baked fries, mac ‘n’ cheese, cupcakes, and other nutritious twists on familiar foods. Coscarelli’s menu items even won over self-proclaimed vegan skeptic, Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Click to read the rest on MiamiNewTimes.com. 

Miyoko’s Kitchen and the Rise of Vegan Cheese

In the space of just two years, Miyoko Schinner’s nut-based, cultured cheesemaking company, Miyoko’s Kitchen, has exploded in popularity, evolving from a small, online-only operation to a successful business with 40 employees and an international reputation. With a lease signed for a massive new space, expansion into food service, and increased focus on placement in mainstream retailers, Miyoko’s Kitchen is rapidly moving up — and changing the definition of cheese in the process.

Click to read the rest on SpecialtyFood.com.

Embroidery Meets Intersectionality for Miami Artist Nadia Wolff

Born to Haitian parents and raised in Miami’s melting pot, 18-year-old artist Nadia Wolff has come of age in a cultural milieu. Her unique experience and identity have informed her powerful, personal work, which concentrates on self-portraiture through embroidery, painting, and poetry.

“I try to make work that examines the intersections of class, race, sexuality, and religion in shaping my particular culture,” she explains. “Miami is a hub of different, almost disparate cultures, and I’m also a reflection of that.”

In the city’s multiculturalism, she sees many contradictions. “I think it’s a place where you can see yourself reflected and also not reflected. It’s both odd to be different and completely mundane because there are so many diverse perspectives here.”

Click to read the rest from the Miami New Times.

The future is vegan, according to star trek

By the time humanity reaches Stardate 41249.3 (April 1, 2364 for non-Trekkies), animals will no longer be used for food. At least, that’s the story told by Star Trek, The Next Generation — and other incarnations of the famous show.

On the aforementioned date, Commander William T. Riker (the charming, mustachioed first officer to iconic Captain Jean Luc Picard) will have the following conversation with a group of rat-faced (literally) guests called the Anticans.

Riker: We no longer enslave animals for food purposes.
Badar N’D’D: But we have seen humans eat meat.
Riker: You’ve seen something as fresh and tasty as meat, but inorganically materialized, out of patterns used by our transporters.

The “meat” is made through what’s called a “replicator.” Members of the Star Trek universe need only ask the machine for any food item they want, and the dishes appear out of thin air.

Click to read the rest on PasteMagazine.com. 

7 Peeno Noirs to Open for the Premiere of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

With spring comes sunny weather, fresh starts, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Netflix original — Tina Fey’s most recent work of genius — returns on April 15th. Soon, we’ll all be binge-watching the antics of unflappable optimist Kimmy Schmidt, lovable dreamer Titus Andromedon, and clueless socialite Jacqueline Voorhes.

As far as musical interludes go, the show has created more than its fair share of ear worms (females ARE strong as hell) but the one that’s had the most sticking power since last season’s finale is the song “Peeno Noir.” Arguably, Titus’s original tune is the best thing that’s happened to Pinot noir since Sideways. And who can forget his classy music video? What production value! Even the Orange Is the New Black cast was inspired to create their own version, an ode to prison hooch.

Click to read the full story from Paste magazine. 

Best of Miami winner

Thanks to a million and one rom-coms, ice skating holds a special place in popular culture. From Blades of Glory to Serendipity, countless flicks have immortalized the ice cold charm of a skating rink and the charismatic appeal of a lumbering Zamboni. Sadly, Miami doesn’t have a Rockefeller Center, a frozen pond or a college ice hockey rink. We do, however have Kendall Ice Arena. The neighborhood rink, a local fixture since 2000, offers open skating every night (hours vary), so you can bring a Tindr match anytime for charming-yet-dirt-cheap date option. Admission usually runs $8, plus $3 for a skate rental, which is less than a drink at most Miami Beach bars. 

Click to read on.

Local volunteers lead the fight against food insecurity

Often invisible to those not directly affected, food insecurity nonetheless touches nearly 1 in 7 people in the U.S. In Western North Carolina alone, about 108,000 residents lack consistent access to three meals a day, according to the 2014 “Map the Meal Gap” report.

Thanks to dozens of nonprofit organizations, however, WNC residents needing nutritional support have places to turn — and thousands of dedicated volunteers play a crucial role in helping these groups carry out their various missions.

At the forefront of the local hunger relief movement stands MANNA FoodBank. The large-scale, collaborative network comprises 248 philanthropic groups in 16 counties across the region. In 2014, the nonprofit distributed 15 million pounds of food, enough for 34,000 meals per day.

Click here to read on.