I rarely remember I even have this consistently renamed space anymore, which says a whole lot about how things have changed since Janessa, Michele and myself started working on the concept that what would become Vida Vegan Con in 2009. So, here I am, remembering what “free time” is, to share my personal behind-the-scenes theme song for 2015 and the “final” Vida Vegan Con this past weekend (which I almost can’t believe I didn’t play after “Save the Best for Last” and “(I’ve had) The Time of My Life“).

The ripples and waves of who & what took place that last week of May already floor me. Holy shiitake. I get so struck with this reality of hope and community. It was exhausting with 2 massive events in one weekend, but unbelievably worth it. Let me get just as real: working on these conferences morphed me both professionally and personally, uniting a realized passion I barely saw coming: events! My obsession with vegan community events (and enormous thematic potlucks! and parties! and supper clubs! and Vegan Iron Chef cook-offs!) led me to kick my irritating marketing profession behind and welcome an actual career as a freelance event maker and project manager.It’s been a powerful past few years with learning experiences alongside wonders, and it rules…which is all thanks to the Vida Vegan Con world. 

It’s a shame that I can’t properly express the deep gratitude that I have for Janessa and Michele, for their nonstop innovation, ideas and strength, Jules for the support, understanding and spark, and every single attendee, speaker, contributor, volunteer, friend, PPKer, Austinite and vendor through the years. I am so proud of all of you!!!! So, let me try, and just keep it short before we cut to the music: 

You get “it”. YOU GOT IT!


And hey, you never know what’s next. ; )

P.S. I really don’t plan on updating this much. Catch me on Instagram as @jdfunks, sheesh.


  1. Thank you, lovely lady, for your impressive, amazing, community-building work and for pulling together one of the best weekends of my life! It was my first Vida Vegan Con, and sadly my last, but I cherished every second. My only regret was that I was too shy to come up and say hi and thank you in person!

    Here’s to you! And to getting your life back!

    Although I think I speak for many when I say we’re all a little sad you won’t do it again!

  2. Oh Jess, I am inspired by YOU. I have to say, these VVCs just got better and better and more refined as the years went on. It’s clear that your passion and your skill at event planning have both grown. I can’t wait to see what other vegan community events you dream up — and hopefully be a part of as many of them as possible.

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