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Stephanie Vail - Executive Director


Stephanie Vail became the Executive Director of PBNSG in December, 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work with a Masters in Social Welfare Administration as well as a Masters in English Language from the UM-Rackham Graduate School. She also holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University.  

She brings a lifelong interest in healthy eating to PBNSG, has been a vegetarian since an undergraduate, and slowly transitioned to whole food plant-based eating after learning about Dean Ornish in the early 1990s. 

Previously, Ms. Vail worked as an administrator at the UM Institute of Social Research-CRUSK,  the American Red Cross/Wolverine Blood Region in Flint, Michigan, the Washtenaw County Domestic Violence Project, Inc. /SAFE House and was an Assistant to the Director of the Women’s Crisis Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has volunteered with groups such as La Leche League, The Fourth Avenue People’s Food Cooperative, The Gloria Dei Food Coop, and various natural foods warehouse buying clubs in Michigan.

Leslie DeRemer - Director of Volunteers

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Leslie DeRemer is a retired elementary school principal who grew up in Ferndale/Hazel Park, Michigan. Education has been the focus of her life. She would like to use her skills as an educator to spread the good word about the benefits of a healthy plant based lifestyle. PBNSG is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message. Leslie became involved in PBNSG two years ago, attending classes, large presentations and small groups. She was very honored to be asked to serve as the Director of Volunteers and enjoys working with this amazing group of dedicated people. Leslie is also a small group host for the Almont/Lapeer/Imlay City/Romeo area. She is very passionate about sharing a whole food plant based lifestyle with others. Her ever growing knowledge on the subject came about after years of research and formal classes. She became a raw food nutritionist eight years ago and continues to attend food preparation classes, recently completing the Forks Over Knives culinary course.

Leslie also promotes exercise as a means to maintain a healthy body. She runs, lifts weights, hikes and enjoys yoga. She also rides her bicycle on a regular basis, completing the 52 mile Zoo-de-Mac and 42 mile Beaver Island bike events. Each year she and her plant based, bicycle riding husband would like to add to the list of cycling events.

In her spare time, Leslie enjoys riding her Harley with her husband David. She also belongs to a women’s motorcycle riding group called Stilettos on Steel. They ride for pleasure, as well as ride for important causes all across the state. Her spare time is also filled with family camping trips. She recently purchased a toy hauler and is looking forward to taking the Harleys on adventures across the United States.

Brett Nyquist - Director of Technology


Brett Nyquist was born and raised in Michigan. He is the Director of Technology for PBNSG and has a long history of Software/IT experience, with an Associates Degree in Network Systems Administration.

He has a strong love and passion for Plant Based Nutrition! In September 2015, he started following a Plant Based Lifestyle, alongside his partner Nicole, and they both lost 35 lbs within the first year. He loves to cook and prepare meals for others.  


Contact : brett@pbnsg.org for any inquiries!

Dr. Caroline Trapp, DNP, ANP-BC, CDE, FAANP, DipACLM - Director of Diabetes Education

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Dr. Caroline Trapp is a long-time volunteer with the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group. She is the director of diabetes education and care with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC., an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, and a diabetes nurse practitioner.  She has earned degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Madonna University, and is board certified in adult primary care, diabetes education, and lifestyle medicine. In 2013, she was inducted as a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for her work in nutrition education and research. She has presented across the U.S. and in Canada, China, the Republic of Macedonia and the Marshall Islands on the topics of plant-based nutrition for diabetes and deprescribing insulin.  Dr. Trapp oversees the Nurses Nutrition Network with the Physicians Committee, and an ongoing effort to reverse the epidemic of diabetes among Native Americans in the southwestern United States.

In honor of her outstanding work, Dr. Trapp was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2013; awarded Oakland University’s Nightingale Award for Education and Research in 2012; and was a finalist for the American Association of Diabetes Educator's 2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year Award.

When she’s not trying to stop the over-reliance on medication and under-utilization of WFPB foods for diabetes, Caroline loves to hang out with family and friends, travel the world, cook from one of her 90+ vegan cookbooks (who knew there were so many available?!); and rescue cats.

Dinah Oude-Reimerink - Director of Small Groups

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Dinah Oude-Reimerink is a native Michigander, born and raised in Redford, who has returned from living in Canada for 3.5 years to land in Livonia.  Plant Based for the past 6+ years, Dinah and her husband Jake were initially urged to read the China Study by Jake’s sister to help reduce complications from Jake’s Type I diabetes.  Complying out of sisterly-love, they went along with the plan.  Struggling to choke back what seemed like cardboard in the beginning, they soon learned of PBNSG – when Paul Chatlin and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn did Grand Rounds at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where Dinah worked as an Ophthalmic Technician.   In a conversation with Dr. Esselstyn after the lecture, Dinah asked about her husband and if benefits to Type I diabetes could be “worth it”, and was told “just do it… just do it”!   The impact on both of their bloodwork has been amazing, and the benefits to Jake in terms of improvement in his vascular system have been close to miraculous. The support and resources provided by PBNSG enabled cooking (and eating…..) to become an adventure and passion for both Jake and Dinah.   The lectures never fail to spotlight an eating pattern or lifestyle pattern that can be improved.  Now they are full-on no-turning-back believers in the benefits of their Whole Food Plant Based No Oil lifestyle.  They both credit their health and Jake’s life to his sister Yvonne, and PBNSG.  Dinah and her husband Jake host the Windsor Canada Small Group until June 2019, and Dinah hosts the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Small Group with Dr. Swenor.   Having retired from Henry Ford Hospital last summer, Dinah seeks to be more available for family, and the other “important things of life”, which have expanded to include becoming Director of Small Groups for PBNSG!  Dinah is also pursuing certification as a Health Educator through Wellness Forum Health. 

Vicki Brett-Gach - Co-Director of Culinary Education

Vicki Brett-Gach is a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, and a Certified Personal Chef through Wellness Forum Health. She earned a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition and studied Nutrition for a Healthy Heart through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, and has a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University.  

Vicki understands the challenges a new vegan can face, and specializes in simple, nutritious, low-fat plant-based recipes, designed to improve health and increase energy. As a personal vegan coach, she works with individual clients trying to make smarter, healthier, and more compassionate food choices, and shares effective strategies, transitional tools, and customized recipes that help establish and support new healthy habits – one delicious meal at a time.  

Vicki teaches a variety of heart-healthy vegan cooking classes, and is a contributing writer for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies Newsletter, Honest Cooking, and Vegan Magazine.  
Connect with Vicki on Facebook, and follow her Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen blog for new recipes as soon as they are published. 

Michele Gallo - Co-Director of Culinary Education

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Michele Gallo is the Co-Director of Culinary Education for PBNSG!

She has a Master of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Physical Therapy from Oakland University.  She has American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist Certification. She has completed certificates from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in Plant-Based Nutrition, Rouxbe Plant-Based Professional, Rouxbe Forks Over Knives, IDEA Nutrition and Behavior Change.  Michele has also completed the Wellcoaches Core Coach Training and is pursuing certification as a Health and Wellness Coach.


Denise Kling-Pelto, Culinary Curator

"Culinary Curator"

PBNSG Director - Recipes

Denise Kling-Pelto came to plant based nutrition after her husband suffered a “Widow Maker” heart blockage, 3 stents, 6 angioplasties and was sent home with several medications.  But, Denise and Marty committed TOGETHER to write a healthier, and very different next chapter in their lives. 

After 30 years as a high school teacher, Denise “retired” in 2013.  HA!  By 2015, she had completed a degree in Holistic Nutrition Consulting, a Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition, Dr. Campbell’s Heart Healthy course AND vegan chef training through the Natural Cooking School and taking courses at world acclaimed Rouxbe School.

Denise now teaches Food Science & Health at the nationally-accredited Irene’s Myomassology Institute, and she was competitively accepted to serve as a Food for Life Instructor for the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine!  We are very happy to have HER here, coordinating chefs and recipes from all over the country, as the Culinary Curator of PBNSG and as an instructor in our Transition classes.

In her first business venture, Denise has joined forces with Debby Knight Jones, THE SCIENTIST, and uses her culinary passion, as THE CHEF, to offer engaging classes on all types of delicious food-related topics you can

PBNSG has been a Godsend to us.  Attending volunteer meetings, participating in a Small Group and learning from the “Rock Stars” of whole plant-based nutrition at monthly events, we now know we are not alone. I became the “Culinary Curator” after feeding our illustrious leader, Paul Chatlin, Polish cuisine and my own heart-healthy spin-offs of dietary favorites. Now, I am passionate about bringing the recipes from our fantastic chefs, talented membership, and trailblazers no longer with us. PBNSG’s Recipe Collection represents culinary labors of love, commitment, and a dedication to fuel our bodies without animal products, oil, refined sugars/grains or overuse of salts. Now, our diet isn’t about what we “can’t" eat, but the new delectable choices that we “can” eat!  Bon appetit!

Shannon Farrell, RN - Small Groups Ambassador

Shannon Farrell is honored to serve as the Small Groups Ambassador for Plant Based Nutrition Support Group!

Shannon has over 27 years of experience in the Medical Field, including 18 years  as a Registered Nurse in a multitude of roles, nursing units, and work environments. She prides herself on being a multidimensional health care provider to her patients and shares with her patients her vast knowledge obtained during her lengthy career. She brings a variety of experiences to the Small Groups setting, and has a passion for the Small Group Setting.

Shannon’s is currently an RN in the Beaumont Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit located in St Clair Shores, in a unit that she helped build up from the ground level with a team of incredible coworkers. While working with patients to achieve their own maximal health and wellness, that she realized the importance of her own health and the impact to teach others to live successfully with any type of chronic disease.

Shannon follows a whole food plant based diet as a means to control her own chronic disease states, which includes Ehler Danlos Syndrome, POTS, NCS, SLE, and MCAD. She has significantly reduced her medications and symptoms while following a plant perfect diet and hopes to share her knowledge and inpire others to live in harmony with their disease states. She has lost over 80 pounds and experienced many benefits of following a healthier lifestyle, which includes an increase in energy level, reduced pain, and fewer disease flares.

Shannon advises everyone to regularly exercise, a habit that she follows every day. Shannon’s exercise routine includes running, flexibility training, weight training, yoga, and meditation. Shannon has completed several 5k runs since the start of 2015 with plans for more, a passion she shares with her daughter. She has also completed several long distance bike rides and encourages all of the PBNSG members to join her for any of her upcoming scheduled events.

In her spare time, Shannon enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, and being with her children. She loves attending her children’s sporting events, school events, and planning for their upcoming college adventures. She loves sports, both playing and observing. Her true sport passion is soccer, and she has played/coached/refereed soccer since the age of six. Please contact Shannon for small group information smallgroups@pbnsg.org and be a part of the small group family experience that you can highly benefit from on your whole food plant based diet journey. Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PBNSG.

Sharon Matthews - Plant-Based Transition Instructor

Sharon is a health care administrator and adjunct college instructor with over 30 years of study and practice in plant-based nutrition. She holds a Bachelors in Psychology from Cheyney State University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

While serving on the administrative team at a major medical center, she became intrigued with lifestyle factors contributing to unhealthy beginnings (births), the development of chronic diseases, premature aging, and premature death. Her curiosity led her to macrobiotics, a whole-food, plant-based way of eating.

Adopting a plant based way of eating resulted in her maintaining excellent health; free of chronic disease or the need to “diet” to maintain a healthy weight. Her own positive personal experience along with published research confirming the preventative and restorative benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition undergirds her passion to teach others.

Sharon is certified in Plant Based Nutrition by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies and by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as a Food for Life Instructor.

While Sharon receives great joy in teaching anyone willing to learn she is particularly enthused by those committed to empowering their health to experience the aliveness of vibrant health.