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John Beske and Marla Rose, Vegan Street’s 25th Birthday!
JOHN BESKE is a long-time veteran of graphic design, advertising and marketing with stints at a series of large and small advertising agencies including Leo Burnett and Della Femina McNamee. During this time, he produced print, television, promotional and retail advertising and design for dozens of companies including such famous brands as General Mills, Sony, Popsicle, Miller Brewing and, yes, even McDonald’s. Eventually, he became disillusioned the advertising industry and left the agency scene to become an art director for brands he believed were doing good in the world. Shortly after, he co-founded a visionary marketing agency called Sustain that devoted all of its work to building the messaging of non-profits in the environmental and social justice sectors including campaigns for Sierra Club, Earthjustice and the Rainforest Action Network. During this same time, he teamed up with Marla to create the pioneering website Vegan Street in 1998, and open a Chicago chapter of EarthSave International in 1999. In 2005, he left Sustain to form John Beske Communications, which has been building the brands of vegan and ecologically responsible companies and organizations for more than a decade. John Beske Communications has now been folded into Vegan Street Media.
MARLA ROSE is an award-nominated journalist, columnist, public speaker, recipe developer and author as well as event planner. Since leaving her job in humane education in 1998, Marla has dedicated her life to building vegan culture and community and today she writes most of the content for Vegan Street. In 1999, Marla was the founding chairperson of EarthSave Chicago, which hosted dozens of monthly potlucks, each featuring speakers, and produced five major day-long vegan conferences called The Conference for Conscious Living, which ultimately evolved into Chicago VeganMania, which was a popular free festival for ten years. In 2009, she and her partner John Beske were awarded Activists of the Year by Mercy for Animals and won Green America‘s People and Planet Award in 2015. For the past several years, she has been writing feature stories for magazines and has spoken at the Green Festival, Animal Rights Conference, Vegetarian Summerfest and many other conferences and festivals. She is a frequent writer for VegNews magazine, a writer of feature stories and author of several books.