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Our Team

Executive Director

Brian Hart, M.Ed

Brian is a highly experienced educator with over twenty-five years in the field as a teacher, administrator, consultant, and advocate for school change in both the public and private sectors. Brian specializes in working with organizations to help them create immersive, hands-on, experiential programs designed to transform thinking and build problem-solving skills. He is a former Outward Bound instructor, wilderness EMT, plant-based chef, middle school principal, and carpenter. When not educating others about the benefits of whole food, plant-based nutrition, Brian is a committed ultra-endurance athlete with four Ironman finishes to his name, among other run, bike, and ski events. Brian graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in History. He earned his M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum design from Ursuline College. Brian also holds a Rouxbe Plant-Based Cooking Certification and a Montessori Adolescent Educators endorsement.

Our Facilitators

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Dr. Esselstyn received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and also organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease. In 2005, he became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. His scientific publications number over 150. In 1995 he published his bench mark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients.

Ann Crile Esselstyn, M.Ed.

Ann is a relentlessly energetic and creative advocate for the plant-based, whole-food way   of life. She has devoted herself to inventing recipes to prevent and reverse heart disease in support of the research of her husband, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. Ann never stops looking for ways to bring that important agenda to delicious life, devising ever more practical and powerful ways to shop, cook, and engage even the most reluctant eaters in the plant-perfect diet. Ann is the author of the recipe section of Dr. Esselstyn’s bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her daughter, Jane Esselstyn. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Masters in Education from Wheelock College. Ann taught English and History for 27 years at Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio. At the same time, she juggled the raising of four children. When not in the kitchen, Ann counsels patients, lectures around the world on how to prepare and eat plant-based foods, and spends time with her ten plant-based grandchildren.

Anne S. Bingham, MD

Anne lives in the river town of Higganum, CT with her husband Ted Esselstyn and their three mostly grown children. Anne has worked as a general OBGYN in Middlesex County for over 20 years. She received her BA from Yale University where she captained the Women’s Ice Hockey teams in 1985 and 1986. She received her MD from the University of Vermont. She completed her Residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Family, dogs, pond hockey, gardens and fiction keep Anne busy outside the office. She has earned a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T.Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. She understands first-hand the power of nutrition to heal and maintain good health in the broader population.

Jane Esselstyn, RN

Jane is a fresh and charismatic voice on the plant-based, whole food diet. She brings her perspective and passion as a woman, nurse and mother to creating on-ramps to the plant-based way of life. Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook (Avery, 2014) with her next-door neighbor and mom, Ann. And she created the recipe section of Plant-Strong, and The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue by her brother, Rip Esselstyn.  Jane presents her work, research, and recipes across the country. Her presentations, food demonstrations, samples and food parties bring clarity of understanding and a can-do attitude to the power of plant-based eating. The Journal of Pediatrics recently published the study she worked on with the Cleveland Clinic observing the effect of a plant-based diet on pediatric obesity and hypercholesterolemia. Jane met her husband and fellow educator, Brian Hart, while working as a field instructor for Outward Bound. They have three plant-based children. Jane graduated from the University of Michigan, where she competed nationally as a recruited swimmer and rower, and earned a B.S. in Nursing from Kent State University.

Rip Esselstyn

Rip was born in upstate New York, raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a three-time All-American swimmer. After graduation, Rip spent a decade as one of the premier triathletes in the world. Rip then joined the Austin Fire Department where he introduced his passion for the world’s strongest nutrition to the Engine 2 Firehouse in order to rescue a firefighting brother’s health. Twelve years after joining the fire department, Rip turned in his bunker gear and picked up a pen to write The Engine 2 Diet, which shows the irrefutable connection between a plant-based diet and optimal health. It became a national best-seller, teaching people how they can get in the driver seat and undo the damage caused by the Standard American Diet. He has since written three more books including The Engine 2 Cookbook with his sister Jane Esselstyn, and the #1 New York Times best-seller, Plant-Strong, which arms readers with the 36 most powerful facts that prove, once and for all, that a plant-based diet can save your life. Rip also wrote The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet after leading thousands of people to discover the power of plant-based nutrition while hosting Engine 2 Immersions. Rip and his wife Jill Kolasinski live in Austin and are raising three plant-based children.

The Board

Samuel Osborne
Seattle, Washington

Sam Osborne is a corporate finance, transactions, and governance attorney in Seattle. He has held the position of Director Assistant General Counsel at Puget Sound Energy since 2004, acting as in-house counsel and assistant secretary of regulated electric and gas utility. This position directly involves him in asset and entity acquisition and disposition (particularly power generation and pipeline capacity purchase or contracting), capital markets and commercial finance, financial reporting and SEC compliance, corporate governance, and management of PSE’s legal staff. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to joining PSE, he worked for Bogle & Gates PLLC and Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Sam and his wife Michelle have two sons.

Jill Kolasinski
Austin, Texas

Jill Kolasinski is a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin with the Plan II Honors Program where she engages college students in community service as mentors and teaches them about the inequities in our public school system. Jill is the founder of KIPP Austin Public Schools and served as its executive director from its establishment in 2001 until 2012. After graduating from Northwestern University, she entered education as a Teach for America corps member in Houston, Texas, then moved to Austin and taught in AISD for two years before becoming a Fisher Fellow and opening the first KIPP school in Austin. During her time as executive director at KIPP Austin Public Schools, she laid the groundwork to grow a network of KIPP charter schools in East Austin, which now serves over 5,600 students in ten schools. Jill continues to work with the KIPP Texas–Austin region as a member of the regional advisory board. She has also served on the Education Service Center 13 board of directors, and as an advisor to Austin Achieve charter schools, Magnolia Montessori for All charter school, and EXPLORE Austin. Jill received the Austin Under 40 Educator of the Year Award in 2007 and was recognized as one of Ten People of the Year by Tribeza magazine in 2012. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Rip Esselstyn, their three children, cat, and dog.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD
Pepper Pike, Ohio

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and also organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. In 1997, he chaired a follow-up conference, the Summit on Cholesterol and Coronary Disease. In 2005, he became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. His scientific publications number over 150. In 1995 he published his bench-mark, long-term nutritional research in which he demonstrated the ability to arrest and reverse coronary artery disease in severely ill patients using a plant-based diet.

Beth Summers
Austin, Texas

Beth spent her career as an organizational psychologist, earning a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) where General Motors sponsored her dissertation research. After a short stint at Frito Lay in Dallas where she learned the inside scoop about processed food manufacturing, she accepted a position in San Francisco from which she was invited to join a start-up company called Apple Computer in early 1981. Other highlights from her “never a dull moment” career included being Director of Marketing and Operations for Tom Peters during his peak years, acting as a change management consultant for an 18 month project for the Alaska Pipeline and, for the last 20 years, facilitating well over 5000 one-on-one 360 feedback sessions with executives from different industries and functions across the United States. Now Beth brings her vast experience to bear as a pro bono consultant for organizations and individuals who are dedicated to promoting whole food, plant-based living through education, events and media.

Douglas Wang
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Doug Wang retired from Northern Trust Bank in 2011 as a senior vice-president. He was a founder of Lakepoint Investment Partners where he served as a portfolio manager and partner for 12 years until the sale of the firm to Northern Trust in 2008. A graduate of Kenyon College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, he held top finance positions with Stein Roe & Farnham, American Asset Management, and The First Boston Corporation. Doug is a board chair of the St. Luke’s Foundation, trustee of the Judson Foundation, trustee at the Rainey Institute, trustee at the Shaker Schools Foundation, and a member of the Hawken School Investment Committee. Doug and his wife Holly have four children.

Anne S. Bingham, MD
Higganum, Connecticut

Anne lives in the river town of Higganum, CT with her husband Ted Esselstyn and their three mostly grown children. Anne has worked as a general OBGYN in Middlesex County for over 20 years. She received her BA from Yale University where she captained the Women’s Ice Hockey teams in 1985 and 1986. She received her MD from the University of Vermont. She completed her Residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Family, dogs, pond hockey, gardens and fiction keep Anne busy outside the office. She has earned a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T.Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. She understands first-hand the power of nutrition to heal and maintain good health in the broader population.