Vegetarian Journal

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Vegetarian Journal Sept/Oct 1998

Note from the Coordinators

Teamwork Pays Off At VRG

Debra Wasserman
Charles Stahler
People have varied impressions as to how The Vegetarian Resource Group (or for that matter any non-profit) operates. On one hand, some think that non-profits work on a shoestring budget with volunteers coming and going. At the other end of the spectrum, we get phone calls from readers requesting to speak to someone in our large research or art department or better yet, one of our many staff food technologists.

Well, The Vegetarian Resource Group falls somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios. What makes us succeed is teamwork - including both paid staff and dedicated volunteers. For example, our website ( was recently recognized by Yahoo Internet Life magazine as one of the best sites for finding healthful food and nutrition information online. The article rated our site higher than many larger established organizations' sites. We were able to earn this distinction thanks to a hardworking staff and incredible volunteers. Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D. (a part-time staff member) and Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. (a part-time volunteer) researched and wrote the nutrition information appearing on our website. Brad Scott (our super computer expert volunteer), assisted by many volunteer VRG members, spends countless hours developing the website itself. Contributors help fund our computer equipment and VRG staff member Dar Veverka spends numerous hours each day responding to e-mail and feedback board questions. When you put all these individuals together, the result is an outstanding website. 

 This magazine is another example of incredible teamwork. We're often flattered when our publication is favorably compared to others running on operating budgets at least 100 times higher than ours. By choosing to not accept paid advertising and instead functioning like a Consumer Reports-type magazine, we must work efficiently. We're able to accomplish this with teamwork consisting of paid-staff, volunteer writers and editors, and sometimes student artists, as well as freelance writers and artists. Considering the fact that our editor, Mike Vogel, had once again become a proud dad the week we went to press, it's amazing that the July/August issue of this magazine got to the printer on time. Mike was in the office finishing the final copy three days after his son was born. Just recently, we saw Mike printing out pages of this issue to send for editing and proofreading while holding his newborn son in one arm.

Tamara Richter (Circulation Manager) and Jessica Dadds (Administrative Assistant) also play an important part in our successful teamwork. These two staff members endlessly work to ensure that readers receive their publications in a timely matter. This includes dealing with a nation where almost one-third of the population moves each year! They are also helped by a group of dedicated volunteers that come to our office one Saturday each month and stuff envelopes, Xerox and collate materials, shred packing materials, update databases, and do many other tasks. 

Finally, we'd like to welcome Nancy Berkoff, Ed.D., R.D. to our team. Nancy is a registered dietitian and professional chef with a background in food technology. She will be editing Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update (our quarterly foodservice newsletter available for $10 to Vegetarian Journal subscribers) and working on several VRG projects to assist institutions wanting to add vegan food to their menu. Together we'll all make changes for the better. 

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler 
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group 


Excerpts from the Sept/Oct Issue

The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone wanting to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

This article was converted to HTML by Jeanie Freeman 

VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
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