Erica has served as COK’s Executive Director since 2005, after being an active volunteer starting in 2000. Since taking the helm, Erica has taken the organization to new heights with continued growth and accomplishments for animals that include ending the egg industry’s use of the misleading claim “Animal Care Certified” and successfully persuading BOCA foods to stop using eggs. Vegan for 20 years, Erica has been working in the animal protection field since college. In 2013, she was honored with the prestigious Animal Rights Hall of Fame award. Before working at COK, Erica spent several years as an animal control officer in Washington, DC where she rescued sick, stray, and homeless animals as well as enforced anti-cruelty laws.
Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods, dba “The Tofurky Company” In 1980 on $2,500, his life savings from his 8 year career as a teacher/naturalist in the Portland, Oregon public schools. The company’s first product, tempeh (a fermented soy bean cake from Indonesia), was made and delivered in small batches to natural food Stores in Portland, Oregon and the west coast. The first 15 years in business were a financial struggle leading Seth in 1984 to rent three trees for $25.00 per month and build a 3 story tree house in which he lived for the next 7 years.In 1995, the company’s fortunes changed with the introduction of the first Tofurky roasts at Thanksgiving. 500 roasts were sold that year throughout the Pacific Northwest but soon a larger, national market came calling. Today, 33 years after it’s founding, Tofurky is still a family owned, independent enterprise and Seth is still the company president. The company is a model of “slow growth” and is unique for never having any outside investment except for $17,000 from Seth’s brother Bob In 1989.