Coordinators by State

The State Coordinators are the DPG’s official field representatives. The purpose of having state coordinators is to enhance the visibility of the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG among Academy members and the community at the state and local level. State Coordinators serve to promote the mission and visions of VN DPG in their respective states.

If you are interested in learning more about the state coordinator program, please read the VN DPG State Coordinator Position Description and Responsibilities.

If you have any questions or want to become a state coordinator in your state, please contact Katya Galbis, VN DPG State Coordinator Chair at kgalbis@yahoo.com.

Coordinator Chair

Katya Galbis, LD

kgalbis@yahoo.com

Katya was born and raised in Mexico. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from The Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico City. After graduating, she moved to Florida where she is an international member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Orlando Dietetic Association. She has worked in both clinical and community settings, her passion however, lies within the social media arena targeting and educating Spanish-speaking people on plant-based diets. She loves to share recipes, experiences, lifestyle tips, and nutritional information on her website and on different social media platforms. She transitioned into a vegetarian diet gradually over a ten-year period. She became vegan for about 4 years ago. As a bilingual dietitian, Katya also works part time for Food and Nutrition Translations with a group of dietitians from different countries, translating health and nutrition materials. In her spare time, Katya enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Alabama

Katie Ellison, MS, RDN, LDN

vidya25@uab.edu

Katie is originally from Los Angeles, California but moved to Montgomery, Alabama to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham for her Master’s Degree in Nutrition Sciences and Dietetic Internship. Katie has been a vegetarian since she was 22 years old and has not looked back since! She is also a yoga instructor and is fascinated by the transformation she saw in herself once coupling yoga with vegetarianism. Her passion for a plant-based diet has motivated her to continue her education as she looks forward to earning her PhD in Nutrition Sciences at UAB to conduct research and explore the roll of a plant-based diet in health, wellness, and disease prevention.

Arizona

Lisa_Zatcoff.jpgLisa Zatcoff, DTR

lisa.zatcoff@gmail.com

Lisa Zatcoff was the Arizona VNDPG State Coordinator from 2017 to 2019. She will be taking the position again as of January 2020 as there was a change of events.

Lisa graduated and became a DTR in 2012. Since then she has worked with Eating Disorder clients, had a private practice business in nutrition counseling, worked as a Nutrition Educator while serving for a year as an AmeriCorps Member and is currently a Health Educator with the Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix. As a Health Educator she teaches community nutrition to various groups of participants over the age of 60.

Lisa has been a vegetarian for about 12 years. She loves animals, nature and spending time doing different activities with family members. Lisa also likes walking, yoga, reading, listening to podcasts, audio books, and cooking.

She is happy to be taking on the position of VNDPG State Coordinator once again for Arizona.

Arkansas

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

California (Southern)

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

California (Northern)

Alejandra AmezolaAlejandra Amezola

alejandrafrida@mail.fresnostate.edu

Alejandra Amezola is an undergraduate student at California State University, Fresno. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree of Science with a concentration in Dietetics and Food Administration. After her undergraduate education, Alejandra will be seeking a dietetic internship with the goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian (RDN). As an aspiring dietitian, Alejandra remains active in various professional dietetic organizations and practice groups. Presently, she serves as a Student Liaison for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Northern California State Coordinator for the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (VN DPG), a Leadership Council member for the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), the Newsletter Editor for the Latinos and Hispanics in Nutrition and Dietetics (LAHIDAN) MIG and the upcoming Founder and President of the Student Vegetarian Association (SVA) at CSU Fresno. Alejandra’s primary areas of interest include sports nutrition, women’s health, nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, GI disorders, and medical nutrition therapy. During her free time, Alejandra enjoys staying active, traveling with her loved ones, cooking plant-based meals, reading and writing, and keeping up with the latest nutrition research.

Colorado

Paulina.jpegPaulina Shetty, MS, RD, LD, CPT

paulina.m.shetty@gmail.com

Paulina Shetty serves as the Director of Education for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Medical Dietetics from the University of Missouri where she completed her dietetic internship. Paulina then worked for a year as a clinical dietitian and then received a graduate assistantship from Saint Louis University where she worked and earned her Master of Science in Nutrition and Physical Performance. Paulina also recently became Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine. She has experience working as a registered dietitian and NASM certified personal trainer in the clinical, fitness and academic setting. She also serves as a Nutrition Professor at Johnson County Community College. She is passionate about sharing the hope of lifestyle medicine to treat and reverse disease as well as restore health for providers, professionals in training, the general public and to friends and family.

Connecticut

Morgan Bragdon, Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern

mbragdon@usj.edu

Morgan is completing her Masters of Science degree in Nutrition and is a Dietetic Intern at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. Morgan grew up in Maine and completed her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Maine. In her undergraduate career Morgan found passion in plant-based nutrition, wellness and education. Combining all of her passions together she decided to take a year off after her undergraduate career to pursue a position teaching in Connecticut as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member. During her service year she found love in teaching nutrition and garden education with an emphasize in sustainability to elementary students. She believes that healthy food is a right not a privilege and that disease prevention starts with our youth. Now a graduate student and dietetic intern, Morgan is actively engaged in policy, hoping to make a positive impact in the field of plant-based nutrition and sustainability.

Delaware

Kimi Moore, RD

kamoore@udel.edu

Kimi has been following a vegetarian diet since she was a teen and loves cooking and trying new vegetarian recipes.  She is a Registered Dietitian and is currently working towards her Masters of Science in Health Promotion from the University of Delaware.  Kimi works for the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and provides nutrition & food safety education to people of all ages.  Kimi’s favorite way to spend her free time is with her two dogs.

Florida

Sheetal Parikh, RD

sheetalparikh@gmail.com

Sheetal Parikh has been a dietitian since 1999. She has Bachelors in Foods and Nutrition and Master’s in Dietetics from India. After coming to USA and facing many challenges for 15 years, she acquired one more Bachelor’s degree and fulfilled her dream to work in the profession she was always most passionate about, Dietetics and Nutrition. She is a strong believer that Positivity, Perseverance, Dedication and Alacrity are the key to ONE’s success!! She still remembers the first day she stepped into the grocery store in the United States and observed coolers and isles filled with meat products and asked her husband that who eats all these meats? She was amazed and shocked to see the level of ignorance of the common man to know and understand the importance of Vegetarian Nutrition. From that very day, she had decided to become a part of an organization who encourages the community to eat vegetarian foods and help them understand its impact on their health and well-being. After finding out about VNDPG as RDN, she decided to volunteer with her dream organization and work together with VNGPG mission, which is to empower members, and to serve “as the leading authority on evidence-based vegetarian nutrition for health professionals and the public. She is very excited to be nominated as the Florida State Coordinator for the Vegetarian Nutrition as hoping to touch as many hearts as she can!

Georgia

Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RD

nichole@purelyplanted.com

Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RD has been a dietitian nutritionist for 24 years with a focus on plant-based nutrition for the past ten years. She has specialized in diabetes education, sports nutrition, prenatal nutrition and women’s health. In 2009, she launched nicobella organics, a vegan lifestyle company that created vegan chocolates and snacks made with healing plant-based ingredients. She recently closed nicobella organics to pursue more opportunities in plant-based nutrition education. Nichole has also been a yoga student since 1999 and has been teaching yoga since 2005. In her free time, Nichole spends time traveling with her husband, Ricky, and pup, Mariposa. They live in Atlanta, GA.

Hawaii

Melekealoha-bio-pic-6-2017-e1496615716696.jpg

Mele Fernandez MS, RDN, LDN

melekealoha@gmail.com

Mele graduated with a Masters in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Hawaii in 2012. She has been a practicing vegetarian since 19 years of age and during her university years her focus of research was dedicated to vegetarian nutrition. Research included a study abroad, “Assessing the impact of lacto-vegetarian and traditional school menus on the growth of preschool children in Brazil” and on the University of Hawaii campus, “Meeting nutrients with non-animal food provided at the Hale Aloha cafeteria.”  She is honored to have been the first recipient of the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group Research Grant in 2010 which funded her “lab rat” research examining the nutrient composition and food label quality of meat-alternative products.  Mele is currently working for Adventist Health at Castle Medical Center. She is fluent in the Portuguese language and spends her vacations in Petropolis, Brazil organizing and implementing community service projects promoting vegetarian and yoga lifestyle.

Idaho

Bekah BrownBekah Brown

browreb4@isu.edu

Bekah is completing her Master of Science in Dietetics and is a Dietetic Intern at Idaho State University in Meridian, Idaho. Bekah grew up in the Boise Idaho Area. She completed her undergraduate in Dietetics at Brigham Young University in 2019. For her capstone project, she has been working with a local Whole Food Plant-Based community program to gather data about the sustainability of eating and living well. It has sparked her interest in the sector of Lifestyle Medicine and how an optimal diet and lifestyle can treat and prevent chronic disease. She wants to pursue this topic as a career in the future and hopefully make a positive impact in the field of plant-based nutrition.

Illinois

Laurel_Jacubowski.jpgLaurel Jakubowski MS, RD, LDN

ljakubowski8012@gmail.com

Laurel is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and now resides on the north side of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate degree in dietetics and completed her Master's in Nutrition & Dietetics with combined dietetic internship at Northern Illinois University in 2017. For the past two years she has worked for a food company that manufactures nuts and trail mixes obtaining ingredient documentation, reviewing product labels, and managing product data including nutrition, allergens, and designations including kosher, non-GMO project, and gluten-free. Laurel went plant-based in 2015 and enjoys finding new vegan restaurants and foods throughout the city of Chicago. She is excited to pursue a career in the food industry which has increasingly shifted towards offering more plant-based options in grocery stores and restaurants. In her free time, Laurel enjoys running along Lake Michigan, cycling classes, and trying new vegan recipes.

Indiana

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Kansas

angelina-photo-2-2019-e1550453168785.png

Angelina Stovall-Amos, MS, RDN, LMNT

astovallamos@gmail.com

Angelina Stovall-Amos is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She went forward, completing her Master’s in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetic Internship with Oklahoma State University. She holds certification in Vegetarian Nutrition.

Angelina chose diabetes as her focus for her dietetic internship and thesis on type 2 diabetes prevention in Native American children. Fast forward five years, she went to an endocrinologist to be diagnosed with type 1.5 diabetes. Understanding that diabetes can be a progressive disease, she wanted to maintain her quality of life for the sake of her family. Adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet quickly improved her blood sugar management, lowering her insulin needs. Through her private practice, Angelina works with her clients to advocate for their health through a lifestyle nutrition approach that moves more plant foods onto their plates.

Kentucky

Interested in taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Louisiana

Jessica_Blanchard.jpgJessica Blanchard, RD

jessblanchard@gmail.com

 

Maine – See New England

Interested taking over as Maine States Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Maryland

Interested taking over as Maryland States Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Massachusetts

Elena Padilla

elep82@hotmail.com

I was born and raised in Mexico City, lived one year in Oxford and moved to Boston in 2019 to work at Massachusetts General Hospital and start the Dietetic Internship in Brigham and Women's Hospital. I have always been fascinated by the intersection between food and nutrition with the environment (both ethically and economically) and how the decisions we make in our daily lives can make an impact on our planet.
Growing up in Mexico and having lived in other places in the world, I have always loved exploring ethnic cuisine and trying out different flavor profiles, as well as adapting traditional recipes to vegan or vegetarian ones.

In my free time, I enjoy reading detective novels, doing food photography, painting, and functional training. I am a big brunch and coffee enthusiast, so I enjoy trying out different restaurants around me.

Michigan

AnnaMarie Rodriguez, RDN, LD, FAND

annamarierd@hotmail.com

AnnaMarie has worked as a renal dietitian for over 20 years in a variety of settings from clinical to pharmaceutical including sales, education and renal medical affairs. She is currently employed by Pentec Health as a Renal Clinical Case Manager. She has served and chaired a number of boards including the South and Central Texas National Kidney Foundation Medical Advisory Board, San Antonio Council of Renal Nutrition, Texas Hill Country Patient Awareness Days and Kidney Walks, Renal Practice Group DPG and Wisconsin Council of Renal Nutrition; in addition to serving on advisory committees for local symposiums and building annual Hill Country Education Days while living in TX. Currently she is the VN DPG Speaker Bureau Chair, the VN DPG WI State Coordinator and a Master Gardener in SE WI. She has a house full of kids, dogs, loves volunteerism and is focusing on continuing education. Managing chronic pain led to an enjoyment of plant-based meals and, ultimately, chronic pain management and her love of animals has led her to embrace a vegan lifestyle.

Minnesota

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Mississippi

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Missouri

Lydia_Browning.jpgLydia Browning

browning195@live.missouristate.edu

Lydia is pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and minor in Biomedical Sciences at Missouri State University. She has followed a plant-based, vegan diet for over 7 years and is currently raising her 1-year-old daughter plant-based as well. She is an advocate for vegetarian and vegan nutrition at her university, as well as in her local community of Southwest Missouri.

Lydia’s professional interests include working with women, newborns, and children. She is a neonatal nutrition technician and enjoys educating parents about infant and toddler nutrition. Outside of work and university, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and eating out. Lydia hopes to continue to travel and learn more about other cultures and their traditional food habits.

Nebraska

Angelina Stovall-Amos, MS, RDN, LMNT

astovallamos@gmail.com

Angelina Stovall-Amos is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She went forward, completing her Master’s in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetic Internship with Oklahoma State University. She holds certification in Vegetarian Nutrition.

Angelina chose diabetes as her focus for her dietetic internship and thesis on type 2 diabetes prevention in Native American children. Fast forward five years, she went to an endocrinologist to be diagnosed with type 1.5 diabetes. Understanding that diabetes can be a progressive disease, she wanted to maintain her quality of life for the sake of her family. Adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet quickly improved her blood sugar management, lowering her insulin needs. Through her private practice, Angelina works with her clients to advocate for their health through a lifestyle nutrition approach that moves more plant foods onto their plates.

Nevada

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

New Hampshire

Michelle Scott, MA, RD, LD, IBCLC

miscott39@gmail.com

 

New Jersey

Kelsey_Downey.jpgKelsey Downey, BS, RDN

kelssdowney@gmail.com

Kelsey Downey is a Clinical Nutritionist at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Irving University Medical Center in New York City. She grew up in New Jersey. Kelsey completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane University and her undergraduate degrees at Johnson & Wales University. She received an Associate’s degree in Baking & Pastry Arts, an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts, and Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition. She has been an instructor for Culinary Medicine courses at Columbia, the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane, and Food + Health Initiative of Johnson & Wales and Brown University. Kelsey believes that food is medicine and everyone should have access to credible nutrition resources. She has a passion for helping her patients develop creative diet and lifestyle solutions during nutrition education sessions. She has recently begun projects in food writing and media. Her favorite way to spend her free time is traveling, spending time with family, baking, or studying piano and dance.

New Mexico

Gaarden-Headshot.jpgGabriel Gaarden, MPH, RD

g.gaarden4@gmail.com

After years spent struggling with food addiction and chronic digestive issues, my life dramatically changed after watching "Fork Over Knives: The Extended Interviews". I was so inspired by the film that I immediately adopted a whole food plant-based diet and soon gained dynamic health, while overcoming my digestive woes and addictive relationship to food. Before long, it became clear that I needed to combine my lifelong love for human rights and social justice with my passion for plant-based nutrition. I decided to return to University to earn a degree in Nutrition, become a registered dietitian, and will soon complete a Master of Public Health program in May 2020. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work from within the dietetics profession to spread the evidence-based message that plants have the tremendous healing power to ameliorate chronic disease, improve environmental health, and reduce impact on livestock and wildlife populations. With news like that, let's celebrate by eating lots of plants at every meal! Photo by Adria Malcolm.

New York

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

North Carolina

Lori Stevens, RDN, LDN

loristevens1248@gmail.com

  • Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist since 2006. This was a second career for me as I discovered my passion for nutrition as a means of disease prevention.
  • I have worked in acute care hospitals, private practice, eating disorders, long term care, sport nutrition and behavioral health. I currently work for a contract company.  I also meet with clients for one on one consultations.  My goal is to help people improve their health, age successfully and move toward a plant based diet.
  • I have given nutrition talks to several local sports teams to include cross country, swimming, hockey and volleyball.
  • Volunteer activities include Triangle Vegfest and Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge. I am an active member of Carolina Preserve’s plant based POD.
  • I am originally from New Jersey. I now live in Apex NC with husband and three dogs.
  • I have three children, Jessica 24, Jimmy 22, and Jenna 19.
  • I am a recreational runner who competes several times a year.  In addition, I enjoy hiking, yoga, biking and swimming.

North Dakota, South Dakota & The Great Plains

Misty

Misty Hildenbrand, RD

misty4wellness@gmail.com

Misty Hildenbrand grew up in the Black Hills, South Dakota. She became interested in vegetarianism in high school and became whole food plant based while completing her Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2007. A passion and interest for whole food plant-based nutrition and wellness prompted her to return to school to become a registered dietitian. After completing her Bachelor of Science in dietetics at the University of Wyoming, Misty completed her coordinated internship and graduate degree program though South Dakota State University with an emphasis in sports nutrition.
Misty is currently works as a clinical dietitian in eastern South Dakota and enjoys being involved with the Whole Foods Plant Based Group of South Dakota. She not only shares her experiences with others but has also been a guest speaker and led a grocery shopping tour. When is not working as a dietitian, she practices her skills as a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Misty also enjoys working out, crafting, and being in the kitchen.

Ohio

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Oklahoma

Joy Howell, MS, RDN, LD

jhowellmsrd@yahoo.com

Joy works in Private Practice as a Consultant Dietitian.  In 2016 she received a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition and is excited to step up as Oklahoma Coordinator for the VN DPG. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Clinical Dietetics and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Food Service Management with an emphasis on Marketing.  She spent the majority of her career working as a corporate dietitian for a full line food distributor as well as for companies representing enteral and parenteral nutrition support products and services.  She credits her two vegan daughters for her own transition of going from a vegetarian to a plant based diet as they prompted her to investigate the claims of a WFPBD (Whole Food Plant Based Diet).  She is a firm believer in the trans-formative healing power a plant based diet brings to one’s individual mental and physical health. This lifestyle supports compassion, sustainability and disease prevention.  Joy is a volunteer artist for Oklahoma University Children’s Cancer Clinic art program.  She serves as girl’s enrichment ministry leader for her church.  She enjoys watching her son play basketball for his college, travel, painting and designing jewelry.

Oregon

Karen Mills, JD RDN LDN

kmillsmail@yahoo.com

Karen recently relocated to Albany, Oregon from St. Louis, Missouri.  Karen worked for a while as a lawyer before finding the light and following her true passion – helping people achieve their healthiest self through nutrition.  She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from Fontbonne University, and completed her internship at the St. Louis VA Medical Center.  Karen discovered plant-based diets during her education and has never looked back!  While in St. Louis, Karen worked primarily in oncology and orthopedics in both outpatient and acute care settings.  She was also an adjunct instructor for a cultural foods class for senior dietetic students. Since relocating, Karen is pursuing her dream of starting her own practice based on empowering people to merge their unique culture with the latest in nutrition research to develop customized nutrition plans. Karen is an enthusiastic cook and loves modifying recipes to amplify nutrition and taste.  She is also obsessed with eating and hiking her way around the planet.

Rhode Island

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Pennsylvania

Subach__2_.jpgJeanie Subach, EDD, RD, LDN

rsubach@wcupa.edu

Jeanie Subach is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian, and Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition at West Chester University. In this position, she is the coordinator of the foods curriculum, the advisor to the Student Dietetic Association, and Nutrition Director for Campabilites, a camp for visually impaired students, and the Adapted Wellness Program, a program for young adults with developmental disabilities.  Jeanie serves as the department liaison to business and industry, securing experiential learning and internship opportunities for students.

Jeanie earned a BS in Home Economics/Dietetics and a Masters in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University. Jeanie completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management at Capella University. Her dissertation on the impact of nutrition intervention on young adults with developmental disabilities was completed with the Adapted Wellness program at West Chester University. Jeanie’s research interest includes nutrition education with persons with disabilities, nutrition and athletic performance, and whole-food, plant-based nutrition.

Jeanie started her professional career in school lunch and college and university feeding before moving to the areas of consumer and sports nutrition.  She held one of the earlies positions of consumer advocate and supermarket dietitian for Genuardi’s Family markets in the early 1990’s. Jeanie was the creator and facilitator of numerous nutrition-based programs in the West Chester Area School District.  She has acted as spokesperson for numerous food companies, including Campbell Soup, Green Giant, General Mills, the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Council, and Balance Bar.  In addition, she was a spokesperson for the NFL Fuelup to Play 60 program.

Jeanie is the sports nutritionist for the Philadelphia 76ers, starting with the team in 1989. She held the role of team nutritionist for the Philadelphia Eagles under Coach Andy Reid from 1999-2013 and for the Philadelphia Flyers from 1989 to 1997. Jeanie currently acts as the nutrition preceptor for the Sports Medicine Fellows in the Crozer Keystone Sport Medicine fellowship program.  Jeanie is a member of the Gatorade NBA Advisory Board. She serves as sports nutrition consultant to St. Joseph’s University Men’s Basketball, Metz Culinary Management, and numerous local high schools and sports programs.

Jeanie loves food, cooking, running and entertaining.  She is said to be happiest when in the kitchen.

South Carolina

Lori Stevens, RDN, LDN

loristevens1248@gmail.com

  • Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist since 2006. This was a second career for me as I discovered my passion for nutrition as a means of disease prevention.
  • I have worked in acute care hospitals, private practice, eating disorders, long term care, sport nutrition and behavioral health. I currently work for a contract company.  I also meet with clients for one on one consultations.  My goal is to help people improve their health, age successfully and move toward a plant based diet.
  • I have given nutrition talks to several local sports teams to include cross country, swimming, hockey and volleyball.
  • Volunteer activities include Triangle Vegfest and Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge. I am an active member of Carolina Preserve’s plant based POD.
  • I am originally from New Jersey. I now live in Apex NC with husband and three dogs.
  • I have three children, Jessica 24, Jimmy 22, and Jenna 19.
  • I am a recreational runner who competes several times a year.  In addition, I enjoy hiking, yoga, biking and swimming.

Tennessee

Amy Richards, PhD, RDN, LDN

aricha54@utm.edu

Amy Richards was born in Deadwood, South Dakota, grew up on a cattle ranch in western South Dakota, became a vegetarian in 1995, and has been vegan for over 10 years. She is an associate professor and directs the DPD program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She has served as president of the West Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on two occasions, has served twice as the statewide student group advisor for Students of the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is currently the VN DPG State Coordinator for Tennessee. Dr. Richards teaches Advanced Nutrition, Nutrition Assessment and Counseling, Nutrition and Disease, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Sports Nutrition, and Maternal and Child Nutrition as well as a few additional courses.  Past awards include: Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Tennessee at Martin Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Service; the The Bachtel/Holbrook Advising Award (awarded nationally to one collegiate chapter honor society advisor by Phi Upsilon Omicron; and a teaching and scholarly activity award from the university.  Amy’s most recent publication is: Evaluating hours of sleep and perceived stress on dietary cognitive restraint in a survey of college students published in the Journal of American College Health, June, 2019.

Texas

Pic-Dori-Coetzee-12-17-e1513437004407.jpg

Dori Coetzee, MS, RD

coetzee.dori4@gmail.com

I recently moved from southern California to the Dallas Texas area.  I have enjoyed learning about the southern living that is very gracious and grand in Texas.  I am eager to share the incredible ways we can use food for health and satisfaction and I love to do this by introducing plant-based recipes through demos. I feel responsible to share new ideas about plant-based food that are extremely palatable and can help bring about health benefits.  My goal is to give people more to thing about regarding what they eat by winning them over with great plant-based food and if they are able to  eat just one more meal a week by using these recipes, I consider that a great gain.

My contribution as a coordinator would be to enhance the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG by helping the dietitians that belong to this group share ideas and get recognition.  Also to make sure the activities that are done on a state level for the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG Coordinator are brought forward through the designated publications.

Utah

Amy_Covington.jpgAmy Covington, MS, RDN, CD

coving10@gmail.com

Amy Covington is a registered dietitian nutritionist and is currently employed as a clinical research dietitian with the University of Utah. She is a co-investigator on a national grant received from the Administration for Community Living. The title of the grant is “Implementation of an Improved Collaborative Malnutrition-Focused Transitions of Care and Referral Process Based on Previously Identified Gaps between Healthcare Entities and Aging Services.” Prior to this she was the clinical dietitian and research assistant on a grant from the Administration for Community Living titled, “Bridging High Quality Malnutrition Screening, Assessment, and Intervention for Older Adults from Hospital to Home: Impact of Nutrition Home Visitation.” She is also working in private practice. She attended the University of Utah where she completed her Masters of Science degree in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology. Following a plant-based diet has provided her with many health benefits and she is passionate about empowering others to take control of their health using evidenced based nutrition recommendations. Her goal is to increase knowledge and research of plant-based diets for the community as well as policy leaders. She has a love for gardening and sustainability. She enjoys combining her clinical knowledge of nutrition and physiology with a focus on nutritious sustainably sourced foods to improve both the health of her patients and the environment.

Vermont

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Virginia

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to the State Coordinator Chair.

Washington

Nicole Treanor, MS, RD, CD, CDCES

nicole.treanor@gmail.com

I am originally from Minnesota and have lived throughout the Midwest and Florida before moving to the Pacific Northwest. I completed my Bachelors of Science degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my Masters of Science degree in dietetics from Florida International University. I have been a registered dietitian since 2008.

I currently work as an outpatient Diabetes Care and Education Specialists and am the program coordinator for a diabetes education program. I love working with both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and whenever possible I promote a whole food plant-based diet.

I have followed a whole food plant-based diet for more than a year, having become an enthusiastic convert after researching the health benefits and now feel further encouraged by the environmental and animal rights benefits.

Wisconsin

AnnaMarie Rodriguez, RDN, LD, FAND

annamarierd@hotmail.com

AnnaMarie has worked as a renal dietitian for over 20 years in a variety of settings from clinical to pharmaceutical including sales, education and renal medical affairs. She is currently employed by Pentec Health as a Renal Clinical Case Manager. She has served and chaired a number of boards including the South and Central Texas National Kidney Foundation Medical Advisory Board, San Antonio Council of Renal Nutrition, Texas Hill Country Patient Awareness Days and Kidney Walks, Renal Practice Group DPG and Wisconsin Council of Renal Nutrition; in addition to serving on advisory committees for local symposiums and building annual Hill Country Education Days while living in TX. Currently she is the VN DPG Speaker Bureau Chair, the VN DPG WI State Coordinator and a Master Gardener in SE WI. She has a house full of kids, dogs, loves volunteerism and is focusing on continuing education. Managing chronic pain led to an enjoyment of plant-based meals and, ultimately, chronic pain management and her love of animals has led her to embrace a vegan lifestyle.

International Coordinator

Sharon-Chan-e1538439130338.jpg

Sharon Chan Chau Wai, MS, RD

sharonchan2453@gmail.com

Sharon serves as Hong Kong Dietitians’ Association Training & Development Officer, media spokesperson 2015-2019, and consults through her own private practice. She received her Master of Science in Nutrition & Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health and a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics from University of California at Berkeley. Sharon is an active lecturer for various community and corporate workshops. She is well-represented on Hong Kong’s media outlets having been guest on television shows and news articles. Sharon is one of the few Hong Kong native vegetarian registered dietitian. She enjoys vegetarian food exploration and yoga on her spare time.  Her mission is to advocate to the public for a healthy lifestyle. Her ambition is to promote and spread awareness of the importance of nutrition education on preventative medicine.

Student Coordinator

4aec30_8e2b4d4aa05b43779166f3efd7c3971b_mv2.jpgAshley Lombardi MS, RDN

aqbritta@gmail.com

Ashley graduated with her bachelors degree in 2008 in Evolutionary Anthropology. In 2013 she went back to pursue a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She graduated in 2017 from Rutgers University with her second bachelors degree. She completed her dietetic internship on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2018 from the University of Southern Mississippi and her masters in 2019. She started her career in dietetics as a clinical dietitian at a hospital in Staten Island. She currently works as a retail dietitian for Village Supermarkets in New Jersey. Ashley's interest in plant based nutrition came from her background in anthropology where she studied prehistoric diets and primates. Working at a primate sanctuary in Florida, she saw how normal diets can affect new world monkeys and how a focus on plant based nutrition and Whole Foods can help to manage those conditions. After several years living plant based, she decided to go back to school to understand how food is processed by the body. Working in the grocery stores and in the community allows Ashley to highlight better for you products, understand labeling, and simplify healthy eating.