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 Katie Ellison, VN DPG State Coordinator Chair at vidya25@uab.edu.

Coordinator Chair

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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.

Alabama

Sheryl D. Mims, MS, RDN, LDN, CHC

Sheryl is originally from Montgomery, Alabama. As a part of a military family, she has lived in various states and Germany. She received a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University in Dietetics with minors in both Chemistry and Fitness & Wellness. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Human Ecology with a Specialization in Human Nutrition from the Ohio State University. Her internship was completed at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Sheryl enjoys teaching others about healthy living. She uses her passion for teaching healthy lifestyles in her current position as a Clinical Dietitian for the Veterans Health Care Administration and as a community volunteer.
Sheryl has followed a plant-based diet since her mid 20s and enjoys growing many of her own fruits and vegetables in her home garden. Her plant-powered lifestyle has enabled her to complete several marathons and half-marathons.

Arizona

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

Arkansas

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Margaret Pauly MS, RD, LD

Margaret Pauly is the culinary nutritionist for the UAMS Culinary Medicine program. Her clinical background is in weight management, research, diabetes self-management education, and outpatient liver transplant. She uses her skills in sales, marketing, and product development from her past experience in the footwear industry to help patients overcome barriers to eating well and to promote healthy eating. Margaret eats a plant based diet  also promotes it to her patients. She loves to hear the stories about how it has changed their lives! When you don’t find Margaret teaching or talking about cooking, she’s cooking at home for friends and family or is in her herb garden.

California (Southern)

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

California (Northern)

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

Colorado

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

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

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

Florida

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

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

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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

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Alison Jordan MMN, RDN, LMNT, CLC

Hello, I am Alison Jordan! I currently live in Omaha, Nebraska and I will be serving as the Nebraska and Kansas State Coordinator. I look forward to meeting more VNDPG members and growing our Midwest community.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I decided to become a vegetarian at the age of ten and eventually became a vegan a few years later, which is what sparked my interest in nutrition. I attended the University of Arizona where I received my bachelors of science in Nutritional Science with minors in biochemistry and Africana studies. I then moved to Omaha to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center to complete my clinical focused dietetic internship and masters of medical nutrition degree. I finished school in the winter of 2019 and decided to make Nebraska my new home! I currently work for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska working under the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI.) I have recently obtained my lactation counselor credential to grow my expertise and services offered. I also serve my community by volunteering as a nutrition therapist for the Healing Gift free clinic in Omaha. I am working on growing my own private practice, focused on plant-based nutrition and longevity. I am passionate about my work and making an impact locally!

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

Joni

Joni Rampolla, RDN, CSOWM, LDN 

Joni Rampolla, RDN, CSOWM, LDN brings over 20 years of experience in weight management and corporate wellness to her role of Regional Nutritionist with The GIANT Company. Joni advises leveraging nutritious foods including many plant-forward choices for improved outcomes. Grocery offers the ability to connect with retail vendors to learn the story behind the products and business practices. Joni is a graduate of Penn State University, is a board certified specialist in obesity and weight management and is currently an MBA student at Capella University, expected graduation in 2021.

Massachusetts

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

Michigan

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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 an Independent Consultant, the owner of Nutrition Directions LLC, and employed by Pentec Health as a Renal Clinical Retention Specialist. She has served and chaired several 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, Vegetarian Nutrition (VN) DPG Speaker Bureau; 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 Chair-elect for VN DPG, SE Wisconsin Academy Representative-elect, a board member of the Plant-based Prevention of Disease, and on the Quality Management Committee for the Academy. 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

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

Nebraska

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Alison Jordan MMN, RDN, LMNT, CLC

Hello, I am Alison Jordan! I currently live in Omaha, Nebraska and I will be serving as the Nebraska and Kansas State Coordinator. I look forward to meeting more VNDPG members and growing our Midwest community.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I decided to become a vegetarian at the age of ten and eventually became a vegan a few years later, which is what sparked my interest in nutrition. I attended the University of Arizona where I received my bachelors of science in Nutritional Science with minors in biochemistry and Africana studies. I then moved to Omaha to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center to complete my clinical focused dietetic internship and masters of medical nutrition degree. I finished school in the winter of 2019 and decided to make Nebraska my new home! I currently work for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska working under the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI.) I have recently obtained my lactation counselor credential to grow my expertise and services offered. I also serve my community by volunteering as a nutrition therapist for the Healing Gift free clinic in Omaha. I am working on growing my own private practice, focused on plant-based nutrition and longevity. I am passionate about my work and making an impact locally!

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

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

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

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Rachel Werkheiser, MS, RD, LD

Rachel Werkheiser transitioned to the field of dietetics as a second career after working several years in the finance/accounting industry. She completed her undergraduate nutrition coursework at Tennessee Technological University, and then fulfilled her dietetic internship at East Tennessee State University, where she also earned a master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Rachel’s diverse roles have included work as a clinical dietitian in a community hospital setting, coverage of medical and surgical ICUs as well as a GI surgery floor at a regional health system hospital, and outpatient dietitian in an ambulatory oncology center. Rachel has served as Clinical Nutrition Manager in the community hospital setting and at a Level 1 trauma center and academic medical university. Her skills include project and program management with expertise in organization, communication, and change management. Rachel has had a long-time interest in plant-based diets/nutrition therapy and following emerging research in this area. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina and provides project support to the Sodexo Nutrition Leadership Team and is passionate about clinical nutrition and advancing the role of RDs to improve the quality of life of the populations they serve.

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

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

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

Gretchen

Gretchen Berry, RDN

I currently works as a Supervisor Clinical Dietitian at Fanny Allen Campus of University of Vermont Medical Center. I love this role because I am able to use both my clinical and food service skills. I am also lucky to be a part of our Culinary Medicine team. I am passionate about building a sustainable food system and am excited that I can support this value in my current job.

I attended the University of Vermont graduating in 2010 with my Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics with a minor in Food Systems. In 2014, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with my coordinated master’s degree in clinical nutrition and completed my dietetic internship. I’ve worked in many clinical settings including the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where I helped develop plant-based cooking demonstrations in collaboration with our retail nutrition services team.

In my free time I love to hike as much as possible, snowboard, snowshoe, cook delicious plant based meals at home and enjoy all of Vermont’s seasons!

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_small.jpg

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 an Independent Consultant, the owner of Nutrition Directions LLC, and employed by Pentec Health as a Renal Clinical Retention Specialist. She has served and chaired several 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, Vegetarian Nutrition (VN) DPG Speaker Bureau; 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 Chair-elect for VN DPG, SE Wisconsin Academy Representative-elect, a board member of the Plant-based Prevention of Disease, and on the Quality Management Committee for the Academy. 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

Interested taking over as State Coordinator? Apply to become a State Coordinator. 

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.