Diana Monaco, RD, CDN
District: WNYDA
Diana has a degree in Public Relations, as well as a dietetics degree, both from Buffalo State College, which makes her a perfect fit for her position as Public Affairs Specialist with the Food and Drug Administration in Buffalo, NY. She has been with the agency for 23 years and is responsible for all of NYS except for the NYCity area. Recently she has joined the Division of Communications for the headquarters office of FDA and now is a new team member of the Public Relations and Editorial Board. She does media outreach, public health education and collaboration with other health related organizations. "No day is ever the same!!" For 20 years she has been a preceptor for local dietetic programs - counting at least 40+ interns over the years. Diana also works as adjunct faculty at Buffalo State College and teaches two sessions called Food and People. She has been there 18 years. Diana has been active throughout her career on both state and local dietetic association boards as local Treasurer, Program Chair, President, Past President and at the state level as PAC Treasurer and completing the second term as Delegate. She is also currently the social media coordinator for Erie Niagara Nutrition Committee, and has been their past President. This fall she will rejoin WNYDA as their Program Chair.

Immediate Past President
Sari Schlussel-Leeds, MS, RD, CDN
District: WRDA
Sari is a Registered Dietitian who loves to cook and to eat! Her love of both naturally led to a career in nutrition. After years practicing clinical nutrition, Sari now focuses on Nutrition Education as an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College. Sari’s limits her private practice to the counseling of adults specializing in medical nutrition therapy. With “moderation” as her mantra, Sari knows that no matter what the condition, eating needs to be pleasurable. Her blog,, is a forum reflecting that mantra with healthful and delicious foods as well as tips for a healthy lifestyle.


President Elect
Julie Raway, MHP, RDN, CDN, SNS
District: STDA
Julie is the Registered Dietitian for the Rock on CaféTM school meals program, a service of Broome-Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. The Rock on CaféTM encompasses 15 school districts across the Southern Tier of New York and its mission is to enrich the educational process by providing a quality child nutrition program. The Rock on CaféTM has been recognized throughout New York State and nationally for its commitment to healthy school meals and nutrition education. In 2011, Julie received the “30 Under 30” award from Food Service Director Magazine as one out of thirty people under the age of thirty to make a significant impact in the food service industry. She was also selected by the New York State Dietetic Association for the 2011 Recognized Young Dietitian of The Year Award and the 2014 Isabelle A. Hallahan Award. Julie earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and attended Syracuse University to complete her Dietetic Internship. In 2015 she completed a Masters of Public Health program through the University at Albany. Julie is a Past President of the Southern Tier Dietetic Association, Treasurer/Secretary of the New York State Dietetic Association, and involved in many other local/state associations. Julie also enjoys coaching figure skating as she grew up participating in this sport.

Mary Lou Plante


Chair of Delegates (HVDA, MHDA, WRDA)
Christa Valentine, MS, RDN, CDN
District: HVDA
Christa Valentine, MS RDN CDN is the owner of Confidence by Design, a nutrition and wellness consulting business. Additionally, she works as a Nutrition Consultant for Anthem, Inc. and is an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields. 
Christa obtained her Masters degree in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges, where she also completed her undergraduate work and dietetic internship. 
Christa currently volunteers on the NYSAND Board as Chair of Delegates. She previously served on her district board as President and Reimbursement Chair. She also volunteers in her community as a chair for the Junior Leaugue of Albany and Vice President of her after-school program board of directors.
Christa has a passion for helping others manage their health through nutrition and elevating the RDN/NDTR credentials in our communities. Christa resides in the Albany, NY area with her husband and 2 energetic boys who keep her motivation high and her laughter often. 

Co-Chair of Delegates (GNYDA, LIDA)
Reyna Franco, MS, RDN, CSSD
District: GNYDA, LIDA


Public Relations Coordinator
Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, CSCS
District: GNYDA
Alissa is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach based in New York City. She is the Supervisor of Clinical Nutrition at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, specializing in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight management, and nutrition informatics. As the founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness Consulting, she offers personalized nutrition, fitness, public speaking and consulting services. She is active in local, state and national professional organizations including the New York State Dietetic Association, the Greater New York Dietetic Association, and New York Women in Communications. Alissa is currently the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York State Dietetic Association, having previously held the position of Social Media Co-chair and Media Spokesperson. In addition to her role in NYSAND, she is an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Spokesperson. She has made numerous television appearances including ABC 7, Fox 5 News, CBS News, BBC World News and NY1 News and is frequently quoted in national publications. Alissa is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Health Communications from Boston University. In her spare time she enjoys running, cooking and exploring new restaurants.

Public Policy Coordinator
Debra Connolly, MA, RD, CDN
District: CNYDA

Bio is coming soon.

District President Representative
Joanna Sied, MS, RD, CDN
District: MHAND

Bio is coming soon.

Parliamentarian, ex officio
Eden Kalman, MA, RD, CDN
District: GNYDA
Eden is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Hospital for Special Surgery, which specializes in orthopedics and rheumatology and is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A graduate of the University of California (Davis, California), she completed her internship at St. Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri) and her Masters Degree in Food Service Administration at New York University (New York, New York). Eden has a long standing commitment to both the New York State and Greater New York Dietetic Associations. She has held numerous positions including President (both GNYDA and NYSDA), Delegate, Annual Meeting Co-chair (twice), and Bylaws Handbook Chair. In conjunction with a Big Brothers Big Sisters workplace mentoring program, she is a “big sister” to a New York City High School Student. Eden is the proud recipient of the RYDY, GNYDA Distinguished, NYSDA Distinguished awards. Eden lives with her husband, 5 cats and 1 dog in River Vale, New Jersey.