2018-2019 NYSAND Leadership

NYSAND’s members are served by an enthusiastic Board of Directors and Coordinating Cabinet. Here’s a brief introduction to these volunteers. We look forward to seeing you at meetings and programs this year and to receiving your feedback and opinions about how NYSAND can serve YOU, the NYS Dietitian or Diet Tech, Registered, and advance our profession in the eyes of our communities. To get in touch with a BOD or CC member, please contact the NYSAND Central Office at [email protected]. Thank you!

Board of Directors (BOD)

Carol DeNysschen, PhD, MPH, RD, CDN, FAND
District: WNYDA

Carol is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Health, Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Buffalo State College. Carol is passionate about teaching, service, and research. She is an active researcher specializing in nutrition and physical intervention in teen cancer and breast cancer survivorship. She combines her background in nutrition and public health with exercise science to produce programs that enhance the quality of life in cancer patients and survivors. She is an editorial board member on several peer-reviewed journals.

She has received award to include Buffalo State President's Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity, Abbott Nutrition Award in Women's Health through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Foundation, Council of Food Service Association's Silver Medal Award, and Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award in WNY and has earned Gold Level Communication in Toastmaster's International.

Carol served as president of WNYDA 2015-2016 and is currently on the Board of the Food Bank of WNY. She chairs several campus impact committees as Buffalo State College and is currently a Provost Faculty Fellow. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Carol was selected as an Academy Liaison on the planning of the future focus of the Academy - an effort that takes the active effort of all Academy members. Carol believes in giving back to the community and is a Rotary member and faculty advisor to the Buffalo State Rotaract Club. In her spare time, she enjoys running long distance events, biking and spending time with her family.

Immediate Past President
Julie Raway, MPH, RDN, CDN, SNS
District: STAND

Julie is a Registered Dietitian and School Nutrition Expert. Since 2009 she has led the Rock on CafeTM School Meals Program, a service of Broome-Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY, that aims to enrich the educational process by providing a quality child nutrition program. Julie works with food service directors to ensure school meal compliance with federal regulations while also facilitating media relations and grants with community partners. Under her leadership, this program has received national recognition from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for creating healthier school meals.

After earning her Bachelor's Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and attended Syracuse University completing a Dietetic Internship, Julie earned a Master of Public Health from the University at Albany to further expand her work into community health. Through her education and experience, Julie is a recognized nutrition professional. She is the recipient of the 2011 "30 Under 30" award from Food Service Director Magazine and received the 2011 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award, 2014 Isabelle A. Hallahan Award, and the 2015 Media Excellence Award all from the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She also volunteers her time as President for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Nutrition Standards Chair for the New York School Nutrition Association. Julie regularly speaks at various state and national conferences inspiring others to create healthy school meals and environments where students can learn and grow.

President Elect
Reyna Franco, MS, MBA, RDN, CDN, CSSD
District: GNYDA

Reyna Franco has a private practice located in New York City where she counsels individuals on medical nutrition therapy, sports nutrition, and exercise physiology. She is also a corporate wellness dietitian at a major advertising agency where she provides individual counseling, group presentations, and wellness program development. She has a Master's degree from Columbia University in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and an MBA in Finance and International Business. Nutrition and exercise is her second career and she has successfully combined her managerial skills as a project manager in information systems with her clinical nutrition expertise.

Reyna has held several roles on the board of the Greater New York Dietetic Association, including reimbursement chairperson, public policy coordinator, and treasurer. In 2015, she received the Legislative Excellence Award from the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her spare time, she enjoys trail running, bicycling, skiing, climbing and hiking. 

MaryLou Plante, MS, RDN, CDN
District: CNYDA

MaryLou is a Registered Dietitian and received her Masters in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University. She currently works for Central New York Developmental Services Offices. She is a member of Central New York Dietetic Association and has served as Co-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Professional Issues Chair, Nominating Chair and Nominating Committee member at the district level. MaryLou has served as treasurer for her local Little League Baseball teams and triathlon club. She is also a ServSafe instructor and proctor. In her spare time, MaryLou enjoys swimming and biking.

Chair of Delegates - Region 1 (GDA, WNYDA, STAND)
Lisa Neuhaus, MS, RD, CDN
District: WNYDA

Co-Chair of Delegates  - Region 3 (HVDA, MHAND, WRDA)
Angela Goscilo, MS, RD, CDN
District: WRDA

Angela is a registered dietitian working in nutrition communications and private practice. She received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Sciences from Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship and Master's degree in Clinical Nutrition at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, MA. Since then, she has worked for Pollock Communications, a food and wellness public relations agency based in New York City. At Pollock, Angela works with both brands and commodity organizations to develop nutrition content, manage influencer campaigns and serve as a resource for her clients.

Angela also counsels clients for weight loss, diabetes management and sports nutrition and Nutrition Energy, a private practice in Midtown Manhattan. In her spare time, Angela can be found in the gym or earning her splat points at Orangetheory and trying the newest restaurants. 

Public Relations Coordinator
Rachel Stahl, MS, RD, CDN, CDE
District: GNYDA

Rachel Stahl is a Senior Clinical Dietitian at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP)/Weill Cornell Medical Center where she specializes in diabetes, cardiovascular health, and digestive diseases. In addition to providing medical nutrition therapy to hospitalized patients, she leads a variety of glycemic control initiatives, serves as a preceptor for dietetic interns, and is actively involved in both patient and interdisciplinary education. Rachel completed her undergraduate degree at Colgate University, Dietetic Internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and received her Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition at New York University.

An active member in the dietetics professional community, Rachel is currently the Immediate Past-President of the Greater New York Dietetic Association (GNYDA) and member of the GNYDA Public Relations Committee and has served as President and Newsletter Editor. Keeping with her college roots and sharing her passion for wellness, she also serves as Communications Chair for Colgate University's Health and Wellness Professional Network. Rachel is a proud recipient of the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 2016 and Jack Bellick Award in 2015 through NYSAND. 

Public Policy Coordinator
Jessica Garay Redmond, MS, RD, CSCS 
District: CNYDA

Jessica Garay Redmond is a Registered Dietitian and Assistant Professor at Utica College. She is completing her PhD in Science Education at Syracuse University, where her research focused on fetal programming. Jessica received her undergraduate degree in nutrition from Cornell University, followed by a dietetic internship in Yavapai County, Arizona. Jessica began her nutrition career at the Food Bank of Central New York. She then earned a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science, with a concentration in Exercise, Nutrition, and Eating Behavior, from George Washington University’s School of Public Health. During this time, she worked as an outpatient oncology dietitian at the Washington Cancer Institute.

Jessica has a private practice, Major League Wellness, offering sports nutrition and weight management counseling, corporate wellness presentations, and more. She is certified in Adult Weight Management through the Committee on Dietetic Registration, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher.

District President Representative
Rebecca Robins, MSL, RD, CSO, CDN
District: STAND

Rebecca Robbins is a clinical dietitian and Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition at UHS Oncology in Johnson City, NY. Prior to joining the oncology team, she was an inpatient clinical dietitian. She is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh where she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition. She completed her dietetic internship with Virginia State University and earned her Master's degree in Leadership from Norwich University.

Rebecca is currently the President of the Southern Tier Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has held the position of Treasurer and new RD/Student Liaison in the past.

Parliamentarian, ex officio
Virginia Vorhis, MS, RD, CSR, CDN
District: GDA

Virginia, also known as Ginny, is a registered dietitian and Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition. She retired June 2016 from Rochester General Hospital after a 40+ year employment at that facility. Initially Ginny worked in the acute care setting and then became a Renal Dietitian in 1989, her forever job and passion. Over the years she was an on-site preceptor for the RIT CUP program and later was a renal rotation preceptor for dietetic students in many undergraduate, graduate and internship programs. She was a reluctant retiree who loved her patients and the respect she had as a Renal Dietitians.

Ginny received her BS at SUCO Oneonta with a dual major in Home Economics/Dietetics and German. She also studied nutrition and human sciences for 2 years at the Paedogogishe Hochshule in Bonn and at the University of Wurzburg, Germany. She completed her internship and Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ginny has served the dietetic profession ever since her registration. She was active with the Council on Renal Nutrition. Positions served with GDA include secretary, treasurer, and president, as well as chairing several committees. While not actively involved with GDA, she is proud of her home district and its legacy with the state dietetic association. Ginny has served NYSDA and later NYSAND as Annual Meeting Chair, Treasurer, President, Delegate and many years as Bylaws/Handbook Chair. She is now moving on to Parliamentarian. She credits her professional success to NYSAND and the Academy for providing extensive leadership training and networking opportunities.

Coordinating Cabinet (CC)

Delegate Region 2 (GNYDA, LIAND)
Rita K. Batheja, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND, AFMCP

Delegate Region 4 (CNYDA, MRDA)
Mary Beth O'Meara, RDN, CDN

2019 Annual Meeting Chair & Co-Chairs
Chair - Drew Hemler, MS, RD, CDN

Co-Chair - Kate Kane, RDN, CDN 

Hospitality Chair - Christine Foy, MS, RD, CDN, CDE

Public Relations Chair - Stephanie Sall

Poster Session Chair - Lina Begdache, PhD, RDN, CDN, CNS-S

Special Events Chair - Elizabeth Miller, MS, RDN, CDN

Bylaws/Handbook Chair
Sue Paredez

Communications Editor
Drew Hemler, MS, RD, CDN

Membership Chair
Elizabeth Miller, MS, RD, CDN

State Development Chair
Julie Balsamo

State Professional Recruitment Coordinator (SPRC)
Christine Foy, MS, RD, CDN, CDE

DTR Representative Chair
Nicole Klem, MS, RD

Social Media Manager
Nancy Marinelli, RD, CDN

State Policy Representative
Ann Darcy, MS, RD, CNS

Reimbursement Chair
Lois Chait, MA, RDN, CDN

State Regulatory Specialist
Carole DeBonte, MBA, RD, CDN

Consumer Protection Coordinator
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN

Licensure Taskforce Chair
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN

District Presidents

Central New York Dietetic Association (CNYDA) President
Amy Merwarth, RD, CDN, CSP

Genesee Dietetic Association (GDA) President
Hannah Smith, RDN, CDN
Abigail Andrew Copenhaver, RDN, CDN

Greater New York Dietetic Association (GNYDA) President
Shrouk El Sayed, MS, RD, CDN

Hudson Valley Dietetic Association (HVDA) President
Colleen McCrief, MS, RDN

Long Island Dietetic Association (LIDA) President
Kim Philbin, RDN
Mid-Hudson Dietetic Association (MHDA) President
Nimesh Bhargava, MBA, MS, RDN, CDN, RN
Mohawk Regional Dietetic Association (MRDA) President
Jean Wolcott, RD, CDN
Southern Tier Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (STAND) President
Rebecca Robins, MSL, RD, CDN

Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association (WRDA) President
Kathleen Ryan, MS, RD, CSO, CDN 
Melissa Keeney, MS, RDN

Western New York Dietetic Association (WNYDA) President
Allyson Odachowski, RD, CDN