2021-2022 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)

Rebecca Robins

District: STAND

Rebecca is a Registered Dietitian working as an oncology dietitian in Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology for UHS in Johnson City. She has served as the New RD Liaison, Treasurer, and President for STAND. Rebecca served on the NYSAND board as District President Representative and State Professional Recruitment Coordinator. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Plattsburgh State University, completed her dietetic internship through Virginia State University, and received her Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University. 

Immediate Past President
MaryLou Plante, MS, RDN, CDN

District: CNYDA

MaryLou is a Registered Dietitian and received her Master's in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University. She currently works for Central New York Developmental Services Offices. She is a member of the 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.

Michelle Easterly Barber, MA, RDN, CDN
District: CNYDA

Michelle Barber has been a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for almost 15 years in Syracuse, NY. She is currently at the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council as a Health and Wellness Specialist where she has a strong focus on Nutrition and Health communications.

Michelle completed her undergraduate education at Rochester Institute of Technology and received her Master's in Nutrition from Syracuse University. She is a member of the Central NY Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has served many positions on the boards of NYSAND and CNYAND, including the most recent CNY Media representative. Michelle received the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award in 2010. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors hiking or skiing with her family.

Maureen Fauler, MHA, RDN, CDN
District: CNYDA

Maureen Fauler, MHA, RDN, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with over 35 years of experience. Maureen works full-time at Loretto Health and Rehabilitation. She has held many positions with the CNYDA, including President and Treasurer. Maureen has also held positions within NYSAND, including State Meeting Chair and Nominating Committee Chair.

Maureen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics, and a Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist through New York State. Maureen also has a Masters's degree in Health Administration. Maureen has provided many presentations to the community. Presentation topics include The Truth about Nutrition: Facts and Fakes, Nutrition for Life, and Careers in Nutrition (for high school students).

Chair of Delegates - Region 2 (GDA/WNYDA/STAND)
Jennifer Haefele
District: GDA

Co-Chair of Delegates  - Region 3 (HVAND/MHAND/WRDA)
Angela Goscilo
District: HVAND


Public Relations Coordinator
Patricia Salzer, RD
District: MRDA

Pat has been an RD for over 34 years and received her BS degree in Dietetics from SUNY Oneonta.  She completed her internship at Cleveland Metro General/Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, OH.  She worked for 20 years in health care including her role as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at St Luke’s Memorial Hospital Center and Heritage Health Care, both in Utica, NY.  She also served as Area Support Manager for Sodexo.  For the past 14 years she has been with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as a Wellbeing Consultant.  She’s been involved with MRDA from the beginning of her career and has been President more than once and a constant as Public Relations Chair.  She received the Media Excellence Award for NYSAND in 2020.  Pat’s a food and fitness enthusiast and also enjoys taking improv classes. 

Public Policy Coordinator

Jessica Garay, PhD, RDN, CDN, FAND
District: CNYDA

Jessica Garay has been the NYSAND Public Policy Coordinator since 2017 and was the 2020 recipient of NYSAND's Excellence in Legislative Advocacy Award. Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Syracuse University. Her research and teaching interests include sports nutrition, dietary supplements, and women's health. She received her PhD in Science Education from the Department of Exercise Science at Syracuse University, her MS degree in Exercise Science from George Washington University, and dual BS degrees Nutritional Science and Human Development from Cornell University. 

Jessica completed her dietetic internship in Prescott, Arizona with the Yavapai County Health Department. She has work experience at the Food Bank of Central New York and Washington (D.C.) 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 Toga Teacher. In addition to her work with NYSAND, Jessica has been involved in the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Dietetic Practice Group.

District President Representative
Gregory Belzak, RDN
District: CNYAND

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

Virginia, also known as Ginny, is a registered dietitian and former Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition. She retired in 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.


Executive Director
Victoria Palasieski, CMP

Victoria Palasieski is the Director of Association Management at Capitol Hill Management Services and has served as the Executive Director for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2017.  

Victoria is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and is a Meeting Planner International (MPI) New Member Scholarship Recipient.  Most recently, Victoria was one of 14 graduates of the Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) 2019-2020 Association Leadership Academy, completing a 9-month leadership series.

Coordinating Cabinet (CC)

Delegate Region 2 (CNYAND/MRDA)
Maria Mahar

Delegate Region 4 (LIAND, GNYDA)
Rita Batheja

2022 Annual Meeting Chair & Co-Chairs
To Be Filled

Bylaws/Handbook Chair
Sue Paredez, MS, RD, CDN

Communications Editor
Elisa Bremner, MS, RDN, CDN

Membership Chair
Karri Looby

Diversity & Inclusion Liaison
Kameron Rowe, MS, RD

State Development Chair
Chelsea Kennard

DTR Representative Chair
Kelly Myers

Social Media Manager
Mariana Serback, MS, RDN, CDN

State Policy Representative
Ann Darcy, MS, RD, CNS

Nutrition Services Specialist
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