Dietitians For Professional Integrity was co-founded in February of 2013 by registered dietitians Kelly Ahearn, Frances Arnold, Jess Avasthi, Alysa Bajenaru, Andy Bellatti, Lauri Boone, Judy Converse, Brittany Craig, Suzanne Dixon, Aaron Flores, Denise Garbinski, Rachel Harvest, Jess Kolko, Elizabeth Lee, Debra Reidesel, Leslie Riding, and Matt Ruscigno.

Current active core members:

Frances Arnold-Johnson 

Frances Arnold-Johnson (RD Resource Toolkit Manager) 

Based In: Seattle, WA 

Degrees and Credentials:

RDN: SeaMar Clinics Dietetic Internship, Seattle (2011)
CLT: Certified Leap Therapist – food sensitivity testing (2011)
BS: Dietetics, University of Nevada, Reno (2008)

Areas of Practice:

Employee Health and Wellness
Private Nutrition Counseling

Contact Information:

Website

LinkedIn

Twitter

About Frances:

Frances' mission is to help make nutrition sane, intuitive, and deeply satisfying. Clients all over the US seek her services for help with improving their weight, energy, digestion, and for guidance on gluten-free living and reducing aches & pains. Clients are attracted to her counseling style: mindful, soulful coaching.

Frances provides custom-designed seminars and workshops on weight management, food sensitivities and anti-inflammatory living.

She is a DFPI co-founder because she believes that nutrition education for dietitians and for the public should be free from special interests (especially when those special interests favor industry, not human or environmental health). Integrity in food and nutrition sponsorships impacts everyone. 


 

Andy Bellatti

Andy Bellatti (Strategic Director)

Based In: Las Vegas, NV

Degrees and Credentials:

MS: Nutrition and Dietetics, New York University (2011)
RD: SeaMar Clinics Dietetic Internship (2011)
BS: Journalism; Gender & Sexuality Studies, New York University (2004)

Areas of Practice:

Nutrition Counseling
Workplace Wellness
Freelance writer/Blogger

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About Andy:

Andy Bellatti is a Las Vegas-based dietitian with a plant-centric and whole-food focus who takes an interest in food politics, deceptive food marketing, sustainability, and social justice. His work has been published in Grist, The Huffington Post, Today’s Dietitian, Food Safety News, and Civil Eats, among others. He believes the ties between Big Food and health organizations pose significant conflicts of interest that ultimately damage the reputation of health professionals and inhibit important conversations about our food system and environment.


 

Denise Julia Garbinski

Denise Julia Garbinski (Finance and Administration)

 Based In: San Francisco, CA 

Degrees and Credentials:

MBA: Fordham University (1998)
RD: Eastern Michigan University Coordinated Program (2007)
BS: International Marketing; French, Drexel University (1989)

Areas of Practice:

Functional, integrative nutrition practice specializing in plant-based diets.

Expertise in weight management, digestive and food allergy disorders, and dis-ease management for optimal wellness.

Contact Information:

Website

Twitter

About Denise:

Denise became an ethical vegetarian, animal rights activist, and food politics advocate in 1996 after learning about agribusiness factory farming's atrocities to human health, animals and the planet. In 2000, as a natural foods marketer, she joined the burgeoning advocacy movement for GMO labeling. In 2005, Denise's conviction to advocate for a healthier food system compelled her to become a Registered Dietitian to help influence consumers, food manufacturers, healthcare practitioners, governmental policy makers and the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition. Denise is proud to be a co-founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, through which she can help affect the necessary change she became a Registered Dietitian to do.


 

Jess Kolko

Jess Kolko (Community Manager)

Based In: Austin, TX 

Degrees and Credentials:

RD + BS: Coordinated Program in Dietetics at University of Texas Austin (2011)
BA: Creative Writing, Carnegie Mellon University (2000)

Areas of Practice:

Corporate Supermarket Dietitian

Contact Information:

Twitter

About Jess:

After over 15 years of kitchen experience, Jess knew that there must be a better way to teach people that they really are what they eat. A lover of whole, natural foods, Jess knew what was good for us, but wanted to know why. After obtaining an additional degree in nutrition as well has her RD credential Jess joined the Healthy Eating Team at Whole Foods Market as an RD and Culinary Educator. Jess is one of the founding members of Dietitians for Professional Integrity. She believes that sound nutritional science should not be influenced by big food, big agriculture or big pharmaceutical companies. Jess can often be found running, biking, and swimming in Austin, Texas.


 

Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth Lee (Operational Director)

Based In: Los Angeles, CA 

Degrees and Credentials:

RD + MS: Coordinated Program at California State University Los Angeles (2011)
BA: Psychology, University of California Santa Barbara (2008)

Areas of Practice:

Outpatient counseling

Employee wellness programs

Contact Information:

Website

Twitter

About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth stumbled into the field of dietetics in her first college course. Though she had set out to pursue pediatrics, she quickly fell in love with the idea of using food to prevent and heal illnesses. But as she progressed through school and became a dietitian, she realized many dietary guidelines and food policies are not set with illness prevention and public health improvement in mind. Instead they are heavily influenced by the interests of transnational food companies and lobby groups. More troubling is that she felt her own professional organization is acting in similar ways with passive endorsements of its sponsors' nutrient-poor foods.
Elizabeth is hopeful that her professional organization will re-evaluate its relationships with sponsors and distance itself from companies that have perpetuated the nation's health decline.


 

Matthew Ruscigno 

Matthew Ruscigno (Advocacy Toolkit Manager)

Based In: Los Angeles, CA 

Degrees and Credentials:

RD + MPH: Nutrition, Loma Linda University (2003)
BS: Nutritional Sciences Pennsylvania State University (2000)

Areas of Practice:

Public Health Dietitian
Private Practice
Sports Nutrition
Nutrition Writing

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About Matthew:

Matthew is a leading expert in the field of vegetarian nutrition. In addition to working with vegan clients and athletes, he is also a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietary Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Matthew believes that health inequality and public health issues are a result of economic inequality, and that this inequality is partly driven by large corporations that put profit over people. Some of these same companies primarily sell highly-refined, unhealthy products. Their power and status and the ubiquity of their products greatly affects people's nutrition choices, for the worse. My professional nutrition organization partnering with these corporations is, among other things, embarrassing. He became a co-founder of DFPI primarily to defend his professional credential as a Registered Dietitian.


 

David A. Wiss

David A. Wiss (FNCE Guide Manager)

Based In: Los Angeles, CA 

Degrees and Credentials:

RDN + MS: Nutrition, California State University Northridge (2013)
CPT: National Academy of Sports Medicine (2009)
BA: Social Science, University of Southern California (2007)

Areas of Practice:

Private Practice (Food Addiction, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Weight Management, Sports Nutrition, General Wellness)

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About David:

After earning his undergraduate degree in Social Science from the University of Southern California, David became actively involved in health and fitness, and began to work as a certified personal trainer. After having considerable success in the field of weight management, he returned to school and earned his Master's in Nutrition/ Dietetics from California State University Northridge where he became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

His Master's Thesis "Nutrition and Substance Abuse" explored the addictive potential of processed foods, particularly in individuals with a history of drug addiction. As he reviewed the relevant literature, he became interested in the topic of food addiction and began to examine the practices of the food industry (Big Food), which is driven by profit rather than concern for human nutrition. He discovered many of the tactics utilized by Big Food, including creating strategic alliances with health organizations, including The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

David's nutrition practice focuses on individuals in early substance abuse recovery; he has developed a detailed curriculum because he found that the Academy-sponsored curriculum was not appropriate for that population. David credits Michele Simon's 2013 report, "And Now a Word From Our Sponsors", for exposing the true aims of the food industry in forming partnerships with the Academy, and Michael Moss' 2013 book "Salt Sugar Fat" for provided further confirmation of Big Food's role in creating an irresistible food environment.

David is excited to be a part of DFPI and hopes to help influence The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to develop guidelines for sponsorship affiliations. He believes change becomes possible when interested people work together to voice their concerns.