Our Team

Kelly Ahearn

Kelly Ahearn

Based InNew York, NY

Degrees and Credentials:

MS: Nutrition and Dietetics, New York University (2013)
RD: New York University Dietetic Intership (2012)
BS: Exercise Physiology, University of Southern Maine (2009)

Areas of Practice:

Employee Health and Wellness
Private Nutrition Counseling

Contact Information:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

About Kelly:

Kelly is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is involved in the Dietitians in Functional and Integrative Medicine, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Groups.

She has special interests in cardiovascular/lipidology and sports nutrition, maternal nutrition and epigenetics, corporate health and wellness program management and is an avid believer in Joseph Pilates’ “The Method” as the ultimate form of mind-body exercise. Kelly has always been passionate about the power of real food and grew up in a family where cooking and baking from scratch was the norm. Kelly understands that not everyone had these skills passed down to them; one of her goals as a dietitian is to educate and empower others to connect with food in its truest form.

Kelly became a Co-Founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity because she knows that her credential expresses expertise in nutrition and strongly feels that some of the current sponsors of the Academy do not respect nor represent the true force behind this credential.


 

Frances Arnold-Johnson 

Frances Arnold-Johnson  

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. 




Alysa Bajenaru

Alysa Bajenaru (Membership & Media Outreach Co-Chair)

Based In: Phoenix, AZ

Degrees and Credentials:

RD + BS: University of Oklahoma Coordinated Program (2002)
CPT: National Academy of Sports Medicine (2005)

Areas of Practice:

Private Practice: Women's health and fitness.
Freelance writer, blogger.

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

About Alysa:

Alysa is a dietitian, personal trainer, crafter, cook, wife and mom. She has a passion for getting people back in the kitchen and bringing families back to the dinner table. She also believes that large food companies should have no influence over the dietetic profession whether actual or perceived.




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.


 

Lauri Boone 

 Lauri Boone (Conflict-Free CEU Committee Chair) 

Based In: Rochester, NY

 Degrees and Credentials:

RD: West Virginia University Hospitals Dietetic Internship (1998)
BS: Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs (1997)

Areas of Practice:

Wellness, integrative/functional medicine

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About Lauri:

Lauri is a speaker, writer, and author of Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods (Fair Winds Press, 2013) and Superfoods for Life, Chia (Fair Winds Press, 2014). She has a passion for good food and clean eating, and emphasizes a whole foods, holistic approach to health and wellness. An RD for more than 15 years, Lauri believes that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics partnerships with junk food companies undermine the education, experience, and credibility of the RD, and she is incredibly proud to be working for positive change for the profession and the public.


 

Judy Converse

Judy Converse 

Based In: Boulder, CO  

Degrees and Credentials:

MPH: University of Hawaii (1988)
BS: Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Vermont (1982)
RD: Combined degree program with qualifying experience at Queens Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Honolulu, Hawaii WIC,Health Promotion and Education Office of Hawaii Department of Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (1989) 

Areas of Practice:

Infant, child, and adolescent nutrition
Special needs nutrition, with emphasis on autism

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About Judy:

Children in the US today are our most disabled and chronically ill generation yet. They are not expected to live as long as their parents, for the first time in our history.

Food is foundational, primary, and pivotal to maternal and child health. It presents a powerful opportunity to impact our children and our future. Marketing of processed, empty foods to children and young parents, and lack of regulation for genetically modified foods, are two major concerns weakly addressed by AND at this time. As a result, Judy is delighted to stand with DFPI in raising these crucial population health issues, and asking AND to take a stand.

Judy has been a dietitian for almost 25 years and has witnessed several shifts in thinking on nutrition. She has worked in laboratory research, community health, outpatient care, and now owned a pediatric nutrition practice since 1999. She has authored books and professional learning modules, lectured widely on nutrition support for children with autism and ADHD, and maintains a blog. Judy lives in Colorado with her husband and teen son, and loves what she does.


 

Brittany Craig

Brittany Craig

Based In: New York, NY

Degrees and Credentials:

MS: Clinical Nutrition, New York University (2012)
RD: New York University Dietetic Internship (2012)
BS: Community Health Education, Ithaca College (2008)

Areas of Practice:

Clinical Nutrition
Sports nutrition
Weight management

Contact Information:

Website

About Brittany:

Brittany works as a clinical in-patient dietitian in New York City. In addition, she provides nutritional services at Paris Fitness in Manhattan.

Brittany has a special interest in gastrointestinal disorders, sports nutrition, and integrative nutrition. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and values the DPGs (Dietetic Practice Groups) that she is involved in: Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine and Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition.

In Ithaca, Brittany interned at an integrative free health-care clinic for the uninsured and under-insured. This experience has made her passionate about health and nutritional care access to everyone. Brittany chose to be a co-founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity because she is disappointed to see AND not as up-to-date with current trends and research as they could be, despite an increased need for nutritional services in our communities and ever-evolving research.


 

Aaron Flores  

Aaron Flores (Media & Membership Outreach Co-Chair) 

Based In: Los Angeles, CA 

Degrees and Credentials:

RDN: VA Greater Los Angeles Dietetic Internship (2007)
BS: Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University Northridge (2006)

Areas of Practice:

Private Practice
Weight Management Program Coordination

Contact Information:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

About Aaron:

Aaron has been involved in different aspects of weight management and health promotion since 2007. He uses Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size to help his clients to change their relationship with food and learn to listen to their own bodies signals of hunger and fullness. From the beginning of his professional career, Aaron has always had issues with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (AND) policy with corporate sponsorships. To put it simply, he feels that big food's sponsorship of AND diminishes the credibility of RDs and DTRs everywhere. Aaron is proud to be a co-founder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity and looks forward to rejoining AND when they agree to change their policy on this issue.


 

Denise Julia Garbinski

Denise Julia Garbinski (Sponsorship Committee Chair)

 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 

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 (Strategic Co-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.


 

 


Lauren Panoff

Based In: Metro Detroit, MI

Degrees and Credentials:

MPH: Michigan State University (2013)
RD: University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers (2010)

BS: Food Science & Human Nutrition-Dietetics, Colorado State University (2009)

Areas of Practice:

Nutrition/Food Writing

Dietary Supplements

Sports nutrition

Public Health

Plant-Based Nutrition

Eating Disorders

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Private Practice

Contact Information:

Twitter

About Lauren:

Lauren knew she would pursue nutrition at 15, which began as a interest in helping individuals recover from eating disorders and has evolved into advocating for a more honest and sustainable global food system. Lauren was immersed into the clinical field after obtaining her RD, where she provided medical nutrition therapy for a variety of patient populations. After realizing the dire need for preventive nutrition, Lauren completed her MPH and wrote her thesis on the environmental health impacts of the Standard American Diet. She is now an aspiring author and works to support the transparency and consumer safety of the dietary supplement, functional food, and sports nutrition industry. She joined DFPI because she believes the current AND corporate sponsorship model does a great disservice to RDs, undermining their professional credibility and further confusing those seeking expert nutrition advice. She is proud to work with like-minded colleagues to make positive changes to dietetics and the health status of our country.


 

Debra Riedesel  

Debra Riedesel (Website & Merchandise Coordinator)  

Based In: Iowa (Florida and New Jersey part-time)  

Degrees and Credentials:

RD + BS: Coordinated Program at Iowa State University (2004)
BA: Liberal Studies, Drake University (1984)

Areas of Practice:

Women’s health
IBS/IBD
Food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities
Gluten-free living

Contact Information:

Website

Recipe Blog

Facebook

Twitter

About Debra:

Debra has been in private practice for the past 10 years, specializing in women’s health, IBS, IBD, food allergies, food intolerance/sensitivities and the gluten-free diet. She is the creator of The Cycle Diet.com, a specialty woman’s health website.

Debra earned her Dietetics & Nutrition degree at Iowa State University in 2003 and fulfilled her internship requirements with both Iowa Health Systems (UnityPoint Health) and Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Debra has consulted on special projects with the Center for Health and Wellbeing, helping start their dietary program for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Debra also speaks on the gluten-free diet and women’s health.

Prior to going back to school in mid-life Debra spent 16 years in advertising and marketing (newspaper, radio and television).


 

Matthew Ruscigno 

Matthew Ruscigno 

Based In: San Diego, 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 

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.