Leadership

Our annual election occurs every spring

Are you ready to cast your vote?
The essence of good government is trust - Kathleen Sebelius

Successful governing bodies build trust, set standards, define and delegate. Dallas Dietetic Alliance’s leadership is comprised of a General Governing Board as well as an elected Executive Board. The aim is to govern the alliance and its membership with integrity and proudly represent the alliance in our community and to fellow professional peers.

The Governing Board takes charge of the strategic direction the alliance takes, regulates and establishes beneficial policies for the organization, and directs the alliance’s budgeting and finance activities.

Select members and students serve on the General Governing Board as well. They act as representatives for all alliance members and ensure that a variety of perspectives and viewpoints are included during important discussions and decisions.

Both parties work hand-in-hand to ensure members of the Dallas Dietetic Alliance are the leading source of food and nutrition services. We encourage you to become a member and get involved with the alliance’s governance on any level -- whether you’re interested in the latest trends and developments affecting the industry, shedding light on pressing professional issues, volunteering for a committee, or even running for a leadership position. The Dallas Dietetic Alliance awaits members with open ears and an open heart -- we want to know your ideas, concerns and issues.

2017-2018 DDA Governing Board

Melissa Mendez

Melissa Mendez is currently a Registered Dietitian at Parkland Hospital. Melissa has served on the Dallas Dietetic Alliance board for 4 years, and was awarded the Outstanding Board Member in the organization for the 2015-2016 year. She has been selected to volunteer at Children's Health starting this summer. Melissa enjoys taking random weekend getaway trips all over the US, running, and going to metal/rock concerts.

Grace Rivers

Grace Rivers provides consulting and works with patients in her practice where she focuses on diabetes and wellness. A 1993 graduate from UT Southwestern in Clinical Nutrition, Grace has been practicing for 25 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for sixteen years. She has worked in long term care, renal dialysis, home health and diabetes outpatient care.

Grace is a member of the Dallas Dietetic Alliance (DDA), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has served as the Chair for Membership Communications, Nominating Committee, Main Event, and Strategic Planning for DDA. She resides in the DFW metroplex with her husband. They both love animals and strive for a greener planet. They support each other as they practice living a simple life in this busy world. Grace is a firm believer in physical activity for all ages. Along with walking, she attends a core class along with yoga and tai chi.

Megan Norwood

Megan Norwood, MS, RD, LD, CNSC is the 2018-2019 President Elect and Strategic Planning Chair for the DDA. She previously served as the Meeting Coordinator 2017-2018 and Main Event Chair 2015-2016, organizing Date Night 2016. She currently works at Medical Center of McKinney as the Food and Nutrition Services Manager. She lives in Dallas with her two dogs and enjoys distance running! She is looking forward to working with membership this year to have unique meeting topics related to nutrition.

Stella Yan

Stella Yan will graduate from UT Southwestern's Masters of Clinical Nutrition Coordinated Program in August. During her graduate schooling, she worked on a research project on evaluating healthy vending, which she will present at this year's FNCE poster session. Within dietetics, Stella is interested in public health and clinical nutrition. She is currently the President for her local Toastmasters club, Richardson High Five. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her fiance and dog. She frequents the dog park and love to run with her canine companion. She has also started woodworking as a new hobby.

Dottie Brashear

Dottie Brashear, RD/LD received her Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition from UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2007. After graduating Dottie worked in an array of settings including inpatient, diabetes education, dialysis and bariatrics. She currently works at Cigna. She lives with her husband in Oak Cliff.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan Palmer is currently the Clinical Dietitian for the Neuro Critical Care Unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oakcliff. In addition, she provides nutrition services for two DFW hospice companies and is the co-owner of a private nutrition consulting business called Smart City Nutrition. Jordan’s previous experience includes 5 years of working in community nutrition, where she provided nutrition education and counseling to low income women, infants, and children with the Dallas WIC Program. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 2010 with a B.S. in Dietetics and Institutional Administration and recently became a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC).

Jordan and her husband reside in East Dallas along with their rescued English Bulldog Phoebe Jay. In her spare time she enjoys taking fitness classes (especially her husband’s boxing classes), running in her neighborhood, and walking her dog. She also likes live music, exploring new “hot spots” in Dallas and spending time with her family and friends. Jordan is serving as DDA’s 2018-2019’s Annual Conference Chair.

Lisa Presley

Lisa Presley is a Registered Dietitian and recent Medical City Dallas Intern graduate. She graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics. She has served in many leadership roles and has been recognized for all her hard work through this process. She was recognized by the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics with the 2017 Outstanding Dietetic Student Award.

Lisa is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Northeast Region), and Dallas Dietetics Alliance. She is serving as the student liaison between Dallas Dietetic Alliance and her internship. She is also serving on the Marketing Committee and is a 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Award Nominee. Lisa is enjoying these experiences and getting to meet new professionals within the field of dietetics.

In her spare time, Lisa's enjoys watching Netflix and cuddling with her Pomeranian, Roscoe. She also enjoys baking and sharing the goodies with her family and friends.

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn Moore, MS, RDN, LD chose the field of dietetics for her second career. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. She earned her RDN credentials in February 2016 and began working as a Clinical PRN Dietitian. In August 2016, she began working in her dream job for Ft. Worth Independent School District as a School Dietitian/Trainer. During her personal time, Carolyn's favorite hobby is spending time with her grandsons.

Katie McKee

Katie McKee always loved learning about the power of nutrition, and now she has the joy of teaching others about it. With a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arizona, Katie worked as a writer, editor and reporter before returning to school at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center to earn a Master of Clinical Nutrition. A member of the National, Texas, Tarrant and Dallas Academies of Nutrition and Dietetics, Katie joined Dairy MAX in early 2015. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, she now lives in Lantana, Texas, with her husband, Sean, their son Milo and their French bulldog.

Jennifer Rodriguez Jaramillo

Jennifer Rodriguez Jaramillo, RDN, LDN is currently a bilingual private practice dietitian in Denton, Texas and primarily sees bilingual adult/pediatric populations for metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular health and more in the Dallas- Fort Worth area. Jennifer is also an entrepreneur vegan dietitian and has her own consulting and media company called, Food is Vida (‘vida’ means life) which focuses on her passions in preventive nutrition/health, vegan/plant-based nutrition, food photography and videography. Along her career and personal life, Jennifer also emphasizes sustainable choices for a healthy planet that promotes the well-being of all things.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Jennifer enjoys all things nature. Among her favorite pastimes are visiting the beach or mountains back in her home state. Currently, Jennifer resides in Fort Worth, Texas and cares for her furbabies, a pugweenie mix and westie pup and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Jennifer received her undergraduate education at Texas Woman’s University, wherein 2015 she received the TWU Simmons Community Service Award upon graduation for coordinating a city-wide 5k with proceeds going to local food banks in the North Texas area. Jennifer completed her dietetic internship at Prairie View A&M University and is also currently finishing her Master’s degree in Nutrition back at her alma mater.

Beth Gaddis

Beth Gaddis is a 2018 graduate of the Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) Dietetic Internship program and currently works at BUMC as a PRN Clinical Dietitian. Beth first became involved with DDA in 2015 where she served as the student liaison for Texas Woman’s University, where she earned her post baccalaureate degree in Nutrition with an Emphasis in Dietetics. Beth enjoys meeting other RDN’s and healthcare professionals who are passionate about nutrition and is excited to serve as this year’s membership chair. Beth and her husband, Clark, live in the DFW metroplex with their Weimaraner puppy, Trigger. In her spare time, Beth enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, and being a dog mom.

Sapna Punjabi-Gupta

Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, MS, RDN, LD, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, and a Culinary Wellness Expert based in Dallas, Texas. She combines her Indian roots and western training emphasizing mindful eating, the healing power of food and spices, and several Ayurvedic practices as strategies to improve one’s overall health and wellbeing. She is the creative force behind her company, beSPICED (www.bespiced.com). She conducts wellness workshops, interactive cooking classes, and also offers a line of heirloom spice products and provides culinary wellness through her vibrant YouTube Channel - Be.Spiced (https://www.youtube.com/bespiced).

She travels extensively to lecture for professional groups, and public. Sapna is the wellness advisor at the Crow Museum of Asian Art Museum in Dallas where she conducts regular lectures for the public. She also authors articles for both print publications and online blogs and is a contributing writer for Dallas Morning News. She has been recognized as the Ayurveda Ambassador of Dallas by D Magazine in 2017.

Sapna has more than a decade of experience as a Clinical Dietitian with a focus in areas of neonatal nutrition and women’s health. She is actively involved with the Academy and part of several dietetic practice groups. She has been the Texas state coordinator for VNDPG for 3 years and involved with other local dietetic networking groups.

Apart from her busy work schedule juggling various roles, she enjoys traveling with her husband and their 2 children, Aditya and Mihika. She dedicates her time volunteering at her children's school and is a proud tennis mom. Her best way to relax is to cheer for both her kids on the tennis court when she is not at home creating new recipes or products.

Rachel Tramell

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