Our 2018 election is coming

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

Grace Rivers

Grace Rivers is a private practice dietitian in diabetes and wellness. She is a 1993 graduate of UT Southwestern and has been practicing for more than 20 years. Grace has worked in long term care, renal dialysis, and home health. She was a Certified Diabetes Educator in the Hunt Regional Hospital Outpatient Center for nearly fifteen years.

Grace is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For the Dallas Dietetic Alliance, formerly Dallas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she has served as the Membership Communications Chair, Nominating Committee Chair, Main Event Chair and Strategic Planning Chair. Grace was the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Award and was nominated for the 2014 Outstanding Board Member Award. She resides in the DFW metroplex with her husband. They both love animals and support a greener planet. They support each other in the day to day of healthy living and Grace is a firm believer in physical activity for all ages. Along with her favorite activity, walking, she attends a core class along with yoga.

Melissa Mendez

Melissa Mendez is currently a Registered Dietitian at Parkland Hospital. Melissa has served on the Dallas Dietetic Allience 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.

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.

Megan Norwood

Megan Norwood, MS, RD, LD, CNSC is the 2016-2018 Meeting Coordinator for the DDA. She previously served as the 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.

Denise Woods

Denise Woods is a Clinical Dietitian at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center of Irving. She earned her B.S. degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University, and is currently in the process of completing a master’s degree in Nutrition from Bowling Green State University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and testing out new recipes, volunteering, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family and friends.

Brianna Pilawski

Brianna Pilawski, RD, LD completed her B.S. in Dietetics and Dietetic Internship through Purdue University's Coordinated Program in 2010. She started her career as a clinical dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center and then transitioned to Corporate Wellness. Her current focus is raising her son Connor while staying active in the dietetics community through volunteer work and continuing education. Brianna has been a member of DDA since 2010 and has held offices including Nominating Committee Member and Logo Committee Chairman. Brianna looks forward to putting on an excellent Annual Conference for the DDA this year.

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.

Jennifer Van Zandt

Jennifer Van Zant's interest in nutrition began in 1997 with a diagnosis of Celiac Disease. Her background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and working as an event coordinator and photographer until 2011 when she opted to pursue a career change. Jennifer graduated with a Master of Clinical Nutrition in 2015 from the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center and now holds a position as a Clinical Dietitian at William P. Clements University Hospital in Dallas, Texas. She also continues her work as a business owner/operator with her boyfriend at their Digital Marketing Agency, VIM Studio.

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.

Isabel Teo

Isabel "Izzy" Teo has been a registered dietitian nutritionist since September 2014. She completed her undergrad at Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences. She then went on to pursue her master’s degree in clinical nutrition at UTSW, graduating in August 2014.

Isabel has been working at Medical City Denton since December 2014, and most often covers the ICU, PCU, and medical floors. She loves nutrition support, and her latest accomplishment was obtaining her CNSC degree in September 2016.

Hobbies/passions include baking, keeping active (running and Pilates!), traveling the world, attending church, cafe-hopping, and taking care of her 2 dogs (a German Shepherd and a little Pomeranian).

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.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan Palmer is a Clinical Dietitian at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, currently working with the oncology and neurological critical care patient populations. She also provides nutritional services to two DFW hospice companies. She is also co-owner of Smart City Nutrition, a private nutrition consulting business that offers services to the DFW metroplex. She has 5 years of community nutrition experience, 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. Jordan currently resides in East Dallas enjoys riding her bike at White Rock Lake, spending time at local coffee houses, and listening to good music.

Jill Elliott

Jill is a graduate of Brigham Young University and has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for 23 years. Her career began in hospital food service management working as an administrative dietitian. She transitioned to senior healthcare working as a divisional director of dining services, then corporate dining services specialist changing the face of dining services for a national senior living company. Now in business for herself, Jill manages the successful kids teaching kidsSM program for Medical City Children’s Hospital and other community outreach programs for Medical City Healthcare, focused on life-long healthy eating.
In her free time, she teaches piano lessons and loves all things creative. Whether whipping up a meal from random pantry ingredients, crafting or DIY home projects Jill can often be found with a paring knife, paintbrush or power tool in hand.

Lisa Presley

Lisa Presley is a current Medical City Dallas Intern. 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.

Jani Leuschel

Jani is the Texas Woman’s University student liaison to the Dallas Dietetic Alliance. In 1993, she earned an MS in kinesiology and will complete TWU’s Didactic Program in Dietetics in May. Nutrition has been an interest and passion throughout her previous career as a personal trainer and fitness instructor and in projects that involve food writing and editing. She enjoys working for the good of the community both as a volunteer and board member.

After raising two children, Jani and her husband have recently become empty nesters, devoting energy to their two cats and adorable Corgi. They stay fit with a mix of strength training, Pilates, and cardiovascular exercise and aim for a healthy lifestyle through stress management and a nourishing diet.