Weight of the State Conference 2019


Melanie K. Bean, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Virginia Commonwealth University
Melanie K. Bean, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Healthy Lifestyles Center, a pediatric obesity treatment and research center at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Bean’s research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, among others, is broadly focused on implementing empirically supported strategies to facilitate health behavior changes among populations at high obesity risk. She has a particular interest in evaluating school food programs and policies and in building strong community/academic partnerships to address obesity.
Justine Blincoe
Policy Coordinator
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
Justine Blincoe is the policy coordinator for Greater Richmond Fit4Kids. She holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and a master’s of social work with a focus on administration, planning and policy practice, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining Fit4Kids, Blincoe served as a legislative assistant to state legislator Jennifer McClellan in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia. Blincoe is also a former pre-kindergarten teacher.
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Audrey Blute
Senior Program Manager
Rescue The Behavior Change Agency
Audrey Blute earned her undergraduate degree at George Washington University and interned for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. After, she joined Teach For America and earned a master’s degree in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania before returning to Washington, D.C., where she taught math and art at a public charter school. In her current position with Rescue as senior program manager, Blute oversees the implementation of Virginia’s youth engagement program, Y Street, as well as tobacco control and obesity prevention policy campaigns.
Jennifer Brady
Obesity and Chronic Disease Prevention Health Educator
Loudoun County Health Department
Jennifer Brady is the obesity and chronic disease prevention health educator for the Loudoun County Health Department and the vice-chair of the Loudoun Pediatric Obesity Coalition. Brady loves to work with community partners on a spectrum of obesity prevention initiatives, including breastfeeding support and promotion, increasing access to school gardens and local farm-fresh food, expanding opportunities for physical activity in the community and encouraging increased water consumption. On the weekends, she manages the largest producer-only farmers’ market in Loudoun County where SNAP shoppers can receive unlimited matching funds for their purchases.
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Alisa Brewer
Director of Community Engagement and Outreach
Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Health Disparities
Alisa Brewer is the director of community engagement and outreach at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Health Disparities. With 14 years of experience, Brewer conducts community-based participatory research activities with expertise in health promotion collaborations of varied audiences, including community, clinical, faith- and school-based groups. Brewer works closely with university and community coalitions throughout Richmond and its surrounding areas. These efforts aim to promote understanding about health disparities and problem-solving through means of relationship and capacity building initiatives, advocacy and health education.
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Amanda Butler
School Nutrition Director
Rappahannock County Public Schools
Amanda Butler is the nutritionist for the Commit to Be Fit program and the school nutrition director for Rappahannock County Public Schools. After working in both employee and student wellness centers at the collegiate level, Butler feels right at home in small, rural Rappahannock County, where the Commit to Be Fit program promotes a culture of health and wellness among all ages in the community. Butler dedicates her work to allow all students access to healthy meals, including fresh and local foods, and nutrition education and experiences to lead a healthy life. Butler earned her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in nutrition, foods and exercise and her master’s in health education and promotion at East Carolina University.
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Kimberly Butterfield
Family and Consumer Science Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Kimberly Butterfield serves as the family and consumer science agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Roanoke, Virginia. Butterfield received her master’s of public health degree from Virginia Tech, where she also served as a program manager for the Appalachian Community Cancer Network’s Walk by Faith program in Giles County and as project coordinator of the Let’s Talk Public Health youth initiative. Butterfield joined the Virginia Cooperative Extension in 2016.
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Janice Choudhury
Campaign Manager, Great Starts with Breakfast
Rescue The Behavior Change Agency
Janice Choudhury began her career with Rescue as a Y Street Youth Field Organizer, recruiting and training youth advocates throughout the state of Virginia to lead campaign activities in their community. Currently, she serves as campaign manager for the Great Starts with Breakfast campaign, for which she drives campaign strategy and implementation by partnering with Y Street teens to increase breakfast participation in Virginia schools. Choudhury earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and her master’s in public health from Columbia University. She has more than 10 years of experience working with youth and is a former Peace Corps volunteer, having served as a healthy youth advisor in Lesotho, South Africa.
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Carrie Coyner
Board Member
Chesterfield County School Board
Carrie Coyner was first elected to the Chesterfield County School Board in November 2011. She represents the Bermuda District and previously served as board chair. Coyner is the owner and founder of RudyCoyner, Attorneys at Law and holds bachelor’s degrees in Spanish language and U.S. government from the University of Virginia and a juris doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law. Coyner was named a national Action for Healthy Kids 2017 Healthy School Hero winner for her service towards the goal of making every kid healthy, active and ready to learn.
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Brandi Daniels
Community Partner
Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Health Disparities
Throughout her 12 years serving as a community advocate, Brandi Daniels has used her collaborative talents and experiential learning in a variety of roles to help minimize health disparities gaps in Richmond communities. As a community partner with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Health Disparities for the past five years, Daniels has had the opportunity to co-mingle with research networks and outreach efforts in promoting literacy and health education workshops to children, youth and their families. This 2015-2016 Mid-Atlantic Health Equity Hero awardee has also partnered with Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity and currently serves as an instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Honors College Community Engagement courses.
Kayla Brooke Dransfield
Program Coordinator
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
Kayla Brooke Dransfield first joined regional nonprofit Greater Richmond Fit4Kids as an Americorps VISTA in 2014. Throughout the past four years, she has worked on a variety of health and wellness initiatives, including Eat Fresh Richmond Public Schools, which was highlighted in a plenary session at the 2017 Weight of the State conference. Dransfield currently serves as the program coordinator and developed their newest program, Game On, Girl! - a comprehensive initiative to empower adolescent girls to be physically active, nutritionally fit and ready to take on the world! Dransfield graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology.
Christen Dunn
Program Coordinator
Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH)
Christen Dunn joined the Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH) in March 2018 as the program coordinator for CINCH’s Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Initiative, focusing on breastfeeding as a means of obesity prevention. Dunn has several other programmatic interests, including providing tobacco prevention education and facilitating tobacco policy changes in early care settings through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth-funded program Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones (HALO), as well as increasing allergy and asthma awareness to school nurses across the Hampton Roads region. Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in clinical health promotion from Liberty University and is an MPH candidate at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS).
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Jarene Fleming
State Breastfeeding Coordinator
Virginia Department of Health
Jarene Fleming, IBCLC, is the state breastfeeding coordinator with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Family Health Services, Division of Community Nutrition, for which she coordinates multiple initiatives to promote, protect and support human milk feeding in the commonwealth, including the Virginia WIC Breastfeeding Program, the Virginia Maternity Care Quality Improvement Collaborative and the BF Friendly Child Care Award program. Making a positive impact in the area of maternal and infant health through breastfeeding is her passion. Her particular focus is closing the racial health disparity gap by promoting breastfeeding for all families. Fleming serves on the board of the Southern Birth Justice Network and is a member of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE).
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Catherine (Katie) Giles
Project Manager
Prevention Research Center on Nutrition & Physical Activity
Catherine “Katie” Giles is a project manager at the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HPRC). The mission of the HPRC is to work with communities, community agencies, state and local government, and other partners to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of methodologies and interventions to improve nutrition and physical activity and reduce obesity and chronic disease risk among children, youth, and their families and to translate and disseminate this work at community, state and national levels to reduce and eliminate disparities in these outcomes. Giles also serves as project manager for CHOICES, a cost-effectiveness study of childhood obesity policies and programs. In her role on the CHOICES project, Giles manages the Learning Collaborative partnerships with state and local health agencies and the CHOICES national expert stakeholder group, oversees policy/program strategy model development and dissemination strategy and products of CHOICES activities, methods and findings. Giles’ key areas of interest include physical activity and nutrition policy and environmental change interventions, community based participatory approaches to public health change and development of sustainable, low-cost tools and resources for communities and organizations to improve health. Prior to joining the Prevention Research Center, Giles worked for five years at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing on a multi-site randomized control trial with middle schools to prevent type 2 diabetes. Giles received her Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and her bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.
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Courtney Glenn
Spirt of the Midwife Pregnancy Services
Courtney Glenn, MLA, is a birth doula, pregnancy and early parenting consultant, and the owner of Spirit of the Midwife Pregnancy Services. Since committing to birth work in 2012, she has worked to change narratives and outcomes associated with pregnancy and birth. Glenn has made it her life’s mission to serve women and families during this sacred, special time. Through Spirit of the Midwife, she hopes to inform, educate and support women and families through pregnancy and birth by providing information, resources and relationships that positively impact the birth experience and their lives. Serving as a birth worker has greatly enriched her life so much so that she plans to become a certified nurse midwife.
Hattie Harris
Early Childhood Program Manager
Alternatives Inc.
Hattie Harris is the early childhood program manager at Alternatives Inc., a nationally recognized youth development agency in Hampton, Virginia. Holding a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master’s degree in clinical psychology and certification in managing early childhood programs, Harris is the current coordinator for Alternatives’ nationally recognized early childhood programs initiatives. This initiative includes a childhood obesity prevention program that serves over 300 children. Harris has extensive training and experience in research and management, equipping children and families in making changes for healthier and physically active lifestyles as well as institutionalizing policy changes and practices.
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Jordan P. Hiegel
Medical Student
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jordan P. Hiegel is currently a second-year medical student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Passionate about pediatric nutrition, she is currently leading a project aimed toward better understanding the nutritional needs of the local pediatric population in Blacksburg, Virginia, titled, “Medical Students Reach Out Into Their Community To Learn About Their Nutritional Beliefs & Practices.” Hiegel received her undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. She is the co-author of a paper titled “The Chromatin Remodeling Complex NURF Localizes to Gene Bodies and is Required for Mrna Processing,” which is currently under review to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Kathy Hosig, PhD, MPH, RD
Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences
Virginia Tech
Kathy Hosig is an associate professor of Population Health Sciences at Virginia Tech and director for the Virginia Tech Center for Public Health Practice and Research. She is also a public health specialist and state program leader for health with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Hosig is a registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Virginia Tech, a doctorate in human nutrition from Purdue University and a Mmaster’s of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches health education/health behavior and program evaluation. Her research focuses on promotion of healthful eating and physical activity habits across the lifespan through community-engaged, collaborative programs.
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Bailey Houghtaling
Ph.D. Candidate
Virginia Tech
Bailey Houghtaling, MS, RDN, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise at Virginia Tech who completed a research project with the Virginia Family Nutrition Program as a portion of dissertation research.
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Erika Huddleston
Associate Director
Loudoun Hunger Relief
Erika Huddleston, associate director of Loudoun Hunger Relief, served as the program manager for the Integrated Pediatric Care Program funded by Northern Virginia Health Foundation, which completed in 2017. An experienced nonprofit professional with 18 years of organizational and program management experience, she has eight years of hands-on experience managing food-access programs in Loudoun County, Virginia. Previously the director of Messiah’s Market in Ashburn, Virginia, Huddleston joined Loudoun Hunger Relief in 2015 to serve as associate director, providing operational and programming support to the organization. Huddleston serves as the secretary for the Loudoun Pediatric Obesity Collation and co-facilitator of the Loudoun Food Providers Group.
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Jamie Jeffrey
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Dr. Jamie Jeffrey is a pediatrician and clinical associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University School of Medicine Charleston Division. She received her medical degree from Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, and completed her pediatric residency at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. She founded and is medical director of HealthyKids Wellness and Weight Management Program at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC. After noticing escalating weight and BMI in her patients at Children’s Medicine Center in Charleston, West Virginia, she has devoted her career to pediatric clinical, research, advocacy and community outreach in the field of childhood obesity. Her most important role is to serve as director of KEYS 4 HealthyKids, a multisector collaborative to prevent childhood obesity by improving the nutrition and physical activity environments and policies so her patients and families don’t have to work so hard to lead healthy lives. KEYS 4 HealthyKids works with child care centers, schools and in the community to make the healthy choice the easy choice!
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Hollyann E. Jenkins
Wellness Integration Specialist
Rappahannock County Public Schools
Hollyann E. Jenkins is a wellness integration specialist with the Commit to Be Fit Team at Rappahannock County Public Schools. Jenkins is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years. She is a certified personal trainer and a certified health coach (both through the American Council on Exercise). In addition, she holds multiple specialties such as master fitness trainer (National Federation of Professional Trainers), youth exercise specialist (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and sports conditioning specialist (American Council on Exercise).
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Ragen Johnson
Executive Director
Alternatives Inc.
Ragen Johnson is the Executive Director of Alternatives Inc., a nationally recognized youth development agency in Hampton, Virginia. She participated in out-of-school time programs offered by Alternatives as an elementary, middle and high school student. Johnson served as the program coordinator for a nationally recognized early childhood program serving 2,000 preschool-aged children and a state-recognized childhood obesity prevention program serving 300 children in the community. She has also developed curriculum, trainings, facilitated parent programs and provided technical assistance for early childhood programs. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and political science and has a master’s degree in public administration.
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Courtney Jones
Grants Coordinator, Office of School Nutrition
Virginia Department of Education
Courtney Jones is the Grants Coordinator for the Office of School Nutrition at the Virginia Department of Education. Ms. Jones oversees the planning and implementation of grant opportunities for the agency including the Virginia 365 Project, the Summer EBT project, and the AmeriCorps project. Prior to her current role, Ms. Jones supervised the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and led the transition of the programs from the Virginia Department of Health to the Department of Education. Ms. Jones also spent eight years in the nonprofit sector focusing on grassroots advocacy, public policy, and communications.
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Jeffrey Jordan
President and Executive Creative Director
Social change is Jeffrey Jordan’s priority, evident in all his endeavors from his academic research to his leadership at Rescue. His passion for social change began in high school when he volunteered for an anti-tobacco group. Observing the lack of effective social marketing services, he started Rescue when he was only 17 years old. While growing Rescue, Jordan studied marketing for his undergraduate degree and received a master's degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Today, he oversees the management of more than a dozen programs around the country. As the developer of social branding, Jordan focuses on the relationship between identity, culture and behavior to cause behavior change. His company’s work focuses on adolescents, tackling issues such as tobacco, obesity and violence prevention.
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Janice Kailos
Coordinator for Wellness and Community Outreach, School Health Initiative Program (SHIP)
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools
Janice Kailos is the coordinator for wellness and community outreach for the School Health Initiative Program (SHIP). SHIP is grant-funded through the Williamsburg Health Foundation and is a partnership with Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. Kailos started her career with Williamsburg-James City County schools in 1995, and has been a classroom teacher and a wellness integration specialist. In Kailos’s current position, she has grown the after-school student club attendance to close to 2,500 students per year. Kailos enjoys running and is an Orangetheory Fitness enthusiast. She resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband of 34 years and their boxer. They have two adult children.
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Emily Keenum
Health Initiative Coordinator
Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
Emily Keenum, a health initiative coordinator with the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation managed Virginia’s Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives project from 2014 to 2018. Although this grant ended, she continues to work at the foundation with state and local partners to integrate healthy eating and physical activity best practices into early care systems. Before joining the foundation, Keenum provided training and consultation services on social-emotional competencies, child resiliency and health and classroom behavior supports in early childhood. Keenum holds a master’s degree in counseling.
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Debra Kibbe
Senior Research Associate, Georgia Health Policy Center
Georgia State University
Debra Kibbe is a senior research associate in the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University, where she has worked since October 2011 on obesity and health-related policy and programs throughout the United States. From 1998 to 2011, Kibbe served as director of the Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Program for the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., where she coordinated, evaluated and published results from several school, community and health care intervention projects aimed at the prevention and management of pediatric overweight. Prior to joining the PAN program, she was the assistant volleyball competition manager for the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Active at the national level, Kibbe is a faculty member for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ certificate program on child and adolescent overweight and was a member of the education subcommittee of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Implementation Plan initiative. She co-chairs the data and evaluation sub-group of the Georgia SHAPE childhood obesity prevention initiative. Kibbe earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hiram College in Ohio and her master’s degree in personnel and employment relations from Georgia State University.
Marty Kilgore
Executive Director
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth
Having begun her career as a third-generation public school teacher, Marty Kilgore has devoted her life to helping the children of Virginia learn to make healthy choices.

Since 2001, Kilgore has served as Executive Director of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY).

Established by the General Assembly in 1999, VFHY leads statewide efforts to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use and childhood obesity.

Under Marty’s leadership, the number of high school students who smoke in Virginia was cut almost in half during the last decade, and the number of middle school smokers declined by more than 65 percent. Due to VFHY’s success, the General Assembly gave the foundation responsibility for childhood obesity prevention in 2009.

VFHY funds community-based programs throughout the Commonwealth, and has directly provided classroom-based educational prevention programs to almost 800,000 young peop[le since 2001. About 600,000 children each year view multimedia prevention messages on TV and the Internet created through the Foundation’s award-winning “Y do u think” marketing campaign.

A graduate of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Marty has worked in Virginia state government since 1997. She served as Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth from 1998 to 2001.

She and her husband, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, have two children, Klarke and Kelsey.
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Brittany C. Ledford
Mid-Atlantic Coordinator for Action for Healthy Kids
Action for Healthy Kids
Brittany Ledford is the Mid-Atlantic coordinator for Action for Healthy Kids, supervising grants and school wellness efforts in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
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Annie LePere
Coordinator, Live Healthy Rockbridge Kids
Rockbridge Area Community Services
Annie LePere is the coordinator of Live Healthy Rockbridge Kids, a Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth-funded Healthy Communities Action Team (HCAT) housed at Rockbridge Area Community Services in Lexington, Virginia. This HCAT includes partners that are not traditionally focused on health, such as the local chamber of commerce and Natural Bridge State Park. Live Healthy Rockbridge Kids is also a member of the Rockbridge Area Outdoor Partnership, a coalition led by the Rockbridge County Office of Community Development to expand and promote outdoor recreation opportunities. LePere is a Chesapeake, Virginia, native and graduate of the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University whose life has taken her to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Buena Vista, Virginia. She enjoys the outdoors, gardening and hiking with her husband and their two teen children.
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Leslie Lytle
Executive Director
Leslie Lytle, MS, LCCE, RPYT, is the executive director of Nurture, a nonprofit focused on improving the health and wellbeing of childbearing families. She has worked in the healthcare arena for over 30 years, with an emphasis on innovative program development and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Lytle holds a master’s degree in sociology, is a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and a registered prenatal yoga teacher. A member of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program class of 2013, Lytle is the 2016 recipient of the Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice and a 2018 Community Trustbuilding Fellow through Initiatives of Change. She looks forward to the day when Richmond will be known far and wide as a breastfeeding-friendly city.
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Suzanne Marcelino
Game On, Girl! Coach
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
Suzanne Marcelino joined Greater Richmond Fit4Kids as a student intern. During her internship, she served as a walking ambassador for Safe Routes to School, an initiative that encourages children to walk or bike to school. She dedicated the rest of her time as an intern into developing, editing and implementing the curriculum as a coach for Game On, Girl!, a program that educates middle-school aged girls about sports, leadership and health. Marcelino graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and exercise science, with a concentration in health science.
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Susan L. Meacham
Professor for Preventative Medicine and Public Health
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Susan L. Meacham, Ph.D., R.D., is a professor for preventative medicine and public health at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her current research projects include: “Effect of Boron on UV-Induced Skin Cancer,” “Health Status of Populations in Coal Mining Communities in the Appalachian Region of Virginia and West Virginia” and “Rate of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, and Obesity in Coal Production Communities in Economically Distressed Areas of Virginia and West Virginia in Central Appalachia.” Her most recent publication, “Cancer Mortality Trends in Medically Underserved Counties in Virginia,” was in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association in 2016.
Laciana McIntyre
Health & Wellness Director
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi
Laciana McIntyre serves as the Health & Wellness Director for The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Master of Science Degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, both from Mississippi State University. As the Health and Wellness Director, she works to provide educational information and raise awareness about the impact of obesity on Mississippi. Ms. McIntyre’s efforts include developing and implementing age appropriate nutrition and physical activity education into schools, after schools, and early care and education (ECE) settings. She also oversees The Partnership’s school health councils and ECE work across the state to improve overall student health and education outcomes.
Andrea Nannery
School Nutrition Program (SNP) Coordinator
Virginia Department of Education
Andrea Nannery is the School Nutrition Program (SNP) coordinator for the Virginia Department of Education, working to assure that every Virginia student has access to good, healthy food at school, to enhance academic success and promote lifelong wellness. Formerly an SNP program specialist for Washington, D.C., Nannery is a registered dietitian nutritionist with experience in child nutrition programs and corporate wellness. Nannery has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Radford University and completed a dietetic internship through the University of Maryland, with an emphasis in information management and nutrition informatics.
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Natalie Ortiz
Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH)
Natalie Ortiz learned at a young age from her grandmother, Aurora, that some of life’s best moments revolve around meals shared with family and friends. This inspired her to earn a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and hospitality business management. Prior to joining Faquier County’s FRESH Team, she worked for one of the area’s largest corporate and social caterers and is the owner and chef of Aurora’s Family Table, a personal chef business that gave her the pleasure of providing busy families with nutritious and delicious customized meals in line with their dietary needs. Ortiz’s joy for growing food and cooking with children was first realized when she worked as a Montessori teacher’s assistant in college. In her spare time, Ortiz teaches recreational cooking classes, volunteers in various community programs and visits state parks with her husband and 4-year-old Lab mix, Sasha.
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Tonya Pickett
SNAP-Ed Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Tonya Pickett is a SNAP-Ed agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program. Through her position, she helps build community capacity for improving food security, nutrition, health and physical activity for low-income youth and families, including forging partnerships within seven counties in Southwest Virginia. She currently serves on the board of Salem Area Ecumeincal Ministries and was instrumental in helping apply for the group’s Healthy Communities Action Team (HCAT) grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. This is the third VFHY-funded HCAT group that Pickett has been a member of in Southwest Virginia. Pickett is passionate for the people whom she serves, because she grew up in generational poverty and was a low-income, first-generation college graduate.
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Tonya Carter Price
Instructor in Health Promotions
University of Lynchburg
Tonya Price has been a registered dietitian since 1998, spending 17 years as a practicing clinician addressing issues such as obesity and chronic disease. She received her bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and foods from Virginia Tech and her master’s degree in health sciences, nutrition and physical activity from James Madison University. In 2015, she embarked upon a shift in her career, entering the world of higher education and pursuing her doctorate in health education at A. T. Still University. Her area of research is implicit and explicit weight bias and its influence on the provision of effective health care. Currently, she is a faculty member in health promotion at the University of Lynchburg and a certified health education specialist.
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Kathleen Reed
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Kathleen Reed is the agriculture and natural resources extension agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Roanoke, Virginia. Reed received her master’s degree in community sustainability from Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She previously worked with the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, Rhode Island, and Karl Family Farms in the Hudson Valley region of New York state. Reed joined the Virginia Cooperative Extension in 2016.
Hannah Robbins
Obesity Prevention Marketing Specialist
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth
Hannah Robbins is the obesity prevention marketing specialist at the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Robbins worked for four years at the Richmond City Health District in chronic disease prevention. She has experience coordinating and managing coalitions for school nutrition, food access and equity, overseeing employee wellness initiatives and supporting policy development at the local level. She is currently completing her master’s degree at the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health.
Sara Rothenberg
Instructor of Pediatrics
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Sara Rothenberg, MPH, is instructor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and assistant director of the Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH). Rothenberg’s current research and community programming focuses on youth tobacco-use prevention and obesity prevention through a policy, systems and environmental change approach. Rothenberg currently directs two projects funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) to decrease tobacco use, prevent obesity and promote breastfeeding. Rothenberg works closely with community partners and decision-makers to influence public health policy and promote prevention and education to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in the Hampton Roads community.
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Joseph Royston
Lead Fresh Integration Team Specialist (FITS)
Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH)
Joseph “J.R.” Royston earned a bachelor’s in business administration and a Master of Education degree from Mary Washington University. He also has an endorsement in health and physical education. Teaching business and adaptive physical education for six years at Cedar Lee Middle School in Fauquier County Virginia, he also served as the school’s athletic and intramural director. An avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, J.R. spends his days off hunting and fishing, coaching Little League baseball or spending time with his three sons and his wife, who is an eighth-grade English teacher at Cedar Lee Middle School.
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Daniel Saggese
Director of Marketing
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth
Daniel Saggese has been the director of marketing for the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth for more than a decade, and has led the establishment of Y Street, one of the premier youth engagement programs in the country. He is also responsible for numerous multimedia prevention campaigns that have helped drive down the youth tobacco-use rate in Virginia by more than half. Saggese is an M.B.A. recipient from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Kayleigh Shorter
School Health Coordinator
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi
Kayleigh serves as the School Health Coordinator at The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi for the East Biloxi area. She provides technical assistance to K-12 schools, early childcare centers, and after school programs. Kayleigh graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Education and a minor in Psychology. Her educational background has helped her tailor the technical assistance she provides to each specific setting.
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Ashley Smith
Supervisor, Special Nutrition Programs (SNP)
Virginia Department of Health
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Danyel Smith
Health Psychology Doctoral student
Virginia Commonwealth University
Danyel Smith is a health psychology doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interests include health behavior development in youth, particularly minority youth. Smith is a long-term volunteer and former volunteer coordinator and program associate with Greater Richmond Fit4Kids.
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Catherine Spacciapoli
Program Associate
No Kid Hungry Virginia
Catherine Spacciapoli is a program associate with No Kid Hungry Virginia, working with school divisions and partner organizations to increase access to and awareness of childhood nutrition programs in Virginia. She manages the Breakfast after the Bell and Afterschool Meals grants for the state, with the goal of supporting schools and sponsors in expanding their programs. She also leads the Virginia Breakfast Challenge, a statewide initiative to increase participation in and excitement for school breakfast. Prior to joining the No Kid Hungry Virginia team, Spacciapoli worked with the Partnership for Public Service leading logistics and evaluation for leadership development programs geared to federal managers. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where she studied Latin American studies. A member of the local Autism Speaks Walk committee in Richmond, Virginia, she spends her free time as a pet sitter and amateur cook.
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Sarah Steely
Senior Program Manager
No Kid Hungry Virginia
Sarah Steely is the senior program manager with No Kid Hungry Virginia. In this role, she liaises with statewide stakeholders, coordinates team communications and goals and develops data-informed engagement strategies to increase awareness of and access to the federally-reimbursed school nutrition programs. During her time at No Kid Hungry Virginia, school breakfast participation among free/reduced lunch eaters grew 5 percent, ensuring that more than 27,000 new students have daily access to a healthy morning meal. Steely also contributed to sponsorship and service increases in the At-Risk Afterschool Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Meals Program. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) and spent her high school summers serving summer meals in her Pennsylvania hometown. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her rescue puppy, Penny.
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Mary Dunne Stewart
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
Mary Dunne Stewart is the CEO of Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, a regional nonprofit with the mission to improve children’s wellness through physical activity and healthy eating. Fit4Kids reaches more than 10,000 children annually through their innovative programs that strive to make healthy habits fun. Stewart holds a master’s of social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and an undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary.
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Jackie Tederick
Wellness Integration Coordinator
Rappahannock County Public Schools
Jackie Tederick is the wellness integration coordinator for the Commit to be Fit program at Rappahannock County Public Schools. Tederick attended Radford University for her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and initially taught high school physical education. The Commit to be Fit Program has allowed Tederick to pursue her passion for motivating students and adults in the community to lead a healthier lifestyle. Tederick is a certified personal trainer. Along with being a master certified health coach, Tederick is a certified L.E.A.N. health coach in the belief that optimal health is achieved through a balanced approach to wellness in four areas: Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition - how we live, move, think and eat.
Elizabeth Theriault
Chronic Disease Prevention Supervisor
Richmond City Health District
Elizabeth Theriault is chronic disease prevention supervisor at Richmond City Health District, providing strategy and leadership to improve residents’ health outcomes by developing programs, policies and environmental strategies to prevent chronic diseases. Theriault has over 15 years’ experience working in the social sector in the United States and abroad. Her work has focused on public health education, nutrition and food systems. Theriault has designed and implemented health education and prevention curriculums to be implemented in communities in New Zealand, England, Boston and Vermont. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s in public health and social work from Boston University.
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Kristin Weinzapfel
Volunteer and Club Coordinator
Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH)
Kristin Weinzapfel is the volunteer and club coordinator for FRESH. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. After college, Weinzapfel worked in retail management then relocated to Virginia, where she managed a team of technical writers for a Department of Defense/Health Affairs project. When she and her husband, a Fairfax County firefighter, started their family, she stayed at home to raise her children but soon found she had a love for education. She has 20 years of experience in education from kindergarten through 12th grades. She primarily taught English in grades 6-12 but has also taught Latin, logic, history and research classes. Additionally, Weinzapfel has been self-employed as a contract editor and English tutor for the past eight years. In her time off, Weinzapfel likes spending time with her family, running, coaching cross country and track, studying foreign languages, off-roading and off-grid camping.
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Rebecca Wilder
Extension Agent, FCS, SNAP-Ed
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Rebecca Wilder is a Rockbridge County, Virginia, native. She received a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in education from Liberty University. Wilder serves as the FCS SNAP-Ed Extension Agent housed in the Virginia Cooperative Extension office in Rockbridge County. Wilder coordinates the planning, development and implementation of the SNAP education volunteer and community-based program within the Virginia counties of Rockbridge, Botetourt, Allegheny, Bath, and Highland. She also develops and implements programs that further Virginia Cooperative Extension initiatives and builds community capacity by forging partnerships in opportunistic areas of improvement for SNAP-eligible individuals and families.
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Chetta Yonaitis
Special Nutrition Programs Manager, Division of Community Nutrition
Virginia Department of Health
Chetta Yonaitis has served as the Special Nutrition Programs Manager for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) since 2013. Prior to her role with VDH, she was a sponsor of both the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program for a local nonprofit organization in Richmond, Virginia. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in education. Over the years, her role in combating child and adult hunger has evolved into not only a career path, but also a passion. Yonaitis spends her free time traveling to swim meets in support of her daughter Caroline, 14, a competitive year-round swimmer, and hanging out with their three dogs.
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Daniel Carey
Secretary of Health and Human Resources
Commonwealth of Virginia
Daniel Carey, M.D., was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Resources by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in January 2018. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Carey worked as a cardiologist and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Centra, where his responsibilities included information technology services, patient quality and safety efforts, performance improvement initiatives, and functions of the medical staff at Centra’s 3 acute care facilities.
Dr. Carey held numerous leadership positions after joining Cardiology Associates of Central Virginia in 1997, which Centra later acquired in 2006. Within a year, he became Medical Director of the Acute MI Program, and went on to serve as Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab and Medical Director of the Stroobants Heart Center. Dr. Carey then went on to become the President/Chief Physician Executive of the Centra Medical Group. In this capacity, he directed the acquisition of multiple physician practices, growing the medical group from 200 to 300+ providers. He also championed a new compensation model that integrated productivity, quality, service and group culture across specialties.

Dr. Carey has special interest in medical leadership, and in addition to his roles at Centra, has also served as President of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine, the Medical Society of Virginia and the MSV Foundation.

In his current role, Dr. Carey is passionate about expanding access to affordable health care for Virginians; improving the Commonwealth’s behavioral health and developmental services programs; and making meaningful progress on issues such as substance use and addiction, women’s health, and children’s issues.

A longtime Virginia resident, Dr. Carey graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Medical School. He currently resides in Richmond with his wife Kim, who is a registered nurse. In his spare time, Dr. Carey enjoys being outside, biking, and playing tennis, and is a regular at Richmond’s Downtown YMCA.
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Omari Al-Qadaffi
"Community organizer, Omari Al-Qadaffi, empowers residents to oppose community exclusion in the City of Richmond. Leveraging past careers in software engineering and sales, Omari is skilled in identifying resources to solve complex problems as well as communicating those concerns and solutions to diverse groups. His belief that the exclusion of communities from public and private resources in specific geographies is the cause of generational poverty, food deserts, and other socioeconomic and health disparities prompted him to found the advocacy group, Leaders Of the New South - Community Council as well as the Richmond Food Justice Alliance. Omari is a Richmond native and father of 2 and holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Virginia Commonwealth University."