TAND and Academy Elections Run February 1 – 15, 2020

Please be sure to participate in both the Academy and TAND elections – they are two separate elections!

Academy Elections: https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/nominations-and-elections/national-election 

TAND Candidates


President Elect Elect Candidate

Lauren Cromer

Candidate Statement: I’m very excited to get back into an active role with TAND after taking some time away to raise two little kids and start a new career path within the WIC program. My three main goals for serving as President Elect-Elect are to 1) continue the organization’s strategic efforts and progresses that have been set forth by our previous elected leaders; 2) tackle new challenges and priorities for our organization as they arise; 3) continue promoting our members as food and nutrition experts through efforts in advocacy, marketing and professional development. I believe my strongest asset for this position is my passion for the integrity of our profession. Our state organization represents some of the greatest food and nutrition professionals I have ever worked with, and I look forward to the ability to represent them and the rising professionals that will be our future.

Volunteer Experience:
– Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – President 2009-2010; Legislative Chair 2005-2007
– Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Child Nutrition Action Leader, 2016-2017; Strategic Planning Chair, 2013-2016; Treasurer 2010-2012; State Policy Coordinator 2007 – 2009
– Current Preceptor, VUMC Dietetic Internship Program and Vanderbilt Pediatric Residents
– Eastwood Christian Church; Christian Education Chair (2017-2020)

Over the past 10+ years, I have had opportunities to serve in a number of roles on the TAND board and these experiences have taught me a lot about teamwork, leadership and strategic planning within an organization, and particularly within our organization. Through these opportunities and previous jobs I have honed skills in budget development, goal and objective setting, effective communication, and priority management. I feel confident that my past involvements serving as Treasurer, State Policy Coordinator, and Strategic Planning Chair for our organization have given me invaluable insight into how the various parts of our organization work together to serve our members and ultimately improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans. Additionally, I have been employed in a variety of practice areas of our professional field, from education to food service to clinical settings, and I feel this career diversity will help me better represent the wide range of our current and future nutrition professionals.


Treasurer Candidates

Sara Foley

Candidate Statement: If chosen to serve on the board as TAND Treasurer, I will use past administrative skills to keep records organized, work with members to maintain a balanced budget, and assure financial stability.

Volunteer Experience: Since starting my career at VA Medical Center in 2006, I’ve had many opportunities to attend and participate in mentoring and leadership programs, especially during my time as an administrative RD. I managed many quality improvement projects, assisted with food systems annual reports, and planned in-services for continuing education for staff. In my recent role as Clinical Coordinator at the University of Memphis for past four years, I work to maintain a balanced budget, network with over 130 preceptors to coordinate rotation placement to facilitate a robust internship experience, and continuously work to improve intern competence.
In 2010 I was asked to serve in an appointed position on the MAND board as Website Manager, and since then I’ve served as Treasurer, Scholarship and Awards Chair, and President. From 2012-2014 I served as TAND’s CPI-elect and CPI-chair to coordinate the Annual Meeting and also served on the Nominating Committee during 2016-2017 term. Serving on both MAND and TAND boards for the past 10 years has allowed me to learn and grow tremendously and gain leadership skills that have served me in all aspects professionally, especially having the experience of attending Leadership Institute several times in the past. Serving on the board does not only provide leadership skills, but connecting and working with RDs from all across the state is invaluable, and I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve on TAND’s board again.

Candace Walker

Candidate Statement: Throughout my career and continued learning, I have sought to challenge myself in other areas within the dietetics field. I have chosen opportunities in my professional life that challenge me to become a more well-rounded professional. My desire is to continue these efforts in a leadership role within the board of the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is important to me to begin advocating for the field of dietetics on a larger scale, and TAND affords me the opportunity to work towards attaining this objective. In addition, this role will allow me to learn more about the RDs within my state. Having been a RD in various specialities over the past five years, I feel I have a lot to offer from an education standpoint, and I foresee this role as Treasurer as a stepping stone to other positions within the state board. I look forward to serving my fellow RDs, and hope to continue growing myself, and others, as the best possible dietetics professionals in the country!

Volunteer Experience: Prior Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board Website Manager, Prior Member at Large on Memphis Area Lactation Consultant Association board, Vice President of the Student Dietetic Association as an undergraduate at The University of Memphis

Leadership skills include attention to detail, empathetic, effective communicator, great listener, organized, multi-tasker, and willingness to take on new challenges

Nominating Chair Elect Candidates

Tracy Breun

Candidate Statement: As an experienced RDN, I am passionate about the development of future leadership in our profession! My back ground in leadership positions with local nutrition and dietetics associations as well as TAND have given me insight and skills that will be beneficial to the role of Nominating Chair Elect. By serving in this role I hope to mentor others and work with the members of the board to develop innovative ideas for the recruitment of future leaders and the retainment of current leadership for TAND while also serving as a resource in the development of best practices for our profession.

Volunteer Experience:

  • President Elect, Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018-2019
  • Secretary, Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2015-2016
  • Advocacy Chair, Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2014-2015
  • Education and Awards Committee Member, Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018
  • Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Marketing sub-committee member for FNCE 2015


Amanda Kirkpatrick

Candidate Statement: I would love to be more involved at the State level of TAND and be able to connect the other Dietitian’s within the State.

Volunteer Experience: Current secretary of CAND
President of CAND 2016-2018
CAND Nominating Chair 2013-2014
CAND CPI Chair 2011-2013

Kaitlyn Philipps

Candidate Statement: I am flattered to be recognized to run for the Nominating Committee Chair-Elect position for Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND); and if elected I would be honored to work with TAND and District board members to provide new and seasoned TAND members the opportunity to run for TAND Board positions, and develop an election process that aligns with the Academy. Even with a few years of dietetics experience, I’ve taken on more leadership roles within the nutrition profession and community. My plan is to share my experiences for those who are new to Tennessee the professional world of nutrition. I look forward to becoming more involved in the Tennessee dietetics community; as well as on the local and national level to help others understand the significance of nutrition. I would use my experience of serving in three positions (Nominating Committee Chair/Chair-Elect and Media Chair) on the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) Board of Directors to encourage all district members across the state to join together and experience being a part of the TAND Board of Directors. Being involved in the Memphis dietetics community through clinical practice, foodservice management, education and the community has facilitated my development of skills to be a successful leader within TAND. I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of representing the Memphis community for TAND, and would love to serve as the Nominating Committee Chair-Elect for this organization.

Volunteer Experience:

  • Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND), Member, 2014 – Present
    • Research Poster Session Judge, TAND Annual Meeting, 2018
  • Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND), Member, 2014 – Present
    • Nominating Committee Chair, Board Memphis 2019 – Present
    • Nominating Committee Chair-Elect, Board Member 2018-2019
    • Media Chair, Board Member 2017-2018
    • Annual “Eat Right to Fight Hunger” Gala Committee Member, 2016 – Present
  • University of Memphis Dietetic Internship
    • Admissions and Selection Committee Member, 2016 – Present
    • Adjunct Faculty, Pharmacology for the Nutrition Professional, 2017 – 2018
    • Advisory Board Committee Member, 2017 – Present
    • Dietetic Internship Preceptor, 2016 – 2017
  • Sysco Corporation
    • Account Executive, Healthcare & Multi Unit, 2018 – Present
    • Registered Dietitian & Healthcare Specialist, 2017 – 2018
    • Integrated Menu Planning and Control (IMPAC) Advisory Board Committee, Member, 2017 – Present
    • Leadership Academy Program, 2018
  • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
    • Clinical Pediatric Dietitian, Infant/Toddler and Feeding Clinic, 2016 – 2017
    • Feeding Therapy Task Force, Member, 2016 – 2017
    • Dietetic Intern Coordinator, 2016 – 2017
  • Academy, Member, 2014 – Present
  • American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA), Member, 2017 – Present
  • Memphis Area Pediatric Nutrition Association, Member, 2016 – 2017

Jennifer Presson

Candidate Statement: To work with the committee to identify qualified board members who will represent The Academy and State’s best interests to promote dietetics through leadership, advocacy and inclusion.

Volunteer Experience: Prior to becoming a clinical dietitian I worked in hospital food service management for a large pediatric facility. During this time I was able to develop skills in project management, leadership, professional organizational management and healthcare management. Thereafter, I’ve spent the remainder of my career developing clinical skills in both critical care and long term care clinics. Working in both settings has helped me to learn to effectively communicate in multiple areas of practice and to identify the areas of improvement needed in varying areas of practice.


Council on Professional Issues (CPI) Chair Elect-Elect Candidates

Dena Hampton

Candidate Statement: Through my previous leadership position as Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) Media Director, I was fortunate enough to work with many MAND/TAND Board members to help promote various activities and events throughout the state. By being introduced to MAND and TAND at an early stage in my career it increased my knowledge to the infinite roles and impact a dietitian can have in a person’s life. The members and leadership board of these two organizations continue to shape young professionals into amazing providers and educators. A goal that I will strive to implement if elected, will be having a stronger presence of student involvement with TAND. Dietetic interns and undergraduate students are the future of TAND and the Academy. By offering even more volunteer opportunities, discounted membership fees, and a mentorship program with current members it will promote student involvement with the organization earlier and ensure that TAND will continue to have strong leaders that are committed to making Tennessee a healthier state.

Volunteer Experience:

  • Veteran Health Administration Marketing and Nutrition Informatics Subcommittee, Twitter Chair 2018-Present
  • Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Facility Leadership Coach 2017-Present
  • Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center Professional Standards Board, Member. 2016-2018
  • Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Media Director 2014-2017
  • Memphis Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp, Assistant Fundraiser Coordinator 2013-2016
  • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Patient Executive Safety Rounds, Department Rep. 2012-2015 –
  • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Patient Education Committee, Nutrition Chair 2012-2015

Through my various leadership roles I have learned that the best leaders are also the best listeners. Understanding member’s needs are the primary responsibility of a leader. If you are unable to listen and understand their needs you cannot be an effective leader. TAND reaches members all across the state with specifics needs for each region. I have developed superior communication skills in my various roles and that will serve me well when communicating with dietitians from all across the state when trying to meet Their needs.

Casey Provo

Candidate Statement: As a relatively new dietitian, I am excited to service my profession and community. Nutrition and dietetics is a vast, evolving field, and I think it’s important to advocate for enriching education and training opportunities. In doing so, we can continue to expand our profession and the work opportunities available for dietitians. In my role as CPI Chair-elect-elect, I would work to provide valuable continuing professional education opportunities for all the dietitians in our community.

Volunteer Experience: From June 2017 to June 2019 I served as the Council for Professional Issues (CPI) Chair – Elect and subsequently the Council for Professional Issues Chair for the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During that time, I organized multiple continuing education events for members. My prior experience as a CPI at the district level will serve me well as the CPI-elect-elect for the State.


Marketing Coordinator Candidate

Elizabeth Hall

Candidate Statement: My overall goal for the TAND Marketing Coordinator is to help members feel more connected to the organization and its activities. My objectives in my marketing plan will focus on meeting member’s needs and highlighting the topics and areas that interest them. I will be approachable for members and serve as the communication link between district affiliates and state level initiatives in order to highlight the incredible work that our district affiliates do. I will also seek to better document and communicate the media-related activities performed by each district in order to gain recognition for members at state and national levels. Lastly, I will seek to develop training opportunities for media spokespersons in order to help them feel more comfortable seeking out and completing media interviews in their various districts.

Volunteer Experience: Leadership has always been an important part of my career and I have sought leadership opportunities throughout my educational and professional development. I am an active member of TCAND and currently hold the position of media spokesperson and President-Elect; and was previously marketing chair for 3 years. I have served as sponsorship/fundraising chair for TAND for the past 3 years as well. I serve in a national capacity on the competency taskforce committee for the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior. I also serve as a board member for the ETSU dietetic program and was granted temporary faculty status to serve on a student’s thesis committee this semester. I am also a preceptor for several local universities including ETSU, University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK), and Virginia Tech. Currently, I also serve as professional development chair for the Graduate Student Nutrition Association at UTK at which I am a doctoral student in Public Health Nutrition. These experiences have taught me several valuable skills to be a beneficial leader in TAND including professional skills such as time management, organization, and proficiency in written, oral, and technological communication, but I have also learned to be flexible, approachable, and work well in a team environment. I am self-motivated and I take initiative to complete tasks, but also strive to see the big picture in order to strategically work with diverse viewpoints for win-win outcomes.