TAND 2021-2022 Slate of Candidates

Please review our slate of candidates below. Elections for TAND will run February 15 – March 1, 2021. Please review all the candidates and click the button at the end of this page to vote.

President Elect Elect

Lisa Abbay
The future of our profession is limitless! RDNs and NDTRs have the power to transform lives, communities in TN, systems, and the world. Three main goals that I’d like to continue championing to lead our profession into the future include: 1) continuing to establish RDNs as THE nutrition experts, recognized and pursued by all through efforts of advocacy, marketing and continued professional development; 2) prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism initiatives, policies, sensitivity, and training for the dietitians living in TN; 3) expand advocacy efforts for our dietitians in TN. The future of our profession is impactful, diverse, and far-reaching. I believe my strongest asset for this role is my passion for dietitians being at every table and the sky is the limits for all nutrition professionals. I would bring strategic, collaborative and visionary leadership for a more resilient, inclusive and future facing TAND with experience in many practice areas and proven leadership skills both professionally and personally. Thank you for this opportunity and I would be honored to serve as your President Elect Elect.


Whitney Bignell
As future President-elect-elect, I look forward to getting to know the dietetics community in Tennessee and understanding the challenges and opportunities impacting the profession across the state. In August, I participated in the Tennessee Health Promotion network Zoom call, and I was very excited about the variety of projects and collaborations across this state! From my previous experience, I feel that some of the challenges facing state affiliates include increasing engagement with the districts, as well as ensuring that dietitians are represented in important discussions related to health policy. If elected to this position, I plan to continue engaging with the district associations to understand their members’ needs and determine how TAND can leverage our resources to meet these needs. I also plan to work closely with the public policy coordinator to stay abreast of legislation impacting dietetics practice and ensure that our members communicate with their elected officials about these issues. Finally, I plan to work with the various committees to promote TAND’s value, meet members’ needs, and help make TAND the best state affiliate!

Elizabeth Hall
As president, my goal for TAND would be to continue the dedicated work of our membership to improve the health of Tennesseans and advance the dietetics profession through our core principles of research, education, and advocacy. My objectives for research would be to highlight the noteworthy studies conducted by our members to bring innovative avenues of Medical Nutrition Therapy and novel strategies for nutrition education and counseling to the dietetics field. Specifically, I would seek to promote research that focuses on actionable ways for our membership to provide equitable nutrition care to disadvantaged population groups and those facing health disparities. For education, my objectives would be to promote the continued excellence of our state’s dietetic programs as well as encourage initiatives that endorse inclusion and diversity in our profession. I would seek to support educators, preceptors, students, and practicing dietitians through scholarship in the enhancement of lifelong learning and pioneering of new educational programs. For advocacy, my objectives would be to supplement the Academy’s activism efforts at the state level by communicating policies of interest to TAND membership and encouraging support of initiatives that enhance the nutritional health of all Tennesseans. I would seek to enhance TAND’s visibility among policy-makers in order to highlight the dietitian’s expertise as a valuable resource in matters of individual and public health.

Amber Payne
I believe the goals and objectives for TAND should be set based on input from the nutrition professionals the organization represents. I know Tennessee nutrition professionals have different needs, concerns, and challenges based on age group, career stage, availability of resources, and any number of other issues, so I would spend time speaking with members from all over the state to learn what they would like from TAND. I would like to survey members who plan to attend the annual meeting to get a feel for the topics they would be most interested in so programming can be planned accordingly, and I would like to explore the idea of making the event available virtually. I am interested in ensuring TAND is an inclusive and diverse organization that provides its members with opportunities to increase their competency in those areas. I am also cognizant of the fact that, due to my career change, I have fewer years of experience in dietetics than others in my age group, so I will continue to look to those with more experience for guidance. I have a deep and sincere interest in reducing hunger and food insecurity in Tennessee and making certain that families and kids have nutritious food. This has become an unprecedented challenge in the face of the current pandemic, and I believe we TAND members are uniquely suited to help on local, state, and federal levels, so I would be motivated to do whatever was within the power of the organization to make an impact in that area.


Council on Professional Issues (CPI) Chair Elect-Elect

Marissa Black
My goal is to become more connected with TAND and to participate in the planning of future events. As CPI Chair elect, I believe I will be an effective leader and change agent. I am passionate about increasing diversity within the field of dietetics. I also believe it is important to collaborate across different specialties and organizations to highlight all of the many unique talents of Tennessee’s dietitians in clinical dietetics, public health nutrition, private practice, and beyond.


Lisa Fuller
If elected Council on Professional Issues Chair Elect-Elect, I will strive to represent and engage my affiliate members to continue to promote the dietetics profession throughout the state of Tennessee. In addition, I will work to assist my fellow board of directors in planning and organizing a successful annual meeting to provide an excellent opportunity for professional development and networking. I first became a member of TAND as a graduate student and dietetic intern as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Since then, I have worked as Registered Dietitian at a community hospital and currently work as an Extension Specialist with the SNAP-Education program at University of Tennessee Extension. Having worked as a dietitian in the state of Tennessee for over ten years, I believe I can connect to and represent my fellow TAND members well. I am excited for the possibility to serve our organization in this position.


Nominating Committee Chair

Kristie Holt

My goal as a member of the nominating committee, with the help of membership, will be to identify and connect with the most outstanding dietitians across Tennessee to fulfill TAND board positions.




Collette Powers
My goals and objectives for serving on the Nominating Committee include:
Holding the position with the upmost respect for others.
Remaining professional with all my colleagues.
Actively participating in board meetings to help the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics organization grow.
Completing all assigned tasks in accordance with the agreed upon timeline.
Providing assistance to others with additional tasks as deemed needed by the organization.

Karen Ringwald-Smith
To recruit the best and brightest RDN’s to promote the field of dietetics




State Marketing Chair

Brandy Goble
I love learning new skills and collaborating with a team to strengthen and grow our local, state, and national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. My goals and objectives as nominating committee member is to assist nominating chair with responsibilities within the committee. I look forward to collaborating with the team to develop new ideas for the committee for continued growth.