Leadership

2022-2023

Executive Committee 

 

Chair

Luis Gonzalez, MS, RD

Screen_Shot_2021-07-10_at_3_32_31_PM.png

 Luis Gonzalez, MS, RDN is an Account Coordinator at Eat Well Global, a highly specialized strategic communication consultancy on a mission to empower global change agents in food and nutrition. Prior to this role, Luis spent years working in the areas of clinical nutrition and food service management. In 2020, Luis co-authored 30-Minute DASH Diet Cookbook: Fast and Easy Recipes to Lose Weight and Reverse High Blood Pressure.

Luis is also the owner of LG Photography, LLC where he combines his passion for nutrition and photography to showcase the natural beauty of food. Luis received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics from Florida International University, and completed a Graduate Certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.

Luis is active in the profession and is the current Chair-Elect of the Latinos and Hispanics in Nutrition and Dietetics MIG, as well as a member of Cultures of Gender and Age, Food and Culinary Professionals, and Nutrition Entrepreneurs.

Chair-Elect

Aida Miles, EdD, MMSc, RDN, LD, CSP, FAND



 Aida Miles, EdD, MMsc, RDN, CSP, LD, FAND, is associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama (UAB) School of Medicine, in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. She is also the director of the UAB Leadership Education in Pediatric Nutrition Program and faculty in the UAB Leadership Education in Adolescent Health. Aida has been in academia since 2008, first at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, and at the University of Tennessee’s Nutrition Department. At the University of Minnesota Aida was the Director of the Coordinated MPH-RD program, faculty in the Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition and in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities training grants. In Tennessee Aida was Clinical Assistant Professor and supervised students in a federally qualified health care clinic in addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses. Aida’s pediatric nutrition expertise has focused primarily on child and adolescent obesity and feeding problems in children with special needs. Aida worked as a pediatric dietitian for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Marcus Autism Center between 1992 and 2008. Since 2009 has served as a consultant for pediatric feeding disorders clinics. Aida has held many leadership roles within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, including being past-chair of the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group and past-chair of the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN) Nominating Committee. She was a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors, and Speaker of their House of Delegates between 2014 and 2017. Most recently, Aida has served as a leader in the Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2017-2021), the Academy’s Policy and Advocacy Committee (2019-2022), and the Weight Management Practice Group’s Awards and Honors Committee (2020-2022). Aida is the current Editor in Chief of the Academy’s Pediatric Nutrition Care Manual, and is the Chair-Elect for LAHIDAN (2022-2025).

Past Chair

Andie Lee Gonzalez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND

Screen_Shot_2021-07-10_at_3_21_33_PM.png

 Dr. Andie Lee Gonzalez is a native to South Texas. Currently, she is a Pediatric Medical Science Liaison for Abbott Nutrition. As a first-generation Latina college student, she was accepted to Michigan State University through the College Assistant Migrant Program where she received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She then completed her Dietetic internship rotation program and her Master’s in Public Health from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She then completed her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2018 and in 2019 completed a certificate in Business Analytics from Michigan State University. Through her experiences Andie has developed a strong purpose and passion for public health, community, and nutrition. In addition, she is a PRN Registered Dietitian at Complete Nutrition Solutions and teaches at South Texas College department of Medical and Health Services Management. 

In her spare time, her joy is spending time with her husband Ricardo, daughter Aolani, son Arturo, and extended family. She is a highly motivated Latina who values family, hard work, and serving others.

.

Secretary

Susana Sanchez, RDN, LDN

Screen_Shot_2021-07-22_at_7_13_37_PM.png

 Susana is currently Clinical Coordinator for the MS in Dietetics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She was born and raised in Robstown, Texas but has lived in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley for the last 20 years. Susana graduated from Texas A&M-Kingsville with a B.S. in Human Sciences, Food & Nutrition Science. Her personal and professional goals have always been to provide support to her community to lead healthier lives by making informed food choices. She volunteers her time with her state affiliate, the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has served in various positions. She is currently serving as president of South Region chapter of Texas Academy. She also volunteers her time with the RGV Diabetes Association as a guest speaker and taping cooking demonstrations for RGVDA social media. 

Treasurer

Mauricio Duran, MS, RDN


Mauricio Duran has seven years of experience as a Registered Dietitian, five of which he specialized in diabetes. Mauricio graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science in nutrition from Long Island University. Mauricio lives in Queens, New York with his family where he also serves as a member of the FDNY. In his free time, Mauricio enjoys playing soccer and is passionate about health and fitness.


      

Nominating/Awards Committee 

 

Committee Chair

Anita Davila, BS-NDTR

Anita_BH_Staff_Photo.jpgOriginally from Mexico, Anita Davila completed her didactic program in dietetics and Bachelor of Food and Nutrition from the University of Alabama in 2015 and is soon finishing her Dietetic Internship through Utah State University, which had been impacted by the pandemic. She obtained her Dietetic Technician credential in 2018 and was honored with the Recognized Dietetic Technician of the Year award by the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in March 2019. Anita’s leadership experiences include: DTR member of the Member Services Advisory Committee for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics from 2019-2021; past Membership Chair for Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine and Student Membership Co-chair for DIFM DPG from 2017-2019; and past social media team member for North Suburban Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in suburban Chicago. From 2018-2019, Anita completed a year of AmeriCorps service working in community programs addressing food insecurity and nutrition education at Beyond Hunger, formerly the Oak Park-River Forest Food Pantry in Illinois. Anita enjoys working in public health and community nutrition and hopes to work in that field focusing on diabetes prevention in her future career. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

Committee Chair-Elect

 Rosemary Lopez, MS, RDN, CDN

Rosemary is a bilingual Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist currently working as an Outpatient Dietitian at NYC Health + Hospitals (NYCHCC)/Bellevue Center for Obesity & Weight Management. She previously worked as an inpatient Clinical Dietitian at NYCHHC/Jacobi Medical Center. Rosemary specializes in various nutrition-related areas, including weight management, weight loss surgery, and related conditions such as pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Rosemary was born and raised in New York City where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College. She also completed her Dietetic Internship at CUNY Lehman College with a Medical Nutrition Therapy concentration. Rosemary is passionate about working with multicultural communities and is committed to sharing evidence-based nutritional information using a customized, culturally sensitive approach with her patients. Some of her career highlights include presenting at The World Critical Dietetics Conference and being awarded the Notable Achievement Award by NYCHHC in 2021, she was recognized as a staff member of great distinction who has made a significant contribution to the ambulatory and primary care department.


HOD Delegate 

Maria Virginia Tijerina-Walls, PhD, MS, LD, NC

Photo_MVTW_2022.jpg

 María Virginia is a Mexican dietitian with over 25 years of experience. She received a Ph.D. in Management and Public Policy from The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and a Master of Science in Nutrition from The University of Oklahoma. Also, she completed a Specialization in Comprehensive Evaluation of Social Development Programs at the National Institute of Public Health in México. She earned a BS in Nutrition from The Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL). She is the former Communication Manager of the Mexican Observatory of Noncommunicable Diseases (OMENT) in Mexico and the founder and director of Nutrien Nutrition & Health, a food and nutrition consulting agency. She has been a professor at several prestigious universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Mexico, including UANL and Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. She was President of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND), Country Representative of Mexico, and Country Representative Chair from the same organization. She was LAHIDAN Nominating Committee-Chai, LAHIDAN Chair, and currently, she is the LAHIDAN Delegate at the Academy´s House of Delegates 2022-2025. In 2015, she was honored with the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award from IAAND and the Excellence in Professional Development Award by The Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon. She is an international speaker and her main research interests are public health nutrition and food nutrition policy as well as childhood obesity prevention.

Communication Committee 

 

Committee Chair

Tatiana Velez Burgos, MS, RD, LDN, CPT

Tatiana Velez

 Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Tatiana first noticed a lack of Hispanic Dietitians in her community. As a Registered Dietitian, she aims to address the need to impact future nutrition leaders in serving Hispanic populations. Her long-term goal includes bridging gaps in Spanish nutrition communications and reducing diet-disease-related disparities through her work in dietetics. 

She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and an M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from The Ohio State University. Later on, she received an M.S. in Human Nutrition from Drexel University and completed her Dietetic Internship at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System. She is the Owner and Founder of Bilingual Dietitian LLC, in which she focuses on preventive nutrition, sports nutrition, and mental health nutrition. She currently lives in Puerto Rico and she enjoys weightlifting, martial arts, preparing home-cooked meals, going to the beach, traveling, and playing with her dog.

Website Coordinator 

Kathleen Castrejon, RD, LDN

Kathy Castrejon

Kathleen (Kathy) is a first-generation Mexican-American Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. She is currently working with the eating disorder patient population and anyone wanting to have a better relationship with food and their body at a private practice in Chicago, IL. With an Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size Approach, Kathy strives to help her clients have a healthier relationship with food and reach optimal health. Kathy is very passionate about encouraging her clients to eat traditional foods. You can find Kathy  traveling on her free time, or spending time with friends and family. Kathy also loves trying new food, specifically seafood dishes!

Kathy received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Dominican University, located in River Forest, IL, in 2018. She completed her Dietetic Internship through the University of Chicago Ingalls Memorial Hospital in 2019.

Newsletter Editor

Alejandra Amezola

Amezola_Alejandra.jpg

 Alejandra Amezola holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Fresno. Alejandra is a Leadership Council Member for the Student/Trainee section for ASPEN. She is currently working on completing a combined dietetic internship and master’s degree program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.



Social Media Coordinator 

Michelle Flores Barriguete

Born and raised in Tamaulipas, Mexico , Michelle earned her Bachelors in Science in Human Nutrition from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  After obtaining her bachelors degree she worked as a Nutritionist at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. Currently she works for SPCAA WIC as bilingual Nutritionist. She volunteered as the State Media Rep for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and she enjoys creating social media content to promote Nutrition education to the public.   

     

Membership Committee 

 

Committee Co-Chair

Areli Gutierrez, MS, RD, LD

Areli Gutierrez is a registered and licensed dietitian who has worked in nutrition and wellness in retail, government, clinical inpatient and outpatient settings. Areli received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University and her Master’s of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She completed her dietetic internship at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. Currently she works as a renal dietitian for Davita Kidney Care. In her free time she loves Latin dancing, cozy mystery novels, playing with her Labradors and husband.


Committee Co-Chair

Erika Garcia-VillatoroPhD

Erika Garcia

Erika completed her doctoral studies in Nutrition at Texas A&M University where she investigated the role of dietary compounds capable to activate nuclear receptors such as the estrogen and the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor, to reduce colon inflammation and colorectal cancer. She is currently completing her supervised practice to become a Registered Dietitian (RDN) by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States. After completing her dietetic internship, Erika will pursue a career in clinical research and healthcare. She strives to be an active member of the community by supporting the resolution of current and long-standing nutrition challenges through public policy, advocacy, and research.

     

Professional Development Committee 

 

Committee Chair

Nancy Correa-Matos, PhD, RD, LDN

Nancy Correa-Matos

 Nancy J. Correa-Matos, PhD, RD, LND is an Associate Professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a member of LAHIDAN, she collaborated in the Nominating Committee and the Mentorship program. She has many peer-reviewed publications and authored book chapters in nutrition and chronic diseases. She is a co-author in the book “Latino Food Lover’s Glossary”. With more than 30 years of experience as a clinical dietitian, teacher and researcher, her work has been focused in the relationship between dietary fiber and the prevention of childhood obesity in Latinos.

     

Mentorship Committee 

 

Committee Chair

Rachel Villarreal, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES

Tatiana Velez

Rachel Villarreal is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master of Science in Nutrition. She completed her undergraduate work at Rutgers University in New Jersey, 2003. After graduating, she completed her dietetic internship in the Unites States Army at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. She went on to obtain her master's degree from Texas Women's University in 2015. After 15 years of working in the inpatient and outpatient settings as a diabetes educator RDN, she decided to change her focus and educate budding nutrition students. She is now a clinical associate professor and the program director for the MS in Dietetics program at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), a predominately Hispanic serving institution. 

Committee Coordinator

Gabriela Naveda

Gabriela Alexandra Naveda, originally from Quito, Ecuador, joins LAHIDAN as a longtime fan and member, first-time leadership circle member. She has always enjoyed all things health and wellness related! After earning her undergrad in Biology at NEIU, she went on to pursue a masters in nutrition from University of Illinois in Chicago. She has also run a private manual therapy practice for 10+ years. Gabriela’s passions include facilitating a weekly group focused on supporting BIPOC professionals in various fields, mentoring high school students, and not just opening but bursting the door open for more individuals from marginalized groups to enter the dietetics field, feel safe, feel empowered, and thrive. Gabriela is excited to bring her ideas and energy to LAHIDAN and contribute to LAHIDAN’s mission to empower members and inspire leaders. You will often find Gabriela slacklining in the park, rollerblading with her dog, or doing some kind of outdoorsy or artsy thing.

     

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA) Liaison

 

Cosme G.Rubalcaba

Sandra Arevalo

Cosme G. Rubalcaba is a graduate student pursuing his masters in dietetics at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley; where he served as the inaugural class president for its first year in existence. He holds a bachelors of science in human nutrition from Texas A&M University Kingsville, and a masters of science in health science with a nutrition concentration from the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley. Cosme is a second generation Mexican American from the Rio Grande Valley and his current fields of interest include oncology, and integrative and functional medicine. 

Committee Coordinator


Alexandra Martinez 

Alexandra is from Tamaulipas, Mexico. She loves cooking, reading, and exercising. Alexandra is currently completing her Master’s in dietetics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and is the elected president of the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at UTRGV. Alexandra is extremely passionate about health and wellness, volunteering in her community, providing nutrition education and advocating for nutrition. Her dream is to become an RDN in the future and has recently fallen in love with medical nutrition therapy. Alexandra is very happy and excited to continue this journey where she gets to make an impact on people’s health through nutrition.

     

Policy Advocacy Leader

 

Iliana Guerra, MS, RD, LD, CDCES

Iliana is a first generation Mexican American, who calls the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, her hometown. She earned a BS in Dietetics and MS in Health Care Administration, both from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In her current role as Senior Diabetes Educator for Novo Nordisk, she leads multiple cross collaborative Population Health Initiatives within various health systems and physician groups in South Texas. Prior to joining NNI, Iliana was a Clinical/NICU/Critical Care Dietitian, with Nutrition Support and Pediatric Nutrition specialty certifications. She also led the Clinical Nutrition Team, where she pioneered various clinical CQI initiatives including Malnutrition Screening, Critical Care Nutrition Support Protocols, Diabetes Management Protocols and helped to establish outpatient DM Center. But what she is most proud of is her volunteer work within her community and professional organizations. Apart from serving on the Board of Directors for the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, Iliana is also the Director for Camp ENERGY, a summer camp for kids with Type 1 DM.  She holds leadership positions with the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Latinos & Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN). Apart from her advocacy work for LAHIDAN, she also serves on the ADCES Advocacy Committee.