2023-2024 Executive Committee

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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).


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.

Past Chair

Luis Gonzalez, MS, RD

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.



Gabriela "Gabby" Puche MS, RDN, LD

Gabriela "Gabby" Puche is originally from Venezuela but was raised in Dallas, TX. Gabby obtained her BS from Texas Woman's University and completed her MS/DI at Oklahoma State University. She is a holistic and integrative dietitian living in Tulsa, OK working virtually for a corporate wellness company "HUSK" formerly known as Global Fit Inc. She does virtual 1:1 counseling and group presentations to various populations as Gabby accumulates her hours to sit for the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) exam. Gabby is certified in Mindfulness and is currently completing Yoga Teacher Training. She has 2 cats, lots of plant babies, and an awesome fiance.


Susana Sanchez, RDN, LDN

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.


Nominating/Awards Committee

Committee Chair

Rosemary Lopez, MS, RDN, CDN

Rosemary is a first-generation Mexican-American born and raised in New York City. She is a Registered and Certified Dietitian Nutritionist who received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College. She completed her Dietetic Internship at CUNY Lehman College with a Medical Nutrition Therapy concentration.
She is a plant-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the innovative and expanding Lifestyle Medicine Program throughout the NYC Health + Hospitals (NYCHCC). Previously, she briefly worked as an inpatient Clinical Dietitian at NYC HHC/Jacobi Medical Center, then moved to the outpatient setting NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Center for Obesity & Weight Management. She specialized in weight loss surgery and assisting patients with conditions related to obesity, such as pre-diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Rosemary has been an active member of Latinos and Hispanics in the Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN), initially joining as a student member and currently serving as a voting member of the Executive Committee. She is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion within the nutrition profession, advocates for cultural sensitivity in nutrition programs, works with multicultural communities, and is committed to sharing evidence-based nutritional information using a customized, culturally sensitive approach with her patients. Her other interests include animal welfare, planetary health, sustainability, and wildlife conservation.
In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, listening to jazz music, and spending time with her partner, rescued kitten, twin sister, and family. 

Nominating/Awards Committee

Committee Chair-Elect

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. Areli is committed to improving cultural competency and discusses this topic with other healthcare professionals in her podcast Food Culture Curious.
In her free time Areli loves Latin dancing, cozy mystery novels, playing with her Labradors and spending time with friends and family.

HOD Delegate

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

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.


Sponsorship Committee Chair

Sandra D. Castellano, RD/LDN

Sandra is a registered and licensed dietitian who has worked in a variety of setting such as clinical nutrition, food service management, wellness and as well as an entrepreneur. She graduated from Miami Dade College with an Associate degree in Arts where she found her passion for nutrition, and she continued to get her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University. Sandra is currently the Clinical Nutrition Manager with Aramark and is the co-founders of Nutrition Consultants on Demand, an online practice that provides bilingual nutrition expertise in a variety of services and settings focusing on our Hispanic communities.

Sandra was born in Chile and moved with her parents and brothers to US as a teenager. She now lives in sunny South Florida with her family. She has been actively involved and volunteered in her church ministries, local non-profit organizations as well in her local professional groups in various positions. In her free time, Sandra enjoys cooking, baking, swimming and walks on the beach with her husband. Also, she enjoys travelling with her family to experience the beauty of each destination and taste all the delicious meals around the world.

Communication Committee

Committee Chair

Kathleen Castrejon, RD, LDN

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.

On her free time Kathy  enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and Kathy  trying new foods specifically mariscos!

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.

Kathy Castrejon

Website Coordinator 

Lorena Martinez, MS Student 

Lorena Martinez is a dedicated graduate student currently pursuing her master’s in human nutrition and Dietetics at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. With a keen interest in community nutrition, Lorena advocates for disease prevention through lifestyle and dietary changes. Her experience spans across the United States to Africa, where she has worked tirelessly to identify and tackle barriers hindering access to adequate nutrition. Lorena's unique blend of skills includes business management, leadership, community outreach, and food service management. 

Through her work, Lorena aims to bridge the gap between communities and their access to adequate nutrition. Her overarching mission is to utilize her specialized knowledge and experiences to inspire healthier communities and champion nutrition as a basic human right. In every initiative she undertakes, Lorena is guided by the belief that informed dietary choices and sustainable lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on public health.  

Outside her professional commitments, Lorena enjoys traveling, working out, spending time with family and being a foodie.  

Newsletter Editor

Alejandra Amezola

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.


Assistant Newsletter Editor 

Annie Rojas

Annie Rojas has worked for over twenty-five years promoting health and wellness in communities as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a public health strategist. She recognizes the power of food to strengthen families, create cultural ties and build communities.  Annie has guided community problem solving efforts, bringing together community residents and organizational stakeholders to drive policy, systems and environmental change that makes the healthy choice the easier choice throughout Southern New Jersey and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has served as a coach for privately and publicly funded projects that address food insecurity and social determinants of health and is the current president of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Society of Nutrition Educators. She is motivated by her belief that healthy land leads to healthy food, healthy food leads to healthy people, and healthy people are at the core of healthy communities. 

Social Media Coordinator 

Erica Nunez Perez

E-Blast Coordinator 

Chelsea Navarro, BS Student

Chelsea Navarro is an undergraduate dietetics student at Kansas State University. Originally from the sunny coast of California, she now lives in the city of trees, Boise. Diagnosed with Cushing's Disease in 2019, she now advocates for disease prevention through education on diet and lifestyle. This led her to change careers. She went back to school to earn her Associate of Science in Public Health and Health Science and is now working on her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Her goal is to become a registered dietitian, specializing in metabolic disorders and diabetes. In her free time, she volunteers at Meals on Wheels assembling freezer meals, and as a graphic designer for many organizations. 

Mentorship Committee

Committee Chair

Erika Garcia-Villatoro PhD

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.

Erika Garcia

Committee Co-Chair

Andrea Lopez, MS, RDN

Andrea is a first-generation Mexican- American dietitian located in New York City.  Andrea has dedicated the past five years to improving access to high-quality, locally sourced food for low-income children and their families through USDA Child Nutrition Programs, conducted bilingual nutrition education, and menu planning for NiaCentral Catering company in the Washington metropolitan area.

Andrea received her MS and dietetic internship experience through the inaugural Future Education Model (FEM) cohort at Long Island University (LIU). Formerly, Andrea held her Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR) credential, graduated with her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Latin American Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh., and became an accredited instructor for Food Manager Certification. 

When not consulting, Andrea is supportive of her grandparent's Mexican bakery in Brooklyn, NY. Above all, she is driven to support meaningful change by cultivating the habits that form healthy hearts and minds among children and families in the dietetics field.

Professional Development Committee

Committee Chair

Luz Aceves Gonzalez MS, RDN
Luz Aceves González, MS, RDN is a clinical dietitian in the Pediatric Healthy Lifestyle Center serving patients 2-18 years old at the County of Santa Clara Health System. Luz held a leadership position in 2020-2021 as VP of Public Policy through the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Silicon Valley District. Luz completed her dietetic internship and Master's in Nutritional Science through San José State University. Luz earned her Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Sciences and a minor in the Latino Studies Program at Cornell University, Go Big Red! 
Luz enjoys anything kitchen-related especially eating, cooking, and baking; arts and crafts; hiking; going to the park with her husband and 2-year-old daughter; and traveling. Luz enjoys living in San Jose, CA where in a way she can travel the world thanks to the Bay Area's wonderful diversity. 

Membership Committee

Committee Chair

Valentina Paez, MS Student

Valentina is a first-generation immigrant, originally from Colombia. She has received her BS in Dietetics from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing her MS in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Georgia with an emphasis in sports nutrition, dietary supplementation, and pediatrics. During this degree, she assists Dr. Sina Gallo in research on vitamin D inadequacy in infants and mothers, which coincides with her thesis focusing on the vitamin D status of predominantly low-income Hispanic infants. Her passion for aiding underprivileged communities can be seen not only through her engagement with the Hispanic communities in Athens, but also as far away as Ghana, where she has been involved in a service-learning and volunteer program, assisting the hospitals and communities in malnutrition. This enthusiasm can be attributed to her family-oriented personality and the struggles she has borne first-hand witness to from her experiences coming from Colombia to the United States.

On top of currently pursuing her official RD certification through the KADDI internship program, she spends her time researching the latest supplementation trends for a supplements company and is a teacher’s assistant for the micronutrients course at UGA. And even amongst all of this, she still relishes the opportunity to volunteer her time with the sports teams at UGA to help athletes understand the benefits and risks of dietary supplementation. She has proven to be indefatigable and insistent on pursuing her dreams of traveling the world to experience the numerous ways different cultures prepare their food and leaving her impact on the nutrition practices among the communities that do not have the knowledge or access that most are used to. 

Membership Coordinator

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA) Liaison

Nancy Correa-Matos, PhD, RD, LDN

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.

Nancy Correa-Matos

Policy Advocacy Leader

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

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.