Executive Committee 



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

Dr. Andie Lee Gonzalez is a native to South Texas. She was raised in Palmview, Texas. 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. She currently is training as a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management and Project Management Professional. Through her experiences Andie has developed a strong purpose and passion for public health, community, and nutrition. She has found that working toward improving the community's health and wellbeing is an incredibly fulfilling responsibility and goal of hers. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, serves as a delegate for the Texas Academy of Nutrition, a liaison for the Rio Grande Valley Dietitians chapter, a board member for the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, Co-Chair for Unidos Contra La Diabetes, Mission Rotary member and a member to La Joya Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
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.


Luis Gonzalez, MS, RD

Luis was born in Havana, Cuba and raising in Miami, FL. Currently, he is an AccountCoordinator at Eat Well Global, a highly specialized global nutrition communications and
consulting firm. In this role he uses evidence-based information to empower global change agents in food and nutrition. Previously, Luis worked in the long-term care setting including clinical and food service management roles. He is also the creator behind @nutritionbyphoto and enjoys creating delicious food photography. Luis received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida International University.

Past Chair

Maria Virginia Tijerina Walls, MS, NC

Virginia is a Mexican licensed dietitian with over 25 years of experience. She is a Ph.D. candidate on Management and Public Policy at The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), holding MS in Nutrition from The University of Oklahoma and a Specialization in Comprehensive Evaluation of Social Development Programs at the National Institute of Public Health in México. She earned a BS on 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. She is founder and director of NutrienNutrition & Health, a food and nutrition consulting agency. She has been a professor at several prestigious universities at undergraduate and graduate level 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 also Nominating Committee-Chair at LAHIDAN (Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition). In 2015, she was honored with the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award from IAAND and the Excellence in Professional Development distinction 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.


Susana Sanchez, RD

Susana is currently an associate food service director with Luby's Culinary Services at Doctors Hospital Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas. 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. Susana has an energetic 5 year old son who will start kindergarten this fall. In her personal time she enjoys taking virtual cooking classes.


Diana Licalzi Maldonado, MS, RD

Licalzi__Diana_Headshot.jpgDiana is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s in Nutrition Science, and is currently working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). Originally from Puerto Rico, Diana is dedicated to helping the Hispanic community meet their nutrition and health goals. She co-founded Reversing T2D, an online platform that provides nutritional guidance for individuals with pre- and type 2 diabetes. Last year, Diana also became very passionate about empowering women to have healthy pregnancies without alcohol. After noticing a gap in the market, she co-authored the book, Drinking For Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-to-Be, where she provides women with prenatal nutrition information and over 45 non-alcoholic drink alternatives healthy for both mom and baby. Diana also has experience working as a Dietitian at Boston Medical Center, InsideTracker, and UC San Diego Health.


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

Ana D Escrivan, RDN, LD, CDCES
Ana D’Escrivan is an H-E-B contract dietitian in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She also currently practices as an outpatient clinical dietitian with RGV ACO Health Providers LLC and now has started her own private practice: Complete Nutrition Solutions LLC . Originally from Venezuela, Ana with a Bachelor in Nutritional Science in Venezuela where she dedicated more than fifteen years to do an extensive work as clinical dietitian in a multi-specialty hospital and to work as Associated Professor in the area of pediatric clinical nutrition in the second largest and most important University in her native country. Beside her passion to teach, Ana ran her private practice and devoted many years to attend adults and children with different nutritional needs.

In 2009 Ana completed her master’s degree in clinical nutrition in Venezuela and in 2015 completed her second master’s degree in Pediatric Clinical Nutrition with the Instituto de Nutricion de Centro America y Panama (Guatemala). After 23 years of experience in the area of nutrition, became certified as a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist in order to be better prepared to help all of her patients that are living with diabetes. She continues serving as guest professor for two universities in Latin America and collaborates actively as pier reviewer of a scientific journal from the Medical Faculty of University of Zulia in Venezuela.


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. Through her various professional experiences, she has interacted with a diverse group of individuals and has served the Latino/Hispanic community for over five years. Her long-term goal includes bridging gaps 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 recently 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 eating disorders. She currently lives in Puerto Rico and she enjoys weightlifting, martial arts, preparing home-cooked meals, going to the beach, travel, and playing with her dog.

Social Media Coordinator

Natalia Guzmán

NataliaBGuzman.jpgNatalia identifies as Salvadoran-American with her pronouns being she/her/hers. She received her Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science - Dietetics from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Natalia is a graduate student in the Rutgers School of Health Professions Entry-Level MS in Clinical Nutrition program (a Future Education Model Graduate Program) and is currently completing her supervised practice hours, which she will complete by the end of 2021. She is involved in the program as the Vice President of the Student Dietetic Association. Natalia is very interested in learning more about Women's Health Nutrition, Weight Inclusive Nutrition, and Public Health Nutrition. You can find her on social media engaging with other RD2Bes and Registered Dietitians.

Newsletter Editor

Alejandra Amezola

Amezola_Alejandra.jpgAlejandra earned a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics and Food Administration from California State University, Fresno, in Spring 2021. Following her graduation, Alejandra will be completing a combined dietetic internship and master's degree program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. An aspiring dietitian, Alejandra remains active in various dietetic organizations and groups. She currently serves as the Newsletter Editor for the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN) MIG and as a Leadership Council member for the American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Student and Trainee Section. Alejandra's primary areas of interest in dietetics include diabetes, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and eating disorders. In her free time, Alejandra enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and writing, cooking, and keeping up with the latest nutrition research.

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 at a private practice in Chicago, IL. With an Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size Approach, Kathy hopes 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. Kathy enjoys her free time traveling and loves trying new 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.


Membership Committee 


Committee Co-Chair

Sara Carrión Perrone MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Sara PerroneSara Carrión Perrone has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Academy member for 22 years and has served as Sodexo Clinical Nutrition Manager 2 at HCA-Corpus Christi Medical Center since 2013. Sara has a vast knowledge in dietetics including adult and pediatric clinical nutrition, weight and diabetes management, community nutrition, breastfeeding promotion, teaching at the university level, and clinical management. Sara has been an incredible supporter of LAHIDAN holding numerous LAHIDAN Executive Committee positions including Past-Chair, Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Regional Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and Mentor. Sara has also served in leadership capacities at the local and state levels. As President of the Corpus Christi Breastfeeding Coalition, Sara helped secure grant money to build a website aimed to serve breastfeeding moms in the Coastal Bend area. She has also volunteered her time to the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as Nominating Committee Chair, Scholarship Coordinator-South Region, Legislative Coordinator-South Region and currently serves as the Contributing Coordinator for the South Region.

Sara has held specialty certifications including Board Certified Specialization in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP) and Child and Adolescent Weight Management. She was also tapped as an expert content writer/committee member for the Commission on Dietetic Registration Specialty Exam in Pediatrics and was awarded the Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics designation in the spring of 2019.  In 2017, Sara received the Sodexo Cornerstones of Cares Award for Service: Patient/Resident Experience for her dedication to patients. She was also recognized as a Sodexo Clinical Subject Matter Expert helping to orient new Sodexo Clinical Nutrition Managers and Dietitians. Born and raised in Texas, Sara earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio and her Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Incarnate Word, San Antonio. Sara lives with her husband David and daughter, Isabella, a new freshman at Texas A&M University College Station- Whoop! In her spare time, Sara serves as the Co-Treasurer of the Corpus Christi Aggie Mom’s Club and volunteers at her church.

Committee Co-Chair

Erika Garcia-Villatoro PhD

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-MatosNancy 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


Sandra Arevalo, MPH, RDN, CDN, CDE, CLC, FADA

Sandra ArevaloSandra is the Director of Community and Patient Education at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. Her commitment is to provide culturally sensitive health care and education to the most underserved and diverse families. She is a recognized national expert on Latino culture and health, health education, diabetes, pre-diabetes, nutrition, chronic diseases, obesity, lactation, and social determinants of health. Her work on prevention and treatment of obesity, lactation, and diabetes has been presented at various national conferences, and featured in national and international TV, including Telemundo and NatGeo, as well as in numerous printed media outlets, radio, and peer reviewed journals. She is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She has served as chair of various local and national professional organizations. Among her numerous nominations and awards are the Award of Excellence from NEP DPG for Best Nutrition Education Program (2012), the Award of Excellence from the National Hispanic Medical Association for her leadership in nutrition for Latinos (2013), Mom On A Mission, next to Michelle Obama (2017), the Garden State Diabetes Educator of the Year Award (2018), and the Academy's Preceptor of the year award (2019).


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.