LAHIDAN Distinguished Trinko Service Award
Established in 2008, the LAHIDAN Distinguished Trinko Service Award is LAHIDAN’s highest recognition. Its purpose is to honor members who have made outstanding contributions to LAHIDAN, the dietetics profession and the health of the population.
- Active Member of the Academy and LAHIDAN
- Current members of LAHIDAN Executive Committee are ineligible.
Trinko Candidate Criteria:
- Current member of LAHIDAN for a minimum of 2 years.
- Exhibited outstanding leadership and accomplishments within the Academy such as being a past or present LAHIDAN, Academy or Academy group officer or committee member
- Have been active in the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population through legislation, research, education, clinical/community nutrition, career guidance, public relations, management, etc.
- Have contributed to the advancement of the dietetics profession
- Have contributed to the Latino community through education, health promotion, clinical practice, research or other field
- Have performed volunteer activities in other organizations or institutions
- Not a previously selected Trinko awardee
- One year LAHIDAN membership for the consecutive year
- Service award
- Monetary award of $300
- Please submit your application form to LAHIDAN Nominating Committee Chair at LAHIDAN@eatright.org by June 15, 2021.
- Candidate’s resume/CV must be included with application form to provide additional information on the candidate.
- Award recipient will be notified by email (July, 2021) and announced in an upcoming issue of the Adelante Newsletter and/or member communication, on the LAHIDAN website and in the FNCE® Program.
- Award recipient is expected to be present at the LAHIDAN Member Networking Event held during or near the dates of VIRTUAL FNCE® 2021, October 16-19.
- Download form: LAHIDAN Trinko Service Award
Trinko Service Award Reflections from LAHIDAN Leaders and Founders
Interview with Cecilia Pozo-Fileti,MS, RD, FADA
By: Janine Ricketts-Byrne, MA, RDN, LDN
The first Trinko Award was presented in 2008. As we reflect on this important award showcasing the best of LAHIDAN leadership for services in the profession, let´s take a moment to reflect on the remarkable Genny Trinko and honor her memory for her arduous work.
Best to share with our members an interview with one of LAHIDAN´s founders and leaders, Cecilia Pozo-Fileti,MS, RD, FADA who worked closely with Genny Trinko and joined the team that galvanized the Academy membership and leadership in the early 2000's to form the Hispanic Networking Group later growing into the Academy’s first Member Interest Group -- Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN). Cecilia’s insightful memories of working with Genny are below:
Who was Genny Trinko, how would you describe her?
Genny Trinko epitomized the qualities of a true “Level 5 Leader”. She was highly capable, a contributing team member, a competent manager, and then moved through her career from an effective leader to a great leader. Her character was extremely humble and she respected those who worked with her be it staff or volunteer.
What projects did you work with her related to developing the Hispanic Networking group?
In 2006 – 2007 the Board of Directors, under the Presidency of Rebecca Reeves, undertook the task of examining the relationship of our then networking groups. Especially important to me, and to Genny, as the issue of diversity within the Association and our Profession was one in which a passion lied.
What was your favorite memory of Genny?
Genny was the assigned staff member who worked the Task Force undertaking this initiative. As Chairman of the Committee, she and I would spend time discussing the pro’s and con’s of various directions and what impact various decisions would have on the Association and Profession. One of my favorite memories was of Genny’s calmness as I shared with her the evolution of the Dietetic Practice Group and that, to some extent, a robust commitment to diversity, might require resources that were ‘not on the books’. Genny pondered this but it took her little time to simply say “If it is the right thing to do … together we will find a way”. And she always did!
What did you admire most of her guidance as staff member?
Nothing like a friend to give you the tangible next step for many difficult situations.
Genny was as authentic as they come. As Manager of Human Resources, she truly cared about the situations that would present themselves. But, she did not stop her caring ways there - as she selflessly supported the people in her life. Her personalization and empathy to others was admirable. That being said, Genny Trinko also knew the domain of Human Resources and expertly approached complicated problems that required balancing management of staff and volunteer needs, policies and protocols notwithstanding the legalities involved in everyday situations. Her gentle smile could diffuse even the most ardent party and she employed that genuine smile frequently.
What highlights come to mind in her work with LAHIDAN?
Once the Networking Group Task Force presented an agreed upon working model to the Board and the groups themselves, it became paramount to identify a group that would take on the new requirements and try to coalesce the evolution of the first Member Interest Group (MIG). As the Networking Groups operated independently prior to the development of MIG’s, LAHIDAN’s Board agreed to move forward and trail blaze the path. Genny’s patience never waned as she supported our Board in taking the big and bold steps needed to adopt this significant change and bring assisted embrace the vision and mission of the Association. While we sometimes kidded one another that it was like “birthing an elephant”, it was so joyful to know that a true route to diversity was finally paved for our association.
What were some of the issues she valued most about the dietetic profession?
I remember Genny for her dedication to staff and staff development, for her passion for diversity in staff recruitment and retention, for her commitment to raising the level of diversity representation in the membership of the Association and in the Profession, as well as her continual optimism at times when others would have been discouraged and depressed.
How was Genny´s communication style?
She used to say "I've learned that the phone call or the conversation that I don't want to make is usually the phone call or the conversation that I need to make most."
What was her vision for the MIGs?
Bring diversity to the dietetic profession to have representation, to best serve minority groups and develop culturally sensitive dietitians and nutritionist.
As she looks down upon us… what do you think Genny would say to LAHIDAN members?
She might be agreeing with Voltaire reminding LAHIDAN members that “Life is bristling with thorns, and I know of no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden”. Look around you LAHIDAN members and see what beauty your garden is now.
What would bring a smile to her face about LAHIDAN today and how far the MIGs have grown?
I believe she would thrilled to see the celebration of cultures, the camaraderie and the advancement of the mission of both AND and that of LAHIDAN – what a difference it has made for many.
How would you summarize her legacy related to LAHIDAN?
“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization.” — Pat Wadors, Head of HR at LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn) I think Genny Trinko woud agree with her fellow Human Resources colleague.
Staff comments about Genny: Genny was well respected and regarded by staff at all levels in the organization as reflected in the heartfelt remembrance words below:
"What always impressed me about Genny was her selfless nature. She was always looking out for others--never one to concentrate on herself. This transcended her work in the areas of diversity as well as her concerns about staff's welfare." Barbara Visocan, Vice President, Member Services
"Genny's tenacity in doing the right thing was admirable. She stayed the course if she believed in something, whether it be funding for staff development or championing staff issues. Genny operated professionally and always with honesty and integrity, without hidden agendas. She enjoyed people and saw the good in them. This made others enjoy her company, her quick sense of humor and her zest for fun. We will miss her perspective, clear thinking and steadfast convictions." Pat Babjak, Executive Vice President
"I really enjoyed your sense of humor and appreciated your courage. I know you’re in a peaceful place now that’s filled with summer hours, casual days and unlimited resources for staff development and diversity initiatives. Keep running the way you used to, Genny, we’ll all catch up someday." Mary Beth Whalen, Vice President/Executive Director, Academy Foundation
"Genny was one of the most selfless and generous people I have ever known. I have always held to the belief that we are all connected; brought together for a greater purpose. As I reflected upon what that purpose might be, I realized I am a better person today because she cared enough to give me the greatest gift of all; her time. Her door was always open. We had many conversations where our opinions came from opposite directions. Somehow, she was always able to move me closer to her side, if not all the way!! Even at the end, she took the time to send me an e-mail, letting me know she was thinking of me, how sorry she was for not calling, and to see what we could do to make the ADA environment a little better. She was not thinking about herself. She was thinking of us. I will miss our conversations, but, I know she will continue to give me guidance, helping me see things in a different light. For that, I am eternally grateful." Paul Mifsud, Vice President, Finance and Administration
"As a manager, Genny Trinko was kind, patient and supportive with a great sense of humor. She encouraged her team to be the best. Her understanding and knowledge of Human Resources is what made the department what it is…the best! What I will cherish most about Genny is her friendship. I could talk to her about anything and she was always there willing to listen and offer her advice. Simply put, she was the best boss I ever had!!! Genny truly cared about everyone and everything. She was definitely one of a kind and I will miss her dearly." Carrolyn Patterson, Acting Director, Human Resources
"What better memories to have than ones that illustrate Genny kindness, compassion and ability to always see the bright, brighter and brightest sides of people? Genny Trinko – gone but never ever ever forgotten." Demetrius Brown, Coordinator, Human Resources
On the evening of July 15, 2007, Genny Trinko, Academy Vice President of Human Resources,
passed away after a valiant fight with cancer.
But thankfully for her family, friends, and colleagues at the Academy, the contributions of Genny will be passed on.
A significant portion of those contributions include Genny’s academic and professional accomplishments. Perhaps sowing the seeds of a successful career early in life, Genny received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Physical Education and, subsequently, her first job was as a health, first aid, and physical education instructor at Holy Family Academy High School. As time passed, Genny’s uncanny knack for relating to people and leading them steered her toward a career in human resources. In March 2000, the paths of talent and opportunity intersected when Genny was hired by the Academy as the Human Resources Manager. Shortly thereafter, Genny earned her master’s degree in Human Resources from Loyola University, which preceded her promotion to Director of Human Resources in 2001. Genny was promoted once more in 2005, this time to Vice President of Human Resources. It is certainly safe to say that growth and development was a dominant motif in the life and career of Genny Trinko.
However, to focus solely on the professional side of Genny would be a significant disservice to the personal elements that truly defined her to each and all. Being in human resources was her job—but being human was her nature. To know Genny was to know a woman that truly cared. She cared about her friends, she cared about her colleagues, she cared about her family, she cared about human resources, she cared about the Academy, and she was passionate about them all. “Apropos” barely does justice to the fact that of the six key attributes of Academy employees that Genny helped to instill in the workplace—Service Attitude, Accountability, Professional Demeanor, Passion for Knowledge, Innovativeness and Respect for Differences—she wholly embodied all six.
So as we remember and examine Genny’s impact on the Academy, we can all take comfort in her ever-present legacy: her commitment to professional and personal development, her passion for diversity with regard to staff and membership, her strong ethical base and insistence upon, as she always put it, “doing the right thing,” and a tremendous heart that governed the actions of a strong, intelligent, and courageous woman. Genny Trinko exemplified so much of what is good about the Academy, and staff will endeavor to enrich the Academy in remembering what was good about Genny Trinko.