DCMAND 2019 Call for Nominations

The DC Metro Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (DCMAND) elections in February 2019 are quickly approaching, and the DCMAND Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for several positions on the Board of Directors (BoD). If you are interested in gaining leadership experience, networking with other talented and diverse dietitians, and serving your professional association, we invite you to consider running for a position on the 2019-2020 DCMAND Board of Directors. You may nominate yourself or a colleague!

Enthusiasm is a must, but extensive experience is not a requirement because you will have access to fellow members’ support and knowledge as you learn the job.  We are dedicated to building a diverse Board and encourage minority candidates to apply! Candidates must be active, retired, or international members of DCMAND.

Vacant positions this year include (click link for more information):

Please fill out the nomination form by clicking here.

Nominations are due by Tuesday, January 15th, 2019.

Questions? Email nominating@eatrightdc.org.

DCMAND 2019 Slate of Candidates


Candidates still needed – please email nominating@eatrightdc.org if interested


Darlena Birch

Tell us a little about yourself: I was 16 years old when I determined two things for myself:
1. I would run collegiate track and field
2. I would study nutrition in college
For the past 14 years, I’ve known what I wanted for my professional life and I’m fortunate in the fact that I haven’t had to question that decision. I truly love being a Registered Dietitian because of the practical life skills it imparts, the expertise that I hold, and the skills and services that I have to offer to those in need of nutritional support.

On a personal level, I’m a massive gym rat as evidenced by the fact that I have 3 gym memberships. I belong to a parkour gym but due to my intense dislike of parkour and phenomenally weak ankles, I only partake in their weight lifting and gymnastic classes although I’ll occasionally take an aerial silks class as well. I also belong to a Bikram yoga studio and to Golds because I believe in having a back-up gym when all else “fails”. I especially love running as I consider it to be one of the most accessible forms of exercise since all you need is a pair of running shoes and surface whether it be rubber (track), grass, sand, or concrete. I’m a gardening nerd and have a silly dream of one day reaching self-sufficiency in regards to fruit and vegetable production. Last year, I even bought a soil test kit and learned that my soil was severely nitrogen depleted which explained why all my plants grew but did not fruit. I also really enjoy cooking and traveling but I one day hope for a fast, plane-free form of travel as turbulence truly gives me the worst kind of anxiety.

Statement of goals for your term: As the Treasurer-Elect, my goals are to expand my knowledge regarding responsible financial management for DCMAND, gain confidence and familiarity with the intricacies and details of the position, dutifully and correctly complete all tasks assigned to me within a timely manner, and to ultimately broaden my skill set as a professional dietitian. During the first year of service, I hope to achieve the aforementioned goals but in my second year, I hope to incorporate innovation and creativity into the position once I have a clearer view of the big picture and how all of the Board positions interact with and compliment one another.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? My favorite DCMAND activity was touring the community garden at UDC. But I also have to be frank in stating that it is the only DCMAND activity I’ve attended since joining back in 2016. Regardless, I really enjoyed touring the garden and learning about how it was built and maintained because as mentioned above, I love to garden. I was also very impressed by how much produce the garden yielded and enjoyed hearing about all the good they were able to provide to UDC students and the larger community through their garden.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? I have two favorite things about being a dietitian:
1. I love the fact that my profession also doubles as an invaluable life skill. I find peace and fulfillment in knowing that my knowledge of food and nutritional science is in high demand and that I can help others achieve their goals regarding health. I’ve always had a silly wish: that someone in my family were a mechanic so that I could receive free car maintenance services. In many respects, I consider being a dietitian like being a mechanic. But unlike cars, everyone has a body- it’s not something we choose to have nor buy. Therefore, I fully appreciate having the nutritional expertise to not only help others in the professional realm but to take care of my loved ones too through helping them with their “car maintenance” issues.
2. From a public health perspective, I love that my work allows me to have a voice in many of the policies and guiding documents that dietitians and other healthcare professionals use nationwide. For example, I had the opportunity to help draft the public comments for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Throughout our education as dietitians, we are taught about the importance of this document and how to use it to educate others. But no one really discusses the process for how these guidelines are formed nor do they highlight the fact that the public can actually provide feedback on this document nor that said feedback must be read and considered. From voluntary sodium guidelines to menu labeling implementation, I’ve had the opportunity to author multiple comments that have an impact both on the American public and on healthcare professions. This truly gives me joy and fulfillment in my work.



Charlotte Block

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a registered dietitian who supports international nutrition activities in developing countries. My work focuses on improving the nutrition status of women and children through nutrition-sensitive approaches in agriculture, women’s empowerment and economic growth. I have also worked on nutrition-related non-communicable disease (NCD) issues such as diabetes and obesity both domestically and internationally. For my Rotary Club, I was secretary for two terms 2012-2014. My duties included creating agendas, taking, revising and disseminating monthly board meeting notes, tracking member meeting attendance, organizing voting and induction of new members and participating on the Admin Committee. I was also co-chair of the NCD Roundtable from 2012-2013 in its first year as an independent entity. My role was to organize meetings and agendas, take and disseminate notes and follow-up with members on assigned tasks and deliverables.

Statement of goals for your term: Ensure communications within the board are timely, efficient and succinct. Support transparency and organization of minutes/communication between the board and DCMAND members. Additionally, I am one of a few RDs working in global nutrition who is a part of DCMAND and I hope to change that.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? I enjoy the annual meeting because it is my main opportunity to keep abreast on dietetic related subjects and hear about the other work of dietitians in DC.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? Being able to apply the fundamentals of human nutrition and behavior change to global issues and recognizing a mother in Uganda or Bangladesh has the same knowledge and skill needs as a mother in DC or West Virginia.

Jenny Dang

Tell us a little about yourself: I have been involved with DCMAND for about a year and a half since graduating from the Internship. I’ve enjoyed the opportunities to volunteer with the board on projects such as developing a social media plan for DCMAND’s Twitter for the Social Media Coordinator, creating content for the Potomac Post for the Communications Chair, assisting the Nominating Chair with evaluating DCMAND awards, judging research posters at the April 2018 Annual Meeting, and participating on the FNCE 2018 Planning Committee. I would like to gain more leadership experience on the Board of Directors. At my current workplace, I volunteer to record the meeting minutes for three meetings that occur monthly. My strengths as related to the Secretary position includes creating and keeping deadlines, organization, having attention to detail, coordinating with a team, and time management.

Statement of goals for your term: If elected for Secretary, my goals for the two-year term is to be efficient and productive to support processes in a timely manner, specifically sending meeting minutes to the Board of Directors for review within a week, and including a deadline for the following week to submit comments and create revisions as needed.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? My favorite DCMAND activity is the Annual Meeting because I enjoy learning about the latest research and networking with old and new peers on DCMAND. It is one of the activities I look forward to each year.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? My favorite thing about being a Dietitian is working with the the population I serve (primarily low income families, immigrants, refugees, and political asylees) to gain the knowledge and skills for their children and families to live a healthy lifestyle.

Danielle (Dani) Hansen

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a recent (May 2018) graduate of the Johns Hopkins combined MSPH/RD program. I moved to DC last January for an internship at the NIH and stayed for a job in Policy Research. My work is mainly contracted by FNS and focuses on federal nutrition assistance programs. I’m the only RD at my company! When I’m not working I like to run, bake treats, and try new restaurants.

Statement of goals for your term: To become more involved in the nutrition/dietetics community and establish strong connections with fellow dietitians in the DC metro area.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? The fermented foods happy hour! It was neat to hear about how the pickles, kimchi, and kraut are made and chat with the owner of No 1 Sons.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? Sharing the joy that healthy food brings me with others.


Professional Development Chair

Emily Braaten

Tell us a little about yourself: Hi! I’m an RD in private practice working mostly with eating disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. I’ve lived in D.C. for 2.5 years and have been casually involved in DCMAND since I arrived. Since transitioning to private practice, I have more time available and want to use it to help develop this organization.

Statement of goals for your term: I’d like to see the various DCMAND events increase their attendance and engage dietetics professionals who haven’t previously been involved.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? The bar night featuring No. 1 Sons was a creative way to get members interacting with each other, a local business and food all at the same time.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? Dietetics is available to a diverse range of interest because it intersects with so many different disciplines (biochemistry, psychology, sociology, ecology, various justice movements, etc.).

Deborah Noymer

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a newly credentialed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist looking to be more involved in organizations that will further my professional development in the D.C Metro Area. I am spirited, self-motivated, and definitely a morning person. I enjoy all forms of exercise, especially long distance running. I am an avid traveler and I am always seeking a new adventure or a new restaurant to try. You can find me with a calendar, cup of coffee, and book by bedside.

Statement of goals for your term: Market and communicate events through multiple platforms, including social media, to secure large numbers of DCMAND members in attendance. In addition, encourage outreach for these events to nonmembers to increase DCMAND membership. Ensure adequate opportunities for feedback from members to improve continuing education events that are the most relevant and touch on a variety of topics.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? I appreciate how many DCMAND events are focused on meeting Dietitians in the D.C Metro area and learning from each other. It has been invaluable for me to hear about the variety of career paths other Dietitians are on and how they are progressing. One of my favorite networking nights was spent learning about fermented foods from Number 1 Sons.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? My favorite part about being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is having the opportunity to empower clients with knowledge to help manage their health goals. All RDNs are able to make an outstanding impact on public health and I am proud to be a part of a profession that allows me to work with and serve diverse populations.

Nominating Committee; Second Seat

Thea Boatswain

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a recent graduate of The University of Alabama dietetics program. I currently live in Chantilly Virginia and run a small wellness business called Elan Fitness, which I established in 2015. I am currently applying to distance dietetic internships so that I can stay here and build my relationships with the wonderful dietitians in the DC Metro Area.

Statement of goals for your term: During my term I hope to encourage more DCMAND members to become involved with all the great events and programs offered. I hope to also encourage more people to serve on the board.

What has been your favorite DCMAND activity? Why? The happy hour networking events. It’s a great time to meet other people and have fun at the end of the day.

What’s your favorite thing about being a dietitian or diet tech? I am not a dietitian yet as I have just finished my DPD program. So far, the best thing about my journey is seeing all the the people that dietitians have been able to help within the multiple job environments.