2020-2021 NYSAND Leadership

NYSAND’s members are served by an enthusiastic Board of Directors and Coordinating Cabinet. Here’s a brief introduction to these volunteers. We look forward to seeing you at meetings and programs this year and to receiving your feedback and opinions about how NYSAND can serve YOU, the NYS Dietitian or Diet Tech, Registered, and advance our profession in the eyes of our communities. To get in touch with a BOD or CC member, please contact the NYSAND Central Office at [email protected]. Thank you!

Board of Directors (BOD)

MaryLou Plante, MS, RDN, CDN

District: CNYDA

MaryLou is a Registered Dietitian and received her Masters in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University. She currently works for Central New York Developmental Services Offices. She is a member of Central New York Dietetic Association and has served as Co-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Professional Issues Chair, Nominating Chair and Nominating Committee member at the district level. MaryLou has served as treasurer for her local Little League Baseball teams and triathlon club. She is also a ServSafe instructor and proctor. In her spare time, MaryLou enjoys swimming and biking.


Immediate Past President
Reyna Franco, MS, MBA, RDN, CDN, CSSD, FAND

District: GNYDA

Reyna Franco has a private practice located in New York City where she counsels individuals on medical nutrition therapy, sports nutrition, and exercise physiology. She is also a corporate wellness dietitian at a major advertising agency where she provides individual counseling, group presentations, and wellness program development. She has a Master's degree from Columbia University in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and an MBA in Finance and International Business. Nutrition and exercise is her second career and she has successfully combined her managerial skills as a project manager in information systems with her clinical nutrition expertise.

Reyna has held several roles on the boards of NYSAND and GNYDA, including House of Delegates representative, GNYDA reimbursement chairperson, GNYDA public policy coordinator, and GNYDA treasurer. In 2015, she received the NYSAND Legislative Excellence Award. In 2019, she received the GNYDA Distinguished Dietitian Award. In her spare time, she enjoys trail running, bicycling, skiing, climbing and hiking.

President Elect
Rebecca Robins

District: STAND

Rebecca is Registered Dietitian working as an oncology dietitian in Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology for UHS in Johnson City. She has served as the New RD Liaison, Treasurer, and President for STAND. Rebecca served on the NYSAND board as District President Representative and State Professional Recruitment Coordinator. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and NUtrition from Plattsburgh State University, completed her dietetic internship through Virginia State University and received her Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University. 

Maureen Fauler, MHA, RDN, CDN
District: CNYDA

Maureen Fauler, MHA, RDN, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with over 35 years of experience. Maureen works full time at Loretto Health and Rehbailitation. She has held many positions with the CNYDA, including President and Treasurer. Maureen has also held positions within NYSAND, including State Meeting Chair and Nominating Committee Chair.

Maureen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics, and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist through New York State. Maureen also has a Masters degree in Health Administration. Maureen has provided many presentations to the community. Presentation topics include The Truth about Nutrition: Facts and Fakes, Nutrition for Life, and Careers in Nutrition (for high school students).

Chair of Delegates - Region 1 (CNYDA, MRDA)
Mary Beth O'Meara, RDN, CDN
District: CNYDA

Mary Beth O'Meara has been a renal dietitian at University Dialysis Center in Syracuse, NY for 18 years which is where she currently works. Prior to that she worked at Birchwood and St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation Centers as sub-acute and long term care dietitian. 

She is currently a preceptor for Syracuse University interns each year.

Mary Beth has served as Nominating Committee Chair, President and Secretary for Central New York Dietetic Association and is currently on the NYSAND Political Action Committee, in addition to being an Academy Delegate for Region 4.  She has been actively involved in CNYDA district visits both locally and to Albany to meet with legislators on Licensure and TDO Writing.

Mary Beth has a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutritional Care.  She is an RDN with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist in New York State.

Co-Chair of Delegates  - Region 2 (GNYDA, LIAND)
Rita K. Batheja, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND, AFMCP
District: LIAND


Public Relations Coordinator
Patricia Salzer, RD
District: MRDA

Pat has been an RD for over 34 years and received her BS degree in Dietetics from SUNY Oneonta.  She completed her internship at Cleveland Metro General/Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, OH.  She worked for 20 years in health care including her role as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at St Luke’s Memorial Hospital Center and Heritage Health Care, both in Utica, NY.  She also served as Area Support Manager for Sodexo.  For the past 14 years she has been with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as a Wellbeing Consultant.  She’s been involved with MRDA from the beginning of her career and has been President more than once and a constant as Public Relations Chair.  She received the Media Excellence Award for NYSAND in 2020.  Pat’s a food and fitness enthusiast and also enjoys taking improv classes. 

Public Policy Coordinator

Jessica Garay, PhD, RDN, CDN, FAND
District: CNYDA

Jessica Garay has been the NYSAND Public Policy Coordinator since 2017 and was the 2020 recipient of NYSAND's Excellence in Legislative Advocacy Award. Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Syracuse University. Her research and teaching interests include sports nutrition, dietary supplements, and women's health. She received her PhD in Science Education from the Department of Exercise Science at Syracuse University, her MS degree in Exercise Science from George Washington University, and dual BS degrees Nutritional Science and Human Development from Cornell University. 

Jessica completed her dietetic internship in Prescott, Arizona with the Yavapai County Health Department. She has work experience at the Food Bank of Central New York and Washington (D.C.) Cancer Institute. Jessica has a private practice, Major League Wellness, offering sports nutrition and weight management counseling, corporate wellness presentations, and more. She is certified in Adult Weight Management through the Committee on Dietetic Registration, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and is a 200-hour Registered Toga Teacher. In addition to her work with NYSAND, Jessica has been involved in the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Dietetic Practice Group.

District President Representative
Elizabeth Hartz, MS, RDN, CDN
District: WNYAND

Elizabeth has been the NYSAND Membership Chair since the Fall of 2017 and actively involved in her local district as well. She currently runs the Nutrition Education Counseling Center at SUNY Buffalo State where she provides nutrition counseling services for the student population either individually or group, puts on nutrition presentations on topics pertinent to the student population, and works with Chartwells Higher Ed to provide healthier meal options for students.

Elizabeth will be starting her Ph.D. in Integrative and Functional Nutrition from Saybrook University this Fall and hopes to continue serving the board and coordinating cabinet as she pursues this goal. She is passionate about nutrition and education which can been seen in her undying quest for obtaining and sharing nutrition knowledge.

Parliamentarian, ex officio
Virginia Vorhis, MS, RD, CDN
District: GDA

Virginia, also known as Ginny, is a registered dietitian and former Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition. She retired June 2016 from Rochester General Hospital after a 40+ year employment at that facility. Initially Ginny worked in the acute care setting and then became a Renal Dietitian in 1989, her forever job and passion. Over the years she was an on-site preceptor for the RIT CUP program and later was a renal rotation preceptor for dietetic students in many undergraduate, graduate and internship programs. She was a reluctant retiree who loved her patients and the respect she had as a Renal Dietitians.

Ginny received her BS at SUCO Oneonta with a dual major in Home Economics/Dietetics and German. She also studied nutrition and human sciences for 2 years at the Paedogogishe Hochshule in Bonn and at the University of Wurzburg, Germany. She completed her internship and Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ginny has served the dietetic profession ever since her registration. She was active with the Council on Renal Nutrition. Positions served with GDA include secretary, treasurer, and president, as well as chairing several committees. While not actively involved with GDA, she is proud of her home district and its legacy with the state dietetic association. Ginny has served NYSDA and later NYSAND as Annual Meeting Chair, Treasurer, President, Delegate and many years as Bylaws/Handbook Chair. She is now moving on to Parliamentarian. She credits her professional success to NYSAND and the Academy for providing extensive leadership training and networking opportunities.


Executive Director
Victoria Palasieski, CMP

Victoria Palasieski is an Association Manager at Capitol Hill Management Services and has served as the Executive Director for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2017.  

Victoria is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and is a Meeting Planner International (MPI) New Member Scholarship Recipient.  Most recently, Victoria was one of 14 graduates of the Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) 2019-2020 Association Leadership Academy, completing a 9-month leadership series.

Coordinating Cabinet (CC)

Delegate Region 3 (HVDA, MHAND, WRDA)
Angela Goscilo, MS, RD, CDN

Delegate Region 1 (GDA, WNYDA, STAND)
Jennifer Everydyke, RDN

2021 Annual Meeting Chair & Co-Chairs
Co-Chair - Elena Misoulis, MS, RD
Co-Chair - Janice Shaw

Bylaws/Handbook Chair
Sue Paredez, MS, RD, CDN

Communications Editor
Elisa Bremner, MS, RDN, CDN

Membership Chair
Elizabeth Harte, MS, RD, CDN

Diversity & Inclusion Liaison
Kameron Rowe, MS, RD

State Development Chair
Cindy Chan Phillips

DTR Representative Chair
Kelly Myers

Social Media Manager
Mariana Serback, MS, RDN, CDN

State Policy Representative
Ann Darcy, MS, RD, CNS

Reimbursement Chair
Lois Chait, MA, RDN, CDN

State Regulatory Specialist
Carole DeBonte, MBA, RD, CDN

Consumer Protection Coordinator
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN

Licensure Taskforce Chair
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN