Committee Chairs

Academy Staff

Click hyperlinked names below to contact that Officer via email:

Patricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDCES, FANDPatricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDCES, FAND


Patricia Davidson is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition, College of Health Sciences at West Chester University-PA, and holds degrees from Rutgers University (DCN, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition), Virginia Tech (MS, Nutrition and Food Science), Southern Illinois University (BS, Food and Nutrition). For 30 years she has worked as a clinician, researcher, and educator. Her clinical positions have included in-patient diabetes education, private practice, and community diabetes education. She is active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on various task forces, including the development of practice guidelines (Evidence Analysis Library), Academy DGA Collaborative and Think Tank, and co-author of the Revised 2017 standards of practice and standards of  professional performance for registered dietitian nutritionists (competent, proficient, and expert) in diabetes care. She also has served serves on the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (ADCES) practice, position paper, and research committees. Her awards include: Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award (NDEP/AND), Honors College Outstanding Faculty Award (WCU), Carolyn Sebastianelli Distinguished Member Award (NJDA), and the Distinguished Service Award (GSADE), and is a recipient of numerous grants.

Within DDPG, she has served as the Awards Chair, Membership Chair, DPG Delegate, and Print Publications Chair. Her research centers on prevention and management of diabetes throughout the lifecycle, interprofessional practice and collaborative care, role of the gut microbiome in disease, and the development of technology for diabetes management. She has authored or co-authored numerous manuscripts pertaining to diabetes treatment strategies, management, problem-solving, implementation of nutrition guidelines, and prevention.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Dwight and enjoys long walks, Italian food, travel, and keeping current in diabetes and nutrition research.


Laura Russell RD, CDCESLaura Russell, MA, RDN, LD, CDCES


Laura Russell is an RDN, CDCES and is the program coordinator at Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis. She has been an educator for over ten years and worked in various settings including research, inpatient care, telemedicine and out-patient clinics. Her expertise includes pregnancy and technology related to diabetes care. Laura enjoys teaching patients new skills and enjoys empowering them with the tools they need to reach their health goals. She is a contracted insulin pump trainer with all major pump companies. She has volunteered with Diabetes DPG for 8 years in various roles. She represented the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at a consensus conference on continuous glucose monitoring for American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in Washington, DC. She also co-authored an article in OTCE entitled “Insulin Management and Advancing Practice of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in Diabetes Care” in 2018. Laura enjoys trying new foods, cooking, gardening, attending sporting events and being outdoors with her husband and three young children.


Janice MacLeod, MA, RDN, CDCES, FADCES Janice MacLeod, MA, RDN, CDCES, FADCES


Janice Macleod is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist currently leading clinical advocacy initiatives at Medtronic Diabetes.  Previously Janice served as the Director, Clinical Innovation in a pioneer digital health company, Welldoc and in various roles with Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care including product representative, sales trainer, clinical affairs manager and Diabetes Medical Science Liaison. Janice began her career as a diabetes dietitian for Carilion Health System in Virginia and more recently served at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Baltimore, MD.  

Janice has authored and edited multiple publications, contributed to book and curriculum manuals on diabetes, and has developed numerous education programs and presentations in the areas of diabetes nutrition, glucose monitoring, digital health, and practice transformation.  Janice collaborates with a large network of international diabetes experts and thought leaders and is actively involved in leadership roles with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and the American Diabetes Association.  Her passion is developing business savvy solutions leveraging technology to transform diabetes care. 

Janice lives in Maryland with her husband where they enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Janice also enjoys writing, reading, growing and cooking with herbs, hiking and being involved with her church and community.  

Connect with Janice on Twitter @janicerdcde  and on LinkedIn:


Blank_Canvas_on_Transparent_Background.pngVita Tambone, MPH, RDN, CDE, CDN


Vita Tambone is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. She currently works as the Senior Manager of Diabetes Education and Support at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she helped start and continues to be a quality coordinator for an ADCES-accredited DSMES program. She also works part time providing nutrition counseling to clients through a private practice. 

Vita became an active member and volunteer early in her dietetics career and served as the Awards Chair from 2017-2019. She's excited to serve DDPG again as the organization's Secretary. 

In her free time, Vita enjoys running, reading, theater, and playing with her dog, Bailey.


JoJo_Dantone.jpgJoJo Dantone, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND


Jo Jo Dantone has been owner and CEO of Nutrition Education Resources, Inc. (NERI) for over 46 years. NERI is a company that provides consultant Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists to health care facilities with an emphasis on geriatric and diabetes care. Jo Jo entered into partial retirement in the summer of 2019.

Jo Jo received a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. She has been a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists for 25 years.

Jo Jo has assisted in establishing nine American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Programs and is currently Program Coordinator of an ADA Recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Program.

Jo Jo is a Past Treasurer of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a Past Chair of the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group (DDPG) and a Past Chair of the Dietitians in Health Care Communities (DHCC DPG). She is a Past President of the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Past Legislative Network Coordinator for the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Jo Jo received the Distinguished Service Award in 2020 and the Legislative Activity Award in 2016 from the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group. In 2016 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics granted Jo Jo the honor of becoming a Fellow of the Academy. She received the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award from the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 and from the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2000. Jo Jo has served the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in a public policy capacity for over 40 years for which she received the Legislative Activity Award from the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group in 2016, the Ann Gallagher Award for Legislative Activity Involvement in 2009 and the Award of Excellence in Grassroots Political Action in 2004.


Alison_Evert_Head_Shot.jpgAlison Evert, MS, RD, CDCES

Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

Alison has worked as a RDN/CDCES in a variety of clinical practice settings providing direct patient care for many years.  Over the last 5 years, she has had the honor and privilege of supervising an amazing team of RDN/CDCESs embedded in 14 primary care clinics associated with UW Medicine. This team provides evidence-based nutrition and diabetes/pre-diabetes education to patients referred by family practice and internal medicine providers.

In her current position, Alison also provides nutrition/diabetes education to primary care providers, dietetic interns, and serves frequently as an invited speaker at national and international conferences on diabetes nutrition topics. Career highlights include, serving as the co-chair the ADA’s 2019 Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for Adults with Diabetes and Pre-diabetes - consensus group committee and serving on the committee for the Academy’s 2015 EAL Update for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Alison has been a long-time, passionate volunteer of the Diabetes DPG, serving as Chair in 2002.


Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN

Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN

Communications / Marketing Chair

Constance Brown-Riggs—a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World; The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators; and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Constance Brown-Riggs—a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World; The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators; and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes.

Over the course of her career, Constance has established herself as an expert in nutrition, diabetes, and the cultural issues that impact the health and health care of people of color. Her work has appeared in books for health professionals and health care consumers, and she has been a featured expert in national magazines, and in newspapers across the country. She also is a regular contributor to Today's Dietitian Magazine, also serving on the magazine's advisory board, and to

Constance is a former member of the board of directors for the American Association of Diabetes Educators, DCEs’ first social media and diversity chair, former member of NDEPs Promotion Taskforce,  past president of the New York State Dietetic Association and the Long Island Dietetic Association. Her professional honors include the Health Education Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Suffolk County Chapter, Inc., Award for Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Distinguished Dietitian Award from the New York State Dietetic Association, and the Diabetes Educator of the Year award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group.

Learn more about her work at, follow her on twitter, and instagram, and on Facebook become a fan of Living Well With Diabetes


Cathy Huang, MPH, RDNCathy Huang, MPH, RDN

Membership Chair

Cathy graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and completed her dietetic internship and Master of Public Health at the University of Washington. She began her involvement with this DPG during her dietetic internship and had been on the DDPG Website Committee for several years. She is excited to now be serving her first year as the Membership Chair.

Cathy has experience in several different areas of nutrition, including in post-acute care, long-term care, community nutrition, and food access. Cathy currently works for the City and County of San Francisco and oversees grants for community food programs. Outside of dietetics, Cathy enjoys spending time with loved ones, boating, and travelling. Some of her travel highlights include scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, caving in a glow worm cave, taking a paella cooking class in Spain, and bungy jumping at the "World Home of Bungy."


Anna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCESAnna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, FAND

Professional Development Chair

Anna Parker DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, CCRC, FAND is a research dietitian with Anaheim Clinical Trials in Anaheim, California. She is team leader for all clinical trials for patients with diabetes, prediabetes and obesity. She is passionate about diabetes and devoted to diabetes research to help patients improve their diabetes control and live a better quality of life. Anna is a graduate of Rutgers University where she received her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition.

During her graduate studies, she obtained grant funding from the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group (DDPG) Karen Goldstein Memorial Grant for Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy to pursue a randomized clinical research trial to investigate the effect of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) compared with usual care on fasting plasma glucose values, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum lipid levels, and Diabetes Risk Score, from baseline to the end of a 12-week intervention in adults with overweight or obesity and prediabetes. Seventy-six subjects participated and the results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has also published in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Dietetics.

Dr. Parker is also currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the clinical nutrition department. She has taught classes in preventive nutrition, advanced clinical nutrition, pharmacology, vitamin and mineral metabolism and human metabolism. She is dedicated to being a mentor for students and has also published articles with her graduate students. Dr. Parker promotes research and encourages her students to use evidence analysis.

Dr. Parker has served as Professional Development Chair for DDPG for the past three years. She has also served as research chair for DDPG before that.   She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; DDPG; Dominican University Alumni Association; and ACRP.  
She has received various honors and awards as the:  Diabetes DPG Publication Award, Huddleson Award, California Dietetic Association Excellence in Research Award, and the Pharma Times award for Beardsworth Citation for Patient Focus.  Dr. Parker has also served as a National Study Coordinator for Novo Nordisk contributing to the area of clinical research trials.


Mary Lou Perry, MS, RDN, CDCESMary Lou Perry, MS, RDN, CDCES

Publications Chair

Mary Lou Perry MS RDN CDCES is a registered dietitian and holds degrees from Radford and Virginia Tech.  She has over 30 years of working in the diabetes space, mostly at the University of Virginia in the department of Internal Medicine as a  program coordinator for an  ADA recognized program in Endocrine department. In the last  20 years, she has been part of an innovative interprofessional collaborative diabetes/cardiometabolic practice where her skills are fully integrated into the practice setting.  She is a preceptor and speaker for the  University of Virginia’s dietetic internship program and has served as an advisor for several Intern Capstone projects.  She has served in numerous capacities with the CBDCE (Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education) as an exam reviewer and item writer. Additionally, she is an approved item writer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She has helped write items for EatRight prep, a preparation course for those re-entering practice or those qualifying for the registry exam.

Mary Lou’s involvement with DPG has been longstanding but not until the last 10 years has served in several roles within the practice group. Initially as a theme editor of an OTCE issue and subsequently as associate editor and editor. She developed “OTCE for Dummies” – a practical manual for anyone assuming the role of associate editor. She regularly assists the OTCE editorial team in finalizing CPE’s for the OTCE issue. She’ll move into Publications chair after serving as print coordinator for the past 4 years.  Additionally, she along with Dr. Kathy Briggs Early are co-editing the 2nd edition of Cultural Food Practices and facilitated the involvement of Diversify Dietetics co-founder Tamara Melton, MS RDN CPHIMS.  Known for her humor and innovative presentation style, she is a regular speaker at various state/affiliate diabetes and nutrition meetings. As part of a clinical ladder project on insulin injection technique, Mary Lou presenting her findings at a Research Summit  culminating in a presentation dressed as Lin Manual Miranda in full Hamilton Custom, and creating a hip-hop song so the audience could remember the most important components, it ended in a song “I’m not giving away your Shot!” 

Primary interests include weight inclusivity, insulin injection technique, patient advocacy, motivational interviewing, interprofessional practice, micro-learning opportunities, non-diet approaches, consumption of whole food plant based eating patterns, developing creative cooking demonstrations, medication assisted weight loss and nutritional counseling.


KarenLau.pngKaren Lau, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

IDEA Liaison

Karen Lau is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Originally from Hong Kong, she experienced the cultural differences in Asia and the United States, and is passionate about providing and advocating for more culturally-appropriate nutrition and diabetes care for Asian Americans. Lau is also interested in presenting and discussing ways to provide inclusive care in a diverse community. Her clinical interests include preventing and managing gestational and type 2 diabetes, and utilizing technologies for better diabetes management.



Moira_F.jpgMoira Faris, MPH, RDN, LD, CDE, FAND

Nominating Committee Chair

Moira Faris, MPH, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at HCA Florida - Fort Walton Destin Hospital. Moira grew up in Fort Walton Beach and recently moved back home this year. Prior to that, she was the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Emory University Hospital for 8 years. Moira has been a registered dietitian for 19 years and has been a CDE/CDCES for 8 years.  

Moira has held other leadership positions within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She served as the Nominating Committee Chair for the Clinical Nutrition Management DPG and served on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Member Services Advisory Committee. She is currently serving as the Vice Chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Management Committee.
In her free time, Moira and her husband enjoy watching their 11 year old daughter and 9 year old son participate in sports and activities.  Her family also enjoys being at the beach, on a boat, or anything that has to do with being in or around water.


candice_tufano_vidapic.jpgCandice Tufano, RD, LD

Policy and Advocacy Leader

Candice is proud to provide free and equitable healthcare to our nation’s heroes at The Department of Veterans Affairs in Central Kentucky. She currently serves as the Policy and Advocacy Leader (PAL) for DDPG. She earned her dietetics degree from the University of Kentucky and completed her dietetic internship in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to discovering dietetics, Candice earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehead State University double majoring in Government and Journalism. Her professional interests include early diabetes interventions, gestational diabetes, and health disparities in Appalachia. In her free time, she enjoys vegetable gardening and swooning over her rescue dog, Clementine.



Amanda_Kirpitch.pngAmanda Kirpitch, RDN, CDCES, CDN

Nutrition Services Payment Specialist 

Amanda is the owner of Nutrition Perspective, LLC a private practice in New Jersey serving people with diabetes, eating disorders and cardiometabolic conditions with a focus on simplifying management and improving relationships with food.  Amanda is also a certified pump and continuous glucose monitor trainer.   She is passionate about helping people with food and nutrition and has been fortunate to speak on this topic both nationally and internationally. Prior to having her own practice, Amanda gained a wealth of experience working at Columbia University in New York as well as Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Amanda has been cited as a nutrition expert in numerous publications including Real Simple, the Washington Post, and Prevention.



Dawn Menning, MS, RD, CDCESDawn Menning, MS, RD, CDCES

Social Media Chair

Dawn Menning is the Director of Clinical Services at Canary Health. She oversees the delivery of the digital Prevent Diabetes program to ensure quality, engagement, and user satisfaction. Dawn leads a team of lifestyle coaches that promote behavior change and improve participant outcomes.  Prior to her current position she served as Associate Director, Educational Content for the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and was a Master Lifestyle Coach Trainer for the diabetes prevention program. Dawn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with over 20 years of experience in diabetes prevention and management. She completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at Michigan State University and her Masters Degree in Nutrition Education at Rosalind Franklin University.

Dawn lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and standard poodle. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, and spending time at the beach with her family. Find Dawn on LinkedIn at


Pamela Tong

Pamela Tong, MS, RD, CDN

Web Chair

Pamela Tong is a clinical dietitian who has been working in an acute care setting in New York for more than 5 years. She specializes in the nutritional management of patients in critical care and surgery. Pamela provides medical nutrition therapy for weight management and various conditions including endocrine and metabolic disorders, GI disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and substance use disorders. She is dedicated to connecting patients in underserved communities to nutrition and medical resources.

She served as EML Moderator/Discussion board Moderator for DDPG from 2013-2022 before stepping into the web chair position. 


Daisy_Seremba.jpgDaisy Seremba, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Awards Chair

Daisy is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. She has degrees from Cornell University and Hunter College, City University of New York. 

She currently works in the Population Health Management division of Optum, providing telephonic disease management education to diverse patients with a variety of chronic health conditions, primarily diabetes. She also works as an outpatient diabetes educator with the WellStar Hospital Health System in Georgia. Daisy is passionate about empowering her patients to make easy lifestyle choices to improve their diabetes self-care.

Daisy has had a long and varied work history in the field of nutrition and dietetics. She has worked in clinical and outpatient settings, as an adjunct professor, and in county and state level health agencies and community health programs in New York, Michigan, and Georgia. 

Daisy has been a member for the DDPG for many years and has served actively for the last 8 years. She has served as nominating committee chair and member, membership chair and looks forward to now serving as the awards chair.

Daisy is married and has 2 young adult daughters. She is active in her church, loves to cook and enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.        


Cassie-Verdi_1.jpgCassie Verdi, MPH, RD

Corporate Relations Manager

Cassie is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition communications, public health programming, health professional education, and culinary nutrition. In her current role, she works closely with DDPG’s leadership team to build relationships with industry collaborators, and to secure sponsorships that support the practice of DDPG’s membership.

Her previous work experience includes several years at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla, where she managed and implemented nutrition communication programs for food and beverage clients. Prior to working at Padilla, she was the Associate Director of Nutrition at the American Diabetes Association. She is the co-author of two books published by the American Diabetes Association: 21 Things you Need to Know About Diabetes and Nutrition and The Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner. She is currently working on her third book.

Cassie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Miami University, and she completed her Dietetic Internship and Master of Public Health degree at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Outside of her work in nutrition, Cassie is busy at home with her three little girls. When she has the time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, trying new restaurants, long-distance running, cycling, and spending time outdoors with her family.



DCE_2015_Linda.jpgLinda Flanagan Vahl

Executive Manager

Linda began her career at the Academy as Manager of Professional Development with CDR in 1999, working with CPE Accredited Providers and recertification/credentialing.  Linda has been a DPG Manager since 2007, and enjoys working with volunteer leaders. Linda has a BA in Urban Studies/Public Policy from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, tennis and volunteering in her community. She served on her local high school Board of Education for 8 years, and served on her local H.S. Education Foundation devoted to scholarship fundraising. Linda enjoys time with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 sons & cat 30 minutes southwest of Chicago.