Ellie Wilson, Price Chopper
Shanon Morris is a Registered Dietitian and author of children’s book MC Veggie Fresh Rocks the Mic. Shanon has been working with communities from children to senior citizens for over a decade with the goal of making food & nutrition relatable, accessible and enjoyable for all. Shanon is both a Howard and Columbia University graduate where she studied nutrition and exercise science, giving her the tools to influence behavioral change throughout New York City. Shanon currently serves as the Senior Director of Community Impact for the American Heart Association where she focuses on health equity and sustainable changes in the community with a concentration of food and nutrition security.
Dr. Echo Rivera helps academics, researchers, consultants and evaluators communicate more effectively and creatively. She has a PhD in Community Psychology, and after about 14 years of working in the social science research and program evaluation fields, Echo became a freelance communications consultant. She is on a mission to end #DeathByPowerpoint in our course lectures, conference presentations, and other educational settings. What she does goes beyond just graphic design. She works specifically with people who want to present their data in ways that increase the likelihood the audience will pay attention to, understand, remember, and use the information.
Ora Kemp, Senior Program Manager at NY Common Pantry
Ora is a passionate foodie and PhD bound nerdette blending science and life through social application. She strives to educate others and learn together how to live healthier and happier everyday. Her passion for food has carried through her personal and professional careers, including owning a restaurant, conducting research, collaboration with non-profits, and educating her community on preventative health. She received her 200-hundred hour and 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification at JaiPure Yoga in Montclair, NJ under the guidance of Loryn Riggiola and Marcie Wallace. She has continued to teach with Manhattan Exercise Company in addition to offering workshops and sessions for mind and body. She earned her Bachelors in Science with a degree in Nutrition and Food Science in addition to her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education. As a social change agent, Ora is passionately involved in policy, systems, and environmental changes to improve health outcomes in her community. Working everyday to create positive change is what keeps her motivated. Catch her on the mat and join the tribe to stay connected!
Mallory Jackson, Jefferson Community College
Mallory Jackson is a Human Services and Chemical Dependency Counseling Professor at SUNY Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown, NY. She began her career with Eat Smart New York at CCE Dutchess County as a Community Resource Educator, working with individuals and groups in the Hudson Valley. She holds Master degrees in Public Administration and Counseling, where she specialized in trauma-informed care and education.
Mallory’s professional work has led her to a deeper understanding of the realities of a lack of personal and professional balance and the impending burnout as social constructs that can be identified early and addressed holistically when one identifies their personal burnout archetype.
She lives in the North Country (yes it’s cold…Odds are it is snowing as you read this) with her husband, two sons and geriatric chocolate lab.
Qiana Mickie, Food Systems and Equity Consultant, QJM Multiprise
Qiana Mickie is a New York City based food systems leader and speaker. For over 10 years, she has worked on fostering a food based solidarity economy in the New York region that increases farm viability, healthy food access, and equity for small- mid scale regional farmers, youth, mixed income, Black, Brown, and other communities of color. Qiana recently transitioned from the Executive Director role at Just Food in Spring 2020 and consults on social impact, food enterprise, and grassroots policy projects locally and internationally.
Robert Gaudian, MediaForce, LLC
Bob leverages his more than 30 years of comprehensive hands-on and award-winning experience in all aspects of video and audio production, distribution, integrated marketing campaigns, brand creation and strategies, and program management.
Ashly Ninteman, MediaForce, LLC
Ashly is a Project Manager/Account Representative for MediaForce, LLC. She has been a key player in the development and branding of SNAP-Ed NY and works closely with state educators and managers to assist with video, recipe, and creative content creation as well as strategizing to promote brand awareness across all media channels.
Kamree Gardner Daley, Rush Henrietta & Monroe College
Kamree has been teaching health education for the past 22 years at Rush-Henrietta High School and is also an adjunct instructor at Monroe Community College.
Amelia Fox, SNAP-Ed PSE Technical Assistance Provider, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
Ms. Fox’s interest and expertise are in preventing chronic disease by addressing social determinants of health, the built environment, and racial equity. Her experience includes technical assistance, qualitative and quantitative data collection, material design and development, virtual and in-person event/training coordination, and reporting. Ms. Fox has supported a range of initiatives that aim to build the capacity of schools and communities to increase access to and demand for health foods and opportunities for physical activity, including the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities initiative and New York State’s SNAP-Ed Program. Ms. Fox holds her BA in International Development and Global Health from the University of Denver.
Laura Rios Ruggiero, SNAP-Ed PSE Technical Assistance Provider, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
Ms. Rios Ruggiero’s interests and expertise are in healthy communities, including policy and systems-change initiatives that address social determinants of health. Her experience includes program monitoring and evaluation, project management, technical assistance, qualitative and quantitative data collection, data management, and reporting. She has served as Project Manager for numerous statewide, chronic disease prevention, systems-change initiative evaluations including the evaluations of Massachusetts’s Healthy Incentive Program and Missouri’s Healthy Eating Active Living and Building Communities for Better Health initiatives. She has also served as a technical assistance provider for statewide chronic disease prevention initiatives, like New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities initiative and New York State’s SNAP-Ed Program, working to build capacity of diverse stakeholders to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. In her personal time, Ms. Rios Ruggiero owns and runs a community-based business offering Zumba® Fitness classes. Ms. Rios Ruggiero received her Masters in Public Health from Boston University.
Amanda Ryder, SNAP-Ed PSE Technical Assistance Provider, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
Ms. Ryder has over ten years of experience providing training and technical assistance to support implementation and evaluation of public health initiatives. Her interests and expertise are in chronic disease prevention and health promotion, particularly initiatives targeting policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Ms. Ryder has worked with a variety of organizations and is skilled at facilitating multi-sector collaborative efforts and engaging non-traditional partners to support healthy communities. Ms. Ryder currently supports New York State’s SNAP-Ed Program, serving as the technical assistance provider for implementing PSE strategies. She recently served as Project Director for the New York State Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence, the training and technical assistance provider for the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities initiative. She also served as Coordinator for a Community Transformation Grant in Massachusetts, and as evaluator for a number of obesity prevention initiatives in Missouri, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Ms. Ryder received her Masters in Public Health from Harvard.
Caitlin Lazarski, Newburgh Enlarged City School District
Caitlin is the Newburgh Enlarged School District Food Service Director. She is an experienced Food Service Director with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in Menu Planning, Budgeting, Operations Management and Nutrition Education. Strong operations professional with a Master’s degree focused in Human Nutrition from University of Delaware.
Lisa Perry, Alliance for Healthier Generation
Lisa is the Senior National Advisor for Alliance for a Healthier Generation specializing in Health & Physical Education, Physical Activity, Employee Wellness. She has developed and implemented strategies and training to support teachers, schools, and districts to utilize best practices for physical activity, physical education, nutrition education, and tobacco prevention.
Kristin Calaruso, Messina School District
Kristin Colarusso-Martin is the Community Schools Director for Massena Central School District. As Community Schools Director, Kristin works to connect students and families in the school district to community organizations and partners to help students and families access programs and services that can help students be successful in school. Kristin lives in Brasher Falls, NY with her husband, dogs, cats, and a flock of chickens and enjoys gardening, walking the dogs, and cooking.
Kathleen McAlister, CCE Albany, Capitol Region Project Manager
Kristin Schwitzer, Beacon Research
Kristin Schwitzer has 29 years of marketing and market research experience, including both client-side brand management at Procter & Gamble and agency-side strategic planning at two ad agencies. She launched her own consumer insights consultancy, Beacon Research, 18 years ago. She is a pioneer and thought leader in online and mobile qualitative research, with one of her peers dubbing her the “Queen of Cool Research,” and speaks regularly on both topics within the industry. Kristin is a past Vice President of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), founding long-term Chair of the QRCA Online Special Interest Group, and Master Trainer at the RIVA Moderator Training Institute.
Her work in the U.S. and abroad focuses heavily on advertising research, new product innovation, branding, shopper insights, and website/mobile app development.
Yadira Garcia, Happy Healthy Latina
Yadira Garcia is a trained Natural-foods Chef and certified Integrative Health Coach, of Dominican descent who grew up in the South Bronx of New York City. She is now leveraging her education as a community Shef-Tivist, educator, and Speaker under the platform she created Happy Healthy Latina, INC., helping to address food justice, nutrition education & health inequities in NYC. Together with her team she works with several Community Based Organizations, NYC Public Schools and Bronx/NYC Urban Farms as a culturally relevant cooking, nutrition education/food justice workshop curriculum creator, facilitator.
She was named in the 2018 class of top 40 under 40 working in Food Justice out of Hunter Food Policy Center, sits on the NYC nutrition exchange board out of Teachers College, Columbia University and on the city’s first ever nutrition education coalition group that has ushered in significant legislation in food equity and nutrition education in NYC Schools. Chef Yadira has been invited to speak at institutions such as : New York University, Columbia University, Ithaca College, University of Albany, God’s Love We Deliver and has worked with several city council members, Borough presidents + diverse stakeholders in NYC to create content and public programming that educates and teaches thousands of NYC residents the art of heritage based or culturally based cooking.
Additionally with her dynamic personality and creative recipes she has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The Chew, NY Times, ABC, BX 12, NY 1, NBC, NBC Latino. Online she can be found as host of Healthy Cocina- an original concept by her produced by Zoe Saldana, Tastemade and Buzzfeed where her plant-based cooking for Picky Eaters has garnered millions of views.
JSI is a public health research and consulting organization committed to improving the health of individuals and communities, particularly the underserved. We have a unique understanding of community health and public health and have worked extensively since our inception to develop and integrate services across the health, social service, and public health sectors. Given JSI’s commitment to facilitating and ensuring access to quality services for all, the majority of our work is with organizations that primarily serve the uninsured, underserved, and/or at‐risk populations in urban, rural, and frontier settings. With our focus on evaluation, training, and professional development, JSI is nationally recognized for our community and public health expertise
Erica Bezio, Saranac Lake
Erika Bezio lives and works in Saranac Lake, New York with her husband Derrick and their four-year-old son Wally. Together they love to build giant magnatile towers, play outside and travel to lots of new places. Erika graduated from Russell Sage College in 2003 with a degree in Elementary Education and Political Science and Brown University with a Masters in the Art of Education in 2004. As a classroom teacher for fifteen years and now in her third year as the Community School Liaison Erika is fortunate to really know the families of her community-most of them from babies to graduates! Along with the members of the Saranac Lake Central School District, Erika strives to provide equity in education.
Shayna Russo, CCE Orange
Shayna Russo is currently SNAP-Ed’s Project Manager for the Hudson Valley Region and Coordinator for Technical Assistance (TA). She is driven to create ‘change’ that supports healthy lifestyles, while simultaneously utilizing knowledge, skills and abilities relative to health, education, nutrition, fitness, collaboration and teamwork. With degrees in Health Promotion Management and Exercise Science, she has worked as a Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Swim Instructor, Public Health Educator and Regional Coordinator. For over 20 years Shayna has used her facilitation and communication skills to promote an all-inclusive, high-performing culture where groups embrace and leverage each other’s talents to achieve full potential. Over the past 12 years, through grant funded roles with Cornell Cooperative Extension, much of her efforts has been focused on the health and wellness of low-income communities in the Hudson Valley. Shayna and her husband live in Dutchess County with their two kids and two dogs (Brownie and Cupcake). You will often find her around town on some early morning runs, drinking some hot tea and bringing her kids to soccer and gymnastics practice.
Beth Bainbridge is the SNAP-Ed Project Director at Children’s Aid in New York City. Her work is focused on promoting local agriculture and healthy eating through connecting folks directly to local produce and teaching about cooking the delicious bounty. She came to this position after running the NYC Health Department’s Stellar Farmers’ Markets program and hasn’t been able to stop talking local produce since then. Her passion for promoting healthy behavior extends to the mind and body – Beth is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and brings this wisdom into her health promoting education. Beth also teaches a graduate-level Public Health and Community Nutrition course at Lehman College where she is able to connect to students in the Dietetic Internship program and expose them to the incredible work done by community nutrition programs. You can always catch Beth on her bike – this is how she commutes and connects to the City!