Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, LDN, FAND

What Is a Sustainable Diet and Food System and How Can RNDs Accurately Communicate This to The Public

Dr. Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, LDN, FAND, is a nutrition professor at Boston University (BU), sought after speaker and journalist, and the host of Spot On!, the award-winning, nutrition, health, and wellness podcast. She has received the 2020 Media Excellence Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has also been awarded the prestigious Whitney Powers Excellence in Teaching Award from the University twice.
Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, Pearson Education (2023), Nutrition & You: Core Concepts to Good Health, Pearson Education (2010). She is the co-author of Nutrition: From Science to You, Pearson Education (2018).
She has conducted over 3,000 interviews on numerous nutrition topics in media outlets such as: New York Times, Food Network, Newsweek, Washington Post, Forbes, Prevention, WebMD, Parade, Consumer Reports, MsNBC, Boston Globe, CBS, The Early Show, CNN, NBC News, CBS News, and NPR. She was named by Good Housekeeping Magazine as the expert to follow on Twitter for healthy eating.


Venturing into the World of Publishing as an RD

Lee Jackson RD, LDN

Lee Jackson, RDN, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian, with a broad range of experience in the food and nutrition industry. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 2004 and completed her dietetic internship with Touro Infirmary in 2005. After a brief stint as a Clinical Dietitian at Methodist Hospital, Hurricane Katrina brought Lee to Baton Rouge where she provided outpatient Weight Management and Disease Specific Counseling for Women along with being a WIC Nutritionist. For the past 15 years, Lee has been the dietitian for best-selling cookbook author Holly Clegg; managing, Clegg’s trim & TERRIFIC® cookbook series, as well as the Eating Well Through Cancer & Arthritis cookbook series.

With more than 1.5 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg-branded cookbooks focus on delicious, easy, healthy, and practical recipes. Cookbooks include Eating Well Through Cancer (English, Spanish, and Chinese editions), Eating Well to Fight Arthritis, Diabetic Cooking, and Guy’s Guide to Eating Well. Other popular titles include Kitchen 101 and Gulf Coast Favorites.


Savanna Latimer, RDN, LDN

Savanna Latimer is a dietitian for Eat Fit BR. A graduate from Louisiana State University, Savanna’s passions include community nutrition and sharing easy tips and healthy swaps to live a stronger, healthier life. Savanna has been part of the wellness community for over 9 years and enjoys connecting with others through movement by teaching group fitness classes. In her free time, Savanna enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and 9 month old daughter, Roe, and long walks at the LSU lakes.



Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LD

Is it possible to merge the worlds of yummy food and healthy eating? Shelly Marie Redmond thinks so!
Shelly is an award winning registered dietitian, speaker, storyteller, and Social Media personality. Shelly is the author of two books, Skinny Louisiana….in the Kitchen and Skinny Louisiana…in the Slow Cooker published through Pelican Publishing of Gretna, Louisiana.
Shelly focuses on one-on-one and group counseling with a focus on weight loss, women’s health, food allergies, and diabetes. In addition to running her private practice, Shelly consults at Drug Emporium stores and host food demos at the 9 store chain with focuses on diabetes,
weight loss, and food allergy topics.
Her personality is as fiery as her hair color and stay tuned as she evolves the Skinny Louisiana brand into Dietitian Shelly.

Jacob Mey, PhD, RD

Emerging Concepts in Nutrition and Pulmonary Health

Dr. Mey is an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is a Registered Dietitian. He runs the Mitochondrial Energetics and Nutrient Utilization (MENU) Lab, where he uses clinical-translational research approaches to understand the link between diet and health. His lab is broadly interested in how diet affects the way our cells use energy and how that in turn can affect health and disease. His current projects include a multi-diet feeding trial in individuals with asthma to test whether altering nutrient metabolism towards ketones and lipids impacts asthma symptoms and lung function. Another active project involves measuring molecules in the breath to provide information about malnutrition. He is passionate about producing research that will elevate the dietetic profession and promotes the increased presence of dietitians in clinical research projects.

Alexis Motley, MS, RDN, LDN

My Garden Is My Plate: Starting and Maintaining a Community Garden


As a registered dietitian, I found it essential to teach my patient/clients the importance of their diet. I loved to teach nutrition education classes and help individuals explore more food options for everyday living. During the COVID-19 shut-down, I begin to realize that healthy food access was a global issue. I wanted to be a part of a real solution to assist communities in my local area. As a parent, I begin to think how what my children learned at school influenced their daily choices and interests. Once in-person schools were available, I thought it was important for my children and their classmates to start a school/community garden. School gardens teach students about growing food, exposed them to different food options, keep students active, and connect students to nature. I started a school garden at my youngest son’s daycare center. The garden was so popular that the daycare added another garden bed. I found it important for the daycare to grow foods from different cultures found throughout the school. There is a connection between food culture and community gardens. Currently I am assisting early childcare centers establishing and maintaining school gardens. Each school garden is different and is a true representation of their community. My current research is working with early childcare center volunteers on establishing a training that will assist in starting and maintaining their gardens.


Cassandra Whitmore, RD, LMNT

Nutrition and Mental Health in Adult Populations


Cassandra “Cassie” Whitmore, RD, LMNT has been a dietitian for more than 10 years. She received her bachelor’s degrees in Public Health Nutrition and Dietetics from Kansas State University. After starting her career working in acute care and inpatient eating disorders in Kansas City, she moved on to management in a critical access hospital. Most of her career has been spent working in Long Term Care at various facilities throughout the state of Nebraska with notable experience in Hospice and Mental Healthcare. She also spent time as an Employee Wellness Dietitian. She is currently self-employed as a Consultant Dietitian and speaker. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, son, and dog.


Erin McKinley, PhD, RD, LDN, CLC, CHES, FAND

Change Talk: How RDs Already Possess Key Skills to Successfully Negotiate Salary and Advocate for the Profession

Dr. McKinley is the current Director of Dietetics & Graduate Studies in Nutrition & Food Science and an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University. She has been an RD since 2013 and is also a Certified Lactation Counselor and Certified Health Education Specialist. She received her Master of Science in Food and Nutrition and her PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion from the University of Alabama. She is a career-changing RD with a previous career in casino gaming and hospitality.
She is the current Secretary of the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, current President of BRAND, current Treasurer for the Public Health Community Nutrition DPG, Mentoring Chair of the Research DPG and the APHA Food and Nutrition Section among several other roles on campus and in the community. She was awarded the 2020 Emerging Leader in Dietetics and the 2021 Louisiana Outstanding Dietitian of the Year honors. Lastly, she was granted Fellow status with The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2022.

Rachel Hanes, MS, RDN, LDN

How to Practice Intuitive Eating and Weight Inclusivity In a Diet and Body Obsessed Culture

My goal is to help others find freedom not only in their relationship with food, but freedom through knowing their true identity.I began my career working as the registered dietitian and nutrition manager for a christian residential program, Mercy Multiplied, specializing in eating disorder recovery. Through this opportunity I grew to love teaching on how mental health and our relationship with food coincide. In 2017 I started my private practice, Freedom Found Nutrition, where I provide nutrition counseling and help my clients find freedom from eating disorders, poor body image, and various health challenges. I now partner with other mental health specialists at Clint Davis Counseling and provide an integrative wellness approach. I’ve also continued to work for Mercy Multiplied as the director of the nutrition department over the 4 homes in the U.S.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree and Masters Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Louisiana Tech University. I completed my dietetic internship at Louisiana Tech and later returned to teach nutrition courses and support the Nutrition and Dietetics Program through various speaking opportunities and serving on the Human Ecology Advisory Council. I take every opportunity to share my knowledge on intuitive eating, weight inclusivity and eating disorder prevention.
I am the author of “Taste Freedom”, a six-week study focused on helping you get to the root of toxic thinking, specifically poor body image and unhealthy preoccupation with food, and discover tools and biblical truth to help you find freedom that has always been there for you. I host Taste Freedom Workshops to enhance the experience and provide an environment for others to discover this freedom surrounded by community. I currently live in Ruston, Louisiana with my husband and 3 kids. I love coffee, reading, shopping, and being with my family.