Board of Directors

2020-2021 SC Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Board of Directors 

*President, Sara Hendrix, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC is a registered dietitian with the Cystic Fibrosis Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She provides care for adults and pediatric patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Additionally, Sara is a commercial speaker for Alcresta, the makers of Relizorb, a newly approved enzyme cartridge, available to her patients to help them improve absorption of their tube feedings in an effort to optimize their nutrition status. Sara graduated from the University of Arizona with her Bachelor’s in Dietetics and completed her Master’s in Nutrition and dietetic internship at the University of Georgia. She has worked in CF for 5 years and as a dietitian for over 12 years. 

Sara finds great value as an active board member in her local dietetic association. She has served multiple positions at both the district and state level. She was recognized as Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the SCAND in 2017. Sara is also active with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Last year she was selected as one of Charleston’s Finest by the South Carolina CFF and raised over $8,000 for the organization. She now serves as a Charleston’s Finest committee member and mentor. 

*President-Elect, Katie Lybrand enjoys giving back to the dietetics profession by volunteering with SCAND and the Piedmont Dietetic Association for the past 5 years. She works as a Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Easley Hospital in Easley, SC. She recently completed her Board Certification as a Specialist in Oncology Nutrition in September 2018 and enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with this population. She also works with a wider group of patient types in the clinical setting which helps her to continue learning about nutrition with various disease types. 


*Secretary / Treasurer, Melissa Macher is a Registered Dietitian and owner of the private practice Grateful Meal Nutrition, where she provides nutrition coaching, counseling, and meal planning services. She holds a Food Science degree from Clemson University and completed her dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she spent most of her career working as an outpatient dietitian and eventually the Outpatient Clinical Nutrition Manager. She received the Emerging Dietetic Leader Award from both SCAND and the Charleston-Trident Dietetic Association (CTDA) in 2019. She also served as CTDA President in 2016-2017 and SCAND Marketing Chair in 2017-2018. In her free time, you can catch her exploring (and eating) her way through Charleston with her husband and dog in tow. 


*Delegate, Charlotte Caperton-Kilburn






Immediate Past President, Molly Jones Mills, RDN, LD is the bariatric surgery and telehealth dietitian at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She has been actively involved with the Charleston Trident District Association as Policy Liaison (2014-15), Education Chair (2015-16), President Elect (2016-17) and President (2017-18).  CTDA honored her with the "Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year" award in 2015 and "Outstanding Dietitian of the Year" award in 2018.  She has served on the SCAND board for 4 years.  



*Catawba District President, Stephanie Nielson

*President - Charleston/Trident Dietetic Association, Erin Seprish is an experienced food service manager and dietitian who has dedicated her career to the nutrition, education, and well-being of patients, students, and the community.  She earned her B.S. in Human Nutrition at Winthrop University following her M.B.A. at Charleston Southern University.  Erin completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC.  She currently works as an Operations Manager in Nutrition Services for MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion ensuring quality nutrition and safety of patient and customer meals.  Erin is also recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in Patient Services Management for Sodexo.  Erin serves as a Nutrition Consultant for private practice and projects including her recent project with the School Nutrition Association Magazine.  She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and President-Elect of the Charleston Trident Dietetic Association. 


*Columbia-Midlands District President/Marketing/Social Media Co-Chair, Jessica Morrison is a registered dietitian with the SNAP-Education program at the Dept. of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC). She received her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics from Kansas State University and completed her Dietetic Internship with Priority Nutrition Care. Jessica has been a SNAP-Ed dietitian for a year and half. During this time she has taught over 100 nutrition classes and has been a preceptor for 4 interns. She is also active in her field, currently serving on the public relations and marketing board with the local and state dietetic associations, respectively. Jessica also has an interest in and actively advocates for health and nutrition policy. 


*President - Pediment Dietetic Association,  Destin Faria is a clinical dietitian at Pelham Medical Center located in Greer, SC. With a background in private practice, she has brought her counseling skills to the inpatient setting to help motivate patients with chronic illnesses integrate dietary changes into their daily lives. When Destin is not counseling, she is using her graphic design skills to create fun, creative nutrition education materials for patients and staff. It is her dream to one day start an online business that markets these materials to nutrition professionals.

Destin has been an active member of the Piedmont Dietetic Association since completing her dietetic internship, and in 2018 was honored with the “Outstanding Dietetic Student” award. Since then, she has excitedly participated as a member of the Board, serving as the Legislative Chair before committing to her three-year presidency term. She is passionate about growing as a leader in the dietetic community and finding integrative ways to bring community leaders together. When Destin is not serving her organization or community, she is spoiling her Australian Shepherd, Sadie, or being active with her husband.

*Pee Dee District President, TBD


Membership Chair/New Member Liaison, Rachel Hoffman began her career as a registered dietitian in 2013. Originally from Brentwood, Tennessee, she received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Georgia. Rachel currently resides in Greenville and is the Registered Dietitian at RoseCrest Retirement Community.  She loves working with her residents and is also a Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition. When not at work, Rachel enjoys volunteering with the Junior League of Greenville, fostering service dogs, hiking, and of course cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs!



Nominating Chair, Mickela Mitchell a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, is a senior manager of youth wellness for The Dairy Alliance. In this role, she leads a team working side-by-side with school personnel to improve school wellness environments in the Carolinas and Virginia. Additionally, she manages the organizations' partnership with the Carolina Panthers.

In her 19 years as an RD, Mickela has served as a nutrition educator and child nutrition program director, a nutrition consultant and a fitness professional with a keen interest in sports nutrition for children. Mickela is a mom to two student-athletes who run cross country and wrestle.


Nominating Chair-Elect, Patricia Francis


Public Policy Coordinator, Stephanie Simms Hodges, MS, MPH, RDN, is the founder and owner of The Nourished Principles, a public health and nutrition consulting business. Prior to founding her business, Stephanie provided technical assistance to school divisions to adhere to nutrition regulations, wrote and implemented grants for non-profit organizations, and assessed and developed programs and policies to support nutrition, health, and wellness. Stephanie earned a Master of Science in Food Policy & Applied Nutrition and a Master of Public Health from Tufts University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise from Virginia Tech and she completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. 


State Regulatory Specialist, Rebecca Fuller, RD, LD, CNSC earned a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Dayton and completed her dietetic internship at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.  In her career she has worked in many different roles as a clinical dietitian. Her passion has always been in nutrition support and working with critically ill patients which is what she currently does in her role at the Medical University of South Carolina with the Surgical and Trauma ICU team. In addition, she is part of the Nutrition Support Tube Team, a team of specially trained dietitians that place temporary enteral nutrition access for hospitalized patients. Her passion is further demonstrated in her recent achievement as the first person to complete the Advanced Practice Residency in Adult Nutrition Support with the Dietitians in Nutrition Support chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic. She has served in various roles on both the Charleston Trident Dietetic Association and the SCAND board over the last several years. In her current position she serves as the State Regulatory Specialist. At home she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and dog. 

State Policy Representative, Jessica Reath, RD, LDN, CNSC , graduated from Clemson University in 2012 and completed Dietetic Internship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL in 2013. In the summer of 2013, I started at PRISMA Health Richland campus and in 2015 began working for the PRISMA Health Trauma Team and PH-USC Medical Group Surgical Specialists as the critical care/surgical nutrition support dietitian. I currently serve on the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board as the State Policy Representative and the current President of the Columbia Midlands District. I also serve on the Clinical Practice Committee for the American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition, and have a teaching appointment for the surgery department and University of South Carolina Medical School. This past year I was recognized as the SCAND Young Dietitian of the Year, and have loved getting to serve on the board with some incredible nutrition practitioners! When I am not working, my husband and I are busy with a very active puppy, and love to travel! 


Public Policy Partners, Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, is a Columbia, SC-based nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor and nationally-recognized food and nutrition expert. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Human Nutrition and a Bachelors of Art in Psychology from Clemson University. After completing her dietetics internship at Emory University, she worked as a clinical dietitian and, later, as the outpatient dietitian for a large medical center where she provided individual nutrition counseling and led multidisciplinary disease management programs. In 2014, Rachael opened her private practice, where she specializes in intuitive eating, disordered eating and eating disorders, women's health, and digestive disorders. She also runs the popular food and wellness blog The Joy of Eating. She is active in her field, currently serving as the public policy coordinator of her state dietetic association, and previously served as the president of her local dietetics association and newsletter editor for the Nutrition Entrepreneurs dietetic practice group. In 2018, she was named one of Self Magazine’s trustworthy dietitians for nutrition advice. Rachael has trained under dietitians Evelyn Tribole (co-author of Intuitive Eating), Marci Evans and Anna Sweeney. 


Reimbursement Representative, Jeremy Ponds, MS, RD, LD is the owner of Path of Life Nutrition, a nutrition practice that provides functional nutrition counseling, diabetes education and health coaching for individuals of all ages. Jeremy is a licensed dietitian nutritionist with extensive undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate training in clinical, integrative, and functional nutrition. He uses a holistic approach to coach clients and families towards better health through nutrition and lifestyle interventions.  Jeremy brings his own experience of personal health struggles with chronic fatigue, “mystery illness” and digestive disorders to every client he serves, offering a unique perspective of savvy, compassion and empathy for clients struggling to find answers and recover good health.

Beyond the walls of his office, Jeremy serves as the Reimbursement Representative for the S.C. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, advocating for improved nutrition coverage and reimbursement for the many talented dietitians in South Carolina. He additionally serves on the committee with SCALE DOWN SC to address state-wide obesity interventions. In his community, Jeremy co-leads youth group at his local church and above all has a passion for seeing people find true life and freedom through faith in Jesus Christ. He is happily married to his best friend and the proud father of four lively girls and a new baby boy! When not studying nutrition or advocating for better health in SC, you’ll find Jeremy serving as a human jungle gym, enjoying the great outdoors, swinging a hammer, tending his garden, training in karate, deep in conversation, or sipping coffee over a good book.

Reimbursement Co-Representative, Michelle Spearman is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who completed her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle is passionate about empowering and educating others in their individualized health journeys. Michelle runs a virtual private practice out of Clemson, South Carolina. She is passionate about nutrition policy and being an advocate for access to nutrition for South Carolina residents through insurance coverage.



Consumer Protection Coordinator, Bob Duffell-Hoffman






Newsletter Editor, Kate Bennett earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University. She went on to complete her dietetic internship through Winthrop University. She currently works full time as a clinical dietitian in both an inpatient hospital system and in outpatient settings. She serves on the board for both local and state dietetic associations. Every summer she serves as camp dietitian for a large summer camp for children and teens with Type 1 Diabetes.



 Chair, Lindsay Shazly, MS, RDN, LD, CLC, is an Outreach Dietitian with the University of South Carolina. With a background in media, Lindsay has held roles in corporate, retail, government, academic and healthcare settings. Lindsay is currently employed with Student Health Services at the University of South Carolina and is excited to get back to her passion of promoting public health through strategic communications. As Outreach Dietitian at USC, Lindsay teaches cooking classes for students, faculty and staff; presents on nutrition topics throughout campus, and coordinates and attends outreach events to raise awareness of the importance of health and nutrition. Lindsay has served as SCAND President (2017-2018), Sponsorship Chair (2018-2020), Annual Meeting Co-Chair (2015-2016), and CMDA Public Relations Chair (2011-2013). 


Abstracts Chair, Ellen Wingard has served as the SCAND Abstract Chair since 2018. She has previously served as the SCAND Nominating Chair and Treasurer, and has been active in CMDA since 2008. She currently works at the University of South Carolina's Prevention Research Center. She holds a undergraduate degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University, as well as a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. 


Annual Meeting Chair, Sandra Spann, MS, RDN, LD is the SNAP Education Manager at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University and completed her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. She earned a Master of Science Degree in Institutional Management from Kansas State University. Sandy has served as SCAND President, Past President and Nominating Chair. She was awarded SCAND Outstanding Dietitian of the Year and Meritorious Service Award. She has served as a CDR, RD Exam Item writer and on the AND Nutrition Care Process Committee. In her spare time she enjoys painting, traveling and spending time with her dog and two daughters.


Annual Meeting Chair-Elect, Jalak Patel 

Past Annual Meeting Chair, Wanda M. Koszewski, PhD, RD, FAND, is an Associate Professor and Department Chair for Human Nutrition at Winthrop University.  She completed the Coordinate Program in Dietetics at Utah State University in Logan, Utah and her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Her PhD is from KansasStateUniversity with an emphasis in nutrition education. 

Her research focus is in the area of nutrition education and food insecurity.  While at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln she directed two large nutrition education programs for the state of Nebraska; EFNEP and SNAP-Ed.  The Nebraska SNAP-Ed program was recognized nationally for its excellence in partnerships, program delivery, and evaluation.  She hopes to continue her research efforts at Winthrop in the area of nutrition education.

Academy Foundation Liaison, Lauren Manaker


Marketing/Social Media Co-Chair, Erin Castle is originally from New York State and moved to Charleston 5 years ago to complete her dietetic internship.  She received her Bachelor of Science concentration in dietetics from Syracuse University and completed her dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Erin currently works at Roper Hospital with the Bariatric Surgery and Metabolic Services Department. Erin meets with patients pre-operatively, during their hospital stay and post-operatively, either individually or in a class setting, to provide nutrition education and counseling through medical nutrition therapy. In her free time Erin enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants and serving on the local and state dietetic association board. Erin has served as the secretary, president elect, president and currently as the past president for the Charleston Trident Dietetic Association. Erin also currently serves as the Marketing Co-chair for the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Erin has precepted and served as a mentor for current MUSC interns since her graduation from the internship. 


 Special Programs Co-Coordinator Amanda Davis, MPH, RD, CHES is a Senior Evidence-Based Practice Analyst in the Value Institute at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).  In her role, she supports an organization culture of evidence-based practice (EBP) through clinical staff education and development of clinical decision support tools. Amanda enjoys combining her clinical background as a dietitian and public health professional with her previous health behavior research experience to improve the translation of research into practice at MUSC. She mentors dietitians and dietetic interns at MUSC in EBP and research methods, with a focus on quality improvement and patient outcomes. She also has a passion for improving the shared decision-making process for patients, and is interested in pursuing new avenues to make health research approachable for the general public.


Special Programs Co-Coordinator, Melissa Gress is a VP of Member Success with Compass Group North America, leads member-facing initiatives within the varying business lines of Foodbuy. Melissa focusing on collaboration with the various teams within Foodbuy to lead changes within the organization to impact the member base. Retention and strategic initiatives for members are her primary function. Prior to coming to Foodbuy, Melissa worked with Compass Group, Eurest National Accounts where she led business processes initiatives, change management projects, multiple large scale transitions, and quality improvement initiatives. She managed the relationships between the client and the Compass Business to ensure financial, quality and customer results were achieved. Prior to Eurest National Accounts, Melissa worked in the Corporate Sector with Strategic Projects focusing on large-scale business needs projects. Spanning across all sector’s, Melissa was able to lead client-focused initiatives, retention, new business and overarching quality improvement.


She began her career as a Clinical Nutrition Manager for Morrison Healthcare Foodservice in Hilton Head, SC and has held various positions from managing single accounts to a region focusing Client Retention, Health and Wellness, Customer Satisfaction, Financial Performance and Requirements, Regulatory Compliance, Purchasing Requirements, Production Systems as well as Retail and Marketing Programs.


Melissa is originally from a small farming community in Ohio, but has resided in Fort Mill, South Carolina for the past 10 years. Melissa enjoys spending time with her amazing 10 year old son, Gavin and husband of 16 years, Terry. She is active in her local Project Management Institute and Dietetics Association.  She also serves as an ambassador at her Community Fitness Center with a mission of showing that everyone deals with their daily stressors in different ways, but Melissa, keeps her life balanced by choosing a healthy, fit and active lifestyle. Her best feeling is knowing that she is always moving in the right direction, knowing the choices she makes will earn me more time with her family and friends, and knowing that what once may have been an improbability is a possibility.


Continuing Education Chair, Jessie Hoffman, PhD, RD is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Winthrop University.  She holds a Masters in Nutrition from UNC-Greensboro and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Kentucky.  After completing her PhD she completed her dietetic internship through Iowa State University. Her dietetic and research expertise are in gastrointestinal conditions and the gut microbiome.   

Currently, her research focuses on the impact of psychological stress and dietary factors (i.e. dietary fiber) on gastrointestinal health and the gut microbiome.  Additionally, Jessie is passionate about scientific and nutritional science communication, and does so regularly through social media.  From breaking down nutrition science to busting myths that are so prevalent in today's society, she strives to empower individuals to become responsible consumers of social media content and experts on their own bodies.


Diet Manual Editor, Emily Barrett, RD, LDN is the dietitian for over 500 residents at Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community in Charleston, SC for over the last 15 years.  She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has practiced as a clinical dietitian, Clinical Nutrition Manager, and as Culinary Director at a hospital.  Her background also includes over a decade working in home infusion and past President for MASPEN.  In addition to being a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 25 years, she is currently serving on the Advisory Board for the Culinary Institute of Charleston.  Is this role she has been involved with the curriculum development for the Certified Dietary Managers program.  Emily most recently finished her appointment to the Leading Age of South Carolina Leadership Academy where she will use these skills to continue to ensure that the high quality of the QAPI program at Bishop Gadsden as the program leader.

Diversity Liaison, Suzanne Baxter is an (unpaid) Affiliate Research Professor at the University of South Carolina, College of Social Work.  As Principal Investigator on research grants funded mainly by the National Institutes of Health, her primary research has concerned the accuracy of dietary recalls provided by children.  She has authored 90 peer-reviewed articles, 5 chapters, 179 poster or podium presentations, and 84 invited presentations.  She resigned her Research Professor position late in 2016 due to a disability acquired in 2010.  As an Academy member, her service includes or has included the South Carolina affiliate (as President-Elect, President, Past-President, Foundation Liaison, and current Diversity Liaison), Research DPG (as Treasurer, Diversity Liaison, and current Mentor), Academy (current Board of Editors for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and 2017–2019 Diversity Leaders Program), and Foundation (current Philanthropy Council, Scholarship Committee and Chair, and Task Force Chair to create the Amy Joye Memorial Research Award).  Dr. Baxter's honors include the 2012 South Carolina Outstanding Dietitian of the Year, 2016 Research DPG First Author Publication Award, and 2017 Monsen Award for Outstanding Research Literature.  She completed the Coordinated Undergraduate Program at Texas Christian University.  She has worked with children with cerebral palsy, with adults as an outpatient dietitian, for school foodservice, and for the WIC program.  She earned her MS and PhD degrees at Texas Woman's University in Denton.  She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Nutrition at the Medical College of Georgia where she then worked for 10 years before moving to the University of South Carolina where she worked for 13 years.  She lives in Lexington, SC with her husband and two Siberian cats.  


 (*) voting members are marked with an asterisk