I must say that Chicago is a very cold but exciting town. As Diversity Leader of the American Dietetic Association, I had the privilege of going to the Diversity Committee Annual Meeting and having the chance to tour the exciting ADA Headquarters. Begin a Dietitian for so many years this was a great opportunity to finally see how the dietetics #1 organization works! We had the chance to meet with Demteris Brown from Human Resources who explained about the opportunities that are available through ADA and the how ADA is embracing cultural diversity. Then Mary Ann Taccona from the Education Program discuss about the mentoring opportunities and the new diversity course that will be presented soon. Beth Labrador from the ADA Foundation explained about the Public Education Programs such as Kids Eat Right Fuel Up to Play 60, assortment of Scholarships and Research Grants. Doris Costa who is Director of Communication of ADA shows us about the global outreach of social media that ADA has and the duties of the ADA Spokesperson. She also discuss the about the wonderful magazine ADA Times, the online ADA Weekly and the most incredible resource which is the ADA Evidence Base Library (The RD’s lifeline of scientific based information). Then Diane Moore of Professional Development discuss about the Leadership Institute which is on its 8th year and Cultural Competence teleseminar which is going to be in June 23rd, 2011. The Membership Development discussion was with Michelle Jorgenson, Director and Dan Beavers, Membership Representative during our wonderful lunch meal. They were able to break down the student involvement in ADA and explained the diverse membership that is going to happen in the future of ADA. Kay Manger from CDR – Commission Dietetic Registration gave us a insight on the amount of Rd’s and DTR’s that are enrolled in CDR and the average entry level RD age is 25 and the average entry level DTR age is 42. She did discuss the about how CDR works and the 4 key domains that the RD exam is focus on. Then was Diane Juskelis from Affiliates, Dietetics Practice Groups and Member Interest Groups who discuss about what types of programs and activities that are going on in each group. The Affiliates otherwise known as district associations provides a variety of grants, leader resource tools and newsletters. They operates with the board of Directors, work in the legal and financial aspects of ADA and makes efforts of moving their leaders up the system. The Member Interest Groups (MIG’s) are offering spotlight sessions for the Food Nutrition Conference Expo and have great involvement with the Executive Committees. The Dietetic Practice groups have been in existence for 34 years.
On the last two days in Chicago at the Diversity Committee meeting was the most challenging but informative time. This was the time where we were able to brainstorm about the 2011 Food Nutrition Conference Expo in San Diego for the Cultural Diversity Symposium. There was so much interaction and ideas for the Symposium that it was so hard to choose which ones would become the 3 excellent presentations sessions. I believe that every person who comes to the 2011 Food Nutrition Conference Expo must come and stop by to the Cultural Diversity Symposium. It is important for every Rd learns about other person’s cultures and beliefs since America are so diverse in so many different ways. If you are coming you would not be let down. I have learned so much since being a Diversity Leader and it has made me really appreciate my profession and ADA.