NYSAND’s members are served by an enthusiastic Board of Directors and Coordinating Cabinet. Here’s a brief introduction to these volunteers. We look forward to seeing you at meetings and programs this year and to receiving your feedback and opinions about how NYSAND can serve YOU, the NYS Dietitian or Diet Tech, Registered, and advance our profession in the eyes of our communities. To get in touch with a BOD or CC member, please contact the NYSAND Central Office at NYSAND@CAPHILL.COM. Thank you!
Board of Directors (BOD)
Michelle Barber, MA, RDN, CDN
Michelle Barber has been a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for almost 15 years in Syracuse, NY. She is currently at the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council as a Health and Wellness Specialist where she has a strong focus on Nutrition and Health communications.
Michelle completed her undergraduate education at Rochester Institute of Technology and received her Master’s in Nutrition from Syracuse University. She is a member of the Central NY Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has served many positions on the boards of NYSAND and CNYAND, including the most recent CNY Media representative. Michelle received the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award in 2010. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors hiking or skiing with her family.
Immediate Past President
Rebecca Robins, MSL, RD, CSO, CDN, FAND
Rebecca Robins is an oncology dietitian in the Binghamton area where she has worked in the clinical field for over 15 years. She holds a BS in Food and Nutrition from Plattsburgh State University and a MS in Leadership from Norwich University. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She has served on the nominating committee for the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice group and has been active with her local district, STAND, serving in the roles of President and Treasurer.
Mariana Serback, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian in the Albany area. She acquired all of her continuing education at Syracuse University. Mariana works at a psychiatric hospital and in private practice @Eat.Guilt.Free. She is a member of HVAND and is the 2022-2023 NYSAND president-elect. In her free time, you can find Mariana on long walks, snuggling her two cats, or at the farmer’s market.
Reyna Franco, MS, MBA, RDN, CSSD, CLT, FAND, DipACLM, CPT
Reyna Franco is a New York City based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a MS in nutrition and exercise physiology from Columbia University. She is a certified specialist in sports dietetics, a certified personal trainer, and a Diplomate of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine where she is the Chairperson of the RDN Member Interest Group.
Reyna has a private practice where she has been providing MNT in the areas of weight management, sports nutrition, diabetes, cardiac disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, food allergies, eating disorders, and childhood nutrition for over 15 years. She is a preceptor and has taught nutrition to undergraduate and graduate students at Rutgers University, LaGuardia Community College, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has been active in AND, NYSAND, and GNYDA. She was the past-president of NYSAND, and most recently the Nominating Committee Chairperson of GNYDA. She is a contributing member of the AND Foundation Committee.
Co-Chair of Delegates – Region 3 (HVAND/MHAND/WRDA)
Angela is a Westchester based registered dietitian. She has served as a member of the House of Delegates since 2019, representing Region 3.
Angela is the Senior Manager of Nutrition at WeightWatchers and also has a small private practice, Rivertowns Nutrition. Angela began her career public relations, supporting nutrition communications and RD outreach for brands and commodity organizations. In her spare time, Angela can be found trying the newest restaurant or running around her neighborhood.
Co-Chair of Delegates – Region 2 (LIAND/GNYDA)
Rita K. Batheja, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND, AFMCP
Public Relations Coordinator
Patricia Salzer, RD
Pat has been an RD for over 34 years and received her BS degree in Dietetics from SUNY Oneonta. She completed her internship at Cleveland Metro General/Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, OH. She worked for 20 years in health care including her role as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at St Luke’s Memorial Hospital Center and Heritage Health Care, both in Utica, NY. She also served as Area Support Manager for Sodexo. For the past 17 years she has been with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as a Wellbeing Consultant. She’s been involved with MRDA from the beginning of her career and has been President more than once and a constant as Public Relations Chair. She received the Media Excellence Award for NYSAND in 2020. Pat’s a food and fitness enthusiast and also enjoys taking improv classes.
Public Policy Coordinator
Heather Falise, MS, RDN
Heather Falise is a Registered Dietitian with a master of science in human nutrition from Cornell University, where her research focused on biomarkers for micronutrient status in low-resource populations. Heather currently works as a bariatric surgery dietitian for Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. In the past, she has served as PR chair for STAND and as Student Public Policy Coordinator for NYSAND. Heather now holds the role of Public Policy Coordinator for NYSAND.
Parliamentarian, ex officio
MaryBeth O’Meara, RDN, CDN
Mary Beth O’Meara, RDN, CDN is a registered dietitian from the Syracuse area. Recently retired, she was a renal dietitian at University Dialysis in Syracuse NY for 20 years.
Before that, she worked for 20 years in long term care.
Mary Beth was a preceptor for Syracuse University students.
She has been active with CNYAND, NYSAND and AND. She was most recently a delegate for the HOD and currently will take over as Parliamentarian for NYSAND.
Sarah Sheehan is an Association Manager at Capitol Hill Management Services and has served as the Executive Director for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2022.
Coordinating Cabinet (CC)
Delegate Region 1 (GDA, WNYAND, STAND)
Delegate Region 4 (CNYAND, MRDA)
Maria Mahar, MA, RDN, CDN
2023 Annual Meeting Chair & Co-Chairs
MaryLou Plante, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND
Kathleen M. Border, EdD, RD, CDN, FAND
Karri Looby, MS, RD
Diversity & Inclusion Liaison
Brenda Abu, PhD, MPhil, RDN, CDN
DTR Representative Chair
Social Media Manager
State Policy Representative
Ann Darcy, MS, RD, CNS
Nutrition Services Payment Specialist (NSPS)
Lois Chait, MA, RDN, CDN
State Regulatory Specialist
Carole DeBonte, MBA, RD, CDN
Consumer Protection Coordinator
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN
Licensure Taskforce Chair
Karen Ostrum, MS, RD, CDN