A Message from our President
Greetings to our dedicated members! I am honored to serve as the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) President for the 2023-2024 year. The Board of Directors (BOD) has had a strong start to the year. We have been hard at work getting to know one another, orienting, learning new efficiencies, and planning all of the events, while setting the strategy for the years to come. We welcomed several new members to the Board that have hit the ground running for you! In addition, we welcomed a new Executive Director, Angela, who you may recognize as a past President herself.
I know we all have felt some level of frustration and struggles these past few years with COVID. Our members have been resilient caring for patients and the public all while forging forward in how we support one another in our new normal. This isn’t any different for the MAND organization. MAND is here to support our members but is not immune to the outside world. We have seen a drop in membership and our BOD wants to turn that around.
As we work with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and at the local level here in Maryland, we are committed to meeting you where you are. We are continuing to monitor and put initiatives in place to connect and invest in you. This past summer the Board was able to put a calendar in place, so you can plan to attend our events. There are several important initiatives that we are working on. Make sure you read through the e-blasts, and check out the website, and our social media accounts. Our communications team recently set up a brand new LinkedIn account. Connect with us and share!
The top three priorities that I have set for my presidency are:
- Advocate for Maryland Licensure for Dietitians
- Increase local Maryland membership
- Engage and promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives
With these priorities as a guide, we have formed an Ad hoc licensure committee, held meetings with key stakeholders, planned advocacy, started a membership campaign, and planned student engagement, networking, and DEI promotion. Of course, we want to involve you. How can you participate in MAND? Promote and attend events, share action alerts, role model, mentor and listen, learn and educate around licensure.
First, for those attending the Food Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), I hope you will join the FREE Maryland Networking Reception. Register here if you haven’t done so already.
Secondly, Advocacy Day has been planned for Wednesday, February 7, 2024, in Annapolis. Did you know that our Licensure is due to sunset for the state of Maryland? Be on the lookout for activities around advocacy to learn about how this impacts you. Registration will open soon.
Third, the Annual Meeting is planned for Friday, April 19, 2024. A save the date has gone out and registration, a call for speakers and sponsors for this popular event will open soon.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Liveleen Gill, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND as our President-Elect for AND. She is a past President of MAND and is an incredible advocate for our state and the profession. We are fortunate to have her as our liaison to AND, which is a new initiative starting this fall.
I am proud to serve with this BOD and I look forward to connecting with you at events this year. We are always open to feedback, input, and suggestions. Engaging our membership is part of what makes us great. Please reach out and connect if you have any questions or feedback firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer B. Christman, MHA, RDN, LDN, CPT