Dear Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Members,

Allow me to introduce myself—I am Shawn Toso, a dietitian with the Phoenix VA Healthcare system. I am currently the Clinical Nutrition Section Chief at the Phoenix VA, overseeing roughly 35 Dietitians across acute, primary, and specialty care. It is with great enthusiasm that I take on the role of President, and I am eager to collaborate with each of you to drive positive change within our profession.

First and foremost, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the outgoing board members for their dedication and service this last year. Moving on this year are:

  • Kathy Dixon transitioned out of her Past President role after three wonderful years of service. 
  • Zach Cordell, who did a wonderful job keeping the financials on track as Treasurer. 
  • Deborah Ojum, who shared her amazing creativity as one of our student representatives. 
  • Anna de Jesus who served as our Alliance Chair, despite some setbacks with the position.
  • Ryhan Geiger, who served as our Professional Education Coordinator, led the charge of creating a host of wonderful professional webinar for our members.

Their tireless efforts have paved the way for our continued success, and their contributions will be remembered with appreciation. 

For this near year, please join me in extending a hearty welcome to our new board members who have stepped up to lead and inspire us in the coming year. They include:

  • President Elect – Diana Kinsfather
  • Past President – Simin Levinson
  • Secretary – Nancy Romanick
  • Treasurer – Lindsay Grant
  • Delegate – Mary Verona
  • Nominating Committee Chair – Chrissy Barth
  • Nominating Committee Member – Sandy Mayol-Kreiser
  • Communications Committee Chair – Melinda Johnson
  • Conference Planning Chair – Vanessa Fisch
  • Conference Co-Chair – Lisa Clarke

We have a few more that will join the board as well once everything settles out—more to come on that in the future. Together, all the board members will embark on a journey fueled by passion, innovation, and a shared commitment to advancing the field of nutrition and dietetics across our great state.

As we set our sights on the horizon, let us embrace the opportunity to chart a course toward excellence. In the coming months, our focus will be on numerous initiatives that allow us to serve you, the membership, better. By working together with determination and vision, I am confident that we will achieve remarkable outcomes that will directly benefit our members.

To fulfill our mission effectively, we recognize the invaluable contribution of volunteers. We still have a few positions that would help us in our journey this year. I encourage those of you who are passionate about making a difference to consider taking on a volunteer position within our organization. Whether you have a knack for event planning, a talent for communication, or a passion for advocacy, there are numerous opportunities to get involved and make a meaningful impact. If you are interested, please feel free to reach out directly to me at AZANDPresident@gmail.com.

As we embark on this new chapter together, I am filled with optimism for the possibilities that lie ahead. The Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is poised for a year of growth, collaboration, and success, and I am excited to be part of this journey with each of you. Together, let us seize the opportunities that await us and work tirelessly to fulfill our shared vision.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Dietitian New Year!

Warm regards,

Shawn Toso
President, Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics