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A Message from the GMDI President

May 2020


Hello and welcome, I want to thank all of you for joining or renewing your membership for the 2020-21 year.  These last few months have truly been a very challenging time for all of us personally and professionally.  As we all navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am hoping that all of you, your families and patients remain healthy and safe.

The pandemic has brought many changes in life, including the need to cancel the meeting in Austin. Our conference planning committee is led by Amie Thompson, Krista Viau and Jennifer Branov.  I can’t thank these ladies and their committee enough for their hard work and the amazing program that they put together for 2020, which is being rescheduled for April 2021.  Please see the website for conference updates, as several talks will be available as Webinars.

Over the last membership year, GMDI has been supported by 20 board members and 52 committee members! In addition, we have two consultants-Eileen Blakely who helps keep MetabolicPro current and Lynn Bjostad who has helped coordinate all of the conference logistics.  I am so thankful and honored to work with amazing women who donate so much of their time to bring their ideas to reality in improving our organization.  Please see the committee reports in this newsletter so that you can be up-to-date on what the Chairs and Co-Chairs have been accomplishing. 

In addition to our conference chairs, I also want to recognize this past year’s chairs-Melanie Gillingham as Past-President and Co-Chair of Membership, Sommer Gaughn as Secretary, Christie Hussa and Jessica Burfield as Co-Treasurers, Suzanne Hollander and Sarah Rose as Editorial Co-Chairs, Emily Barr and Chanel Suares as Education Co-Chairs, Casey Burns as Communications and Advocacy Co-Chair, Grace Noh and Jessica Kopesky Technology Chairs, Erin MacLeod and Ulrike Reichart as Research Chairs, Kim Page as Membership Co-Chair, Barb Marriage as International Membership Chair, Fran Rohr our Nutrition Guideline PI along with Kristen Narlow Nutrition Guideline Project Manager.

I would also like to welcome some new board members, Beth Ogata is beginning her tenure as President-Elect, Suzanne Hollander will be moving to the Conference Planning Committee as Co-Chair, Sandy VanCalcar is stepping into the role of Membership Co-Chair, Joyanna Hansen is the new Research Co-Chair and Rachel Powers and Eileen Maloney are the new Communications and Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs. I also want to thank Erin MacLeod-Research, Casey Burns-Communications and Kim Page-Membership who are stepping down from their position of Chairs, but who will remain as committee members. Thank you all for everything that you have done this past year!

Finally, the entire GMDI board would like to thank our Executive Director, Nancy Callanan, who is the glue to this organization and instrumental in conference planning. She is supportive, kind, encouraging and works hard to make our jobs easier.  We cannot thank you enough, Nancy!

This Fall, look for the membership survey as an opportunity to provide feedback and help set the direction of GMDI over the next couple of years. In closing, please reach out to myself or any of the board members, send us suggestions or consider joining our efforts and become a committee member!

Stay well,

Mary Sowa
GMDI President 



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Hillsborough, NC 27278



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