Food & Culinary Professionals

Executive Committee Info - Part 2

Emily Parent, RDN
Supermarket/Retail Subgroup Chair

Emily Parent, MFCS, RD, LD is a Supermarket Registered Dietitian for Coborn’s Inc. With a strong passion for championing nutrition and wellness, she helps to support in-store nutrition efforts, employee wellness of Coborn’s Inc 9,000+ employees, and the e-commerce division of CobornsDelivers. Along with these responsibilities, Emily is also involved in innovations such as CobornsDelivers’ chef-inspired, dietitian-approved meal kits which won the Progressive Grocer Retail Dietitian Outstanding Innovation Award in 2017. Emily also received the honor of being named Retail Dietitian of the Year for both The Produce for Better Health Foundation and Retail Dietitian Business Alliance in 2019. 

Sheila Weiss, RDN, LD, FAND
Sponsorship Chair

With almost 20 years of nutrition policy and communications experience, Sheila’s areas of expertise include nutrition education and outreach, food policy and promotion, restaurant and foodservice industry, issues management, and partnership building.

Sheila is passionate about FCP – she is a Past Chair, founded the Restaurant and Hospitality Subgroup, and served as Chair of the Nominating Committee.    She lives in Baltimore, MD, which actually isn’t so bad.  When she isn’t working or talking to potential FCP sponsors, she revels in the company of her gelato-loving husband, cart-wheeling daughter and poorly trained, but incredibly sweet dog.

Marie A. Whelen
Food Safety Subgroup Chair

Marie Whelen, MS, RDN, LD has a passion for teaching and coaching focused on improving food safety, sanitation, and nutrition. By explaining the reasons behind regulations and recommendations, she empowers clients to produce lasting changes. Marie teaches nutrition at The Art Institute of Houston and consults on menu planning, sanitation, and health promotion. She has been a food safety specialist for more than 20 years and holds degrees from Louisiana State University and the MGH Institute of Health Professions, with an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Lanette Kovachi, MS, RDN
Restaurant/Hospitality Subgroup Chair


Lanette Kovachi, MS, RDN, is the Global Dietitian for Subway® restaurants. She oversees nutrition analysis of menu items, advises on food regulations and trends, and provides nutrition tips to a wide audience.  She has helped guide the Subway® team on important menu initiatives, including: sodium reduction, increasing whole grains and the removal of artificial trans fat. Prior to joining the Subway®, Lanette worked for several years as a clinical and out-patient dietitian.  


Martha Marino, MA, RDN, CD
Agriculture Subgroup Chair

Martha Marino, MA, RDN, CD, is the recent Director of Education for Carnation farms, in a beautiful agricultural valley near Seattle. At this non-profit, she was responsible for curricula and lesson plans for an onsite 9-month apprenticeship for new farmers, and all-summer program for teens, cooking and farm camps, adult retreats, and K-12 field trips. In all of these, she incorporated nutrition, agriculture, and cooking. She has worked as a nutrition educator for ag commissions and university extension throughout her career. She is Past President of the Seattle chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and has served in leadership positions for many food- and nutrition-related organizations. Martha grew up working on her family’s citrus orchard in California.

Bob Earl, MPH, RD
FCP Foundation Fund Chair

Robert (Bob) Earl is a life-long foodie, international food and nutrition policy expert, and yoga instructor. Currently, he is Director, Regulatory Policy & Intelligence with Kerry Taste and Nutrition. Previously, he was a global scientific and regulatory affairs executive with The Coca-Cola Company; vice president with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and International Food Information Council; study director, Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Medicine; and administrator in the Academy’s Washington, DC, office. He served as FCP chair and other roles, as Speaker of the House of Delegates, on Academy and Foundation Boards, and in numerous other leadership positions. Bob received the Academy’s Medallion Award in 2008.


Alice Lenihan, RD
2019 Educational Trip Chair

Alice Lenihan, MPH, RD, LDN is the Senior Global Clinical Advisor for the Special Olympic International Healthy Athletes, Health Promotion Program. She has been a RD for over 40 years and has worked in Public Health and Community settings in Montana and North Carolina. In 2012 she retired from over 30 years with the North Carolina Division of Public Health, where she was the Branch Head for Nutrition Services. Alice enjoys travel and has an interest in geographical/cultural food habits and global nutrition.

Shari Steinbach, MS, RDN
Nominating Chair 
Shari has over 25 years of experience as a health professional with two major supermarkets and is currently owner and president of Shari Steinbach & Associates, LLC, a nutrition and culinary communication consulting firm connecting food companies, health professionals and consumers in the retail setting. She works as a contributing editor with the Retail Dietitian Business Alliance and is a past chair of the FCP Supermarket Sub Group.  

Karen Buch, RDN, LDN
Nominating Committee

As founder and president of Nutrition Connections, LLC, Karen Buch, RDN, LDN, offers strategic planning and food & culinary nutrition communications consulting services to the food industry nationwide. A recognized food and nutrition influencer among consumers and her peers, Karen is also a sought-after speaker, writer, advisor and media personality who strives to help consumers better understand the connection between food, nutrition and health. Prior to starting her own business, Karen worked as a director, retail dietitian and nutrition spokesperson for a Pennsylvania-based Mid-Atlantic supermarket chain.  Karen is a founding member and past-chair of FCP’s Supermarket/Retail subgroup.

Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD
Nominating Committee

Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and trained chef with a master’s degree in human nutrition. She is the creator and owner of The Gourmet RD, where she is a food and nutrition consultant, cookbook author, recipe developer, food photographer, and writer. She shares simple, wholesome and delicious recipes on her blog, Julie’s greatest passion is helping others build confidence in the kitchen and inspiring them to cook for themselves, as she truly believes it's the ticket to better health and a more enjoyable life.


Jenny Passione, RDN, CC
Nominating Committee

Jenny Passione, RD, CC is the Assistant Director of Food & Nutrition and Executive Chef at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. Her love of food started at a young age cooking alongside her Grandmother. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 26, her passion for food and nutrition led her to pursue her lifelong dream of attending Johnson & Wales University and earning her degree in Culinary Nutrition with a focus on Clinical Dietetics. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership. Jenny also does freelance nutritional analysis for cookbook authors and major publications. 

Laura McNally Nelson, MPH, RDN, FADA, FAND
Awards and Honors Chair


Laura McNally Nelson, MPH, RDN, FADA, FAND has been a member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 40 years and has been active with numerous Dietetic Practice Groups including the Food and Culinary Practice Group, serving as the Membership Chair and the Public Health Nutrition Practice Group serving in several roles including Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and Awards Chair. Retired for the past 10 years, Laura retired as a CAPT in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dept. of Health and Human Services where she worked for 27 years.