Nutrition Entrepreneurs History

Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE) is dedicated to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. We are guided by our vision, mission and values to create a community that empowers and supports the success of our members. NE is a Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Vision: Empowering Nutrition Visionaries

Mission: Inspiring and cultivating entrepreneurs through a community dedicated to supporting infinite success

Values: Empowered, Visionary, Inquisitive, Innovative

In the Beginning

The first known dietitian private practices date from the late 1940s. During a session at the 1956 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting in Portland, the general membership had a chance to hear, for the very first time about new fields developing in the dietetic profession. This session included several dietitians in unusual jobs. Betty Hoover, the first hospital shared dietitian (who also worked in nursing homes), and Norma MacRae spoke on the concept of Private Practice. Held in a room which seated 150, the program planners were amazed that standees had to be turned away because the room was full. This was the first indication to the Academy of the tremendous interest in such new areas. An article was published in the 1967 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics because there were so many requests for copies of the presentation. It also became a frequent reference for classes on consulting practice.

Seeds are Planted

The title "Consulting Nutritionist" was chosen to avoid confusion because assumptions were frequently made that "Consulting Dietitian” meant government agencies or nursing home dietitians. In 1974 Carol Hunerlach who had seen the journal article and started a practice keeping Academy aware was asked to develop a session on consulting — formerly seen as “too progressive” had lacked Academy support — for the annual meeting. She felt that dietitians in private practice should band together for mutual support and encouragement. She contacted MacRae and Deborah Farant of Connecticut to participate while helping initiate a group. They scheduled an organizational meeting to follow the special interest session.

The Birth of a Group

There were over 800 attendees at that first formal Academy annual meeting session on private practice held in 1975. At the organizational meeting that followed, several hundred dietitians became acquainted and began a “specialty” group. Money was collected for an informational newsletter, Carol Hunerlach served as temporary chair and 168 paid members led to the origin of "Private Practice: Diet Counseling." In 1975, after discussion with psychologists and marketing experts, the name became “Consulting Nutritionist.”

The official date of organization was January 1, 1976. Bylaws were written and by August of that year there were nearly 400 members who paid $10 annual dues and received a quarterly ten-page newsletter. In 1977 with the Council on Practice established, the Academy was petitioned for recognition as a practice group with the statement of purpose: "The Consulting Nutritionist Practice Group was formed for the benefit of its members through exchange of ideas and sharing of information. It is the function of this practice group to serve as a liaison between those persons interested in or presently working in private practice to promote mutual cooperation among its members and to be a body to coordinate any projects which are deemed desirable." CN was to become the Consulting Nutritionist Practice Group under the umbrella group Consulting Dietitians along with nursing home dietitians.

Growth Continues

By 1979 CN membership was over 600. In 1980 Carol Hunerlach, RD chose to retire after working hard to successfully publicize CN in the popular and professional press the value of a consulting nutritionist. She was credited with contributing the interest and devoted labor that brought CN to existence. Membership continued to grow during the 1980s — over 1,000 in 1982, more than 1,500 in 1983, nearly 2,000 in 1984 to reached 2,300 in 1986.

During 1995 the membership voted to implement a new name, becoming “Nutrition Entrepreneurs” (NE).

The early goals — promotion of educational and resource materials, increasing visibility, and continuing education for members — continued with the spirit of a dedicated group that tackled issues such as Third Party Reimbursement by insurance companies, public relations & marketing, and expanded Executive Committee positions. Members continue to assist with teaching materials, marketing techniques, webinars, and workshops to improve business and professional skills for a diverse group of dynamic progressive individuals from all geographic areas with a variety of interests and a wide range of entrepreneurial endeavors.

Past Chairs

2016-2017: Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN

2015-2016: Penny L. Wilson, PhD, RDN

2014-2015: Chere Bork, MS, RDN, LN

2013-2014: Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

2012-2013: Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RD, LDN

2011-2012: Shelley Rael, MS, RD, LD

2010-2011: Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT

2009-2010: Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN

2008-2009: Robin Plotkin, RD, LD

2007-2008: Jean Caton, MS, MBA, RD

2006-2007: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LD

2005-2006: Nancy Collins, PhD, RD, LD/N

2004-2005: Kathryn Fink, RD, LD

2003-2004: Maye Musk, MS, MS, RD, CDN

2002-2003: Maryann Meade, MS, RD, CDN

2001-2002: Ann Silver, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

2000-2001: Donna Israel, PhD, RD, LD, LPC, FADA

1999-2000: Christine Palumbo, PhD, RD, LD, LPC

1998-1999: Toni Bloom, MS, RD, CDE

1997-1998: Ann Selkowitz Litt, MS, RD, LD

1996-1997: Linda Scovern, RD, LD

1995-1996: Lisa Stollman, MA, RD, CDE

1993-1994: Susan Moores, MS, RD

1992-1993: Janice Kidd, PhD, MBA, RD

1991-1992: Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, LMHC

1990-1991: Linda McDonald, RD

1989-1990: Jeanne Houston, RD

1988-1989: Denice Ferko-Adams, RD

1987-1988: Aviva Croll, RD

1986-1987: Luanne Anderson, RD

1985-1986: Rebecca McCully, RD

1984-1985: Glee Kincannon, RD

1983-1984: Cecelia Davis, RD

1982-1983: Marcia Ann Mills, RD

1981-1982: Sue McFarlane, RD

1980-1981: Carolyn Donahoe, RD

1979-1980: Philomena Koulbanis, RD

1978-1979: Norma MacRae, RD

1975-1977: Carol Hunerlach, RD