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The Consumer Connection Conference guests offer direct line to influencing consumer behavior

ffp dietitians
Retail dietitians at the 2023 Consumer Connection Conference social event

April 10, 2024 Washington, D.C. – The Foundation for Fresh Produce BB #:157162 has announced the special guest list for their upcoming Consumer Connection Conference later this month in Phoenix, Arizona.

The list is comprised of retail dietitians, foodservice tastemakers, and nutrition, lifestyle and agriculture communicators that hit the three major points of influence: point-of-sale, point-of-flavor, and point-of-inspiration.

Their attendance at the conference will prove to help the industry advocate, collaborate and learn from the very individuals who can drive purchases for large volume buyers at retail, foodservice and more.

“Ultimately, we’re all working to get consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables,” says Yvette Waters, MS, RDN, CISSN, RYT, Nutrition Strategist and Corporate Dietitian, Raley’s. “As a retail dietitian I really recommend this conference because it marries the science-based facts with networking, produce-forward food, and a lot of energy and fun. It gives me the insights and the connections I need so I can have a greater impact on the consumers we reach through our focus on community health. I’m looking forward to doing it again!”

Highlights of the April 29 to May 1 conference include special guest speakers such as Evan Gaetano, Manager of Site Merchandising-Grocery eCommerce, Walmart and singer-songwriter Jimmy Yeary to name a few. Education sessions will touch on consumer research, reaching consumers through AI, a look at nutrition incentive programs.

These sessions in addition to signature meal experiences are designed to bring together all the critical points along the fruit and vegetable supply chain to advocate, strategize and problem-solve for increased consumption and a healthier, plant-forward future.

“The Consumer Connection Conference is unlike any other in our industry,” said Mary Heslep, Senior Vice President, Ten Acre Marketing. “The opportunity for produce marketers to build relationships with retail dietitians and influencers who are speaking directly with consumers daily is invaluable. This conference is one of the industry’s best kept secrets and I hope more marketers begin to see the exceptional opportunity that attending can provide for the advancement of their consumer marketing initiatives.”

The impassioned influencer guest list this year includes:

Retail Dietitians:

  1. Big Y, Andrea Luttrell, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian Programs Lead
  2. Coborn’s Inc., Amy Petersen, MS, RD, LD, Digital Marketing Manager
  3. Fresh Thyme, Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN, Health & Wellness Strategy Manager
  4. The GIANT Company, Joni Rampolla, Regional Dietitian
  5. Giant Food, Mandy Katz, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, Manager of Healthy Living
  6. Harmons Grocery, Melanie Taylor, MS, RDN, CD, Registered Dietitian
  7. H-E-B, Lorena Kaplan, RDN, LDN, Nutrition Services – Sales Marketing Representative
  8. Inserra ShopRite, Lynette Hem-Lee, RDN, Registered Dietitian
  9. Kroger Co., Laura Brown, MS, RDN, LDN, Director of Nutrition
  10. Meijer, Jodie Vander Meer, MS, RD, Nutrition Education Specialist
  11. Raley’s, Yvette Waters, MS, RDN, CISSN, Nutrition Strategist & Corporate Dietitian
  12. Redner’s Markets, Meredith McGrath, RD, LDN, Nutrition Marketing & Communications
  13. Schnuck Markets, Allison Primo, MS, RD, LDN, Health & Wellness Strategy Manager
  14. Stop & Shop, Allison Delaney, MS, RD, LDN, Director of Healthy Living
  15. WAWA, LeeAnn Kindness, MS, NDTR, Nutritionist, Product Innovation
  16. Wegmans, Trish Kazacos, RDN, CDN, Corporate Nutrition Manager

Culinary & Foodservice:

  1. Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDN, Associate Professor
  2. Sodexo, Micheline Cormier, MSAN, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian
  3. Yale Hospitality, James Benson, Director of Culinary Excellence

Lifestyle, Nutrition & Agriculture:

  1. Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD, FAND, The Healthy Epicurean
  2. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, FAND, Active Eating Advice
  3. Kristen Carli, MS, RD, Camelback Nutrition & Wellness
  4. Beau Coffron, Lunchbox Dad
  5. Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, Team with ME: Nutrition & Fitness Consulting LLC
  6. Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, Street Smart Nutrition
  7. Megan McCarthy, Healthy Eating 101
  8. Tessa Nguyen, MEd, RD, TN Media
  9. Nicole Rodriguez, Enjoy Food. Enjoy Life
  10. Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, Bucket List Tummy
  11. Kelli Shallal, MPH, RD, CPT, Hungry Hobby
  12. Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, Vandana Sheth Inc.
  13. Lori Taylor, The Produce Moms
  14. Manuel Villacorta, MS, RDN, Manuel Villacorta
  15. Erika Wong, MS, RDN, Kaya Health LLC

Registration is still open for those interested in attending this one-of-a-kind event.

About the Foundation for Fresh Produce
The Foundation for Fresh Produce’s vision is to grow a healthier world by changing the trajectory of human health. We believe the produce industry has the potential to provide solutions for many of the world’s greatest health and economic challenges – especially those surrounding nutrition and hunger. The Foundation focuses on improving the appeal of fruits and vegetables as an integral part of people’s diets, supporting the development of infrastructure and supply chain solutions that provide easier access, and establishing strategic alliances that enable children and families to form healthier eating habits. To galvanize the industry’s efforts to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, the Foundation for Fresh Produce merged with the Produce For Better Health Foundation (PBH) in January 2023. PBH programming (inclusive of the Have A Plant® Movement) continues under The Foundation, dedicated to helping consumers live happier, healthy lives by eating more fruits and vegetables every single day.

Contact: Katie Calligaro,, +1 (412) 848-1644
Ashley Sempowski, +1 (202) 303-3406