Leadership and Professional Skills

Policy and Advocacy

250. Run Like a Girl! Getting Elected to Public Office

Sunday, October 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
CE: 1.5

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

From local to state to federal government, RDNs and NDTRs are running for office. Hear from those who have held office and those who are ready to take the next step. Attendees will be inspired to volunteer on a campaign or, better yet, to consider their own runs for office!

Planned with the Legislative and Public Policy Committee

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1070 - Leadership, critical and strategic thinking
  • 1080 - Legislation, public policy
  • 1130 - Verbal communication skills, presentations

Pepin Tuma, JD

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


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Manju Karkare, MS, RDN, CLT, FAND

Manju has breadth of experience as an RDN from acute care and nutrition support to community/public health and Private Practice. Volunteering for the Academy as well as a variety of community organizations has led to her leadership skills development. Manju is currently serving as a Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Academy. She has served as a Diversity Leader, Reimbursement Representative for NC affiliate, and helped with the successful passing of licensure modernation act. Her keen interest in how policies impact our lives moved her to engage in voter registration/education activities and empowering girls/women to take leadership roles.


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Kathy Dahlkemper

Kathy Dahlkemper took office as Erie County Executive on January 7, 2014. After being re-elected in November 2017, she began her second four-year term on January 2, 2018.
Dahlkemper was elected on a platform to create a more efficient, effective and transparent county government. She continues to work to streamline county operations; to improve collaboration, both within county departments and among community organizations; and to help build a more vibrant Erie County for all residents.
Dahlkemper previously represented Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 2009 to 2011.
Born and raised in Erie, Dahlkemper earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a clinical dietitian and later in human resources. In 1998, she and her husband co-founded the nonprofit Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (L.E.A.F.). Under Dahlkemper’s 10-year leadership as executive director, L.E.A.F. raised more than $2 million for improvements to Frontier Park, creating a multi-use urban park that has become a community hub in Erie.
Dahlkemper served on the National Association of Counties-National League of Cities taskforce on the opioid epidemic, and she is first vice president for the County Executives of America. She was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Great Lakes Commission and to the Local Government Advisory Committee. She also serves on the boards of the National Ocean Council’s Governance Coordinating Committee and the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics.
Dahlkemper and her husband, Dan, have five children and seven grandchildren.


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Nicole Bedi, RD

Nicole Bedi is a dietitian with 17 years of experience in clinical nutrition. She is a graduate of Dietetics at Michigan State University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and has been a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician since 2002. She has been active in academic medicine, publishing textbook chapters and presenting nutritional research at a national level. In addition to her career in dietetics, Nicole had been active in the leadership of the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America where she served as State Legislative Lead. She turned her activism to politics, and over the past two cycles has run for the State Legislature on a platform of supporting families, safe communities, and social justice. Nicole is a wife to a devoted transplant surgeon, and mother to two hilarious little girls. In her free time, Nicole can be found drinking coffee, eating out, and enjoying family time at a park.


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Kristine Kittridge, MS, RDN, LD

Kristine Kittridge has been a practicing dietitian for 5 years and currently is a clinical dietitian at St. Mary's Health System in Lewiston, ME working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. She graduated from the University of Maine where she completed her dietetic internship and masters degree. She has experience in public health and community nutrition, health coaching, and clinical nutrition. Kristine has always had an interest in public policy and professional advocacy, but this grew when she had the opportunity to attend the Public Policy Workshop when she was a graduate student and learned the importance of advocating for sound nutrition policy and the profession of dietetics. She has previously served as the Public Policy Coordinator for the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a graduate of the Emerge Maine program which trains democratic women to run for office. She ran for Lewiston City Council in 2015; although she did not win she plans to run again in the future and gained valued relationships and far more insight to her community in the process. She currently serves on the Lewiston Planning Board and Lewiston Area Public Health Committee. She also the is Board President for the YWCA of Central Maine. She recently was recognized for her volunteer efforts by being named one of "40 Under 40" in her community by the Chamber of Commerce. In her free time, Kristine enjoys training for triathlons, trying new restaurants and craft breweries, and spending time with family and friends.


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Felecia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND

Dr. Felicia Stoler, America’s Health & Wellness Expert™, is an RDN, exercise physiologist and expert consultant lifestyle medicine. She has a BS in political science and sociology from Tulane, a double Master’s in applied physiology and nutrition from Columbia University and doctorate in clinical nutrition from Rutgers. Felicia has been a lifelong volunteer serving on many local, state and national committees related to health and wellness. She has been on the Governor appointed NJ Council for Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for fifteen years. Felicia is Fellow of ACSM, a Fellow of the AND; and a Council member of the True Health Initiative. She is a Diplomate in Lifestyle Medicine for the ABLM/ACLM.
Felicia hosted the second season of TLC's groundbreaking series Honey, We're Killing the Kids! and the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™. She is a medical journalist who has been a contributor for USA Today, FoxNews.com, the Patch.com, Active.com, written several book chapters and authored ACSM’s Sports Medicine Basics on Childhood Obesity. Felicia has been adjunct faculty at Brookdale Community College, Kean and Rutgers University. She has been a mentor and preceptor in the health field.
Felicia is one of the most sought-after nutrition/fitness experts for media. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives. She maintains a private practice in Red Bank, NJ, has a production company called Jersey Girls Productions, and is the mother of two teenagers. Felicia is running in NJ's 4th Congressional District as The Inclusion Candidate.


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250. Run Like a Girl! Getting Elected to Public Office

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