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Dear CA Academy members,

As we approach the holiday season and the end of another impactful year, I find it Important to reflect on the last six months of our journey together and share some updates regarding recent developments within our organization.

The contributions of our late Executive Director, Carrie Der Garabedian, were immeasurable and we still mourn her loss deeply. In the face of this significant loss, I want to assure you that we are diligently exploring various employment options, including engaging third-party management companies. This strategic decision aims to maintain the seamless operation of our organization, implement new systems, and ensure the continued success of CA Academy. To honor Carrie, the CA Academy Foundation will develop a scholarship in her name to uplift emerging leaders in nutrition and dietetics. We will continue sharing updates on Carrie’s memorial scholarship in the coming months. I want to express my gratitude for the Foundation Board and their commitment to support community outreach, and quality dietetic education, research, and practice.

During this challenging period, I am immensely grateful for the outstanding efforts of our dedicated volunteer leaders – our Executive Board, Foundation Board, the members of our Councils and Committees, and districts/regional leaders. Their commitment and willingness to go above and beyond have been instrumental in bridging the gap created by the absence of our late Executive Director.

I am delighted to share some accomplishments achieved by our team. The Sponsorship Committee has revamped the sponsorship prospectus to reflect on our three core values- integrity, healthy food products and services, and transparency. We encourage you to review our CA Academy Sponsorship Prospectus. We also welcome members to share with us information about other potential sponsors whose values are aligned with the CA Academy and meet our sponsorship requirements. You can share your sponsor ideas with the Sponsorship Committee Chair, Vicky Flaig at sec_treas@dietitian.org.

Our Public Policy Council has established three different subcommittees- Advocacy Summit Subcommittee, Legislative Interest Subcommittee, and Licensure Subcommittee. They work tirelessly to make significant strides in advocating for essential initiatives, making a tangible impact on nutritional policies, along with devising a 5-year plan to tackle licensure in California. We encourage you to attend CA Academy Advocacy Summit on Monday, March 11, 2024. Members who are interested in joining the Public Policy Council or one of these subcommittees can contact the VP of Public Policy Nadine Braunstein at publicpolicy@dietitian.org.

To foster transparency and address any questions or concerns you may have regarding the CA Academy, we are planning to host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. This forum will provide an opportunity for open dialogue and specifically answer any questions you may have on public policy and our sponsorship policy. Please register for the town hall meeting by January 16, 2024 and use the registration link to submit your questions as well. Your participation is crucial and encouraged.

Additionally, I want to highlight the work of our Annual Conference Planning Committee who finalized the program of our centennial conference. The 2024 Annual Conference (CANDAC24) will be held on April 25-27, 2024 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. It features inspiring speakers, offers more than 30 units of continuing education that match the new CDR guidelines, secures multiple opportunities to network with other dietetic professionals and celebrate our CA Academy 100th Anniversary. Simultaneously, our Education Council finalized the Poster Session proposal form and presented a successful webinar that covered the pathways to becoming a registered dietitian or DTR for students, educators, and professionals. A special thank you to the Nominating Committee for their efforts in identifying candidates for leadership positions at CA Academy. Elections will be held in February 2024. I also thank our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (I.D.E.A) and Membership Benefits teams for the efforts. Please fill out the CA Academy Volunteer Form if you are interested in joining these two councils; we are actively seeking volunteer leaders. Lastly, I send a huge shoutout to our Communications team and their efforts in keeping you informed about CA Academy events and updates.

In closing, I want to express my deep appreciation for your unwavering support, commitment, and dedication to CA Academy. Together, we will overcome challenges, embrace new opportunities, and continue to make a positive impact on the field of dietetics.

May the coming year bring prosperity and success in our shared mission to promote health and nutrition. I extend my warmest wishes to you and your loved ones.


Yours Truly,

Silva Boumjahed, MS, RDN
California Academy President 2023-2024