When I complete my term in office, I will feel I’ve been successful if we continue moving forward, meeting the mission, vision, values and goals of our professional organization.
Five specific areas of importance to me are driving increased involvement in professional leadership by our young professionals; better utilization of our experienced leaders in external positions of influence; implementing the Visioning Report set forth by our members serving on the Council on Future Practice (CFP); increasing Collaboration, Leadership, Innovation, Mentorship, and Balance (CLIMB) throughout the organization; and encouraging international leadership by the Academy in addressing global food security issues.
When I ran for president, I promised I would be a collaborative leader. As a member-led organization, that is vital to the future success of our profession. Like the century of leaders before us, what we do, what we say, the challenges we are willing to embrace, the risks we are willing to take, and the leadership we demonstrate together, will impact the health of our nation and determine the opportunities of our profession for generations to come.
My strongest professional role models, among many I’ve had, have been Professor Emerita, Sara Parks, PhD, MBA, RD, School of Hospitality Management of Penn State University, who was always willing to take time to mentor me and answer my many questions about being a director of nutrition in an educational setting; and Dr. Howard Hamlin (deceased), a physician and chief of surgery at Trinity Lutheran Hospital who also served as a medical missionary in South Africa and Swaziland – one of the wisest and most practical individuals I’ve ever met.
I think my strongest personality traits are my abilities to lead, collaborate and innovate. Leadership is the most important journey one can take; Collaboration is key to new ways of thinking and working; and the ability to innovate determines whether we’ll be swept away by change or be an agent of it.
The professional accomplishment I am most proud of is being elected by my professional colleagues to represent them as the president of the Academy of Nutrition and
The most challenging aspect of my job is travel.
Beatles or Stones? Definitely the Beatles, although I like both groups as they were groups of change.
If I had a year’s sabbatical I’d ... I did—and I completed my doctorate!
The best professional advice anyone ever gave me was, in essence, to “begin with the end in mind (Covey).” Dr. Howard Hamlin, one of my mentors, challenged me as I began my career to look way down the road and to make important life choices about those things I would value, be proud of and not regret having done or not having done when I was in my eighties.
At a Glance
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
No. of Members: 75,000 +
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606
CEO: Pat Babjak
Phone: (800) 877-1600
MISSION: Empowering members to be the nation’s food and nutrition leaders.
Job: Vice President of Health and Nutrition, PhycoBiosciences
Assistant Dean and Director of Nutrition, Central Arizona College
Inaugural President,Chandler University
BS, Arizona State University
M.S., Loma Linda University
Ph.D., Management and Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix
Editor of more than 20 nutrition textbooks; CEO of Chandler Education Foundation