Bucket List Check Off: Speaking at Food and Nutrition Conference Expo 2014

It's funny to think that almost a full year ago, the wheels were put in motion to make last week happen. When someone asks you what your career goals are five, ten or twenty years out sometimes you don't really think the 'eventually' items are possible at all. Such a large goal, like, oh, I don't know speaking at the Food and Nutrition Conference Expo seems so far away the physical steps needed to make it happen never cross your mind as a 'to-do'. And yet, thanks to Sherry Coleman Collins, the dietitian nutritionist with the National Peanut Board and her hard work, she brought four of us together from across the country to make it a reality. 

I spoke at FNCE. Bucket list: check. 

I can't say enough about my fellow presenters Marisa Moore, Ann Dunaway-Teh and Amber Pankonin. We had the enormous task of presenting on social media for entrepreneurs in the nutrition world. How to cover it all. How to leave out the 101 and make it worth it for you. How to explain our stories and our brands and those obstacles of awful professors or internship directors who tried to squash our dreams of a business or who told us we would fail and never make money. How to make it usable information to move our profession forward as a whole. And of course, keep you all awake during the presentation... And yet we did it. You all who tweeted us and stopped us (literally, stopped us while walking everywhere) gave us the best gift of all. You told us it was worth it. That it was your favorite session at FNCE where over 9.4 thousand of us were in attendance. We are all so grateful for your amazing feedback. It makes it really hard to ever top this conference. 

FNCE in Atlanta was wonderful and I'm finding it difficult to even summarize it or recap it. From Friday to Tuesday I was going non-stop, trying to see and do everything nutrition that we manage to clump into one week each year. So maybe simple is best:

  • Friday: I toured a peach farm and a poultry farm with IFIC. I immediately returned to the hotel and changed my shirt for the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG Board Meeting dinner (where I realized my pants still totally smelled like farm). 
  • Saturday: From 7:30 AM-3 the board was hard at work planning our events for the conference and the rest of the year for NEDPG (where I sit on the board as the incoming director of PR and marketing). Hit the #CelebRD cocktail party hosted by Weber Shandwick and thankfully escalator-ed down one level to the next event. That night was our BIG networking event party for NE.
  • Sunday: 7 AM through 4:30 I manned the NEDPG booth for recruitment to gain new members and appreciate our current members with kitchen SWAG. THANK YOU to those of you who came up to say 'hi' and spread the word! I loved that people came up to tell us their friends told them to come join 'the fun Dietetic Practice Group'.  4:30 meant I immediately ran over to another event where I sat on a mentorship panel for about 20 minutes and then promptly UBER'ed over to the National Peanut Board dinner with our private chef for the night...Hugh Acheson. Yes, that Hugh Acheson from Top Chef. And after that I totally can't lie: I went to bed. I skipped the last event of the night because I needed sleep!
  • Monday: More booth work. I finally got to check out the expo to see the latest food products and see some of my favorite companies and dietitians who work with them. One more PR cocktail party (thanks Ketchum!) and then...guys, I ordered pizza and prosecco to my room where I ate in bed, watched Monday Night Football and did a run through of my presentation for Tuesday.
  • Tuesday: South East Dairy Association breakfast where I got to catch up with every lovely southern lady. And then...the talk!!! 

WHEW!!!! And now, we are back into the mix of more fun, more projects and strangely...almost November already!

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.