Save the Date: Nutrition Conference

Glendale College will host the event for the first time

To spread awareness about the Nutrition program at Glendale Community College, the department will host its first and possibly annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo on May 10, which will highlight the importance of healthy eating and what role nutrition plays in one’s lifestyle.

Sona Donayan is the program director of the culinary arts, nutrition, hospitality and tourism, technology and aviation division, and is the main organizer of the event. Donayan says that she hopes to make an impact on campus by spreading knowledge of the various opportunities one can obtain within the food and nutrition field.

The conference will feature three professional speakers, who will “inform, inspire and motivate the audience in the successful pursuit of their educational and career goals.”

Cindy Zemko is a certified dietary manager and certified food protection professional, who is the director of education at the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professions (ANFP). Zemko will be traveling in from the suburbs of Chicago to speak to participants about the programs offered by ANFP.

Another speaker, Mandy Nezami is a public health nutritionist and a registered dietitian nutritionist, specializing in adult and adolescent nutrition. Nezami holds “20 years of experience in acute care hospital management and teaching.” She has also been involved with “numerous projects, community outreach, nutrition education, obesity research and diabetes. Additionally, Nezami has engaged in numerous leadership roles in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the California Academy and the Los Angeles district.”

The final speaker at the event is Elisa Hays, who is a motivational speaker and a certified safety professional. After getting stuck on the highway in an ice-storm and safely evacuating two employees in the face of oncoming traffic, she was propelled 90 feet through the air after an 18-wheeler semi-truck hit her. This experience has left her grateful and inspired to teach and make an impact on those who need it. With her humor and honesty, Hays inspires everyone she comes in contact with.

After the speaker series, the participants will have a chance to attend a Meet and Greet Expo, during which they will have one-on-one time to embrace networking opportunities with representatives of numerous universities with programs in Foods and Nutrition. Among those will be representatives from multiple California State University institutions.