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FNCE Embodies Listening, Learning, Sharing

Published:December 19, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.11.005
      We build our Academy and our profession by listening, learning, and creating a greater understanding of who we are and where we are going. We take our greatest steps forward by coming together to incorporate our understanding into words and actions that lead to increased mutual respect, inclusion, and opportunities for all. A prime opportunity to build and grow is through our annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE).
      FNCE 2019 brought more than 11,000 members, guests, speakers, and experts from throughout the nutrition and health spectrum to Philadelphia, PA. Attendees came from nearly 50 countries, demonstrating how we are truly reaching and impacting the global nutrition community.

      Listening to Members

      Academy volunteer leaders, with the support of the entire headquarters team, respond to members’ professional needs in designing FNCE programs and opportunities. Of more than 130 cutting-edge nutrition science research and educational presentations, lectures, panel discussions, and culinary demonstrations, there were a number of “firsts”—developed directly in response to requests from members, which included:
      • The Conversation Series: Through intimate 90-minute panel discussions, experts, leaders, and innovators held one-on-one conversations on issues such as leadership, emerging technologies, breakthroughs, and much more.
      • Controversies in Practice: These sessions took on controversial issues including detoxification, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the ketogenic diet.
      • Philadelphia attendees took a deep dive into sessions representing the ever-increasing areas of practice including: behavioral and mental health, business and communications, gut and digestive health, and the complex issue of cultural appropriation when communicating about global food flavors and traditions.

      Learning Together

      The Academy members who attended FNCE spanned the spectrum of our profession, from students to veterans, from all cultural and practice backgrounds.
      It was and honor, pleasure, and privilege to welcome attendees during the Opening Session with seven of our fellow members: Susan E. Adams, MS, RD, LDN, FAND; Carl Barnes, MS, RDN; Ashley Carter, RD/LDN; Jose P. Madrid; Kathleen Pellechia, MS, RDN; Charlene Russell-Tucker, MSM, RDN; and Jasmine Westbrooks, MS, RDN, LDN.
      During the welcome, I talked about passion and that each of us has our own unique passions and pursuits. Those of us on stage shared images of our passions on the video screens. The unique passions and pursuits of our members create a distinct, diverse, and remarkable mosaic—a pattern of improbable beauty and unique qualities.

      Sharing Creates Impact

      FNCE is an opportunity to recognize events that demonstrate the impact and influence that our sharing creates. For example, we learned about the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative and the impact that it is creating for us, for patients, for our entire population. More information on this topic was included in the September Journal Supplement.
      As we move into the future, each of us, individually, contributes to the diverse mosaic that has sustained and enriched our organization for over a century. Individually, we can do and be anything, and together we can do everything!
      We are the Academy!