In the Beginning
The first known recognized dietitian private practices date from the late 1940's, and it was at a session during the 1956 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting in Portland that the general membership had a chance to hear, for the very first time, about new fields developing in the dietetic profession. This session included several dietitians in unusual jobs -- Betty Hoover, the first hospital-shared dietitian (who also did nursing homes) and Norma MacRae who spoke on the concept of Private Practice. Held in a room which seated 150, the program planners were amazed that standees had to be turned away because the room was full -- the first indication to Academy of the tremendous interest in such new areas – and an article was published in the 1967Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAcademy 51.52) about it because there were so many requests for copies of the presentation. It also became a frequent reference for classes on consulting practice.
Seeds are Planted
The title Consulting Nutritionist was chosen to avoid confusion because assumptions were frequently made that "Consulting Dietitian” meant government agencies or nursing home dietitians. In 1974 Carol Hunerlach, who had seen the journal article and started a practice keeping Academy aware, was asked to develop a session on consulting – formerly seen as “too progressive” had lacked Academy support -- for annual meeting. She felt that dietitians in private practice should band together for mutual support and encouragement so she contacted MacRae and Deborah Farant of Connecticut, to participate and help initiate a group and they scheduled an organizational meeting to follow the special interest session.
The Birth of a Group
There were over 800 attendees at that first formal Academy annual meeting session on private practice held in 1975. At the organizational meeting that followed, several hundred dietitians became acquainted and began a “specialty” group. Money was collected for an informational newsletter, Carol Hunerlach served as temporary chair and 168 paid members led to the origin of "Private Practice: Diet Counseling". In 1975, after discussion with psychologists and marketing experts the name became “Consulting Nutritionist”.
The official date of organization was January 1, 1976, by-laws were written and by August of that year there were nearly 400 members, including those interested in possible future practice, who paid $10 annual dues and received a quarterly ten-page newsletter. In 1977 with the Council on Practice established, Academy was petitioned for recognition as a practice group with the statement of purpose: "The Consulting Nutritionist Practice Group was formed for the benefit of its members through exchange of ideas and sharing of information. It is the function of this practice group to serve as a liaison between those persons interested in, or presently working in private practice, to promote mutual cooperation among its members, and to be a body to coordinate any projects which are deemed desirable". CN was to become the Consulting Nutritionist Practice Group under the umbrella group Consulting Dietitians along with nursing home dietitians.
By 1979 CN membership was over 600. In 1980 Carol Hunerlach, R.D. who worked hard to successfully publicize -- in the popular and professional press -- the value of a consulting nutritionist chose to retire and was credited with contributing the interest and devoted labor that brought CN to existence. Membership continued to grow during the 1980s -- over 1,000 in 1982, more than 1,500 in 1983, nearly 2,000 in 1984 to reach 2,300 in 1986.
During 1995 the membership voted to implement a new name, becoming “Nutrition Entrepreneurs” (NE).
The early goals – promotion of educational and resource materials, increasing visibility and continuing education for members -- continued with the spirit of a dedicated group that has tackled issues such as Third Party Reimbursement, Public Relations & Marketing, expanded Board of Directors positions. Members continue to assist with teaching materials, marketing techniques and workshops to improve business and professional skills for a diverse group of dynamic progressive individuals from all geographic areas a variety of interests and a wide range of entrepreneurial endeavors.
2010-2011: Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
2009-2010: Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN
2008-2009: Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
2007-2008: Jean Caton, MS, MBA, RD
2006-2007: Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LD
2005-2006: Nancy Collins, PhD, RD, LD/N
2004-2005: Kathryn Fink, RD, LD
2003-2004: Maye Musk, MS, MS, RD, CDN
2002-2003: Maryann Meade, MS, RD, CDN
2001-2002: Ann Silver, MS, RD, CDE, CDN
2000-2001: Donna Israel, PhD, RD, LD, LPC, FAcademy
1999-2000: Christine Palumbo, PhD, RD, LD, LPC
1998-1999: Toni Bloom, MS, RD, CDE
1997-1998: Ann Selkowitz Litt, MS, RD, LD
1996-1997: Linda Scovern, RD, LD
1995-1996: Lisa Stollman, MA, RD, CDE
1993-1994: Susan Moores, MS, RD
1992-1993: Janice Kidd, PhD, MBA, RD
1991-1992: Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, LMHC
1990-1991: Linda McDonald, RD
1989-1990: Jeanne Houston, RD
1988-1989: Denice Ferko-Adams, RD
1987-1988: Aviva Croll, RD
1986-1987: Luanne Anderson, RD
1985-1986: Rebecca McCully, RD
1984-1985: Glee Kincannon, RD
1983-1984: Cecelia Davis, RD
1982-1983: Marcia Ann Mills, RD
1981-1982: Sue McFarlane, RD
1980-1981: Carolyn Donahoe, RD
1979-1980: Philomena Koulbanis, RD
1978-1979: Norma MacRae, RD
1975-1977: Carol Hunerlach, RD