Each year VAND honors 3 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) with Academy awards at the Annual Meeting:  Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year, Emerging Dietetic Leader, and Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.  Here you can read more about each award and this year’s honorees from the annual meeting in Fairfax, VA in April.IMG_0236

The purpose of the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year program is to recognize the competence and activities of younger dietitians in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and to encourage their continued participation in Academy affairs.  Recipients of this award must have demonstrated concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutrition status of the population, as well as demonstrated leadership in legislation, research, education, management, etc in either the Academy or employment.

IMG_0246Lisa Conway, MS, RD, CNSC, is VAND’s Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year for 2016!  Lisa has on the board for the Tidewater district (TAND) for 4.5 years in several different roles, including secretary, newsletter editor, membership chair, and other positions.  Her “day job” finds her working for Aramark at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center as a nutrition support clinician in the ICU and PCU.   Lisa shares her passion with others through mentoring students in TAND and with dietetic students from Norfolk State University shadowing her at work. She was instrumental in making the 2015 VAND annual meeting in Virginia Beach a success through her marketing and media efforts, including promoting the event and designing the cover art for the brochure.


The Emerging Dietetics Leader Award recognizes the competence and activities of members, regardless of their age, who are at the beginning of their dietetics careers. Members who receive this honor support the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the public through demonstrating leadership in legislation, research, education, management and other areas related to the profession.Kelly 2016

Kelly Leonard, RD is VAND’s Emerging Dietetics Leader for 2016! 

Kelly has been a Feeding Program Dietitian at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Brook Road Campus for 5 years.  She also sees children for overweight, obesity, failure to thrive and food allergies.

Immediately following her internship, Kelly worked for Martin’s as a Supermarket Dietitian and practiced privately in adult weight management.  Even though she is working in pediatrics now she feels it’s the best of both worlds.  The children are her patients, but she works directly with parents to make changes that benefit the whole family.

Kelly graduated from Virginia State University with her BS in Nutrition and completed her internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems.  She’s been involved with the Greater Richmond Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since before her internship and has been on the Board for 5 years as Sustainable Agriculture Rep, President-elect and President.  She loves to learn and appreciates the continuing education and networking opportunities that conferences offer.  She has attended several state and national Academy conferences as well as Pediatric conferences hosted by Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  She is a member of the Pediatric Nutrition and the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Groups.

Kelly has been married for 30 years and has 2 daughters.  During her husband’s military career she lived in 7 states within 10 years.  She feels this experience allowed her to meet many people and to value diversity which better equipped her to return to school and to work with patients today.


Wendy Phillips is pictured here with fellow UVAHS managers Angie Hasemann, Cynthia Moore, and Lesley McPhatter.


The Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award is the highest honor a state affiliate can award, and recognizes members who have made distinguished contributions to advancing the profession. The winner of this award is an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and service.

Wendy Phillips, MS, RD, CNSC, CLE, FAND is VAND’s 2016 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year!

As a Division Director of Clinical Support at Morrison Healthcare, Wendy Phillips directs the development, implementation, and maintenance of clinical nutrition programs and services according to regulatory requirements, current trends, and market place demand. In her role, she provides regulatory oversight for the clinical nutrition services at ~160 hospitals from California to.  Wendy has worked with Morrison’s corporate operations and wellness/nutrition teams to lead a productivity analysis program for registered dietitians to ensure efficient and effective use of resources.

2016_04_11_4638Wendy is also the Immediate Past President of VAND.  Wendy has held various positions on their executive board’s public policy panel in addition to her presidency and enjoyed her time on the Blue Ridge district board as the Newsletter Editor and Constituent Liaison.  She recently championed the legislative update to Virginia regulations to allow greater flexibility for order writing privileges for dietitians in Virginia hospitals.  She continues her public policy and advocacy work on the Consumer Protection and Licensure Subcommittee for the Academy and leadership positions in several dietetic practice groups.

While she has worked for Morrison Healthcare in Clinical and Patient Service Manager roles in California and recently accepted a corporate position with Morrison, her most recent position was the Clinical Nutrition Director at the University of Virginia Health System, where she managed 48 RDs in inpatient, ambulatory, and dialysis settings.

She received her B.A. degree in Dietetics from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rosalind Franklin University School of Medicine and Science.  She is a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician, a Certified Lactation Educator, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.