CA Academy Media Representative
Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE
Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RDN, CDE believes good nutrition plays a vital role in spiritual, physical, and mental health. The author of two children's books, a nationally-recognized nutrition educator, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator and certified wellness expert, Melissa is the founder of the SuperKids Nutrition website and Melissa's Healthy Living blog. With a passion for helping to grow healthy families and communities, Melissa engages in various national partnerships, community outreach efforts, and speaking events. Her Super Crew characters are featured as curriculum in over 5,000 school websites across the country and through a CDC grant were recently made into toys and placemats attached to healthy menu items with the Kids LiveWell program. Additionally, they're featured in the Healthy Kids Today, Prevent Cancer Tomorrow campaign in partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research. Melissa's creative ingenuity has also inspired a new app launched by the National Restaurant Association called Food Leap (a game starring Super Crew character Super Baby Abigail) to increase healthy food choices in kids and parents when dining out.
As a former national childhood obesity panel expert for TED MED, Melissa reaches parents across the country through her fun and effective approach to childhood nutrition. She has a passion for integrative nutrition and has taught a course on functional foods, with an emphasis on herbs and spices, for over a decade. She also writes regularly for various health focused websites and food companies, is quoted in the media regularly and develops and provides CEU and weight loss programs for multiple organizations. Her expertise makes her a sought-after health practitioner, known for her ability to engage and inspire children to live healthier lives. Melissa has been involved with the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since serving as Co-President Elect of the Los Angeles District in 2008.
CA Academy Media Representative
Sherri Pinero, MSFS, RD, CDE
Sherri Pinero is a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, completed her dietetic internship through Cal Poly, Pomona and has her master’s in science degree in sustainable food systems. She was past President of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Inland District from 2013-2014 and currently volunteers for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Hunger and Environmental Nutrition group.
With over 20 years of dietetics experience, Sherri has worked in clinical nutrition, community outreach, in sales and marketing, and is an entrepreneur. For the past 9 years, Sherri has worked at Kaiser Permanente in Health Education/Preventative Medicine, where she facilitates classes on diabetes, lifestyle weight management, and heart health plant based nutrition interventions via in the classroom and through cooking programs, to name a few. As part of her role at Kaiser, she works with children with diabetes and their families in the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. Early on at Kaiser, she was asked to take on the role as the Riverside Regional Diabetes Committee Chair, and assist in the development of a lifestyle based weight management program that is offered to members (patients) throughout Southern California Kaiser Permanente’s.
As an entrepreneur, Sherri was a professional food service consultant for over 10 years, helping restaurants and food manufacturers launch new food products and recipes, source ingredients, provide recipe analyses and customized meals for large scale businesses such as dLife, and help meet her client’s goals while strengthening their brand.
After receiving her master’s degree, Sherri decided to shift her private practice focus to what she is passionate about; developing innovative environmental nutrition and planetary health programs for the heathcare model. This includes creating experiential learning opportunities for patients and communities to help them understand and utilize garden foods, local food systems, and culinary explorations to create positive impacts on their health and the health of the planet.