Steering Committee

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    The Steering Committee is comprised of two members from each of the Work Groups, and up to six at-large members as may be identified and elected by members of MOCAN. The Steering Committee should be prepared to support the decisions of the group. While action may not be required, the Steering Committee members will not deny or speak against decisions from this group. If there is a conflict by a member with any issue being discussed, he or she may excuse him/herself from voting on that issue.

    The elected officers will serve as the executive committee between meetings. Elected offices of the Steering Committee include:

    • Chairperson
    • Vice-Chairperson
    • Secretary/Treasurer, as needed
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    Roles and responsibilities

    In addition to general membership roles and responsibilities, Steering Committee members:

    • Serve on a two-year renewable term (rotating term).
    • Submit a slate of Steering Committee members to the MOCAN membership at the business meeting for the coming year. Nominations will be allowed from the floor, and voting will be conducted by ballot.
    • Approve major policy or funding issues brought forth by the membership.
    • Approve the annual work plan and budget (as applicable).
    • Approve or reject changes to the operating principles as recommended by the membership or Steering Committee.
    • Elect Steering Committee officers: one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson, one Secretary/Treasurer.
    • Recommend guidelines and governance for MOCAN.
    • Review/recommend funding issues/decisions affecting MOCAN.
    • Act on behalf of MOCAN between large group meetings. In situations where a decision is needed so quickly that a polling of the membership is not possible, the Steering Committee will make the decision. The Steering Committee will make the decision by consensus or by a majority vote. Decisions made on behalf of MOCAN will be shared with the membership.
    • Promote the Plan as the foundation of the work of MOCAN.
    • Review and accept/reject/terminate membership to MOCAN and identify gaps.
    • Assist Work Groups to set priorities for annual MOCAN activities, as needed.
    • Coordinate an annual evaluation of MOCAN activities.
    • Develop an annual budget for MOCAN, as indicated.
    • Assist with and communicate funding opportunities to MOCAN members.
    • Meet at least once quarterly, in person or via phone conference. Members who miss two consecutive meetings without notification will be considered as resigning from the Steering Committee.
    • Identify and facilitate opportunities for collaboration across health promotion and chronic disease initiatives, other coalitions and MOCAN, e.g., matters concerning policy issues, communications and funding.
    • Coordinate MOCAN meetings and professional development programs.
    • Provide ongoing communication to the MOCAN membership.
    • Review the Operating Principles at least annually.

Current MOCAN leadership

    Steering Committee chairs

  1. MOCAN Chair: Erica Williams
    Erica R. Williams holds a BA in Paralegal Studies and an MBA, both from Maryville University. She is working on her PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, with a concentration on policy analysis. Erica is the Founder and Executive Director of A Red Circle. A Red Circle is a community based, collaborative nonprofit organization, which was founded to address racial disparities in the North St. Louis County region. It has five focus areas: employment, education, holistic living, policy, and the arts. Erica’s leadership addresses income inequality, educational achievement, access to healthy and affordable food to holistically improve St. Louis communities. Additionally Erica serves as a St. Louis Master Gardener, chairs the MOCAN Steering Committee, leads a Peer Circle for Executive Directors of Color for Winrock International’s Food Systems Leadership Network, is a member of the Youth Ed & Development Work Group of Kids Win-Missouri and a member of HomeGrown Stl, an initiative of Washington University for Black boys and young men aged 12 to 29, and was recently named an unsung ‘shero’ by the Coalition for Human Rights. When not working for A Red Circle, Erica is on the executive board committee as treasurer for Missouri Health Care for All.

  2. MOCAN Past Chair: Natalie Hampton
    Natalie, MPH, is the acting director at the University of Missouri Health Communication Research Center and a transplant from Southeastern Missouri. She has a rich background in public policy, advocacy and public health. Natalie has supported state and national campaigns related to policy change, particularly with underserved populations in Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma. As a community-based behavior change practitioner, Natalie has extensive experience in field testing campaign messages and working with community-driven media firms. She has also led initiatives to increase health care access through telehealth and mHealth and has facilitated student-driven advocacy work through photovoice methods. She has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Missouri and has taught in Ecuador and Spain.

  3. MOCAN Treasurer & Financial Stability Ad Hoc Chair: David Ross
    David P. Ross is currently the development manager for KC Healthy Kids in the metro Kansas City area. KC Healthy Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing obesity and improving the health of Greater Kansas City’s children. David is a graduate of Westminster College and University of Missouri-Columbia Law School. David gained a working knowledge of Kansas City philanthropy while working as the Senior Vice President at Bank of America in Kansas City for 38 years. During David’s 38 years he administered many grants for the Bank of America’s charitable trusts. He has been active in various health prevention causes for the past 30 years.

  4. Healthy Weight Advisory Committee

  5. Healthy Weight Advisory Committee Chair: Lisa Nelson
    For the past several years Lisa has brought her professional experience in nonprofit leadership, strategic communications, project design and implementation, and system change design and evaluation to MOCAN. A past MOCAN Chair, in July 2019 she began chairing the Healthy Weight Advisory Committee. For the past 15 years Nelson has worked for Freeman Health System, a nonprofit health system in Joplin. She holds B.A., B.S., and M.A. degrees from Boston University and an M.A. from the University of London. She has traveled extensively and experienced health and social systems in Egypt, England, and France, as well as rural and urban America, and firmly believes there is no scarcity of resources to improve health and well-being.

  6. Healthy Weight Advisory Committee Co-Chair: Angela Lima
    Angela Lima, MBA, RD, LD, is a senior project manager for the PCORI sponsored project named TEAM UP in the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics in 2001 and her MBA from Webster University in 2013. Lima’s research interests include increasing access to care, reducing health disparities, improving health literacy, and dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatment for childhood obesity.

  7. Food Systems

  8. Food Systems Chair: Yolanda Holton
    Yolanda holds Master of Arts degrees in Grant Writing, Evaluation and Management, and Nonprofit Administration and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance's certified nonprofit professional distinction. In the summer of 2021, she will begin working on her Ph.D. at Antioch University in the Leadership and Change program. Yolanda is also the founder and CEO of Circle of Care, St. Louis. Circle of Care, St. Louis is a nonprofit organization providing in-home care, counseling, victim advocacy, and support to seniors and adults with disabilities living in high-needs communities in urban and rural Missouri. Frustrated by the fact that existing health and senior services did not go far enough to address the root issues that prevented seniors from living life on their terms – Yolanda set out to change that through her nonprofit's efforts. The philosophy of the nonprofit is to provide a whole-person approach to care. It helps individuals build a pathway to their goals, identifying the goals as they are present. Through this new support model, she provides guidance, support, and resources seniors and adults with disabilities need to handle or prevent anything that may get in their way in carrying out their goals. Finally, Yolanda is also actively engaged in her community; she is the President of the Grant Professional Associations, St. Louis Chapter, a member of the City of Florissant, Citizens Participation Committee, and a ward one neighborhood watch Block Captain and a board member of Calvary Community Development Corporation.

  9. Food Systems Co-Chair: Andrea Cullers
    Andrea Cullers, PhD, RD, is an Associate Professor in the Kinesiology Department and Director of the Lion Co-op at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. She received her BS in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Arkansas, her MS from University of Kansas Medical Center in Clinical Nutrition and her PhD from the University of California, Davis in Nutritional Biology with an emphasis in Community and International Nutrition. Dr. Cullers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and completed her training at KUMC. Dr. Cullers is currently chair of Joplin Area Food Action Network; she also serves on the Community Health Collaborative in her community. Andrea loves playing outside and exploring the world with her husband and 4-year-old son, Asher.

  10. Healthcare

  11. Healthcare Chair: Julie Benard
    Julie Benard, MD, is originally from Ste. Genevieve (in Southeast Missouri) and moved to Columbia in 2004 to attend MU for college. She continued to complete her medical education at MU and then went on to complete her residency in Child Health at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the MU Child Health faculty in 2015 after completing her residency training. She has always had an interest in childhood nutrition and obesity prevention/management which grew into a passion during residency and her early career on faculty. In 2018, she obtained board certification for obesity management to better assist her patients and the children of Mid-Missouri with weight concerns and overall health. She is very excited to serve the state of Missouri in the capacity of Healthcare Workgroup co-chair.

  12. Healthcare Co-Chair: Sarah Hampl
    Dr. Sarah Hampl graduated from the combined BA-MD program at the University of MO-Kansas City School of Medicine. She completed her residency and chief residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Obesity Medicine. Dr. Hampl is a member of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and leads the advocacy focus area at the Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition. She is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of MO-Kansas City School of Medicine. She has been working with children and families with obesity for the past 20 years. She provides clinical care in the Promoting Health in Teens and Kids (PHIT Kids) Weight Management Clinic and is the medical director of Weight Management group programs. She is actively involved in resident and community primary care provider education and research on clinical outcomes of treatment. Dr. Hampl and Dr. Denise Wilfley were the co-chairs of the MO Children’s Services Commission’s childhood obesity subcommittee, which released statewide recommendations for childhood obesity treatment and prevention in 2014, and continue to work towards implementation of these recommendations through the Healthy Weight Advisory Committee. She is a member of the MO Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the AAP Section on Obesity, where she serves as an adviser for pediatric healthcare providers in DHHS Region VII.

  13. Physical Activity

  14. Physical Activity Chair: Chelsey Davenport
    Chelsey earned a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Wellness Management from Pittsburg State University. Following graduation, she worked with Freeman Hospital’s Screen Team (Joplin, Mo) which offers preventative health screenings to the local community. The experience working with Freeman prepared her for her current position as the Wellness Coordinator for the Neosho School District. Chelsey collaborates with seven hundred staff members to help them achieve their overall wellness goals. This includes incorporating physical exercise and implementing nutritional guidelines to support healthier lifestyles. Movement has always been a priority in Chelsey’s life. At age five she took up dance and eventually danced professionally for sixteen years after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University. She has also helped others maintain and increase mobility by instructing them in yoga. Chelsey has been a part of MOCAN for one year. She embraces the opportunity to share knowledge with and increase awareness among Missourians toward living healthier lives.

  15. Physical Activity Co-Chair: Shawn Hayden
    Shawn, MS, is a Project Coordinator II with CoxHealth. Shawn’s focus is on engaging community partners, creating functioning coalitions, facilitating policy discussions, and creating sustainable programming solutions in community health and healthcare equity. At CoxHealth, he has utilized and received more than $1.3 million in funding from Missouri Foundation for Health to combat childhood obesity in Southwest Missouri while creating a coalition of community partners to examine policies and programming opportunities for increasing physical activity, improving healthy and local eating options, and engaging health care providers in their communities. Shawn is also a grant manager with Clark Community Mental Health Center. While working with Clark Community Mental Health, Shawn has received over $300,000 in grant funding to coordinate care for the most at risk populations within the Clark service area. Shawn has extensive work with state and federal partners such as the EPA, DHSS, and MHA, on incorporating policies to not only better the health of communities, but also the economy to ensure sustainability. Shawn has a Bachelor’s degree from Drury University, a Master’s degree from Missouri State University, and is working on a Doctorate of Education from AT Still University.

  16. Policy

  17. Policy Chair
    Contact Candace Rodman for information.

  18. Schools

  19. Schools Chair: Lisa Farmer
    Lisa, MSEd, currently serves as a Nutrition Specialist with the Bureau of Community Health and Wellness at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

  20. Schools Co-Chair: Laura Beckmann
    Following more than 28 years of educational service in public schools as a teacher and curriculum coordinator, Laura Beckmann now serves as the Director of Health, Physical Education and School Wellness for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Throughout her career, Laura has been awarded numerous local, state, and federal grants for improved wellness within the schools and communities she served. Due to documented success, Mrs. Beckmann has led multiple projects that have served as models within the areas of Health, Physical Education and School Wellness, conducted various workshops and presentations, contributed to many publications, and provided consultant services in the development of curriculum, grant and data programming and reporting at the state and national level. In recognition of her scholarship, service, teaching and professional leadership in the areas of Physical Education, Health, and School Wellness, she has received honors inclusive of the Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MOAHPERD) Exemplary Gold Physical Education Program award, MOAHPERD Missouri Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year award, the Helen Manley award, and the Robert M. Taylor Professional Service honor award. Due to recognition of Mrs. Beckmann’s contributions at the national level, she was one of 59 invited delegates to the 2010 Global Forum on the Future of Physical Education. Mrs. Beckmann completed her undergraduate education at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Saint Mary in Kansas, and her MEd in School Administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

  21. Child Care

  22. Child Care Chair: Emily Meissen-Sebelius
    Emily Meissen-Sebelius, M.S.W., is project coordinator for Weighing In, a program at Children’s Mercy Hospital that works to prevent childhood obesity through community collaboration. Before joining Children’s Mercy, Emily was an analyst at the Kansas Health Institute, where she conducted research and worked with state agencies and elected officials on Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, early childhood mental health, home visiting, health care access and public health issues. Emily has a range of experiences, from grassroots nonprofit to federal government, but has always had a passion for and focus on children’s health, working with state policy-makers and community organizations on evaluation, health improvement planning and implementation of cross-sector initiatives. Emily has lived in the Kansas City area for 13 years with her husband Drew and three children, Ella (7), William (4), and Madison (born May 2019).

  23. Child Care Co-Chair: Beth Ann Lang
    Beth Ann Lang has worked in the field of early childhood and adult education for more than 30 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Lang is also certified as an early childhood teacher in Missouri. Since 2001, she has been the Director of the T.E.A.C.H. MISSOURI Scholarship at Child Care Aware® of Missouri. In 2011, Beth Ann also became the Chief Program Officer overseeing all statewide direct service to the child care workforce from clock hours to credit hours including the CDA Scholarship Project, Emotional Foundations for Early Learning+, Taking Steps to Healthy Success-MO, and the Missouri Workshop Calendar.

  24. Worksites

  25. Worksites Chair: Lindsey Stevenson
    Lindsey Stevenson has a B.S. in Exercise Science an M.S. in Human Performance and Wellness. She works for the University of Missouri Extension as a County Engagement Specialist in Nutrition and Health Education serving three counties in Southwest Missouri. Lindsey’s work focuses on strength training for older adults; nutrition, food safety; shopping for healthy groceries on a budget; and chronic disease self-management. She is involved in several of her communities, acting as vice chair of the Joplin Food Action Network, a member of the Lamar Drug Free Coalition, and a board member of Lamar Community Betterment. Her biggest accomplishment so far has been a collaboration with a local health department to offer a health challenge encouraging individuals to make the healthy choice the easy choice. In four years of this challenge (a total of 42 weeks), She has helped 181 individuals make behavior changes and lose 571 pounds.

  26. Worksites Co-Chair: Annie Fitzgerald
    Annie Fitzgerald, CHES, is the Well-being & Member Services Coordinator for the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition (BHC), a non-profit collaborative supporting 70+ leading St. Louis employers in their efforts to improve the well-being of enrollees and enhance the quality and overall value of investments in health benefits. In this role, she is responsible for the administration of products and services for the coalition's employer members, including worksite health education campaigns, professional certifications and trainings, and group purchasing opportunities. Annie holds a Bachelor of Health Science degree from Truman State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and a certified CPR instructor through the American Heart Association.

  27. At-Large Members

  28. Terry Atteberry
    Terry Atteberry is the Healthy Schools Program Manager for the state of Missouri, for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. She has been with Healthier Generation for four years as a Program Manager and two years as the Missouri Alliance Ambassador. Terry’s work with Healthier Generation is to provide support to approximately 85 Missouri School Districts. Terry partners with Missouri Foundation for Health and the Healthy Schools/Healthy Community Initiative. Terry’s support consists of guidance with completion of school health assessments, creation of sustainable action plans, implementation of district wellness policies, and building relationships with wellness coordinators, champions, and wellness committees at school and district levels. Additional areas of support include resources, tools, and guidance for creating sustainable and evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity, improve nutrition standards, implement healthy snacks and celebrations, and awareness of employee wellness. Before her work with Healthier Generation, Terry worked with her local school district for 17 years as both a district office manager and a district wellness coordinator. Over that course of time, she coached cheerleading and track, as well as many after-school clubs such as archery and running club. Terry also assisted with gardening clubs and taste tests. Terry’s work at Eldon School District aided students and staff to implement healthier lifestyles into their everyday routines.

  29. Kris Drake
    Kris Drake, RN, CHPD, is the Wellness Coordinator at Freeman Health System in Joplin Mo. As coordinator of Freeman’s employee wellness program - WellBalance, Kris works daily to improve the work-life balance of more than 4,500 health system employees. Since October 2002, she has developed an array of programs to empower Freeman employees to reach their personal wellness goals. The WellBalance program mission is to inspire total well-being by providing opportunities and encouraging employees to improve and maintain their quality of life.

  30. Donna Mehrle
    Donna Mehrle, MPH, RD, LD, has a wealth of experiences in public health nutrition through her work at the Department of Health and Senior Services and the University of Missouri Extension. During her time at the Department, Donna worked in aging, WIC, planning and surveillance and obesity reduction and prevention. Currently, at Extension, she assists in day-to-day implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Nutrition Education and leads several special projects. She recently served as the coordinator of the Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) and has been involved since the council's first developments. In addition, Donna also worked part-time as a registered, licensed dietitian at the Jefferson City Medical Group, counseling patients at the Weight Treatment Center. She continues to be active in her state dietetic association, the national Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutritionists (ASTPHN) and the national Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Networks and Other Implementing Agencies (ASNNA). She has presented at local, state and national conferences about policy and environmental changes to make the healthy choice the easy choice in Missouri, the socio-ecological approach to behavior change and the impact of obesity in various settings and populations.

  31. Jeremy Milarsky
    Jeremy Milarsky, MPA, is a program manager at the Center for Health Policy in the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine. In this position, he co-manages No Kid Hungry Missouri, a collaborative effort with the state of Missouri and the Missouri Family and Community Trust. No Kid Hungry Missouri empowers schools and nonprofit organizations to feed more children through small grants and technical assistance with public nutrition programs. Jeremy has a background in journalism, healthcare communication and data analysis. He enjoys long-distance running with his dogs.

  32. Stephanie Smith
    Stephanie Smith, Director of Mission Initiatives for the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs, is passionate about feeding kids healthy food. From working with community partners to increase kids’ access to nutritious food to facilitating the opening of a commercial production kitchen that served locally-sourced, farm fresh food to children in the YMCA’s School Age Services Program, Stephanie has emerged as a leading advocate for food accessibility. In recognition of her leadership in anti-hunger efforts, YMCA of the USA selected Stephanie as a Regional Food Program Facilitator. She serves as a technical advisor to YMCAs across the nation, providing support, resources and project management for YMCAs participating in federal nutrition programs. Stephanie also provides leadership and staff support for the Missouri Convergence Partnership (MCP), which brings together multi-sector stakeholders to accelerate healthy eating and active living strategies that improve health equity through collective action.

  33. MU Extension Coordinating Staff

  34. MOCAN Coordinator: Candace Rodman
    Candace Rodman holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Science and Rehabilitation through Logan University and currently serves as the Randolph County Engagement Specialist and serves Randolph, Macon, and Linn counties as a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension. In this role, Candace is able to bring the University’s research-based nutrition and health courses to the rural communities in Missouri. She also serves as the Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) state coordinator which acts to unify MO organizations, healthcare professionals, educators, government officials and public health entities to create policies that better the health of Missourians. Candace spends free time cycling, hiking, camping or anything outdoors.

  35. Pat Davis
    Pat works to support the operational and logistical needs of MOCAN. Pat has worked at Mizzou for 15 years alongside purchasing and fiscal teams. Pat is also an avid gardener, owns and drives her own motorcycle, enjoys reading, sewing, cooking, canning, going to theatre/musical productions, and spending time with friends and family. She has 5 children & 9 grandchildren.