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 | Child Care | Food Systems | Healthcare | Healthy Weight Advisory Committee | Physical Activity | Schools | Worksites | At-Large Members | MU Extension Coordinating Staff

Steering Committee Members 2023

  • MOCAN 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 7-year-old son, Asher.
  • MOCAN Co-Chair: Priscilla Schmid
    Priscilla holds a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and is a licensed Registered Dietitian in the states of Missouri and Kansas. She has more than seven years of experience in the Dietetics field and is currently the Dietetics Director of the Missouri Northwest Region (KCMO). She was awarded as "Recognized Young Registered Dietitian" in 2021 by the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MOAND). Priscilla has ten certificates including Treatment of Obesity in Pediatrics and Adults, ServSafe Manager, Effective Communication and Excel Pivot Tables certificates. Her specialty is in developing clinical nutrition programs that treat obesity and related comorbidities. In her pastime, she enjoys exhibiting her artwork and playing music.
  • MOCAN Past Chair: Jeremy Milarsky
    Jeremy Milarsky 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.

Child Care

  • 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. She has worked at Child Care Aware® of Missouri (CCAMO) for 21 years starting out as the Director of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Missouri Scholarship and moving to the Chief Program Officer in 2011. Ms. Lang oversees the CCAMO Workforce Development activities which include statewide training, technical assistance and scholarships for early childhood professionals in child care settings. In 2023, she will oversee the launch of a salary supplement for child care educators in the St. Louis region.
  • Child Care Co-Chair: Lisa Lauer
    Lisa (Farmer) Lauer is a Senior Nutritionist at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Community Health and Wellness, where she is the early care and education (ECE) lead on the CDC State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) grant team, and the nutrition lead on the CDC Missouri Healthy Schools grant team. Lisa has over 20 years of diverse community nutrition experience that includes developing education materials for 4-H, program development and execution for an urban cooperative extension, head start nutrition coordinator, and farm to school director. This broad knowledge base sets her apart from many of her peers, and offers a vision of seamless nutrition and wellness education for nutrition professionals, school stakeholders and families. She loves teaching students of all ages, and recently completed her master’s degree in adult learning and leadership from Kansas State University. When not working, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and exploring flea markets.

Food Systems

  • Food Systems Co-Chair: Allene Gremaud
    Allene works for MU Extension and is a part of the Community Health Engagement and Outreach (CHEO) Team working on the Rural Opioid Technical Assistance (ROTA) working to encourage Recovery Friendly Workplaces across Missouri, the Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) grant. She’s been the Food Systems Work Group Co-Chair since 2020 and has been a part of the grant writing team researching food insecurity in college students. Allene is passionate about helping create change to ensure Missourians have the knowledge and access to obtain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Food Systems Co-Chair: Kelsey Gardiner
    Kelsey Gardiner, M.S.E., PH.D. is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). She received both her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas (KU) studying Health Education and Exercise Psychology with a focus on nutrition and physical activity. She has previous experience working at the community level as a health educator and nutrition services coordinator, and in leadership roles as the chair of the Healthy Food for All workgroup in Douglas County and The Food for Jayhawks committee at KU. Her research has been focused mostly on community and public health nutrition. This encompasses food systems, healthy eating behaviors, food insecurity and access to healthy foods, and food as a social determinant of health. Currently she is an active member of the UMKC Food Insecurity Committee, Missouri Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Committee, the Community and Public Health Nutrition Research Interest Group with the American Society of Nutrition, and is collaborating on research projects related to improving food systems and SNAP access.


  • Healthcare Co-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. Julie recently moved to Cape Girardeau and joined the Saint Francis Medical Center, and is very excited to serve the state of Missouri in the capacity of Healthcare Work Group co-chair.
  • Healthcare Co-Chair: Sarah Hampl
    Dr. Sarah Hampl is board certified in Pediatrics and Obesity Medicine and is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of MO-Kansas City School of Medicine. She is a member of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and directs advocacy initiatives at the Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, a partnership between Children’s Mercy and the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has been working with children and families with obesity for the past 25 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. Dr. Hampl has enjoyed being a MOCAN member since 2008.

Healthy Weight Advisory Committee

  • Healthy Weight Advisory Committee 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.

Physical Activity

  • Physical Activity Co-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 two years. She embraces the opportunity to share knowledge with and increase awareness among Missourians toward living healthier lives.
  • Physical Activity Co-Chair: Christy Pittmann


  • Schools Co-Chair: Terry Atteberry
    Terry Atteberry is the Business Development Manager with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Terry’s work involves supporting whole child health by equipping school health champions with the tools and resources needed to promote healthy environments so that young people can achieve lifelong good health. Terry has been with Healthier Generation for seven years. Throughout those years she has supported over 100 Missouri schools in achieving healthier environments. Prior to her work as the Missouri Healthy Schools Program Manager and Business Development Manager with Healthier Generation, Terry served as the District Wellness Coordinator for the Eldon School District. She has also had the opportunity to work with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as the Physical Activity Coordinator. She provided support to several Missouri Active Living Community of Practice communities across the state. Terry is passionate about creating a healthier lifestyle and doing her part to ensure every mind, every body, and every young person should be healthy and ready to succeed.
  • Schools Co-Chair: Laura Beckmann
    Laura Beckmann brings experience and leadership from diverse levels of education. Followed by 28 years of educational service in public schools as a teacher and K-12 curriculum coordinator, Laura performed duties as an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri St. Louis and most recently acted as the Director of Missouri Healthy Schools for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO DESE). She continues to be heavily involved in the fields of Health, Physical Education, and Wellness consulting at the local, state, and national levels. Among the many contributions during her career, Laura has been awarded numerous local, state, and federal grants to improve wellness within schools and the communities they served. The documented success in data-based project outcomes of multiple projects that have served as models across the state, has contributed to many publications, the delivery of various workshops and the attraction of consultant services in the development of curriculum, grant and data programming and reporting, and school health and wellness initiatives. Due to the positive results of this work, Mrs. Beckmann has received many awards for her achievements and involvement in the areas of Health, Physical Education and Wellness. Mrs. Beckmann completed her undergraduate education at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, her M.A in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Saint Mary in Kansas, and her M.A. in School Administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.


  • 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.
  • Worksites Co-Chair: Kim Feltrop
    Kim Feltrop has been a Registered Nurse for 18 years in a variety of healthcare settings with multi-specialty experience in Interventional Radiology, Preop/PACU, Nephrology, Community Disability Health, and Health/Wellness Coaching. She is the Wellness Coordinator for Quaker Windows Products. She oversees the Health and Wellness program at two manufacturing plant locations for approximately 1500 employees. She provides employee coaching, health education, and advocacy. Kim serves on the Board for Osage County Anti-Drug Community Action Team, Inc and teaches the Strengthening Families Program. She embraces opportunities to create a positive impact and greater quality of life for the betterment of the people she serves.

At-Large Members

  • Donna Mehrle Elliott
    Donna Mehrle Elliott, 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 several nutrition programs: aging, WIC, planning and surveillance and obesity reduction and prevention. During her work at Extension, she assisted in day-to-day implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Nutrition Education and lead several special projects. Donna served as the coordinator of the Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) for several years and was instrumental in convening the council when first established. 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 Cole County University of Missouri Extension Council, 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 is currently working PRN as a clinical dietitian. 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.
  • David Ross
    David P. Ross is formerly the development manager for KC Healthy Kids in the metro Kansas City area. He 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. He is currently consulting on fundraising with 16 different organizations.
  • 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.
  • Priscilla Schmid
    Priscilla holds a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and is a licensed Registered Dietitian in the states of Missouri and Kansas. She has more than seven years of experience in the Dietetics field and is currently the Dietetics Director of the Missouri Northwest Region (KCMO). She was awarded as "Recognized Young Registered Dietitian" in 2021 by the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MOAND). Priscilla has ten certificates including Treatment of Obesity in Pediatrics and Adults, ServSafe Manager, Effective Communication and Excel Pivot Tables certificates. Her specialty is in developing clinical nutrition programs that treat obesity and related comorbidities. In her pastime, she enjoys exhibiting her artwork and playing music.

MU Extension Coordinating Staff

  • MOCAN Director: Candace Rodman
    Candace Rodman holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Science and Rehabilitation through Logan University and currently 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) director which acts to unify MO organizations, healthcare professionals, educators, government officials and public health entities to create policies that better the health of Missourians. When not working, Candace spends time on her ‘urban farm’ that includes a small garden, chickens, a cat, and a goofy, 120lb guard dog.
  • MOCAN Communications Advisor: Tyler Hall
    Tyler Hall is a County Engagement Specialist in Nutrition and Health for the University of Missouri Extension, primarily serving Montgomery, Lincoln, and Warren counties. He earned a B.S. in Nutritional Science and an M.S. in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from the University of Missouri. Tyler’s work focuses heavily on falls prevention in older adults through strength training and lifestyle nutrition changes for long-term positive health outcomes. Before his time with the University of Missouri Extension, Tyler worked at MU Healthcare as an exercise physiologist, where he trained patients recovering from cardiopulmonary events to help them return to normal activities of daily living. Tyler serves as the communications advisor for MOCAN to help disseminate information and accomplishments from the organization.
  • MOCAN Support Staff: 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.