Officials from restaurant chain Red Lobster and food distributor Sysco have joined the board of the non-profit Seafood Nutrition Partnership to lend their expertise in educating Americans about using seafood as a healthy and nutritious addition to their diets, SNP announced Oct. 18.
Additionally, the SNP has added a member of the nutrition organization Oldways Preservation Trust to its scientific nutrition advisory committee.
“Seafood has a great story to tell and we have a tremendous opportunity to connect with Americans on the public health benefits of seafood,” new advisory board member and Red Lobster spokeswoman Patty Travino said.
With Orlando, Florida-based Red Lobster Travino is responsible for leading the marketing and culinary related activities for the casual dining seafood restaurant company, which owns and operates restaurants throughout North America.
“Food is the solution to many of the health issues we face today,” said the other new board member, Victoria Gutierrez, who’s the chief merchandising officer for Sysco. She looks forward, she said, to helping drive consumer behavior change to include healthy and sustainable seafood more often for improved public health.
With Sysco, Gutierrez leads the company’s product growth strategy in the United States, and works to enhance the customer experience through a line of food products and a variety of non-food products to both independent and chain restaurant customers and other “away-from-home” locations, like healthcare and educational facilities.
Nutrition Partnership Chairman Jim Motos said that the passion, talent and consumer reach of the two women is expected to amplify SNP’s mission.
On Oct. 20 it was announced that Oldways-registered dietician Kelly LeBlanc has joined SNP’s 16-member Science Council. The council, which was formed in 2013, is comprised of researchers from around the globe who are united around seafood as critical for the health of all Americans.
LeBlanc’s work with Boston-based Oldways focuses on cultural eating programs, especially the African Heritage and Mediterranean diets.
She said in a statement that she has always looked to science as the backbone of nutrition advice and is passionate about her work “focused on research and outreach around heritage-based diets high in taste, nourishment, sustainability and joy.”
LeBlanc has authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals around traditional diets, the focus of her work at Oldways, where she is responsible for the design, direction and oversight of the organization’s multiple nutrition-related programs.
A registered dietitian by training, LeBlanc graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She also holds a master’s degree in Gastronomy from Boston University, with a concentration in food policy.
The Seafood Nutrition partnership is a Virginia-based 501(c)3 non-profit entity devoted to the health and nutritional benefits of seafood, and addressing the nation’s public health crisis through educational program inspiring Americans to incorporate more seafood and omega-3s into their diets.