Ms. Brand is the Director of the Stony Brook WIC Program. She opened the first WIC office for Stony Brook Medicine in Suffolk County on Long Island in 2004. Lauren initially became involved with the NYS WIC Association in 2014 as part of the Nutrition & Breastfeeding and Legislative Committees. She has formally sat on the NYS WIC Association’s Board of Directors since 2015 and is currently serving in her second term as Chairperson.
Melissa is from the Capital Region and is the WIC Program Manager at the Commission on Economic Opportunity. She has worked for WIC for 13 years and is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Melissa also serves on the Finance Committee and is Co-Chair of the Conference Committee. She decided to become a board member to become more active in the WIC community and to broaden her professional development.
Rudy is the Director of the Public Health Solution’s WIC Vendor Management Agency. He has worked in WIC Vendor Management for 25 years. He is currently a member on both the Consumer/Vendor committee and the Finance committee. In addition, he is a member of the executive board serving as Treasurer.
Helene has been promoting good nutrition and wellness for more than 20 years having worked as a nutritionist in community, clinical, corporate and retail environments. Helene joined the WIC community eight years ago, first as a high-risk nutritionist and then as WIC Director in New York City. Three years ago, Helene joined the WIC Association of NYS’s Board, and now serves as both a Provider for the MARO region and Secretary on the Executive Committee. When not working, Helene enjoys long hikes and practicing yoga.
Penny Bashford joined the Commission on Economic Opportunity as the Capital/Central region WIC Vendor Management Agency Director in 2012. Subsequently becoming a board member in 2016; currently serving on the Legislative and Vendor/Consumer committees.
Penny joined the Board to help develop stakeholder collaborations and to enhance relations with the communities served by the NYS WIC program.
I've been working in the WIC Program for 8 years as a Coordinator for Delaware Opportunities Inc. I live in a rural area of Delaware County with my husband and two children. In December 2016, I was elected to serve as a Provider for the Capital Region. I became the Chair of the Finance Committee in January 2018. I'm also a member of the Legislative Committee. As a Board member of the Association, I've been able to advocate for local agencies, and have seen positive changes in the program as a result.
Sara has been working as a WIC Coordinator in Warren County for four years, is a Registered Dietitian, and has served as a provider for the WIC Association of NYS for a year. She has been working in the community nutrition field for five years in a variety of roles and is passionate about breastfeeding and nutrition/health education. She hopes to use her elected position on the board to help advocate for the WIC community and local WIC agencies. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, spending time with her dog and finding new recipes to try!
My appreciation of the WIC program started when my two sons were “on WIC”. I never thought that our family would be eligible. I was pleasantly surprised to be enrolled and learn about all the good things besides food supplements that WIC had to offer. It is a great program with its health benefits and nutrition support.
When our Washington County WIC Coordinator asked me if I would be interested in serving on the Board, it was a quick reply because it made sense to give back. I started out as a Consumer on the WIC Association's Board and later moved to an Advocate position. I hope my story helps Legislators understand the powerful benefits of the WIC program for all women, infants and children. It is easy to spread the good word about a program that makes such a difference in the lives of so many families.
Today I work on our family farm and for the Southern Adirondack Child Care Network as Coordinator.
Megan has been serving WIC families for nearly seven years as both a Nutritionist and Site Manager in Northern New York as part of the Central Region. Since 2015, she has been attending many state-wide meetings and training's in anticipation of the NYWIC Rollout. Since then, she has served as the local agency expert, helping to train and support her staff in NYWIC. Megan enjoys being able to represent the Central Region as a WIC Association Provider since December of 2016; and has been a member in both the Nutrition and Breastfeeding, and Marketing and Membership committees. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Consumer/Vendor committee. Megan continues to expand her professional development and passion in order to lead her WIC team in successfully supporting and serving our families.
I am Loriann Spatola-Davis and have been with WIC for 30 years. I started with Tioga Opportunities, Inc. WIC Program as a clerk in 1990 and after graduating from SUNY Binghamton with a Bachelor in Science, I moved into the WIC Coordinator position in 2001. Lori is a returning Board Member and serves on the Marketing/Membership and Legislative committees. The best part of my job is that I can help families reach their health and nutrition goals. If I can just help one mom or family move from crisis to self-sufficiency, it makes everything we do worthwhile.
I have been involved with the WIC program for 31 years, including 10 years as a local WIC Coordinator with North Country Children’s Clinic and as a Board Member since 1992. I was a CNY provider for 8 years and continued on the Board as an advocate for the last 21. Past officer positions I have held are Vice Chair and Treasurer. Currently, I am the co-chair of the Board Development Committee and sit on the Finance and Legislative and Public Policy committees.
Additionally, prior to my retirement in May 2020, I worked for Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Oswego County as a Human Ecology Team Coordinator overseeing the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program and the SNAP-Ed nutrition program.
I hold a Bachelors degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Education from SUNY Oswego. I am currently a CDN and CLC. I studied at the Cordon Bleu in London, England.
Tanya is a mother of two young boys – Evan and Alex. She has worked in the Public Health field for over a decade, including WIC Vendor Management. She joined the WIC Board of Directors in April 2021 and is excited to help WIC families across New York State learn and enjoy the benefits of the WIC Program.
Lisa Fermin-Rivera is Associate Director for the NYCH+H Elmhurst WIC Program. Lisa has been serving on the board representing the NYC metropolitan area as a Provider for a little more than five years. Having the opportunity to represent local WIC agencies, interact with innovative people from other regions of NYS and represent successes and challenges to influence change is a major reason she participates. Currently a member of the Legislative, Consumer and Board Development committees, working with dedicated peers towards progress is a rewarding experience.
Michelle Downer is currently the WIC Director for the Urban Health Plan WIC Program in the Metropolitan Region, which provides services in the Bronx and Queens. She has worked for the WIC Program for 27 years beginning as a staff Nutritionist in 1993. Currently, living in Brooklyn, Ms. Downer continues her journey with WIC and is committed to improving and providing the needed services to participants. Ms. Downer also served in the USAR for eight years as a specialist/ field medic during the time of the Gulf War. She is currently assigned to the legislative and nutrition and breastfeeding committees.
Lauren is the Coordinator of the Catholic Charities of Long Island WIC Program which provides services in both Nassau and Suffolk County. She has been working for the WIC Program well over 25 years and began her journey as a WIC Nutritionist for Jamaica Hospital. Lauren is dedicated to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition and is committed to helping WIC families gain access to nutritious foods. She has also worked both privately and in Early Intervention as a Registered Dietitian. Lauren currently serves on the Metro NYC WIC Association Board as Treasurer and recently joined The WIC Association of NYS Board as a Provider representing the MARO region. She looks forward to the opportunity of being on the Board and hopes to advance professionally while continuing to contribute to the WIC community in a positive way. In her spare time, Lauren loves to travel, walk her dogs with family and go on long bike rides.
Tommi-Grace Melito has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors for over a decade. She is currently the Regional Economic Resiliency Programs Manager at the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island where she works closely with WIC and other human service providers create innovative solutions to complex social issues. She joined the Board of Directors in January 2020 and is absolutely thrilled to continue to work closely to elevate the WIC Program in New York.
Judette is the Director of Catholic Charities WIC Program in the Western Region covering Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties. She has worked in the maternal/infant field for over 30 years. She is passionate about teaching families about health and nutrition.
I am Mary Krypel, I am a WIC Coordinator for Catholic Charities of Buffalo WIC in Western NY. I have been a part of the WIC Association Board for one year and serve on the Nutrition and Breastfeeding Committee, the Marketing and Membership Committee, the Conference Committee, and the Consumer and Vendor Committee. I have my bachelor’s degree in dietetics and my master’s degree in community health and became aware of WIC through my studies. Throughout my years working at WIC in different capacities I became very passionate about the program and everything it does for moms and their children. I was excited at the opportunity to join the board and affect change for the WIC program across New York State.
Misha has been an anti-hunger advocate for over two decades working with communities in NJ and NYS to expand their capacity to provide their members access to affordable and nutritious food through USDA nutrition assistance programs. She joined Hunger Solutions New York in 2003 and has conducted outreach, policy analysis and advocacy for SNAP, SFSP, CACFP, and since 2018, WIC. Misha joined the Board in 2019, and serves on the Legislative and Marketing & Membership Committees. She lives in the capital region with her husband and two terrific teenagers.
Currently serving as Statewide Advocate on BOD; Committee member on Finance , Conference & Board Development; Former WIC Co-ordinator for 4 County Program in Upstate NY (near the Canadian Border); Founding member of NYS WIC Association Steering Committee & Board of Directors; Former Secretary & Treasurer of NYSWIC Association.