Illinois Academy Leadership

The Illinois Academy's executive committee functions as an extension of the board of directors. They are the board's eyes and ears when the board can't gather in full. These members act when the entire board can't. They make decisions in between meetings and resolve any urgent issues facing the organization. Though the executive committee meets frequently and independently, they’re still ultimately accountable to the board.

Click Here for the Full Leadership Directory - (members only access)

Click here for a complete list of past presidents



Charlyn Fargo Ware, MS, RDN, LDN

[email protected]

 Charlyn Fargo Ware is a registered dietitian in the Culinary Medicine Department and General Internal Medicine Department at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree in Nutrition from Eastern Illinois University and two bachelor’s degrees (food and communication) from the University of Illinois-Champaign. She enjoys teaching nutrition at the University of Illinois-Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College as well as in the community. She is president of the FBI Springfield Citizens Academy, on the board for the U of I College of ACES (Urbana-Champaign) representing Region 5, secretary-treasurer for the Illinois Association of County Fairs which represents 103 county fairs in the state and CPI board member of IAND.  She grew up on a farm in central Illinois. She and her husband, Brad, have two children and an 1-year-old grandson.

President Elect

Chair of Communications

Jennifer Zuercher, PhD, RD, LD

[email protected]

 Jennifer Zuercher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and Director of the Graduate Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program. She was previously the Membership Chair and President of the Bay Area Dietetic Association (CA) and Membership Chair and Legislative Chair of the Durham Chapel Hill Dietetic Association (NC). She enjoys helping people make positive lifestyle changes and loves having the opportunity to train the next generation of nutrition and dietetics professionals. She always encourages students to get involved! 

Immediate Past President

Chair of Operations

Tina Lam, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

[email protected]

Tina Lam is currently an Instructor and Assistant Director of the Dietetics Coordinated Program at University of IL, Chicago. She enjoys working with all of the UIC students and preceptors at the various sites that the students go for supervised practice. She's also the past IAND Diversity Liaison and one of the past-presidents of the Chicago AND. In her free time, she likes to be outside whether it's in her garden, playing tennis, biking, or walking her dog. She's also a foodie and loves to try new recipes and all the amazing restaurants Chicago-land has to offer.


Chair of Membership

Amanda Lynch, MS, RD, LDN

[email protected]

 Amanda Lynch is currently a Corporate Menu Specialist working remotely for US Foods. She also teaches an online nutrition course part-time at Purdue University-Fort Wayne. Amanda received her Bachelor of Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Science from Eastern Illinois University. Amanda just finished her term as district president of the Eastern Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is very passionate about the dietetics profession and is looking forward to continuing to serve the dietetics field as Secretary at the state level. In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband & new puppy, exercising, traveling, trying new restaurants, cooking (particularly homemade pasta and bread!) and reading. 


Chair of Finance

Renea Lyles, MS, RD, LDN

[email protected]

Renea Lyles is a chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, beginning her professional cooking career in the vibrant Chicago restaurant scene in both the savory and pastry sides of the kitchen. She is a graduate of the Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Le Cordon Bleu and later earned a Master of Science degree in nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She grew up in a rural Indiana farming community and learned how to grow fruits, flowers and vegetables in her mother’s garden as a child. Currently, she is a faculty member at UIC where she works to create curriculum and teach nutrition-focused cooking and food safety courses for UIC’s Department of Kinesiology while managing the UIC Nutrition Teaching Garden on campus. She loves to get involved in all things related to growing, cooking and eating food, and encourages her students to do the same!

CPI Chair

Chair of Professional Development

Kathy Levin, RDN, CDCES, DipACLM

[email protected]

In addition to being a registered dietitian, Kathy is a diabetes educator and board certified in lifestyle medicine. She focuses on plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine through her private practice, Nutritiously Simple, and her work with the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program and Better Up. She is a founding member and co-chair of the Illinois Prairie Diabetes Alliance and co-chair of the RDN member interest group in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. When Kathy isn’t working with clients, you’ll find her remixing recipes in her kitchen, traveling, and enjoying time with her family. 

Chair of Delegates (North) 

Chair of Legislation

Christine Cliff, MPH, RDN, LDN, CLT, FAND

[email protected]

Having held various leadership roles with Illinois Academy over the past 10 years, Christine brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. She works in school nutrition at District U-46. She received her master's degree from Benedictine University and her bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University. Her favorite part about being a dietitian is being able to offer someone a nugget of knowledge about food/nutrition that they may not have known and even showing them how to create a dish that is stealthfully healthful, but tastes super yummy. In her free time she enjoys yoga, core/strength training, walking/cardio, reading for leisure, baking/cooking, and spending time with her family.

Delegate (South) 

Connie Cranford, MS, RD, LDN

[email protected]

In September of 2021, Connie Breach Cranford retired from her position as renal dietitian with DaVita, but definitely did not retire from dietitian activities. She has been treasurer of Capital Area for the past 4 years, and accepted an appointment as a IAND delegate this past winter. She was president of IAND in 1991-92, and has served in almost every capacity in Capital Area at least once. She was active with the Renal Practice Group and with the Illinois and National Councils on Renal Nutrition with the National Kidney Foundation. In retirement, she volunteers her time doing sewing for Midwest Mission, has learned how to finish needlepoint ornaments, joined a book club, and traveled as much as possible. In the summer her family enjoys meeting at her brother's lake house near Warren Dunes State Park. She and her husband, Kevin, are proud parents of a U of I grad who just started her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Marquette.

Executive Director 

Terry McBride

[email protected]

Terry has been honored to proudly serve as Executive Director of the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Inc. since 1999. She has worked with many local, regional and national organizations throughout her career. After serving as Executive Director for another statewide organization for nearly a decade, Terry established her own association management company, TDM Management Services, in 1998. In her free time Terry enjoys cooking, hiking and spending time with her family.