Member Spotlight - Molly Pelzer
Molly Pelzer, RD, LD, FAND
Senior Vice President, Health and Wellness, Midwest Dairy Council
Tell us about your job.
In my role at Midwest Dairy Council, I lead the Health and Wellness Team, which provides health and wellness tools and shares up-to-date nutrition research. I also assist the National Dairy Council with program development.
One of my favorite things about my job is the challenge of translating the science of nutrition into the art of making tasty and healthy food choices. As a registered dietitian, I believe strongly in the importance of creating a healthy environment to promote wise food choices and increased physical activity. I am particularly passionate about providing opportunities for all children to start their day with breakfast to enhance their ability to learn.
What do you find most interesting about your job?
No two days are ever the same – even remotely similar. In fact, although I have worked at the Dairy Council for over 30 years, it feels like I’ve never had the same role for more than 3 years at a time. In addition, I’m inspired to learn more about our dairy farm families. Their commitment to producing safe and wholesome milk and taking care of their cows and their land makes me want to do more on their behalf.
How did you get into this field?
I had a cousin who I’d always admired who chose dietetics as her college major. She was the first to introduce me to the field as a career choice. I later met a dietitian who was the mother of a high school classmate as part of a career day sharing who further confirmed this career was the right choice for me.
Where were you born and raised?
I married my high school sweetheart, so I’m still living in the same town where I was born and raised, Tipton, Iowa. I was a town girl but now I’m an RDN Farmer. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in food production as well as have our expertise on making wise food choices.
Where did you go to college and/or complete an intership?
I am a proud graduate of the University of Missouri- Columbia (MIZ ZOU). I was part of their four year Coordinated Undergraduate Program (CUP) in clinical dietetics.
Besides your profession, what are your hobbies?
Spending time with family and friends is my top priority. I also enjoy gardening and golfing, though I’m not very good at either!
What are your favorite foods?
My favorite food is cheese. My indulgent favorite is a root beer float.
What is on your bucket list?
I like to travel with my husband. Last year we went to Ireland – it was grand and we hope to go back. This fall we will explore Napa Valley.
How long have you been a member of NEP, and why did you join?
I have been a member for over 30 years. I admired the mission of the group and the opportunity to serve as a volunteer within the DPG. It was my first opportunity to work with RDNs outside of my state in a volunteer position. I know it is a cliché but I did get so much more out of donating my time than the time was worth. The Board members inspired me early in my career. They were a wise group of women and eager to be friendly and help out an aspiring new RDN.
Are there any other interesting things you would like to share with NEP members?
I would like to encourage NEP members to explore the FAND credential. Even if you haven’t met all the criteria yet, it will provide the foundation for you on what you can do to make a difference!
Interview by Pauline Williams