National WIC Association

About NWA

The National WIC Association (NWA) is the non-profit education arm and advocacy voice of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the over 7 million mothers and young children served by WIC and the 12,000 service provider Agencies who are the front lines of WIC’s public health nutrition services for the nation’s nutritionally at-risk mothers and young children.


Mission Statement

The National WIC Association provides its members with tools and leadership to expand and sustain effective nutrition services for mothers and young children.

Vision Statement

Our vision is a nation of healthier women, children, and their families.

Breastfeeding Statement

The National WIC Association (NWA) endorses the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) Policy Statements on Breastfeeding.

 

The AAP policy statement “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk” (2012) states, “Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for all infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short and long-term medical and neurodevelopment advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue not only a lifestyle choice.”

 

The ABM’s “Position on Breastfeeding” (2015) states, “Suboptimal breastfeeding practices are unequivocally associated with a greater risk of infant morbidity and mortality not only in developing countries, but also in industrialized countries. Increasing breastfeeding rates is one of the most important behaviors we can promote to decrease infant death and illness worldwide.”

 

NWA promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life with continued breastfeeding through the first year and beyond with the addition of appropriate complementary foods. All WIC staff have a role in promoting and providing support for the successful initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.


National Campaigns

We are a proud partner in numerous collaborative efforts to promote the public health nutrition including:

  • Sesame Workshop: NWA partners with Sesame Workshop to promote healthy eating and physical activity in WIC clinics nationwide through distribution of a variety of educational materials directed toward young children.
  • Meredith Publishing: NWA partners with Meredith Publishing in the development of nutrition education materials for use in WIC clinics and for distribution to WIC mothers and young children.
  • Altarum Institute: NWA is a research partner with Altarum Institute, a non-profit research institute to develop research and evaluation on various aspects of the WIC Program.
  • Child Nutrition Forum: NWA is a founding partner of the Child Nutrition Forum, a collaborative advocacy effort combining the advocacy voices of hundreds of national social justice organizations to promote WIC & Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
  • The Food Policy Working Group: NWA partners with the faith-based advocacy collaborative, The Food Policy Working Group.
  • Ad Council: NWA created a successful three-year partnership with the Ad Council in 2002 producing nationally distributed video, radio, and print media promotions for the WIC Program.

See highlights of our achievements and learn how the Association has evolved over the years.

  • 1979 - The idea for the National Association of WIC Directors (NAWD) comes about at a USDA-sponsored event when the attending State WIC Directors gather informally. It’s suggested that the State Directors form an association to represent their mutual interests. During the following year, the State Directors develop an informal network.
     
  • 1984 - An election of Association officers takes place. The membership begins the process of identifying policy issues and resolutions needed, as well as planning the Association’s future directions. An Annual Conference and a business meeting have been held each year since 1984.
     
  • 1986 - Infant formula cost containment implementation.
     
  • 1990 - A full-time Executive Director, Douglas Greenaway, is hired, and an office opens in Washington, DC. The following year, NAWD holds its first Washington Leadership Day.
     
  • 1992 - Committees complete the first four position papers: The Role of Infant Formula in the WIC Program; Breastfeeding Promotion in the WIC Program; Cost Allocation Systems; and Vendor Management in the WIC Program.
     
  • 1994 - The Association successfully defeats efforts to block grant WIC.
     
  • 2000 - Food package review paper, NAWD makes recommendations to improve the WIC food package.
     
  • 2004 - The Association changes its name to the National WIC Association, NWA, and implements a new Board structure. The Association’s three Sections (State Directors, Local Agency Directors, and Nutrition Services) are now equally represented on the Board of Directors.
     
  • 2005 - The Association concludes a highly successful three-year WIC public service announcement (PSA) outreach campaign in partnership with the Ad Council. Forty State WIC Agencies support the Association’s efforts to produce and broadly distribute radio, television, and print media campaigns with the following taglines: “Your child has you. And you have WIC.” and “Feed them well. Love them lots!” The campaigns garner an estimated $38 million in donated media time to promote WIC.
     
  • 2007 - After more than a decade of advocating for changes to the WIC Food Packages, the work of the Association pays off with the publication of the USDA Interim Final Rule to change the WIC Food Packages in December. Changes go into effect in 2009. The WIC food package is revised to provide consistency with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and establish dietary recommendations for infants and children under two years of age. Additions include fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and milk substitutions for those who are lactose-intolerant.
     
  • 2009 - To help introduce the new WIC food package, NWA formally launches, with the help of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster and Broccoli, the Association’s Healthy Habits for Life partnership with Sesame Workshop. This successful initiative results in the distribution of more than 3.6 million Healthy Habits for Life multimedia outreach kits to WIC families in 38 states.
     
  • 2010 - NWA convenes a National Breastfeeding Summit bringing together over 200 diverse stakeholders and partners, engaging them in a conversation to develop key principles for a national strategic plan to promote and support breastfeeding in WIC. Key speakers include USDA’s Under Secretary for FNCS, the Acting Deputy Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) President-Elect.
     
  • 2010 - NWA is invited to the President’s signing of The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act in December, which includes 15 key NWA recommended priorities.
     
  • 2011 - The Association approves a new legislative agenda for 2011 and 2012 pressing for key funding priorities for WIC and other legislative priorities including initiatives to enhance FDA oversight on foods with functional ingredients, phase out bisphenol A (BPA), end food deserts, and protecting the prevention and wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Your concerns, questions, and ideas are important to us.

Contact us at 202-232-5492.

Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, MArch, MDIV

President & CEO

douglasg@nwica.org

The Rev. Fr. Douglas A. G. Greenaway is responsible for directing the Association as well as representing the WIC community’s interests to the White House, Congress, the US Department of Agriculture, and other federal agencies and departments. He has served as President and CEO of NWA since 1990.

 

 

 

 

 


Cecilia Richardson, MS, RD, LD

Vice President, Nutrition Programs and Administration

crichardson@nwica.org

Cecilia is responsible for assisting the President & CEO in directing, managing, and administering the NWA National Office. She has responsibility over NWA’s internal and external nutrition-related programs, education, and activities. Cecilia supervises the Association’s professional staff and oversees the Association’s Human Resources functions.

 

 

 


Darlena Birch, MBA, RDN

Senior Public Health Nutritionist

dbirch@nwica.org

Darlena is responsible for managing NWA’s nutrition and breastfeeding activities. Darlena’s work includes representing the Association on various committees both inside and outside the organization, developing public comments, participating in the Association’s advocacy efforts, and assisting in the review of research/studies as it relates to nutrition and breastfeeding.

 

 

 

 

 


Brian Dittmeier, Esq.

State Government Affairs Counsel

bdittmeier@nwica.org

Brian is responsible for managing the Association’s strategy and response to state policy issues. Brian serves as the Association’s policy resource for state directors, analyzes state and local legislative and administrative proposals, collaborates with state and local advocacy partners, and coordinates policy partnerships with vendors and industry.

 

 

 

 

 


Elisabet Eppes, MPH

Program Innovation Manager

eeppes@nwica.org

Elisabet is responsible for managing NWA’s activities related to WIC program innovation, focusing on those aimed at improving recruitment and retention of WIC participants. Elisabet develops, coordinates, and builds on the Association’s various program innovation strategies in the areas of research, marketing, education, and technical assistance.

 

 

 

 

 


DuWvaughn P. Francois

Accounting and Office Manager

dfrancois@nwica.org

Francois is responsible for managing the general operations of NWA and oversees the office accounting. Francois serves as liaison to NWA’s Board of Directors and is the main contact to our IT support contractor. Francois also serves as an office liaison to the NWA Membership Benefit Funds Committee and collaborates with NWA’s Director of Education and Events, and Manager of Membership Engagement. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Emily Gilcher, M.Ac

Membership Engagement Manager

egilcher@nwica.org

Emily is responsible for developing and managing NWA membership recruitment and retention programs with an emphasis on member engagement and support. Emily serves as a liaison to the Business Council, the Local Agency Section of the Board, and the Membership Benefit Fund Committee, among others. She is responsible for managing the Annual Business Meeting and other key member-related events.

 

 

 

 


Ali Hard, MS, RD

Senior Associate, Federal Government Affairs

ahard@nwica.org

Ali is responsible for managing NWA’s relationship with Congress and the administration to advance the Association’s policy priorities, including ensuring strong WIC funding and program integrity. Ali provides updates to members on federal policy, leads grassroots advocacy on federal issues, co-manages the Washington Leadership Conference with the State Government Affairs Counsel, and serves as the liaison to the Legislative Committee.

 

 

 

 


Quinney Harris, MPH

Director of Health Equity and Community Partnerships

qharris@nwica.org

Quinney is responsible for management and oversight of NWA’s community health portfolio. He oversees the planning, development, and implementation of community health programs and actively promotes and integrates health equity policies and strategies into the association’s work with the WIC community. 

 

 

 

 

 


Shameka Jennings, MTA, CMP

Director of Education and Events

sjennings@nwica.org

Shameka is responsible for developing innovative ways to build and strengthen programming, engagement & relationships with association members through experiential education and events. Shameka plans, organizes, and coordinates all Association activities related to NWA conferences, events, webinars, and Leadership Academy.

 

 

 

 

 


Georgia Machell, PhD

Senior Director of Research and Program Operations

gmachell@nwica.org

Georgia is responsible for directing program operations for NWA. This involves managing the NWA staff and working closely with senior management to ensure the Association develops projects, programming and products that support the mission and vision of NWA. In addition, Georgia develops WIC research priorities and leads efforts to connect NWA members with new research findings and provides guidance on planning, conducting and communicating WIC research.

 

 

 

 


Natalie Mulloy

Communications, Media, and Marketing Coordinator

nmulloy@nwica.org

Natalie is responsible for managing the National Recruitment and Retention Campaign and organizes NWA marketing. Natalie oversees the NWA website, online community, NWA social media, and e-publications.  Natalie serves as a co-liaison to NWA’s Reach Them, Teach Them, Keep Them Task Force.

 

 

 

 

 


Kay Ogundiran

Administrative Support Associate

kogundiran@nwica.org

Kay provides administrative support to NWA’s management and staff, serves as the receptionist at NWA’s office, helps with various projects, and provides customer service to NWA members, partners, and guests to ensure efficient and effective day-to-day operation of the NWA office.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stephen Padre

Communications, Media, and Marketing Manager

spadre@nwica.org

Stephen oversees the strategy and implementation efforts of NWA in the areas of communications, media and marketing. This includes managing public relations and media campaigns and creating internal and external communications - the website, social media, newsletters, email communications and print publications. He is the primary media contact for NWA.

 

 

 

 


NWA Governance Structure

We are governed by a Board of Directors comprising State WIC Directors, Local Agency WIC Directors, State Nutrition Coordinators, a representative of the Indian & Native American WIC State Agencies, and six officers.

We have three interest sections—State Directors, Local Agency, and the Nutrition Services—and twenty-four committees and task forces that help formulate policy for the Association. The Annual Business Meeting authority resides with the Voting Members of the Association.

Our membership dues come from the state treasuries of the 50 geographic and 40 Indian & Native American, territory, trust and commonwealth state WIC agencies, our distinguished Business Council Partners, corporate Sustaining Members and other non-profit organizations. NWA does not receive direct federal funds.

VIEW NWA BYLAWS


Executive Committee

Rita Arni, Chair
Beth Beachy, Chair-Elect
Diana Hoek, Chair Emeritus
Nancy Sanchez, Treasurer
Barbara Riley, Secretary
Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO

State Section Representatives

Kobra Eghtedary, Mid-west, Chair
Bruce Boyea, Southwest
Rhonda Buntrock, Mountain Plains
Marjorie Chambers, Northeast
Will Cramer, Mid-Atlantic
Berry B. Kelly, Southeast
Cristi Litzsinger, Western
Dawn Briner, Native American Coalition

Nutrition Services Section Representatives

Pat Faulkner, Midwest, Co-Chair
Jean O'Leary, Western, Co-Chair
Amanda Hovis, Southwest
TBD, Mountain Plains
Denise Pope, Southeast
Carolyn Wescott, Mid-Atlantic
Meaghan Sutherland, Northeast

Local Agency Section Representatives

Samar S. McGregor, Western, Co-Chair
Melinda Morris, Mountain Plains, Co-Chair
Jeanne Gallegos, Southwest
Elisabeth Kersaint, Northeast
Robin McRoberts, Mid-Atlantic
Diane Shelton, Southeast Region
Jennifer Miller, Mid-West


Outside NWA Partnerships include:

  • Coalition Partnerships
    We are a founding member of the Child Nutrition Forum, and a member of the Coalition for Human Needs, the Food Policy Working Group, the National Alliance for Nutrition and Physical Activity, and the Trust for America’s Health. We also maintain partnerships with various other advocacy groups.
We partner with public and private organizations and corporations to ensure the continued success of the WIC Program. Each of our Business Council Partners values the WIC Program and is an essential part of our community.
 
Danone North America

Danone North America

Danone North America is committed to bringing health through food to as many people as possible.

And every day we work to help improve the American diet by offering more nutrient dense foods and making them more widely available.

http://www.danonenorthamerica.com


General Mills

General Mills

General Mills is proud of its longstanding partnership with NWA and WIC.  Our relationship with WIC started over 30 years ago when Cheerios was reformulated with more iron to meet the needs of WIC participants.  Today, General Mills manufactures over 240 products that meet federal eligibility requirements.  From popular cereal brands like CheeriosTM, KixTM, and ChexTM, to Yoplait®; and Mountain HighTM yogurt, ProgressoTM beans, to Cascadian FarmTM frozen fruit and vegetables – we make delicious, widely-available products that WIC consumers are proud to provide to their families. 

http://www.generalmills.com


HemoCue

HemoCue

As a proud NWA Business Council Partner, HemoCue supports WIC clinics nation-wide in their efforts to screen and monitor anemia. We at HemoCue understand that even mild anemia can result in extreme fatigue and can interfere with ones ability to work, perform daily tasks, or participate in family or social activities. In children, iron deficiency can result in developmental delays, behavioral disturbances, lack of attention and learning difficulties.

http://www.hemocue.com/us/


HemoPoint® H2 – Stanbio Laboratory

HemoPoint® H2 – Stanbio Laboratory

Stanbio’s Public Health Team understands the importance of good health to individuals during their early stages of life and to the ones that nurture and support them.

By providing live, personal customer support, we build relationships with each WIC agency to learn their situation and participant culture; we work to offer a reliable, stress free and affordable method to test participants for anemia.

http://www.stanbio.com/products/hemopointsupsup-h2-photometer


Kellogg's

Kellogg's

As a NWA business partner and member of the WIC community, we pursue opportunities for multiple WIC stakeholders to work together for the benefit of the program. A deep knowledge of WIC concerns allows us to create Kellogg products and nutrition communications to answer WIC needs.

http://www.healthybeginnings.com


Masimo

Masimo

As a NWA business partner, Masimo pursues opportunities to help safeguard the health of the WIC population by identifying participants with low hemoglobin using noninvasive technology. Masimo’s mission of enabling clinicians to detect and treat potentially life threatening conditions is aligned with the NWA and WIC’s mission.

http://www.masimo.com/


Medela

Medela

Medela’s primary focus is breastfeeding by helping moms to successfully breastfeed their babies and to do so for as long as they choose. Meeting this goal responsibly is at the heart of everything we do. Medela is proud to be a NWA Business Council Partner. WIC agencies play an instrumental role in educating and supporting breastfeeding mothers and in helping those moms provide breastmilk, the best nutrition, for their babies.

http://www.medela.us/


Meredith

Meredith

Meredith Custom Solutions is dedicated to helping the National WIC Association provide moms with the best information on how to care for their growing families. Leveraging our status as the leading commercial publisher of parenthood content in the country, Meredith acts as a strategic communications partner and consultant to NWA. As a company, we focus on providing all women with information and inspiration to create rich and meaningful lives.

http://www.meredith.com/


Post Consumer Brands

Post Consumer Brands

In 2015, MOM Brands and Post Foods came together to form Post Consumer Brands—the third largest cereal company in the U.S. We now offer 25 WIC eligible cereals, approved in 49 states, plus Puerto Rico. No other cereal company offers as large a variety of iconic Hot Cereal and the Ready-to-Eat Cereal brands.

While providing all the nutritional benefits to meet Federal WIC eligibility, Post Consumer Brands offers some of America’s favorite combinations of sound nutrition and great taste. Which means families can look forward to —and really feel good about—breakfast, every day.

Cereal is the #1 choice for breakfast in the U.S. and a big part of WIC programs in every state. Over 8 million women and children in the WIC program count on cereal to provide the nutrition they need. What’s more, studies show that kids who eat breakfast do better in school. It’s indeed what makes breakfast the most important meal of the day.

Post Consumer Brands partners with Touchstone Growth Partners, a consulting firm to represent us with state WIC agencies. On behalf of Post Consumer Brands, Touchstone Growth Partners connects with WIC managers across 90 agencies, promoting the nutritious benefits of all our cereals. For more information, please contact: Dave Myers at (717) 715-2700 or email at dave@touchstonegp.com.

https://postconsumerbrands.com/


Three Sigma Software Incorporated

Three Sigma Software Incorporated

Three Sigma Software, Inc. is an innovative software development company, with the sole mission of providing our Customers with quality software development, implementation, and maintenance support to effectively manage their Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs. Using state-of-the-art technology, our experienced developers, former WIC staff, and subject-matter experts deliver web-based applications that support WIC staffs in the mission of providing efficient, effective services to WIC participants. Our customized WIC systems offer solutions for both EBT and Coupon-based WIC environments; supports scanners and signature pads, and allows for interfaces to many other services. All of this makes Three Sigma’s systems the leading WIC applications available.

 

http://3sigmasoftware.com/


Take a look at our Committees and Task Force Roster to see who serves on each committee. If you are interested in volunteering please refer to our Volunteer Opportunities.

NWA Committee and Task Forces

COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD

Finance Committee
This committee provides oversight on the Association's budget and finances.


STANDING COMMITTEES
Standing Committees are ongoing and develop governance at the direction of the Board.

Bylaws Committee
The Bylaws Committee periodically reviews the bylaws and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors as needed for revisions or clarifications. This Committee also reviews proposed operating policies developed by affiliate Sections.


Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee seeks candidates for Association offices and the following year's Nominating Committee. Members introduce candidates to the membership.


COMMITTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION
Committees address broad policy issues to further the long-term mission of the Association, at the direction of the Board.

Annual Conference Planning Committee
The Annual Conference Planning Committee is charged with planning program content, organizing events, arranging speakers, and hosting the NWA Annual Education and Networking Conference. 


Breastfeeding Promotion Committee
The Breastfeeding Promotion Committee works to develop recommendations and standards for the promotion and support of breastfeeding among mothers participating in the WIC Program. This Committee also works to encourage the active promotion of breastfeeding by NWA members.


Calendar Committee
The Calendar Committee develops the annual nutrition education calendar for purchase by the Association membership and others.


Evaluation Committee
The Evaluation Committee represents NWA's interests in research and evaluation of the WIC Program, especially those efforts of USDA/FNS, OAE, and ERS.


Leadership Academy Development Advisory Committee
The Leadership Academy Development Advisory Committee works with the Leadership Academy Academic Supervisor, NWA Staff, and others as appropriate to review, develop, and recommend content and strategies to grow and enhance the Academy.


Legislative Committee
The Legislative Committee participates in the development and implementation of regulatory and legislative policy as it affects the mission and goals of NWA and the WIC Program.


Member Benefit Fund Committee
The Membership Benefit Fund Committee oversees the administration of the Member Benefit Fund, the goal of which is to provide unique opportunities for learning and enrichment to enhance individual knowledge and allow for the development of collaborative projects to be administered on a local or regional level to improve the nutritional status and health outcomes for women, infants and children. Additionally, this reinvestment in individuals and communities allows for new and creative solutions and ideas to be shared with members of NWA.


Nutrition and Breastfeeding Conference Planning Committee
The Nutrition and Breastfeeding Conference Planning Committee develops and plans the conference program and schedule for the Association's biennial conference.


Technology, Program Integrity, and Vendor Management Conference Planning Committee
This committee develops and plans the Association's biennial technology conference.


TASK FORCES
Task forces are created to carry out the work of the Association at the direction of the Board to address specific short-term goals or initiatives.


Farmers Market Programs Task Force
The Task Force examines WIC’s relationships with the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and develops recommendations on opportunities to streamline programmatic efficiency and benefits delivery.


Infant Mortality in WIC
This task force examines available research regarding WIC participation and infant mortality to identify best practices for addressing the issue while analyzing methods to reduce the incidence of infant mortality in WIC.


Maternal Mortality in WIC
This task force examines available research regarding WIC participation and maternal mortality to identify best practices for addressing the issue while analyzing methods to reduce the incidence of maternal mortality in WIC.


Reach Them, Teach Them, Keep Them Task Force
This task force examines and develops best practices to reach, teach, and keep WIC participants and has an advisory role for the National WIC Recruitment & Retention Campaign.


Recruitment and Retention of Registered Dietitians (RDs) in WIC
This task force examines and identifies best practices for recruiting RDs from outside of WIC while analyzing methods to optimize the retention of RDs currently working in the Program.


Vendor Business Practices Task Force
This task force develops Association policy and related position papers relevant to vendor relationships and implementation of vendor related policies affecting the WIC Program and WIC participants.


Joint Work Group with USDA/FNS

Risk Identification and Selection Collaborative (RISC)
RISC is a partnership between USDA/FNS and NWA to promote ongoing review and development of appropriate nutrition risk criteria for consistent application in the WIC program.