Leadership of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation
Board of Directors
Founder and President
Ms. Ruggiero, an indomitable spirit, is founder and president of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., and author of The Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia: An Everyday Guide to Low Blood Sugar, which was acclaimed by the American Library Association as “one of best lay medical books in public libraries.” Having overcome ten years of illness–during which she saw dozens of doctors, endured countless medical tests, took thousands of pills and even underwent electric shock therapy–she understands the plight of the hypoglycemic firsthand. In her book, she shares with you her own personal experience and the knowledge she’s gained about this baffling disorder.
In 1980, Ms. Ruggiero established The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., to inform, support and encourage hypoglycemics and the public about this too often misunderstood and misdiagnosed disease. This organization has enabled her to show how poor nutritional habits and severe nutritional deficiencies affect one’s emotional and physical health.
A frequent guest on radio and television and a well-known speaker, Roberta has also brought her message to the international, corporate, medical and educational communities. Roberta has a special passion for helping children and families with Hypoglycemia and is also dedicated to educating the public on the correlation between hypoglycemia and alcoholism. Whatever road she takes in the future, you can be assured that Roberta will stay on top of the latest developments in hypoglycemia research and treatment and will continue to connect the dots for you… her HSF audience! Learn more about Roberta and her book “Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia” by visiting her website www.robertaruggiero.com.
Alderson has nearly four decades experience serving in leadership roles involving design, development, and administration of innovative programs created to improve human and environmental health. He employs a diverse range of strategies and tactics. Combining these with his exceptional management skills, Alderson will lead the HSF in fulfilling its mission of bringing critical information about hypoglycemia, and metabolic disease in general, to adults and children, and the public and health care industry at large.
In 2013, Alderson and Dr. Robert Lustig, a globally renowned neuroendocrinologist and Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, founded the Institute for Responsible Nutrition (IRN). Alderson served as its Executive Director and COO until March 2017, when he merged it with the United States Healthful Food Council/EatReal. Lustig is the author of several books including Fat Chance and Hacking of the American Mind. Alderson continues as Global Education Director for Dr. Robert Lustig. Alderson and Lustig share a mutual interest in preventing and reversing metabolic disease, which includes hypoglycemia, versus simply (or not so simply) treating it. Dr. Lustig has also joined the HSF family as a Medical Advisor. As a nationally recognized leader and networker in the field of metabolic health and nutrition, Alderson brings considerable assets and connections to the HSF.
The broad focus of Alderson’s lifetime of work has been improving human and environmental health – often by developing programs and organizations that accomplish both. His career began as a teenager when he founded the first Certified Farmers’ Market in California (the Gardena Farmers’ Market started in 1979 and is still going today). One of Alderson’s endeavors is a startup called “perfact” – offering a powerful new technology platform dedicated to making the food system more transparent and also a partner with HSF. The project is leading the development of a sugar matrix that has revealed over 300 names for added sugar, making this data available to public health advocacy groups like HSF.
Complementing his work improving the human condition is Alderson’s artwork. He has been a working artist since 1986. Primarily self-taught, Alderson has served as curator and lead artist in several public exhibitions, and developed two major art therapy and rehabilitation programs, one for Cuban refugees and the other for severely abused children. Alderson’s art has always built on the foundation of community, culture, and love – intersecting in powerful ways with the people he has served. His current work may be viewed at www.wolframalderson.com .
Rounding out Alderson’s career as a social change agent is his devotion to his wife, two cats, and the San Francisco community where he resides. His professional website and complete resume are online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wolframalderson.
Vice President, Marketing & Development
Panciera, the HSF’s Vice President, brings her unrelenting drive, fierce dedication, and commitment to make things happen for the HSF. Her infinite passion as an author, lecturer, and facilitator to empower women, makes her a perfect fit for the organization.
She currently serves as the Director of Family Services and Community Relations at the Boyd-Panciera Family Funeral Care. She is also a tireless supporter for Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital where she established a personal memorial foundation and raised $200K to support the expansion of the Cancer Center.
As an industry leader, Panciera specializes in educating the families in our communities about the importance of advance planning, spending countless hours bringing support and awareness to a subject that is so vitally important but too often ignored, and facilitates the firm’s “Wings of Hope” bereavement program assisting families on their journey of grief. She is also the author of Aging is a Privilege, Be Part of It.
A past honoree at the HSF’s 2014 Fundraising Gala, Panciera has also been honored by the March of Dimes with their “Women of Distinction” award and is a member of the “Starfish Circle” for Women in Distress. Also, active in the Urban League and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, she is a tireless leader and mentor.
Renee Jaszcz has taken the phrase “like mother, like daughter” to heart. She has served as Vice President of the HSF for the past six years and has given her unconditional support and dedication as Chair of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation’s first fundraising gala in 2011.
Renee knows all too well the serious effects of hypoglycemia, having lived through her mother’s illness. At age 20, while attending college at the University of Florida, she had a glucose tolerance test that confirmed she was hypoglycemic also. She shares her mother’s passion for providing hypoglycemics with the knowledge and tools to ensure a less traumatic journey and a faster recovery.
Jaszcz began her career in the dental industry after attending Broward Community College on a nursing scholarship. She has more than 30 years in the dental industry, with 18 years of experience in dental insurance and 12 years prior to that as a dental office manager. She has worked at CIGNA Dental, Solstice Benefits, Inc. (SBI), Avesis, Inc., and most recently at Delta Dental where she was an Operations Director for their DHMO Contact center and Claims division.
She is currently doing consulting and resides in Alpharetta, Georgia with her husband Terry.
Dale Ledbetter is an attorney at Ledbetter & Associates, PA, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The firm’s practice is devoted entirely to representing Claimants who have lost money in securities investments as a result of negligence or abuse.
Mr. Ledbetter spent over 30 years in the securities industry, serving as EVP/Branch Manager of Meridian Bancorp Securities and as COO of Countrywide Securities in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the George Washington University Law Center, is a member of the Bar in Florida, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association and represents Claimants throughout the United States.
Dale was a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and is in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry. He is the author of From Mother with Love, Success Yearbook, The Ultimate Sales Professional, Record Setting Sales, and his latest book, Bringing in the Business. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and speaks frequently on securities related matters.
Dale Ledbetter is currently serving as Treasurer of The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation. He has been one of their most ardent supporters for many years. The HSF was instrumental in helping him achieve a return to good health after years of undiagnosed hypoglycemia. He has expressed his appreciation by devoting his time, energy and financial support to the HSF for the past 20 plus years.
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., is an author, lecturer, researcher and nutritional consultant. Dr. Appleton received her Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from U.C.L.A., her Ph.D. from Walden University with Honors in Health Services. She has given lectures all over the English-speaking world and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs throughout the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. She has offered invaluable expertise and support to the HSF since its inception.
Her publications include Lick the Sugar Habit, Healthy Bones, Heal Yourself with Natural Foods, Balanced Body Secrets and 21 Healing Days. Most recently, Dr. Appleton has written Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter, a complete guide to the sugar content of more than 3000 brand-name and generic foods. This is a MUST for every hypoglycemic!
Douglas M. Baird, DO
Dr. Douglas M. Baird is an osteopathic physician and surgeon who has been the medical director of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc., since 1982. He is a renowned expert in the management of blood sugar disorders and has used his talents as a physician, researcher and educator to show how hypoglycemia and its correlating disorders can be recognized and controlled.
In addition to Dr. Baird’s expertise on hypoglycemia, his special interest is in the hypoglycemia/alcoholism correlation. In his lectures and seminars he often reiterates, “I have never, ever seen an alcoholic who was not hypoglycemic. It just doesn’t occur; it’s the same problem.” Today Dr. Baird takes every opportunity to share his message and knowledge with our HSF members. We are grateful for the dedication, support and passion he has given our organization these past 35 plus years.
Keith W. Berkowitz, M.D.
Keith Berkowitz, M.D., is the founder and medical director of the Center for Balanced Health in New York City where he specializes in treating metabolic conditions such as obesity, fatigue, blood glucose disorders, thyroid problems, and hormone imbalances.
Before founding the Center for Balanced Health, Dr. Berkowitz was medical director of the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, where he worked closely with Dr. Atkins until the time of his death. He also for many years served on the teaching faculty at North Shore University and New York University School of Medicine. He is on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. He is frequently quoted in the print media, fielding interviews for Newsweek, New York Magazine, Newsday, The Sunday London Times, Associated Press, INC Magazine, amNY, Wins 1010 online and The New York Post. He has been featured on ABC News, CNN, WOR Radio, WCBS Radio and RAI TV. He is the co-author of Princeton Review’s Medical School Companion (Random House, 1995), The Stubborn Fat Fix (Rodale, 2009) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Flour Free Eating (Alpha Books, 2010)
Jay Foster, BS, CCN
Jay Foster, BS, CCN, is a nutritional biochemist involved in the practice of Applied Clinical Nutrition for the past 31 years. He is the director of Body Chemistry Associates, Inc., and is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. In addition to his private practice, Jay is the host of Health Connection Radio. The show is simulcast on the internet weekly on his website at www.1800chemist.com.
Jay has been the guest speaker at many HSF meetings. Having once suffered from hypoglycemic symptoms, Jay has a special interest in the success of our organization. His passion to help manage blood sugar abnormalities is evident in his daily radio broadcast, where he often addresses this subject. He has had excellent success with hypoglycemics through his BodyChem Program.
Valerie Goldstein, RD
Valerie is the author of Integrative Nutrition Therapy Study Guide, The Stubborn Fat Fix: The Essential Guide to High Fiber, Low Carbohydrate, Whole Food Diets, and co-author of The Stubborn Fat Fix.
Working with Robert Atkins, MD, as Supervisor of Education and Research at The Atkins Center For Complementary Medicine and Atkins Health and Information Service led her into an intricate understanding of a ketogenic diet and its value in weight loss, health, sports performance and disease. Dr. Atkins acknowledged her work in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and Atkins For Life: The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health.
Her 20 years as a professional Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, along with her experience with Dr. Atkins, has allowed her to bridge the gap between conventional science and cutting edge health approaches.
Goldstein creates employee wellness programs, leads individual and group health and wellness sessions, and educates the public on how to eat to fuel their individual goals. She is a consultant who has been featured on TV, radio, podcasts and magazines. She is a Featured expert in “Men’s Health” magazine and shares her voice to provide unconventional wisdom to those who are able to question why typical nutrition and health advice may not be THE solution that works for you; Valerie’s Voice: For The Health Of It can be found at https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com.
Coupled with her personal journey as a fitness enthusiast and mother who strives for internal peace, happiness and lots of laughs, Goldstein uses her platform to spark people’s interest in achieving their personal goals. Visit Valerie’s website at https://eatingtofuelhealth.com.
Lynn Lafferty, Pharm. D., N.D.,MBA, CNC, CNHP
Lynn Lafferty, Pharm. D., N.D.,MBA, CNC, CNHP is a doctor of Pharmacy and licensed pharmacist, naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist and chef who is committed to finding the safest and most effective means to promote health and wellness over disease and illness. She is an Endowed Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and developing an Integrative Medicine Department at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is Director of the Functional Medicine and Herbal Therapy Certificate Program and teaches these courses within the Masters in Science in Nutrition Degree program. She has a Functional Clinical Nutrition and Herbal Therapy practice in the Nova Southeastern University Clinic Pharmacy. She is proud to serve on the boards of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and Broward County Pharmacy Association. She is currently conducting research on Antibiotic Resistance and Natural Immune Builders.
Her goal is to educate and help as many people as possible to the amazing possibilities of combining the best of both worlds from modern medicine and age old traditional therapies.
Leslie Lee, MS, RD
Leslie Lee, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in human nutrition. She became a dietitian to learn how to manage her own debilitating hypoglycemia, having not found enough answers elsewhere. Years later, she feels like a transformed person having found the energy she was missing for much of her life. She is currently an outpatient pediatric dietitian in Seattle where, among other things, she is working on developing a program to reverse metabolic dysfunction in children–including hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and excess weight. She recently helped to plan and facilitate the Pediatric Metabolic Health and Nutrition Summit held by Swedish Medical Center.
Leslie is an unconventional dietitian who focuses on quality of food and individualized needs instead of quantity of calories or specific nutrients. She believes we should all be eating real food—the food our bodies evolved eating—rather than the ultra-processed fare typical of the modern industrial diet. She developed an educational (and free) 10 Day Real Food Challenge during her previous tenure as the Director of Education at the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. Connect with Leslie on LinkedIn.
Shirley Lorenzani, PhD
Dr. Shirley Lorenzani began her adult life as a classroom teacher. Witnessing the ill effects of sugary junk foods on her students, she changed her own food choices and noticed a dramatic difference in her own health. This epiphany inspired her to return to college to study nutrition. Resigning as a school teacher, she became a nutritional counselor in the Fort Lauderdale office of the late B. F. Hart, M.D., an American pioneer in nutrition and acupuncture. After Dr. Hart’s death, Dr. Lorenzani founded and directed the Life Care Medical Center in Pompano Beach, Florida; was the nutritionist at the Page Clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida; and co-hosted the Miami radio talk show Food Talk. She authored Candida: A Twentieth Century Disease, Dietary Fiber, and Oat Bran Recipes and frequently contributed articles to Let’s Live magazine. She joined the HSF as a medical advisor in March 2005.
Her early exposure to acupuncture sparked a lifelong interest in energy systems and their healing potential. She has studied NAET Allergy Elimination with Acupressure, Reiki, Pranic Healing, EFT, sound therapy, and crystals as healing stimulants. She integrates these therapies into her private practice in Auburn, California, and encourages each client to make healthy food choices and practice a form of exercise, such as Kundalini yoga, that maintains flexibility of the spine.
Robert H. Lustig, M.D., M.S.L.
Dr. Robert. H. Lustig is Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute of Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. His research and clinical practice has focused on childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Lustig holds a Bachelor’s in Science from MIT, a Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University Medical College, New York City, and a Master’s of Studies in Law from U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco.
Dr. Lustig has fostered a global discussion of metabolic health and nutrition, exposing some of the leading myths that underlie the current pandemic of diet-related disease. He believes the food business has hacked our bodies and minds, and that by focusing on real food we can beat the odds and protect our health against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease.
Uma K. Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Inspired by her own pediatrician, Dr. Pisharody always knew she wanted to become an advocate for children’s health. Experiences with malnutrition and diarrheal diseases during medical training in India, led to her choosing a career in pediatric gastroenterology.
She currently practices in Seattle, Washington, where she is passionate about helping children and families understand the connection between diet, nutrition, digestive health and well-being. Dr. Pisharody is proud to serve as a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Responsible Nutrition and the medical advisory committee for the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics; the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; the American Gastroenterological Association; and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.
Aseem Malhotra, MD
Described as an “inspiration” by celebrity chef and restauranteur Jamie Oliver, Consulting Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra, MD, has become one of the most influential and well-known health campaigners in the United Kingdom. He writes regularly in academic medical journals and print newspapers such as the Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail. He is regularly seen on broadcast media in his campaign against sugar and highlighting the harms of too much medicine. Dr. Malhotra has been mentioned alongside anti-obesity activists such as Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Obama, and a few months ago he was featured in the New York Times about his documentary film “The Big Fat Fix,” which premiered in British parliament July 2016. He was lead author in a BMJ paper that launched the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges “Choosing Wisely” campaign in 2015. In 2016, he was named in the Sunday Times newspaper as one of the most influential people in science in medicine in the UK. This list included Professor Stephen Hawking. Dr. Malhota recently became the youngest member to be appointed to the board of trustees of the independent health think tank, The King’s Fund.
Michelle “Missy” Porteous, MS, RD, CDE
Michelle “Missy” Porteous, MS, RD, CDE is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) with a Masters’ degree in kinesiology/exercise physiology. Missy’s desire to study nutrition came largely from trying to understand and manage her own hypoglycemia. At the age of 15, Missy experienced a seizure from very low blood sugar. With the help, knowledge and persistence of her Mother, she was able to eventually get the testing she needed for her diagnosis and begin her journey to get well. It became her life-long passion to help everyone that struggles with blood sugar imbalances.
Through Missy’s unique complement of education and experience, including 20 years of nutrition counseling in health clinics and hospitals, she has empowered thousands of clients to re-gain energy, reduce symptoms and medications, control and mange blood sugar, lose weight, decrease cholesterol and blood pressure and even reverse certain health conditions.
Furthermore, Missy’s love of the performing arts earned her several media opportunities to spread the word of healthy eating, such as “Let’s Dine Out” on PBS (KVCR) and CNBC’s “dLife TV”, an inspiring diabetes television program.
As President of LifeQuality, Inc., in California, Missy regularly provides nutrition counseling for patients of medical groups, health plans, and individuals. For more information, visit her websites: www.LifeQualityRD.net and www.diabetesrewind.org/hypoglycemia
Lorna A. Walker, Ph.D.
Lorna A. Walker, Ph.D., holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology and a Doctorate Degree in Nutrition Education. Dr. Walker has been the HSF’s nutritionist for the past 25 years. Listed in Who’s Who in the World – 1984-1985, The International Who’s Who of Intellectuals – 1985, Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century, International Who’s Who in Medicine and many other biographical publications for her work in the field of nutrition, Dr. Walker brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization.
A hypoglycemic herself, Dr. Walker understands this condition first hand. Dr. Walker was also the technical editor for the book “Hypoglycemia for Dummies” 2nd Edition, and has counseled many hypoglycemics on how to manage their condition through diet, nutritional supplementation, and lifestyle changes. Dr. Walker has lectured extensively on the topics of nutrition and hypoglycemia and she writes regularly for the HSF. Dr. Walker also personally answers many of the hundreds of e-mail questions we receive daily from suffering hypoglycemics searching the web for answers to this condition.
Patty James M.S., C.N.C.
Patty James is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. Patty was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country. Patty currently serves as Director of Nutrition for EatRx. EatRx prescribes targeted nutrients that unlock revolutionary healing and vitality, starting at the cellular level, the core of your body’s health.
Patty’s expertise includes analyzing scientific research and summarizing said research for subject matter experts, creating recipes and meal plans for a specific health concern, writing articles and assisting with business development. Her nutrition/cookbook, co-written with Dr. Elson Haas, entitled More Vegetables, Please! was published in November 2009. Patty is also co-chair of The Health and Medicine Forum at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. She consults with schools, home health care agencies, and a Canadian Spa, developing wellness programs, recipes and menus. She have worked with veterans to improve their health through targeted nutrition and nutrition education. Patty also serves as board member at Bauman College.
EVP, Chief Compliance Officer, Investacorp, Inc.
Lisa Lee Arneaud
Community Outreach Director/TV Host/Reporter/Journalist
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Audio/Video Promotional Director
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Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, Founder at LuciFit, Lucifit LLC
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Managing Editor, Owner Bravemed Communications
Gwen Cooper Hosparus
Sr. VP Marketing & Business Development / Chief Marketing Officer
Executive Leader in Security and Emergency Management
CPA Ahearn, Jasco + Company, P.A
President and Founder of Millennial Empire Builders
Founder & CEO of VITAZA/ Client Director for Dell Technologies Services
Tony Ruggiero, Jr.
Founder & CEO of RUGGI Corp / Facilities & Security Consultants