Address: 5340 West Fayetteville Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30349
Main Phone: 1-800-343-4693
The non-profit Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) is funded by dairy farm families of the Southeast. We work diligently with dairy producers, retailers, schools, sports teams, health professionals, local organizations, state leaders, the media and the public to promote dairy foods and knowledge about the dairy industry. Our efforts encompass nine states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Please meet our dedicated staff.
Meet SUDIA’s leadership team
Doug Ackerman – General Manager
Since January 1, 2017, Doug Ackerman has served as General Manager of SUDIA. He is responsible for managing the organization’s nine-state dairy promotional programs and approximately 50 staff members to help grow sales and consumer demand for dairy products. He serves on several of Dairy Management Inc.’s national committees representing SUDIA.
Ackerman has nearly 20 years of experience in strategic brand marketing, demand generation, advertising and integrated marketing communications in retail and foodservice. His previous titles include Category Marketing Manager at Publix Super Markets and Executive Director for the Florida Department of Citrus.
Ackerman has an extensive military background, having served with the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard for more than 20 years. He earned the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge for leadership in combat while embedded with the Afghan National Police during Operation Enduring Freedom.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tampa and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Molly Szymanski, MA, LD, SNS – Chief Operating Officer – [contact]
Molly Szymanski, a licensed dietitian and school nutrition specialist, has been affiliated with SUDIA for 19 years. As Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the implementation of the School Health and Wellness, Food and Nutrition Outreach and Communication and Farmer Relations program plan for our nine-state region. She previously served as SUDIA’s Director of School Health and Wellness and has been involved in several initiatives to increase in-school access to dairy nutrition, including multiple school breakfast programs. She has a Master’s degree in nutrition from Marshall University and a bachelor of science degree from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.
Rebecca Egsieker – Director, Communications & Farmer Relations – [contact]
Rebecca joined the SUDIA team in August 2013 as Assistant Director of Communications and in July 2017, was promoted to the role of Director of Communications and Farmer Relations. She directs and manages the development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of SUDIA industry and consumer communication programs, leading a team that includes website development, social media, farmer communications, creative/graphic design, brand management, digital communications, recipe development and food photography professionals. She serves as the public speaking trainer for dairy farmers and industry leads and directs the SUDIA crisis communications team. As a professional chef, Rebecca’s additional responsibilities include recipe development, food photography and food styling for www.southeastdairy.org website, as well as @TheDairyChef.
Mark Farmer, MBA – Director, Marketing & Partner Relations – [contact]
Mark Farmer joined SUDIA in August of 2013. He brings more than 15 years of strategic marketing experience in both the food service and retail sectors. Mark has successfully built and led high-performing marketing teams as the Director of Marketing for the Mellow Mushroom Corporation, CentraArchy Restaurant Group, and as President and co-owner of Rock Back Pizza. Mark has an undergraduate degree from Georgia State University and an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mark is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
Jill Henderson, RD, SNS – Director, School Health & Wellness – [contact]
Jill Henderson joined SUDIA in March 2006. Managing staff across the SUDIA nine-state region, Jill is responsible for the Southeast administration of Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program as well as all other SUDIA dairy promotion programs in K-12 schools in the region. Born and raised in Virginia, Jill earned a degree in human nutrition and foods from Virginia Tech. During her career as a registered dietitian, Jill has held positions in clinical nutrition as well as sales and marketing management in healthcare and nutrition-based companies. Jill is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the School Nutrition Association. She also holds the credential of School Nutrition Specialist.
Mary Martin Nordness, MA, RD, LD, CHES – Director, Nutrition Affairs – [contact]
Mary Martin Nordness is a registered dietitian and certified health educator. She serves as Director of Nutrition Affairs for SUDIA, where she conducts television, radio and print interviews on nutrition throughout the Southeast. Nationally, she has been interviewed for WebMD, Cooking Light, Teen Vogue and Eating Well magazine. Mary Martin served as a National Dairy Council Ambassador for the National Dairy Council for four years and was recognized as “Outstanding Dietitian” of 2013 by the Alabama Dietetic Association. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
Barbara Sims – Director, Finance & Administration – [contact]
Barbara Sims has worked with SUDIA for more than 26 years, serving as Director of Finance and Administration for the past five years. Barbara has an Associate of Arts degree in Marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance. Her roles at SUDIA include human resource benefits, payroll, budgeting, finance, and administrative operations.
School Health and Wellness Team Contacts
- Jana Miller, RD, LD – Northern and central Alabama – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cathi deVeer, RD, LD – Southern and coastal Alabama – email@example.com
- Sharon Rhodes, MS, RDN, LS – Metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alicia Page, MS, RDN, PFT – Central and northern Georgia – email@example.com
- Julie Wilkinson, RD, SNS – Southern Georgia – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Melinda Turner, MA, SNS – Eastern Kentucky – email@example.com
- Alan Curtsinger, MA – Western Kentucky – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jen Duhon, MS, RD, LDN – Southern Louisiana – email@example.com
- Donna Speed, MS, RD, LD – Central and northern Louisiana – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cathi deVeer, RD, LD – Southern Mississippi – email@example.com
- Nancy Roman, RDN, LD, SNS – Northern and central Mississippi – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donna Speed, MS, RD, LD – Central and southwest Mississippi – email@example.com
- Cami Lewis, RD – Western North Carolina – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mickela Mitchell, MS, RD – Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina – email@example.com
- Debbie McKenzie, MS, RD, LD – Lee and Wake counties, North Carolina – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Roseann Liberatore, RD, LDN – Eastern North Carolina – email@example.com
- Jill Gobin – Central and southern South Carolina – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mickela Mitchell, MS, RD – Northern South Carolina – email@example.com
- Nancy Roman, RD, LD, SNS – Western Tennesee – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joan Benton – Central Tennessee – email@example.com
- Faye Beach, M.Ed. – Eastern Tennesee – firstname.lastname@example.org