Where science and industry

come together with a focus on

Soy & Health

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Soy Nutrition Institute is to identify and determine soy and health research priorities, provide evidence-based information on the impact of soybeans and soy components on human health through a variety of education and outreach efforts and, as funds may be available, facilitate the development and funding of targeted research projects.

ABOUT SNI

The Soy Nutrition Institute is a collaborative organization begun in 2004 through the initiative of the United Soybean Board and soy industry leaders, including global corporations and national associations. Members meet at least twice annually to review and discuss research related to soy and health. Emerging issues are examined with presentations from experts in the field. Literature reviews and primary research are commissioned by SNI, as funding allows.

VALUE TO THE INDUSTRY

The Soy Nutrition Institute provides value to the soy industry as it:
• Provides a process for the review and discussion of emerging soy research.
• Provides a forum for discussion within the industry and academia.
• Provides evidenced-based messaging through blogs, social media and other outreach platforms.
• Serves as a credible resource for information on soy nutrition.

JOIN SNI

Soyfood companies worldwide are invited to become members of the Soy Nutrition Institute. Members are invited to attend two meetings per year and participate fully in discussions about the latest soy research.

Membership includes access to the “Members Only” section of our website and updates from SNI members for the benefit of all.

IS YOUR COMPANY INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MEMBER? APPLY BELOW.

Join SNI

BOARD OFFICERS/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Michelle Braun

SNI President (IFF)

Michelle Braun (IFF)

Michelle Braun is a nutrition scientist who leads Global Protein Scientific Affairs for IFF.  In her research, she has maintained a focus on nutrition needs of children but spans other health related outcomes in adults as it relates to science translation and communication.  In her role, she plays an active role in research, education and outreach across the food, nutrition and agriculture sectors.

She is engaged and active in several organizations related to the field of food and nutrition research and communication.   She holds leadership positions in organizations that bring the topic of nutrition to a variety of audiences.  Examples include serving as president of the Soy Nutrition Institute (SNI), the Institute of Food Technology (IFT), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Michelle earned her Doctorate and Masters degrees in Foods and Nutrition from Purdue University with a BS in Nutrition Science from Indiana University. Her career has been a journey enriched with experiences in teaching, research, scientific affairs and science communication.

Jessica-Kiel Medifast

Jessica Kiel

SNI Vice President (Medifast)

Jessica Kiel (Medifast)

Jessica Kiel is a registered, licensed dietitian, a certified personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a certified clinical research professional.

Currently, Jessica serves as the Clinical Research Manager of Medifast, Inc., a Maryland-based company specializing in the use of meal replacements as part of an innovative, evidence-based solution for weight management and health promotion.

As a member of Medifast’s Scientific and Clinical Affairs team, Jessica provides nutrition expertise on a wide range of product and program-related topics; designs, executes, and manages all stages of in-house research and investigator-initiated clinical trials; oversees the Medifast Scientific Advisory Board; and works collaboratively to substantiate new and existing marketing claims.

Jessica is a member of many professional organizations, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Society of Clinical Research Professionals, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She is an advocate of the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND), where she has held several leadership positions, including Communications Chair, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President.  Jessica is the current President of the MAND Foundation and has been elected to serve as Vice President for the Soy Nutrition Institute and as the MAND House of Delegates Representative in the upcoming year.

Jessica earned her dietetics degree from Central Michigan University, with a minor in Business Administration. She completed her nutrition therapy internship at the renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation, with a focus on weight management, diabetes education, and disordered eating.

Kevin-Wilson

Kevin Wilson

SNI Secretary/Treasurer (USB)

Kevin Wilson (United Soybean Board)

Kevin raises soybeans, corn and processing tomatoes on his farm in Walton, Indiana. He and his wife, Karen, have three children: Nick, Nate and Khyla.

BOARD MEMBERS

MaryPat-Corbett

Marypat Corbett (American Soybean Association/WISHH Program)

Marypat joined ASA/WISHH in early 2018. Her responsibilities include overseeing the building of brand-new U.S. soy trade in the Central American and Dominican Republic food and beverage industries; serving as the ASA/WISHH liaison to the Qualified State Soybean Boards; and coordinating special projects with internal and external teams. Her diverse professional background includes nearly 6 years directing the deployment of the U.S. soy global food and oil marketing strategies at the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Marypat also spent a decade with The Pillsbury Company as the corporation’s first marketing manager for their on-farm commodity sales division, as well as leading an U.S. regional profit center specializing in repurposing food and beverage industry by-products into livestock feed. She subsequently joined Kynetec/Doane Marketing Research, where for sixteen years, she built and directed the global strategy for their agronomic market intelligence division, bringing critically needed insights to the global seed and pesticide industries, and various departments within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Originally from Chicago, Marypat launched her Agricultural career with a B.Sc. in Agriculture/Animal Industries from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Julie Daoust (LiveKindly)

Julie Daoust serves as the Sr. Director of Global Nutrition Science & Open Innovation at the Livekindly Collective. Julie has been heading up Innovation, R&D and QA functions in the plant-based space in both start ups and large CPG environments at Whitewave Foods and Danone for the Vega brand and more recently at Soylent Nutrition. Julie received her PhD in natural product chemistry from the University of British Columbia and her interest in the impact of food on health outcomes has led her to pursue a career in the nutraceutical and food industry.

Miguel Freitas (Danone North America)

Miguel Freitas, M.S., Ph.D., is the Vice President of Scientific Affairs for The Dannon Company and Danone North America, based in White Plains, NY. Dr. Freitas serves as a liaison between Danone and the scientific community. He is also responsible for ensuring the integrity of the Danone product portfolio with respect to health attributes and serves as the Nutrition and Scientific spokesperson for public relations and convention purposes related to brands and category topics.  Dr. Freitas manages a network of key opinion leaders and health care professionals (HCPs) on nutrition and probiotics and implements Scientific Affairs programs targeting HCPs for several Danone brands.

Courtney Placinta (Kellogg Company)

Courtney Placinta is a senior wellbeing and regulatory business partner for Kellogg Company and currently serves as the lead for development of employee nutrition education, crafting nutrition messaging, and unlocking credible nutrition evidence. A 14-year veteran with Kellogg, she has worked in various nutrition roles, including providing nutrition expertise to snacks marketing and R&D, leading nutrition influencer digital communications, and developing nutrition trainings for consumer affairs. She is a graduate of Michigan State University where she majored in business, and University of Michigan, where she received a master’s in public health and nutrition.

April Hemmes (United Soybean Board)

April Hemmes grows soybeans and corn on her farm in Hampton, Iowa. The goals for her operation are to keep raising crops with production practices that make the soil healthier. This is Hemmes’s fourth year on the United Soybean Board.

She is involved in Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Women in Ag, among many others. She is also on the County FSA board and has served as the County Soil and Water Commissioner for over 25 years.

Hemmes believes that the biggest issue facing the U.S. soy industry is competing with other soybean-producing countries in a world with growing supplies. However, finding new uses for soy, relating the uses we already have for soybeans and helping develop new markets are big opportunities for the industry.

Sue Klahpolz (Impossible Foods)

Sue Klapholz, M.D., Ph.D., is VP of Nutrition and Health at Impossible Foods (IF). She is also on the board of directors of IF’s sister company, Lyrical Foods. Sue headed the cheese project team at IF for several years, prior to establishing the Department of Nutrition and Health in 2015. Sue holds five patents and brings a wealth of experience from her diverse career as a research scientist, doctor, teacher, editor and writer. Prior to joining IF, Sue was a senior scientist at Cell Genesys, where she established a large DNA cloning and genetics lab and led the team that cloned the megabase-sized human immunoglobulin genes in yeast. Sue also taught a professional course in cloning and analysis of large DNA molecules at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, and was a lecturer on genetics and evolution at The University of Chicago. Sue was a resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of California, San Francisco. She was also a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University, where she worked on cloning a gene responsible for manic-depression, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at The University of Chicago, focusing on the genetic control of recombination and chromosome segregation during meiosis in yeast. Sue has an M.D. from The University of Illinois College of Medicine, a Ph.D. in genetics from The University of Chicago and a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University. She has volunteered with a variety of organizations, including the Stanford Health Library, the Palo Alto Children’s Theater and the Palo Alto Humane Society, where she currently serves as board president.

Mike McCranie (United Soybean Board)

Mike McCranie is a fourth-generation farmer who grows soybeans and corn on his 5,100-acre farm in Claremont, South Dakota. He farms with his sons, Matthew and Mitchell, and his wife, Monica, where they incorporate sustainable practices, which help improve the land. He plans to pass it to the next generation better than he received it. This is Mike’s second year on the board.

Mike is very active in his community. He has been a member of the South Dakota Soybean Association, American Soybean Association, South Dakota Corn Growers Association, Farmers Union and Farm Bureau. Along with many agriculturally related organizations, Mike also serves the local church.

Mike has a passion for the exportation of soybeans and the possibility of opening future markets. He believes that all farmers should be part of the conversation and know more about the impact their beans have in other countries.

Keri Marshall Pharmavite

Keri Marshall (Pharmavite)

Dr. Keri Marshall is an Epidemiologist and Naturopathic Doctor, with over 20 years of experience in the Natural Product Industry. She’s a recognized expert in nutrition and integrative medicine, women’s medicine, pediatrics and chronic disease management. Dr. Marshall is an international speaker, has published several scientific papers across a range of topics, and is the author of “User’s Guide to Protein and Amino Acids.” She serves on several advisory and editorial boards for peer-reviewed medical journals and health advocacy groups. She is the Chair of the Global Organization of EPA and DHA (GOED) Science Committee and also serves on the Board for GOED. Dr. Marshall received her Naturopathic Medical Degree (ND) from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, a Master’s Degree in Social and Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology) from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo, and a Bachelor’s of Science from the George Washington University. She maintains a small private integrative medical practice in Wilmington, NC and is currently the Director of Medical and Scientific Communications for Pharmavite and the NatureMade and Equelle brands.

Will McNair, USSEC

Will McNair (USSEC)

Will McNair currently serves as Director of Human Nutrition and Oil for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Prior to that , he fostered ties between USSEC and its members as Stakeholder Relations Manager, serving in that role for almost six years. He has also led USSEC’s worldwide sustainability initiative, in addition to his planning responsibilities for the annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange. Before joining USSEC, McNair worked as a researcher at the University of Tennessee, focusing on conservation agriculture and oilseed markets. He also served as a contractor with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), working as an analyst in the Buenos Aires embassy concentrating on agricultural conditions, economic trends, government policies, and commercial practices of the Argentine cotton industry. He also worked as a translator for the Brazilian sugar cane industry and speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician. McNair holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from the University of Tennessee. He grew up in Texas and Virginia, and his interest in agriculture and the world markets began while spending time at his family’s cotton, sorghum, and cattle farm in Texas.

Joosang Park (Herbalife)

Joosang is Principal Scientist at Herbalife Nutrition. He obtained PhD in cancer biology from Stanford University and MBA from Cornell. He joined Herbalife in 2015, serving as a technical contributor and source of expertise in ingredients and products. He also holds chief responsibility for study design for research as well as science input for innovation activities. Before joining Herbalife, he served as vice president of scientific affairs at BioCell Technology. Over fifteen years, he has been involved in various R&D projects both in academic and commercial setting. He received post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the field of cancer immunology researching on vaccine development.

Harold Stanislawski (AURI)

Harold Stanislawski is the Project Development Director for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI). Stanislawski works with AURI’s teams of scientists and innovation and commercialization specialists and project leaders to further the development of agricultural commodities, co-products, renewable energy, food innovation and commercialization, and animal agriculture product development. Organic business growth is part of innovation/commercialization portfolio. Stanislawski is a member of AURI’s Food Thought Leaders Innovation effort and works extensively on soybean utilization outreach and research efforts with the Minnesota Soybean Promotion and Reseach Council.

Stanislawski previously served as the Executive Director of Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission in charge of economic development relating to manufacturing, commercial and food, technology, retail and business development, angel networking, and business relations. Stanislawski along with Fergus Falls community and business leaders initiated many projects including the formation of the renewable fuel facility in this west central community. Stanislawski served as the VP of the Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership in 2014.

In 1995 Stanislawski was appointed by former Minnesota Governor Arnie Carlson’s administration to lead the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Business Development Services. Stanislawski served nearly ten years in that role under the last three Minnesota Governors (Carlson, Ventura, Pawlenty). Stanislawski worked on livestock retention and expansion and helped shepherd investment into the state.

Stanislawski was a former faculty member of the University of Minnesota Extension Service where he earned the academic rank of Associate Professor. Stanislawski was responsible for educational programming ag business management economics, and business expansion and business retention for the West Central region of Minnesota.

In 2005 Stanislawski was elected to the Board of Governors of DENCO LLC Ethanol facility in Morris, Minnesota USA. The organization produced 30 million gallons of ethanol with over 350 members. In 2007 Stanislawski was one of the original founders of Otter Tail Ag Enterprises LLC 65 million gallon ethanol facility in Fergus Falls, Minnesota USA.

Stanislawski has received many awards including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota-Crookston and has received numerous Commendations from the last four Minnesota Governors for service to Minnesota. He is a member of Rotary and the Minnesota Economic Development Association, and is chair of the Mstate Community College Advisory Committee of WC Minnesota. He and his wife live in Fergus Falls and have two daughters.

Wendy Yeager (United Soybean Board)

Wendy Yeager is a fourth-generation farmer from Orrville, Alabama, where she grows soybeans, cotton, peanuts, grain sorghum and wheat. She lives with her husband, Jamie, and two children, Casey and Lillian.

As a farming operation of one, Wendy works hard to minimize costs while increasing profitability and expanding Bell Place Farms’ row crop acres for the future. She prioritizes teaching her daughters and her fellow farmers to be good stewards of the land. She is passionate about opportunities in soybean seed genetics and utilizing new technologies to boost yields and profitability for farmers with less pressure to sacrifice sustainable practices.

Beyond USB, Wendy is involved with the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alabama Corn and Soybean Association, along with serving her local church. This is her second year on the United Soybean Board.

Sam Z. Sun (ADM)

Sam Sun (ADM)

After earning a PhD in nutrition biochemistry at Tufts University, Sam worked at USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston. Since 2000, as a senior nutrition scientist, he has been working for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) with focuses on dietary intakes, public health, food safety, clinical/epidemiological studies and statistics.

Patricia Williamson (Cargill)

Patricia Williamson is currently a Principal Scientist in Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Cargill.  During her time in the food ingredient industry, Dr. Williamson has supported health and wellness ingredients including soluble fibers, edible oils, plant proteins, bioactives, dry beans, and sweeteners. Dr. Williamson’s core career responsibilities have included the review and conduct of basic scientific research, pre-clinical research, and human clinical research.  She has been responsible for formulating research strategies and collaborations to push innovations and support the beneficial effects of food ingredients. She carries a practical working understanding of food and agriculture from the vantage point of commodity food ingredient processing and specialty food ingredients.

She has served on several professional committees including being a member of the ILSI North America Carbohydrates Committee where she currently serves as the Fiber subcommittee chair.  Dr. Williamson’s background in nutritional biochemistry, gastrointestinal health, metabolism, appetite regulation, and endocrinology are reflected in her professional publication history.  She also has interests in food & nutrition regulation and policy.  Dr. Williamson received a bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University in Biology, and both a master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Missouri – Columbia, Mo. with emphasis in biochemistry and endocrinology respectively. Her post-doctoral work was completed at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and reproductive physiology.

Nora Witt, Soylent

Nora Witt (Soylent)

Nora Witt is the Vice President of Marketing for Soylent Nutrition, Inc. She has 20+ years’ experience in building health & wellness brands across diverse industries from consumer products to medical device, including Glanbia (think!/thinkThin), Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena & Biosense Webster), Medtronic and Butterfly Health which gives her the unique ability to understand consumer needs from disease state management to wellness from within. Outside of her business career, Nora leverages her passion for health & wellness to positively benefit the community and for several years led corporate team fundraising and personally participated in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is fluent in German and received an MBA in International Marketing from Export Akademie Baden-Würtemburg in Reutlingen, Germany.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College. She is an avid international traveler, a passion that she shares with her husband that has taken them to over 100 countries.

linda funk

Linda Funk (Soyfoods Council)

For more than 30 years, Linda Funk has chosen a career in food marketing. Her professional experience has included extensive management experience with two large food and beverage manufacturers, Ambrosia Chocolate and Pepsi-Cola and one of the largest commodity associations, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB).

Linda’s responsibilities at The Soyfoods Council include creating the organization itself in addition to developing and executing the soyfood programs. Since the inception of The Soyfoods Council, the focus has been on developing food marketing programs for the soyfoods category. These programs include working with the national food and nutrition media, developing chef training and foodservice promotional programs, developing retail programs and promotions, working with manufacturers and their products and developing food sponsorships for local and national food conferences.

Linda has served on the Boards of The American Institute of Food and Wine, International Foodservice Editorial Council, Culinary Institute of America and the Stout University Foundation Board, (Menomonie, WI) where she graduated in 1972 with a BS degree in Home Economics. She has been recognized by HEIB (Home Economist in Business) as Business Home Economist of the Year and received the “Betty” Award, the highest service award that the International Foodservice Editorial Council bestows on its members. Linda also received the award For Outstanding Contributions in Promoting the Awareness of the Nutritional and Health Attributes of Soyfoods from the 9th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment.

NON-VOTING BOARD MEMBERS

Polly Ruhland (CEO, United Soybean Board)

Polly Ruhland has provided executive management expertise to the agriculture community for many years. She brings an extensive background in agricultural non-profit management, strategic planning, communications and regulatory compliance to her position serving the directors of the United Soybean Board and the larger soybean community.

Formerly, she was the Chief Executive Officer at Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Master’s Degree in Agriculture and University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications. She also did post-graduate work at the PhD level in agriculture and rural sociology with an emphasis on grower decision making in cooperative structures.

She has served as the chairman of the Commodity CEO Roundtable, a group of CEOs in research, promotion, and marketing programs. She is an Eisenhower Fellow, a certified mediator, and holds a professional certificate in the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. 

Craig-Gundersen

Craig Gundersen

Craig Gundersen is the Soybean Industry Endowed Professor in Agricultural Strategy in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois and Executive Director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of Feeding America and is the lead researcher on the Map the Meal Gap project.  Previously, he was at the Economic Research Service of the USDA and at Iowa State University.  Gundersen’s research is primarily focused on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on evaluations of food assistance programs. Among other journals, he has published in Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Econometrics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Nutrition, Pediatrics, Demography, Obesity Reviews, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and American Journal of Public Health.  His work has been supported by over $10 million in external funding from various government and non-government sources including, among other sources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); ConAgra Foods Foundation; Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); American Beverage Association; US Agency for International Development (USAID); USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS); Merck Foundation; National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH); and USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS

John W. Erdman (University of Illinois at Urbana)

John W. Erdman (University of Illinois at Urbana)

Dr. Erdman is Emeritus Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana.  Dr. Erdman’s training and expertise encompass the nutritional and physiological biochemistry of man and animals.  He has authored over 170 original research articles on these subjects and has over 300 total publications including other articles and chapters.

Dr. Erdman is a member of a variety of professional organizations including the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the American Heart Association (AHA).  He is past President of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (now ASN), has been elected Fellow for ASN,  AHA and IFT.  He has been extensively involved with the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where he served on the FNB for nine years, six as Vice Chair.  Among other committees of the FNB, he served as Chair of the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and is currently Chair of the Committee on Military Nutrition Research.  Recently this committee published the report “Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury.”

For his extensive contributions to the NAS, Dr. Erdman was named as Lifetime National Associate of the NAS in 2001 and was elected as a Member of the Institute of Medicine, NAS in 2003.  Other honors include: receipt of the Samuel Cate Prescott Award for Research and the William Cruess Award for Teaching from IFT: the Borden Award from ASN; being named as an Original Member in Agricultural Science by ISI as an Highly Cited Researcher (top 0.05%); and several University of Illinois Excellent and Outstanding Teaching awards.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of ILSI- NA.  Dr. Erdman has is past Executive Director of the Mars Science Advisory Council and is currently Executive Director of the Wrigley Science Institute.  Dr Erdman received his B.S., M.S., M.Ph., and Ph.D. in Food Science from Rutgers University.

Mindy S. Kurzer (University of Minnesota)

Mindy S. Kurzer (University of Minnesota)

Mindy S. Kurzer is Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute at the University of Minnesota. She has been at the University of Minnesota since 1989, where she has taught nutrition courses to over 4000 students and performs research on the cancer-preventive effects of dietary compounds, such as soy and green tea, in addition to weight loss, and physical activity.

Dr. Kurzer received a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. She was then awarded a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, for which she performed research at the National Nutrition Institute, Rome, Italy, and Odense University, Denmark. This was followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Kurzer has been a visiting scientist at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and at the International Agency for Cancer Research in Lyon, France. She has received the International Life Sciences Institute Future Leader Award, the Ruth Pike Lectureship, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Minnesota Distinguished Teaching Award, the University of Minnesota Excellence in Discovery Award, and the University of Minnesota Best Director of Graduate Studies award. In 2006-07, she was a Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Fellow and in 2008 she received an award for contributions to soy research, given at the 8th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment in Tokyo, Japan.

STAFF

Mark Messina (Nutrition Matters)

Mark Messina, PhD, MS

Dr. Messina is the co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.  He is a former program director with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and while at the NCI he initiated a multi-million dollar research program on the anticancer effects of soy.

Since leaving the NCI, Dr. Messina has devoted his time to the study of the health effects of soyfoods and soybean isoflavones.  He writes extensively on these subjects, having published more than 100 articles and book chapters for health professionals, and has given more than 650 presentations to both consumer and professional groups in 55 countries.

Dr. Messina is the chairperson of the editorial advisory board of, and writes a regular column for The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter that reaches over 250,000 dietitians and other health professionals.  He has also organized and chaired nine international symposia on the role of soy in preventing and treating chronic disease and has organized soy meetings in China, India, Brazil and Italy.  Dr. Messina is the co-author of three books, The Simple Soybean and Your Health (Avery Publishing Group, 1994), The Vegetarian Way (Crown Publishers, 1996), and The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications (Aspen Publishers, 1996, Jones and Barlett, 2004, 2010).

Steve Veile (Communique, Inc.)

Steve Veile, Facilitator (Communique, Inc.)

Steve Veile is the moderator for the Soy Nutrition Institute. He facilitates meetings of the board and helps coordinate logistical details for all SNI meetings and conference calls. Veile was Managing Editor of the Soy Connection newsletter for 25 years and was project manager for the Soy Health Research Program. Both the newsletter and the research program are projects currently or previously funded by the United Soybean Board.

In addition to his work with USB, Veile is founder of Communiqué, Inc., a strategic communications firm providing health and nutrition PR services to clients primarily in the agriculture sector.

A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Veile served as an adjunct professor for the strategic communication department, teaching a capstone course and PR writing.

Sarah Alsager, Communications Director (Communique, Inc.)

Sarah Alsager serves as the acting secretary and manages all communications, outreach and education efforts of the Soy Nutrition Institute. Alsager is president of Communiqué, Inc., a strategic communications firm providing health and nutrition PR and marketing services to clients primarily in the agriculture sector.