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Susan Finn

American Council for Fitness & Education
President and CEO

Susan Finn, PhD, RD, FADA, a recognized leader and a respected communicator in the field of nutrition and health, is known for her ability to build successful partnerships with academia, professional associations and the business community. Her efforts to promote improved health and quality of life for all levels of society have been acknowledged by her peers in healthcare and in the business world.

Currently, as president and CEO of the American Council for Fitness & Nutrition, Finn leads a nonprofit organization committed to helping Americans understand the benefits of eating healthfully and being more active. In addition, as a consultant to Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, she interprets and assesses the implications of nutrition research and helps communicate those findings to industry, consumers and the media.

Finn is an advisor to many public and private organizations concerned with  nutrition and health, including the Animal Health Institute and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Finn was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is also a member of the Sackler Institute’s Overnutrition Steering Committee at the New York Academy of Sciences.

From 1974 to 2003, Finn was employed by Ross Products (now Abbott Nutrition) in Columbus, Ohio. As director of nutrition services and public affairs, she was responsible for nutrition communications and healthcare marketing. Widely recognized as an ardent advocate for inclusion of nutrition screening and support as integral elements of healthcare, Finn originated and developed multifaceted campaigns to advance nutrition support, particularly for women, the elderly and those with diseases placing them at nutrition risk.

Finn is a past president of The American Dietetic Association (ADA). She has held many leadership roles within the association, from spearheading the Marketing and Public Relations Committee in the early 1980s to creating a presence for nutrition professionals in healthcare reform legislation and the media. She is immediate past chair of the ADA Foundation. Finn was also instrumental in developing the ADA Ambassador Program (now Spokesperson Program), which prepares registered dietitians as media spokespersons. The success of this program has made it a prototype for similar ventures by other professional associations.

Finn is a frequent speaker before health and nutrition professionals throughout the United States and also lectures on nutrition science to medical societies around theworld. She holds adjunct associate professorships in the College of Medicine and the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. Previously, she was assistant professor in nutrition at Whittier College in California and California State University at Los Angeles.

Passionate about providing accurate nutrition information to both the public and healthcare professionals, Finn has participated in more than 800 radio and television interviews, including appearances on major network and cable programs. In her blog, www.nutritionviewpoint.com, she comments on health policy and offers insight into emerging issues in food and nutrition.

Finn is the co-author of two books: The Real Life Nutrition Book/Making the Right Food Choices Without Changing Your Lifestyle was published by PenguinBooks in 1992, and The American Dietetic Association’s Guide to Women’s Nutrition for Healthy Living was published by Perigee in 1997. Her articles have appeared in numerous consumer magazines. She is also widely published in professional publications.

Finn has received a number of awards and honors acknowledging her leadership in health and nutrition. She gave the prestigious Lenna Frances Cooper Lecturer at the 1996 ADA annual meeting and exhibition, and in 1998, she received the distinguished Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ADA. She has been recognized by the National Association for Professionals in Women’s Health and was included among the Columbus, Ohio, 1992 YWCA Women of Achievement and the 1993 New York City YWCA Women of Achievement. In addition, she was selected for the 1992 Distinguished Alum of the Year Award by Bowling Green State University.

Finn’s other awards and honors include The Ohio State University's 1988 Distinguished Alumni Award and the 1988 Medallion Award presented by The American Dietetic Association for leadership in the dietetics profession. She also has been honored for outstanding service to Ross (Abbott Nutrition) and Abbott Laboratories.

After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Finn went on to earn a master of science degree in public health nutrition at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She was awarded a PhD in nutrition science from The Ohio State University in 1972.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, October 19

10:00am CDT