Dianne K. Polly

Dianne K. Polly, JD, RD, LDN

How long have you been a member of MAND?

Forever:  seriously 22

Why did you join

Moved to town with my husband and young family.  Needed to network with peers and meet professional

How has membership in
MAND been of value to you and your practice?

I truly believe my membership in MDDA has been very valuable in the development of my leadership skills. 
Serving as President of MDDA was a great year for me and propelled me into wanting to do more with TDA and eventually ADA.

Tell us about
yourself, your job, and what you find most interesting about your job.

I have been working at MIFA for 22 years, first as their part time Dietitian, then the Director of the Meals on Wheels program, then Director of Senior Programs, followed by Government Affairs Director and now Vice-President of Compliance and Community Relations.  As you can see, my jobs changed and with each change I found new challenges and it has kept me learning and interested in helping those less fortunate in our community.

How did you get into
this field?

I loved food and was going to be a home economics teacher or hair stylist.  My college advisor suggested I get a double major in Home Ec and Dietetics.   Law had always been in the back of my mind.  My original goal was to combine Nutrition with law and be an advocate for healthier foods.  I wanted to be involved in food policy.  I have always said I wanted to be a Ralphine Nader advocating for changes in laws that would benefit our health. 


Please list a few of
your most recent accomplishments.

Recently selected to serve on ADA’s Legislative and Public Policy Committee.

Served on ADA’s ethics committee for three years.

Recently elected as Kiwanis Lieutenant General for our District after having served as the downtown Memphis President last year. 

Links to your
personal websites or publications. 

1)  Position of the American Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Programs for Community-Residing Older Americans.  J Am Diet Assoc.2010: 110:463-472 (Content Advisor)

 2) Polly, D. Modified food guide pyramid for older adults. Best Times, June 2009.

3) Position of the American Dietetic Association:  Nutrition Across the Spectrum of Aging. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005: 105: 616-633 (Content Advisor)

 4) Smith. T., Stephens, S., Smith M., Clemens, L., and Polly, D. Improving Calcium Intake Among Elderly African Americans:  Barriers and EffectiveStrategies.  Family Economics and Nutrition Review, Volume 15, Number 1, 2003

5) Polly, D., Habla Usted Espanol? Food Management. November, 1987

 6) Contributing Chapter Author titled “Communicating with Persons of Hispanic Cultures and Languages”, Jernigan, A. The Effective Food Service Supervisor. Aspen Publication, 1989.


Aside from your
professional career, what would you like MDDA members to know about you?

I love my family, which consists of a husband for 31 years and two wonderful daughters. (Wedding vows were renewed last year in Las Vegas in the back seat of a pink Cadillac with an Elvis Impersonator and a religious
ceremony!)   I won the 2000 Betty Crocker Soul Food Cooking contest.  Bungie jumped in my 50’s!  Love biking and running and world  traveling without agendas. Loves to eat.