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College of Human Ecology

Dietitian Ellyn Elson to bring innovation, business savvy to Shugart Lecture April 6

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ellyn Elson

Ellyn Elson

Ellyn Elson has been called a hospitality industry dynamo. Add monikers such as creator of a multimillion-dollar food and nutrition software systems company, registered dietitian, passionate promoter of sustainability and author.

Elson will be on the K-State campus Wednesday, April 6, to present the 37th Grace M. Shugart lecture.

The lecture, A Road Less Traveled, will be at 1:30 p.m. in Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union. It is sponsored by the Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics in the College of Human Ecology and is open to the public.

“I’ll speak to the opportunities that were available to me as a Registered Dietitian,” she said.  “I always took a different path but in the end discovered many ways in which my profession helped me to become very successful.  I will also discuss the power of networking with professional colleagues and involvement in professional associations.”

Elson is founder and former owner of Computrition, named one of the nation’s Top 500 Woman-Owned Businesses by DiversityBusiness.com. The business specializes in foodservice and nutrition management software for the hospitality and healthcare industries worldwide.

One of her current endeavors is FocusGreen, LLC, a business “committed to assisting others so that they may live and work in sustainable environments that provide the highest degree of efficiency and personal satisfaction,” she said. She also has Destination for Life,LLC, and Simply Chic Productions, LLC.

An expert in the area of innovative systems and creative management approaches to the dietetics profession, she speaks widely on the use of marketing and motivating teams to ensure maximum efficiency while having fun in the workplace.

Elson was the first woman to be honored with the International Food Service Executives Association’s Industry Award of Excellence for significant contributions as an industry leader.

She served as the President of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Foundation and on the ADA Board of Directors from 1992 – 1993, after holding a series of executive positions at the Foundation.

In 2006 she, along with her co-author Ken Wasco, published Live Like You Mean It, a best-selling motivational roadmap to a happier life.

She lives in California.

“The fact that we have hosted this lecture series for 37 years is a tribute to the lasting legacy of Grace Shugart. As our department head for over 20 years, Mrs. Shugart set the tone for excellence and professionalism that we strive to maintain to this day,” said Deborah D. Canter, professor in HMD.

“Ellyn Elson joins a long line of distinguished industry leaders as she comes to speak to our students, faculty and friends. Ellyn is the classic ‘mover and shaker’ and an entrepreneur of the first order. We're delighted to have her on campus to inspire all of us to new heights.”

The Grace M. Shugart Lecture Series brings dietitians and food service and hospitality experts to K-State for the enrichment of student curricula and to provide continuing education for practitioners in the field.

Established in 1975, the lecture series honors the late Shugart, former department head and co-author of "Food for Fifty" and "Food Service in Institutions." Shugart helped build the profession of dietetics and institutional management throughout the United States, serving as president of the American Dietetic Association. She also was a Medallion Award winner and received the Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award, the American Dietetic Association's highest honor.

Prepared by Human Ecology communications

This article was posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, and is filed under Hospitality Management.