05/23/19

Meet our Staff: Laurie Hainley, RD

Laurie is an account supervisor and registered dietitian in the Washington, DC office. She is part of our Global Food and Nutrition Affairs team with expertise in domestic and international food and nutrition affairs, nutrition analysis and scientific communications. Laurie is also a gluten-free blogger, where she uses her nutrition expertise and personal creativity to provide delicious recipes and practical health-focused tips to consumers. She earned her bachelor’s degree in foods and nutrition from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and completed her dietetic internship with Virginia Tech.

 

How would you describe your role in one sentence?

As a registered dietitian and member of the Global Food and Nutrition Affairs team, I help my clients navigate global nutrition landscape – from nutrient profiling systems to labeling regulations – to identify impactful, positive paths forward for their business and public health.

 

What is your favorite part of your job?

Variety and intense problem-solving is what I adore most about my role. Every project I do is extremely different from the next. Sometimes I am translating latest science around probiotics for a client presentation, and other times, I’m analyzing the labeling policies and public health interests in countries like the UK, France, and Mexico. With each project, I am provided with a challenge, and I must activate my knowledge and resources to come up with a practical solution for my clients and population health. It’s an impactful role for a dietitian.

 

What are three things on your bucket list?

  1. Complete a master’s degree in food science (currently in progress!)
  2. Visit New Zealand (including a Lord of the Rings tour, of course)
  3. Go skydiving

 

What career would you choose if you had an opportunity to switch jobs for one day?

Pastry chef. Baking has been a passion of mine since I was in grade school. I’ve always loved how baking is both a science and an art form – something I can use to both experiment and express. And while I’ve been able to elevate my baking passion into a blog format with Cakes ‘n’ Bakes (specially tailored for gluten free/Celiac Disease folks like me!), the desire to have a life spent crafting cakes and churning out pastries is still there!

 

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

I always knew that clinical dietetics was not the role for me – I disliked the hospital setting and I didn’t find the impact I wanted in having only minor interactions with patients. But I was consistently told in my dietetics internship that having clinical as your first job is a critical foundational experience. That was until my pediatric preceptor upended that fable, telling me straight up “if you don’t like clinical, there’s no need to waste your time, or anyone else’s, with it.” And so I heeded that advice. I went with my gut and my passion, straight into nutrition communications. And it’s one of the best career decisions I’ve made.