Meet the WGC Staff
It takes a village to raise a child. And it takes a diverse group of people to make consumers aware of the health benefits and good taste of whole grains. Here are just some of the people who make it happen.
Program Management, Whole Grains Council
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
In her work at Oldways, Cynthia combines her diverse experience in nutrition, management, writing and intercultural exchange.
An avid proponent of healthy eating, Cynthia developed and taught an interactive nutrition curriculum called Good Food Basics. She has worked as International Marketing Manager and later VP of New Product Development for a manufacturing company, and was founder and managing director of the Summer Computer Institute.
Cynthia is the author of scores of magazine articles and four books, including the well-known Take Your Kids to Europe, a family travel guide now in its eighth edition. She received her degree in French Culture and Language from Brown University. She joined Oldways in 2003.
Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN
Program Manager for the Whole Grains Council
Kelly joined Oldways as Program Manager for the Whole Grains Council in the summer of 2014. A native Texan, Kelly graduated from the University of Texas with a nutrition degree and became a Registered Dietitian. Kelly’s passion for delicious and nutritious food developed after studying the Mediterranean diet in Sicily, and interning at the global headquarters of Whole Foods Market. From there, Kelly decided to complement her nutrition background with a Masters in Gastronomy from Boston University.
While in Boston, Kelly helped research Frances Moore Lappé’s upcoming book on World Hunger, and also managed an award winning healthy eating program for Boston College Dining Services. (In fact, one of her proudest accomplishments was implementing a campus-wide switch to whole grain buns.) Now at Oldways, Kelly is delighted to be working with a team that shares her love for great tasting, healthy meals.
Program Assistant for the Whole Grains Council
Harley joined Oldways in the fall of 2014 as the Program Assistant for The Whole Grains Council. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Sociology and Psychology, ultimately focusing on health and wellness. With a passion for fitness, nutrition, and overall holistic health, she followed those interests to a position in a children’s hospital. After realizing she spent most of her free time thinking about, reading about, and experimenting with nutrition, it was only logical to take the leap into the field full-time.
Having fallen in love with different cultures through trips near and far, she now uses those cultural influences from her explorations in her own kitchen. In her experience, preparing healthy home-cooked meals using fresh, local ingredients to share with friends and family is one of the best ways to show your love. She believes that food is powerful, both physically and emotionally - whether it is healing an illness, fueling a workout, or bringing people together - and she is determined to teach, inspire, and help people understand that “good for you” can also taste good!
Additional Key Personnel
Although the entire Oldways staff contributes to the success of the Whole Grains Council, certain key personnel are involved regularly in the WGC's work and are listed below.
Sara has been an instrumental figure at Oldways for two decades. She assumed the presidency of Oldways in May 2010, on the untimely death of founder K. Dun Gifford. She now develops company strategy, oversees all Oldways projects and programs, and works closely with all members of the Oldways staff.
Before joining Oldways in 1992, Sara served as Special Projects Editor for Inc. Magazine and directed a number of special events. As Special Projects Editor for seven years, she directed all special reports for the editorial department of the magazine and established the magazine's internship program.
Sara has worked as a research consultant for private firms, and in state and federal government positions in the fields of environmental resources, business, and education. She graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. in Economics and holds a Master's Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Program and Financial Assistant Manager
Abby joined the Oldways team in mid-2011, delighted with the prospect of working within her passion. In her role as Financial Assistant Manager, Abby supports the WGC by handling membership renewals and billing.
Abby graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in Psychology and minor in History. After graduation, she worked in the non-profit world for three years. Weight was a constant struggle for Abby for as long as she can remember, and she often put her desire for academic achievement over any focus on a healthy lifestyle. Facing the potential of health problems at too young an age, Abby decided that post-graduation was the perfect time to change her life. Adopting the foundations of the Mediterranean Diet as a basis for her weight loss, Abby shed nearly 90 pounds and gained an appreciation and passion for food and fitness.
"Changing the Way People Eat” has become Abby’s core goal, and she is elated to be part of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council.
Rachel has a passion for all things food and truly believes that food not only feeds the body but also the feeds the soul. With a chef for a father, growing up, the motto in her home was "You don't have to like it but you have to try it." Fortunately or unfortunately she hits the 'like' button with most things she tries these days which keeps her on an insatiable search for new and delicious fresh ingredients. She is a griller to be reckoned with and loves to test out new culinary concoctions on friends, family, or just about anyone that has an open mind and an adventurous palate.
Rachel joined Oldways in April of 2011 to raise the organization's communications efforts to new heights. In this newly-enhanced position she is responsible for all day-to-day communications for Oldways and its programs including the Whole Grains Council and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance. Rachel came to Oldways with a strong background in public relations having spent the past 13 years in Boston area agencies working with a diverse portfolio of clients. Her sweet spot has always been food related clients so joining the Oldways team was a dream come true. Today, she is channeling her public relations know-how to educate all who will listen about Oldways and its mission to change the way people eat.
To ensure the depth and quality of its work, the Whole Grains Council also relies its Scientific Advisory Committee and its Culinary Advisory Committee. Click on either one, to learn more about their diverse talents.