Who We Are
Celiac Central: Bits and Bites is the staff blog of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), www.CeliacCentral.org.
NFCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to improve diagnosis of celiac disease and make life easier for those living with the autoimmune disorder.
Never heard of celiac? We’ll tell you all about it – just click on our Celiac Disease page. Celiac is often hard to detect – 95% of those who have it don’t know it – so we hope you take the time to read up.
As President and Founder of NFCA, Alice has made it a personal mission to make “celiac disease” a household term and “gluten-free” a widespread dining option. Whether in an elevator or on an airplane, Alice often finds a way to ask “What do you know about celiac disease?” and she encourages others to be as vocal in spreading awareness. An avid yoga, running and swimming enthusiast, Alice believes in the connection between body, mind and food, so she’s thrilled that NFCA celebrates all three!
Alicia, NFCA’s Communications Assistant, is one of the voices behind @CeliacAwareness on Twitter and NFCA on Facebook. A graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Alicia loves being a part of the gluten-free social networking community despite not having celiac disease herself. She enjoys getting involved with the gluten-free community online by sharing the latest news, recipes, and resources on celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Outside of the social media world, Alicia is an avid concert go-er and major fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies.
Nancy, NFCA Director of Operations, joined the organization when it was in its infancy in May 2004. She has been thrilled to see NFCA grow and improve the lives of those with celiac disease. Nancy finds it especially heartwarming to learn of people who have been diagnosed through NFCA’s National Celiac Awareness Campaign. “After all, diagnosis is the name of the game!” In her spare time, Nancy volunteers as a guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a special interest in architecture, historic houses, Philadelphia history and the city’s public sculpture. She is an avid needlewoman and loves to read, especially biographies of the great and near-great.
Cheryl is the Online Content Manager at NFCA. When she’s not updating the organization’s websites or chatting with the community on Facebook and Twitter, Cheryl is usually reading food articles and drooling over recipes from her favorite gluten-free bloggers. Though Cheryl does not have celiac disease, she has developed an acute ability to sniff out gluten-free items in grocery stores and has the tendency to shout “Woohoo!” when she does.
Beckee adds a Midwestern flare and view to the NFCA team. Born and raised in Omaha, NE, Beckee attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where she now lives with her husband (he owns a sports bar & grill – with a gluten-free menu, of course!). Diagnosed with celiac disease in 1992, Beckee saw her renewed health as a gift and an opportunity to learn all about celiac disease and approach the gluten-free lifestyle positively. Her other loves include everything related to food: reading cookbooks, cooking, entertaining and dining; yoga, and walking her golden retriever, Chester.
Jennifer wishes that she loved cooking, gardening and laundry. But she does love to write, and she is passionate about a wide variety of issues including education, poverty, racial and economic justice and – of course – healthcare.
Originally from New Jersey, Kristin went to Virginia for her undergrad degree, then to Boston to pursue her Master’s in Health Communication at Emerson College, and was excited to move back to Philadelphia to join the NFCA team. Kristin can’t say that the moment she was diagnosed with celiac disease it changed her life–but the struggle to get to that point, and the lifestyle changes she has made since, have all been just as important. Her health and empathy for others have shaped her passion for well-being, interest in functional medicine, and study of behavior change. Outside of work, you’ll find Kristin running local trails, experimenting with kale, enjoying a glass of red wine, or laughing about something embarrassing that just happened.