Breakout Session Speakers

Dr. Ledoux Ph.D., R.D., F.A.N.D.

Tracey Ledoux is a registered dietitian, a licensed psychologist, a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Obesity Studies in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston. Dr. Ledoux completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Human Nutrition. She completed a master’s degree and her dietetic internship from the University of Memphis. Also from the University of Memphis, she completed a 2nd master’s degree in Community Counseling and then a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Ledoux finished licensure requirements as a psychologist in Texas during a Clinical Health Psychology postdoctoral fellowship at the University of TX Medical Branch in Galveston. After a research fellowship at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center of Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Ledoux joined the faculty of the University of Houston, where she studies overeating behaviors in the early family unit and teaches community nutrition and research design to nutrition undergraduate and graduate students.

Katy Bowen

Katy Bowen MS, RDN, LD

Katy Bowen earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University.  She later received a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word where she also completed her dietetic internship.

Katy has worked with Texas Agrilife Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program where she discovered her passion for teaching nutrition to children. She then went on to work with the Social & Health Research Center studying dietary habits of school-aged children. From there she worked as the Nutrition Education/Wellness Coordinator at North East Independent School District.  She implemented a breakfast cart program in several middle and high schools to encourage more students to eat a healthy breakfast every day. Katy now works as the Director of Community Outreach for Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) in San Antonio, Texas. In her current role with CHEF, Katy oversees the implementation of the CHEF Healthy Cooking Techniques program, which provides hands-on experience for children and their families.

In 2015, Katy received the Award for Outstanding Nutrition Education at Multiple Sites from the Texas Association for School Nutrition.  The following year, she was named Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.  Katy has served on several local and state boards including the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council Community Committee, the South Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, and the South Region of the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.  She served as Director of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and currently serves on the Advisory Board. In her spare time, Katy serves as a dietetic intern preceptor, a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Child Nutrition Management, and is a member of the Junior League of San Antonio and Pearl Rotary Club.

Tara Boeing

Tara Boening MS, RD CSD, LD

Tara Boening is a registered, licensed dietitian and board certified specialist in sports dietetics based out of Houston, Texas.

Tara graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in nutritional science in May 2006 and a masters of science in kinesiology/sport management in August 2007.  During her time spent in College Station, she was employed by the Aggie Athletic Department on the Performance Nutrition Staff gaining valuable sports nutrition experience. Following graduation, Tara completed her dietetic internship through the University of Houston.

After completed all requirements to become a registered dietitian, Tara worked as a clinical dietitian and a long term care consultant.  Upon moving to Houston in 2010, Tara was employed as a personal trainer and dietitian at a fitness center.

In March of 2011, Tara became the first Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Houston.  As the only dietitian on staff for all fifteen varsity sports, Tara was responsible for student athlete education, menu planning, food service, catering and training table operations, recovery, inventory, counseling and team talks.  She also served as a dietetic internship preceptor, a member of the athletic department Leadership Team and a member of the Student Athlete Wellness Committee. While at the University of Houston, Tara was a faculty member teaching both an undergraduate and graduate level nutrition course.

Tara was hired by the Houston Rockets in August of 2013 to serve as a consultant sports dietitian.  In that role, she is responsible for coordinating with team chef and operations staff to ensure proper nutrition for the athletes while at home and on the road.  In January of 2014, Tara transitioned out of the collegiate athletic setting and into private practice.

In private practice, Tara occasionally sees clients one-on-one, but spends most time working with the Houston Rockets and as a Gatorade Nutrition consultant for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers G-League Team.  She has also worked with former NFL players through an NFL Player’s Association partnership with EXOS. Tara also speaks at various conferences, does team talks and contributes to blogs and articles through her private practice.

Tara is a member of The Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association, where she serves as a member on the research and education committee, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition, and The Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In her free time, Tara enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two kids, ages 6 and 4, attending sporting events, traveling and cooking.

Molly Wong MS, RDN, LD

Molly grew up in San Antonio, Texas in the healthcare environment. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences from Texas A&M University. Molly completed her dietetic internship at the VA in Houston and Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She has specialty certifications in pediatric weight management, pediatrics and sports nutrition. For the past 10 years she has worked caring for children with kidney disease at Texas Children’s Hospital. She is active in research in several areas including critical care, nephrology and malnutrition and has several publications in pediatrics, continuous renal replacement therapy and malnutrition. She has spoken nationally and internationally on her research. She is a member of the Evidence Analysis Library pediatric malnutrition nutrition risk screening project work group and Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group Malnutrition Committee. She also pursues her love of sports nutrition as a member of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute human performance team where she provides performance nutrition counseling and metabolic/exercise testing for all types of athletes – elite, collegiate, weekend and high school.

Bethany Villarreal MS, RD, LD, CSC

Bethany is a licensed and registered dietitian with CHI St. Joseph Regional Health where she serves patients on the Telemetry, Intermediate Care, Pediatrics, Women’s, and Observation units. Bethany also works as a sports dietitian with Nutriworks, Inc., coaching athletes to optimize performance through nutrition. She earned her bachelors of science in nutritional science as well as her masters of science in sports physiology at Texas A&M University.

Melissa Hawthorne

Melissa Hawthorne MS, RD, LD, CDE

Melissa Hawthorne, MS, RD, LD, CDE earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She is a registered, licensed dietitian, wellness coach and Certified Diabetes Educator at Advice for Eating.  She specializes in weight management, nutrition wellness, diabetes management, insulin resistance including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), nutrition and pregnancy and pediatric nutrition.
Spending most of her childhood as a competitive gymnast, Melissa was fortunate to have supportive mentors that taught her about nutrition and healthy eating. Now as a registered and licensed dietitian, Melissa enjoys passing on that knowledge by teaching individuals about the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, as well as motivating them to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  Melissa is also speaker for a variety of corporations and organizations in the Houston area.