Name: Rachel Cheatham
Job title: Founder & CEO
Company: Foodscape Group, LLC
Highest Level of Education/Degree: PhD Nutritional Biochemistry
What does your schedule look like today?
• Cover the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting and report out on my blog – www.foodscapefinds.com
• Download and review background research for an upcoming presentation I’m giving at the Healthy Beverage Expo on the neurobiology and marketing of mood beverages
• Figure out who I want to interview for an upcoming article I am writing on the rise of plant-based proteins in product formulation
• Submit a proposal to speak at Roam Mobile Food Conference 2014
• Return calls/emails with clients and potential new clients
• Update my to-do list to reflect all the items that don’t get done today!
How did you go about finding your current job?
After working as a Director at the International Food Information Council and then as a Senior Vice President, Director of Nutrition Science Communications at Weber Shandwick, I decided to take the leap and start my own consultancy. The entrepreneur in me could not be quieted down any longer.
Who do you think is the most influential person in your field?
I have no idea. Honestly, I look to influencers in other fields besides my own. For example, I follow the personal tech community closely and even attended my first hackathon last year called the Future of Food Hackathon. Shockingly, my team took second place out of more than 40 teams. We google chat every week, and are continuing to develop a mobile site and app that will link food truckers with eaters and provide analytics for the owners to improve business margins.
When are you most inspired?
After my morning daily yoga practice.
If you could know one thing now, that you didn’t know then, what would it be?
Nothing is linear. Life and people are intimately interconnected in ways you can’t see or predict today. Trust your instincts and go with what interests you…the rest will fall into place.
Why should I join the Nutrition Division (or any other) Division?
The connections you make now will benefit you in ways you can’t see today. Talk with people, be curious and learn from others, always.
The most valuable thing I can do to further my research/career as soon as I finish reading this interview is: Pay attention to what is going on in the broader world out there. Use social media and other tools to be connected with people, places and things. Again, just go to what draws you and then look for how to incorporate that new and different thinking into your daily life and work.
What is your favorite food?
It changes over time. Right now I am really jazzed about these little grain-free nuggets I bake at home which are lightly sweetened and use almond flour and coconut oil along with ground fennel and allspice. Healthy & tasty should not be mutually exclusive.
Rachel is presenting “Sweeteners Rising: Who’s Talking & What’s Next?” at IFT’s Wellness 14 Conference tomorrow. If you’d like to contact Rachel, email her at Rachel@foodscapegroup.com, or follow her on Twitter at @foodscapegroup and @DrCheatham.
Rachel’s Interview with IFTSA President Jon Baugher at the AMFE 2013 describing her professional path and experiences and why you should join the Nutrition Division.