In the early 70's, the business sector was a new arena for dietitians. It was uncharted ground and a departure from the traditional, more clinical role for a dietitian.
DBC charter members fondly remember an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado in 1973. A small group of talented dietitians organized the first special "interest group" meeting to discuss the importance of networking for the business-oriented dietitians. It was the most successful “standing room-only” session of the meeting. Members of the “interest group” included:
- Gail Becker (DBC co-founder), Food & Nutrition Manager, Weight Watchers, Int., Inc., New York
- Cis Follis (DBC co-founder), American Hospital Supply Company
- Barbara Shinn, Campell Soup Company
- Amelia Catakis, Marriott Health Services
- Carolyn Worthington, Worthington Associates
- Janet Andrews, Trans Tech, Inc.
- Darlene Dougherty, Trans Tech, Inc.
By sharing ideas and working together, they believed that they could enhance their success in the business sector.
Gail Becker and Cis Follis were in high-profile, high-risk, business-based careers and were the driving forces behind the formation of what is now known as DBC. Their training as dietitians served them well in their day-to-day activities; however, they sought additional, specialized support from other business-oriented dietitians. In turn, they felt that they could provide similar support to other dietitians.
DBC was considered a special interest group for several years. The group stayed intact and committed to the cause. In 1977, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics granted official status to DBC and twelve other dietetic practice groups with the formation of the Council on Practice. Originally, we were known as Dietitians in Business and Industry (DIBI), but in 1991, a new name, Dietitians in Business and Communications, was adopted to reflect the broader scope of positions held by members.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Gail Becker and Cis Follis and to the numerous other DBC pioneers. Without them, we would not have the opportunities we have today. The roles that the early pioneers played in vital business.