Who are the Scary Smart?

There is “smart,” there is “really smart,” and there is “scary smart”—so smart that you are glad the person uses their mind for good and not to rule the planet for their own enrichment. ~Professor David Tulloch, Rutgers University

It was my great honor to take over as chair of the Obesity Action Coalition on January 1st. This past weekend we held our annual OAC board of directors retreat. It is such an amazing time where much work is accomplished (we begin our days at 8 AM and typically go until 9 PM only breaking for meals.) I’ve attended 5 of these retreats and every time I leave refreshed, head bursting with ideas and so impressed that I am allowed to hang out with such a fascinating group of people.

This year’s retreat was a little doubly intimidating for me going in to it. This was my first retreat as chair, my first opportunity to “set the tone” for the next couple of years. We also elected not to have a facilitator this year which means the group had to listen to me drone on for the majority of the two days. Thank goodness there was some welcome relief with presentations from Joe, James and Kristy! I cannot over emphasize how excited I am at every retreat just to get to hang out with these folks. While we added three new board members last year and two new members this year, they were people that you just immediately feel like you’ve known forever.

This year we actually built an hour of “catching up” time into the beginning of the agenda because we are such a social group that truly enjoy each other. We then reviewed the Mission of the OAC-
The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support.
We next spent a good deal of time developing our Vision. The finished product will be available soon and of course, we’ll look at it here! These two powerful items framed the entire weekend. Truly, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never arrive at your destination. Last year, we developed several committees and included our general membership as well as the board of directors and advisory board on those committees. We reviewed the work and directives of those committees and well, let’s just say no matter how much we accomplish, there is always more work to be done. A primary focus is how we (no, that is not a royal we) can change the public perception of obesity (much, much more coming on that in the future.)

Friday afternoon as I looked around the room at our board, I was just completely blown away by the dedication and excitement of this group of professionals that volunteer so much of their time to the OAC. I began this post with a definition of the scary smart. That’s kind of funny to me because I thought I had originated that term! Every time I look at our board members and staff, I always think, “Wow, what a great group of people, they are just scary smart!” You may be wondering who is among this list of “scary smart?” I’m stealing this list from the OAC site, I added my favorite links for these individuals.
Current Members of the OAC National Board of Directors

Pam Davis, RN, CBN, OAC Chairperson

Barbara Thompson, MLS, Immediate-Past Chairman

Georgeann Mallory, RD, OAC Treasurer

Titus Duncan, MD

Jim Fivecoat, MBA

Amber D. Huett

Jacqueline Jacques, ND

Robert Kushner, MD

Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA

Walter Lindstrom, Jr., Esquire

Holly F. Lofton, MD

Tracy Martinez, RN, BSN, CBN

Rebecca Puhl, PhD

Lloyd Stegemann, MD

Directors Emeritus

Robin Blackstone, MD

Julie M. Hill-Janeway, BBA, MSA, JD, ABD/PhD

Christopher Still, DO, FACN, FACP

Please know these “scary smart” people are working hard every day to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Are you ready to help change the world? Or at least your corner of it? Join the group that is steadfastly working to change the public perception of obesity, please join the OAC.


2 Comments on “Who are the Scary Smart?

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