January 9, 2020 | Letter to Alumni
2020 Letter to Alumni
January 9, 2020
Happy New Year to you! This new year brings new endeavors for me, too. A little over a month ago I joined the NTA as its CEO. I made this move because I know how essential it is for our organization – and its thousands of graduates – to make our mark on the health of our communities and ultimately help people lead more vibrant, quality lives.
NTA’s vision is to create a ripple effect that transforms lives and shifts the outlook of health to one of hope, today and for generations to come. I believe that it was my involvement in the creation of this vision that accelerated my leap from board member to my current role today.
I know that I’m in the right place to play a part in achieving this vision.
It’s an incredible honor and a huge responsibility to serve you in this capacity. While we have seen great success in the past 15 or so years, the world has changed, and with it, the demands on our organization. I have been given a crash course in learning many things about the strengths, threats, accomplishments, and frustrations that face our organization.
We, the NTA Community, are incredibly fortunate. We have you as our Alumni community. Our program is life-changing. Our instructors excel at teaching and our staff is incredibly supportive. I’m blown away by the unity for our cause! Together, we make change. The strength of our organization comes from the ongoing involvement of you, our alumni. There are few schools with such a dedicated community who so deeply cares about their work and one another, all built around the core foundations of our NTA programs and philosophy. For this dedication, we thank you.
But let us not be passive, there are threats out there. We face roadblocks, obstructions and difficulty, primarily with Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Undoubtedly the most aggravating part of my work is the attention I must direct to endless quarrels from those that feel they’re more entitled to provide nutrition counseling than you. I spend endless phone calls (and payments) to attorneys as we fend off these attacks. Thankfully, Laura Waldo, NTP, from National Association of Nutritional Professionals (NANP) legislative affairs division is also on speed dial. She’s keeping close tabs on these threats and meeting with legislators – and – to plead our case, while we work on your behalf to preserve your credentials in market.
Yet the frustrations you share on social media and in our recent survey are concerning and painful to hear. Relationships – whether between two individuals, or between an organization and its community – are complicated and require mindful navigation. Though our desire and intentions to support you come from a genuine place of care, we are working to reduce the gap between some of your expectations and our ability to deliver them.
Over the next 12 months in this newsletter, I will be addressing the concerns you have raised. Scores of you have volunteered to participate in a dialog with us and while we’d love to bring each of you into these conversations, we’ll reach out to a handful of you in 2020 to seek your insights on some possible directions forward as well.
My ask of you is this: stay connected to us. Whether it’s through your membership, our annual conference next month, or simply drop us a note, connection with you is essential. This is a critical time for the holistic nutrition industry, and for the NTA overall. Our solidarity has kept us strong for many years and will continue to do so if we have trust in our conversations. For this year, our resolution to you is, we at NTA are committed to doing a better job on this front.
We’re headed for greater things in 2020. This starts with clarity in our mission that will lead us to prioritize the support you need to reach into more communities and empower individuals to tap into their own innate healing abilities. Our unity is in our combined strength – alumni, students, instructors, staff, board of directors, shareholders and partners – is the sum total of what it will take to ensure success and new accomplishment. Together, we create a ripple effect that transforms lives and shifts the outlook of health to one of hope, today and for generations to come.
Let’s do this together.
Miriam Zacharias, CEO