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Riley Peterson steps down from the Vitamin D Council

Posted on: May 18, 2018   by  Riley Peterson


Three years ago, almost exactly, I began my adventure with the Vitamin D Council. And now, with a heavy heart but optimistic ambition, I begin my journey to become a Registered Dietitian.

I remember the day I began working with this organization. I was intimidated by the specificity of the Vitamin D Council’s focus, but excited to learn. And learn I did. With nothing more than a basic knowledge of nutrition and a few science classes under my belt, I dug deeper into the vast world of vitamin D.

I remember thinking, “Vitamin D is related to diabetes?! To multiple sclerosis? Preterm birth, really?! It’s not an actual vitamin?” I’m sure many of you had the same reaction that I did when first introduced to vitamin D. My shallow understanding grew deeper as I read book after book, and hundreds of research papers. I was moved by my interactions with all of you, our members, after hearing your stories and your experiences with this unique ‘vitamin’. I was learning rapidly, and I have yet to stop learning since then. Even in my last days here with the Council, my vitamin D knowledge continues to grow.

I am inspired by the work done by this organization, and by the passion shared amongst its founder, employees and members. There is so much work to be done in this field, but so much has already been done, thanks to Dr. John Cannell and his work with the Vitamin D Council. I am grateful to have been a part of this changing environment, and to help impact the world around me.

To our members, you are one of the primary reasons I loved my time here. I was honored to learn more about your lives and your story, to hear your thirst for knowledge and understanding and to have the chance to play a small part in your health journey. I am moved, year after year, by the extraordinary generosity of all of you who contributed to our fundraisers, ensuring the survival of our organization. You patiently and loyally stood by us as our small team optimized our website and experimented with brand new projects. Your support and passion over the years have truly been an inspiration, and I am so grateful for the time I have had to share with you.

As a student and a recent graduate, I am so grateful for guidance when it is offered. I have been fortunate to have had such wonderful leadership here at the Vitamin D Council. Of course, founder and CEO of the Vitamin D Council, Dr. John Cannell, has been instrumental to my success over the past years. From the beginning, he has provided me so many opportunities to learn and challenged my critical thinking process. His experience and expertise in this field are unmatched to anyone I have ever met, and I was honored to learn from him. Thank you Dr. Cannell for the opportunities you have given me here at the Vitamin D Council.

I also have to thank my wonderful mentors, Amber Tovey and Missy Sturges. In my time here, I have grown close to these two wonderful individuals, and have learned so much from them both. Both of these women are strong, intelligent and compassionate, and I owe so much of my personal and professional development to the time I have spent with them over the years. I wish them both the best – Amber as she is just killing it in pharmacy school, and Missy, our Executive Director, as she continues to run the daily operations of this wonderful organization.

I would also like to thank the following individuals for supporting the Vitamin D Council:

  • Branden Welshons – our financial advisor who has gone above and beyond to assure the success of this organization.
  • Our volunteers – Ivy Walsh, Brenda Gomez and Naomi Solomon, who have dedicated countless hours to the Vitamin D Council.
  • Sara Nygaard – our bright and sunny Customer Relations Representative whom I did not get to work with nearly as long as I would have liked! Sara is intelligent, positive and has been a valuable asset to the Vitamin D Council since July of 2017 – And a wonderful friend too!
  • The Vitamin D Council Board – the support you provide to this organization is invaluable.
  • Drew Makowski at Heartland Assays – you all know that our vitamin D in-home test kits are a vital component of our mission. Drew is pivotal to the success of the test kit system and a joy to work with.

This is a sad, yet exciting time in my life. I have loved growing with the Vitamin D Council over the years, through the ups and downs. It is so hard for me to leave my work here, and all the wonderful individuals who keep this place running. However, as I pursue my career path as a Registered Dietitian to be, I will always keep the Vitamin D Council in mind.

I wish the VDC the best of luck, and will continue to support its mission over the coming years.

All my best,

Riley Peterson

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3 Responses to Riley Peterson steps down from the Vitamin D Council

  1. IAW

    Best of luck Riley!

  2. DrMsFit

    I always love reading and sharing with my patients the VDCs newsletters each month! Thanks for all your support over the years Riley. Best wishes in your new career.

  3. Annette

    Wishing you the very best for your future and your career Riley. Your experience at the VDC and your extensive knowledge of vitamin D will be an amazing benefit to your clients. Please let us know how you are going.

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