Our Instructors

Our instructors provide a wealth of knowledge in the food service industry that includes culinary, dietetics and nutrition, operations, regulatory and hospitality. With Pineapple Academy, you can leverage that knowledge and expertise when training your team.

Chef Alexa Hockemeyer

Manager of Training & Culinary Support at Rubicon Foods

Alexa Hockemeyer received her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, along with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. She has experience as a line cook for several restaurants. She has been HACCP and SQF trained in Food Safety for Manufacturing and has developed and implemented a Repack and Distribution Food Safety System for Rubicon Foods, a manufacturer of purée products. She is currently the Manager of Training and Culinary Support at Rubicon Foods. Her goal is to create recipes/techniques and marketing support items that help healthcare customers implement a successful purée program.

Alison Manger-Weikel, MHA, RDN

Director of System Clinical Nutrition, Quality and Compliance Riverside Health System, Newport News, VA

Alison Manger-Weikel, Registered Dietitian, provides oversight of the Clinical Nutrition, Quality and Regulatory Compliance program for the division of Food and Nutrition Services, Riverside Health System in Newport News, VA. She has developed a Quality Management Plan for the division to address Food Safety and Sanitation as well as preparation and compliance to State, Federal and Regulatory Compliance agencies. She holds a B.S in Dietetics from the University of Maryland at College Park, and an MHA from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD.

Amy Bollam, RDN, LDN

Registered Licensed Dietitian and Healthcare Food Service Consultant

In her career, Amy has focused in food service management including areas of cost control, staff development, safety, sanitation, and compliance. In her current role with Health Technologies, Ms. Bollam provides Culture Change consulting for dining services in healthcare paired with customer service training, employee development, and menu design. Amy holds Bachelor degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition, as well as Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Dayton, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from the Pennsylvania State University. Amy resides in St. Louis with her husband and son. In her free time, Amy enjoys traveling, cooking, and of course, eating!

Antoinette “Toni” Watkins, MS, RDN

System Food & Nutrition Service Director Riverside Health System, Newport News, VA

Toni is a Senior Level Food & Nutrition Services Director with an expertise in professional development, a passion for food, and a heart for healthcare. Her present role as the System Food & Nutrition Service Director for Riverside Health System (RHS) in Newport News, Virginia expands across 15 sites, including acute and lifelong health. She was recently reappointed to participate in the Premier GPO Food Service Council Committee. In 2018, Toni received the Illuminating Excellence Award in recognition of foodservice operational excellence.

Barbara Thomsen, CDM, CFPP

Healthcare Food Service Education Coordinator/Trainer

Barbara spent 7 years as the MDS/OASIS Automation Education Coordinator/Trainer for the State of Iowa/Iowa Foundation for Medical Care. Previously, she was employed in Long Term Care facilities for 10+years and has her degrees as a Certified Dietary Manager, Resident Assessment Coordinator Certified, and QAPI Certified Professional. Additionally, for the past 2 years, she’s been ANFP’s (Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals) Education & Regulatory Outreach Consultant. Barbara recently started her own business, Aging Rules LLC Consulting. Her dream job combines her passion for food and her understanding of what makes “quality over quantity!”

Betsy Sellars, RDN

Registered Licensed Dietitian and Healthcare Food Service Consultant

Betsy’s career as a Registered Licensed Dietitian spreads across a thirty plus year tenure in the  Senior Living segment of Healthcare. Her focus is on Senior Care best practices, regulatory compliance and new product analysis. Betsy has served as a subject matter expert for Health related media  such as television and radio broadcasts. She is a sought after speaker for state and local Foodservice Associations, and is a Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition. Betsy resides in Georgia and enjoys traveling, entertaining and spending time with husband and family.

Chef Darin Leonardson

President and CEO of Transformed Culinary Solutions, LLC

As a professional chef with well over 30 years of experience in the hospitality market, Darin is transforming the industry with his passion for food and dining.  His passion is to continue disrupting the Healthcare and Senior Living Industry making every aspect a great dining experience.  Darin graduated from South Seattle Community College with a Culinary Degree and at Ashford University for a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management.

Frank Gorgone

Quadra Alliance, Managing Director

Following four years of active duty in the United States Coast Guard, Frank spent 32 years in Law Enforcement.  Frank retired from the Portland Oregon Police Bureau as a Captain after rising through the ranks to executive command level. Frank’s three decades in policing combined vast operational experience as a trainer, curriculum writer, frontline supervisor, project manager, and organizational leader. For over 25 years he participated with numerous community-based non-profits focusing on relationship building with the youth and families of Portland Oregon.

Chef Henry Cintron, CDM, CFPP

Corporate Executive Chef at Next Level Hospitality Services

Chef Henry Cintron has worked in the Foodservice industry for over 25 years. He has worked in Hospitals, Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Long-term Care. He previously owned a restaurant in New York. Soon after, he began down a new path of training and became a Certified Dietary Manager. He received his AAS degree in Culinary Arts and has worked in hotels and restaurants as an Executive Chef. He is currently a Corporate Executive Chef for Next Level Hospitality.

Jay Zweibaum


With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality field, Jay has held various leadership, operational and functional roles in the United States, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia and South America. His resume includes the implementation of operational processes and systems, strategy development and implementation, supply chain management, labor relations and change management. He has worked in management and administration of food service in contract services, restaurants, retail, hotels, and senior living for companies including Aramark and Holiday Retirement. Jay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.

Chef Lauren Kendzierski

Chef, Farmer, Professor

Lauren Kendzierski has spent their career digesting the world and its many cultures through food and nutrition. After 20 years in international fine dining, as a chef, waiter, bartender, & restaurateur, Chef Lauren now runs a sustainable farm in Western Massachusetts, while working as a chef instructor and college professor at both Clark University and Holyoke Community College. Chef Lauren has degrees from the International Culinary Center, UMass Amherst, and Clark University.

Marissa Chiapperino, RD

Registered Licensed Dietitian

Marissa has been a Registered Dietitian for over 10 years, graduating with her BS in Dietetics from State University of NY-College at Oneonta, completing the Sodexo NY Metro Internship and receiving her MPH from UMass Amherst. She first worked for Sodexo at Westchester Medical Center in NY for six years and then St. Francis in Hartford, specializing at both locations in critical care and oncology. After moving to Western Massachusetts, Marissa took a job at Holyoke Medical Center as their first bariatric dietitian, helping build the nutrition program and continues to change perception of obesity as a chronic disease. 

Mary Rybicki, MS, RDN, LDN

Auditor for gluten free certification at Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)

Mary Rybicki is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with diverse clinical and management experience in post-acute care settings. She is Editor-in-chief of the NCM Diet Manual and has incorporated the IDDSI texture modified diets. Mary has worked within multiple healthcare settings for quality improvement processes of texture modified foods and with the transition to IDDSI. She has an MS in Dietetics from MGH Institute of Health Professions and a MMHS from Brandeis University. She has held multiple leadership positions with the national DHCC DPG and remains active at the state level.

Nancy Rhoades, MS, RD, LD

Non-Commercial Business Solutions Specialist

Nancy is the East Region Dietitian with Lyons Magnus.  As a Registered Dietitian for over 30 years, Nancy has worked in clinical, management, sales, and consulting positions throughout her career.  She is a versatile, results-oriented professional and a proven leader with expertise as a presenter and trainer. Nancy has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, coupling her nutrition background with exercise physiology, promoting overall health and wellness.

Ron Sabatini, CEC

Healthcare Food Service Consultant & Culinary Trainer

Chef Ron is a Certified Executive Chef with over 30 years of culinary management expertise in healthcare, restaurants, and hotels. Chef Ron has run some of the most notable hospital kitchens in the country such as Penn State College of Medicine Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Geisinger Health System. Known for his high energy, cheerful outlook, and inspirational management style Ron has led numerous  projects to improve the patient food experience including room service design work; cafeteria, retail & catering menu & recipe development and implementation; tray-line menu re-design & implementation; disaster planning; HACCP; sous vide & ROP systems, recipes, designs and licensures; production modules of IT software; Room Service infrastructure; new hospital openings; hoodless kitchen designs; contract management to self-op assistance & conversion; and, management & catalytic leadership training.

Sarah Rink, RDN

Registered Dietitian

In her career as a Registered Dietitian, Sarah has worked in various positions within the long term care setting. As a Nutrition Services Coordinator she managed daily food service operations as well as the clinical nutrition needs of residents. In her role as Performance Outcome Coordinator Sarah focused on budget and operational management within dietary departments. She graduated with a B.S. in Food Science & Nutrition, from Middle Tennessee State University, and received her M.S. in Food Science & Nutrition from Northern Illinois University. Sarah’s thesis research focused on pureed meals, and how an enhanced plate presentation could have a positive impact on meal intake in the long term care setting. Sarah currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and dog, Miles, and enjoys long runs, traveling, and all things wine.

Suzanne Quiring, CDM, CFPP, RD

Registered Licensed Dietitian

Suzanne Quiring is a Registered Dietitian both in Canada and USA. She is a member of Dietitians of Canada, Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and Dietetics in Health Care Communities (DHCC). She is a Certified Dietary Manager with ANFP, and active member of CSNM. Suzanne has been published in 10 peer publications and been a speaker at National conferences including 2018 ANFP Regional conferences, 2018 Dietitians of Canada National conference, 2016 DHCC National conference, Pioneer Network, Eden Alternative International conference, and numerous health care conferences. She was awarded the Marie Taylor Award for Excellence in Long Term Care by Dietitians of Canada in 2015, and ANFP National Dining Distinction Award winner for 2020.

Todd Hollander

Hospitality and Business Management

Todd started his restaurant career in April of 1986 as a busboy for an upscale family owned Greek restaurant in St. Louis. He attended the University Missouri-Columbia where he was the first Front of House Dining director of the new University Club in 1992. Todd worked towards his Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Hospitality Management, Business Management, and Psychology and graduated the summer of 1992. Todd has worked for Embassy Suites, Chi-Chi’s, Semolina International Pasta, Rainforest Café, Jose Peppers, before finding his true passion at John Knox Village.  Todd is now in his fifteenth year as the Director Dining Services and Events at John Knox.