fitsmi is proud to have a group of advisors who are respected experts in the fields of obesity treatment, research, psychology, internal medicine, weight and health coaching, pharmaceuticals and exercise physiology.


Kathie Jacobson, Ph.D.


Dr. Kathie Jacobson is a Licensed Psychologist treating adolescents and adults and their families. She has been delivering psychological services in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area since 1985. Her educational background includes a B.S. degree from Cornell University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Minnesota, and is recognized by the National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology. Dr. Jacobson worked in Behavioral Pediatrics at the U of M for two years, then at Teen Age Medical Services (TAMS), the adolescent outpatient clinic of Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, for 11 years. At TAMS she worked on developing and staffing an Eating Disorder Treatment Program for adolescents as well as providing more general mental health services to adolescents and their families in this outpatient medical clinic. She has been in private practice since 1999.

Barbara K. Snyder, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of Adolescent Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson

Dr. Snyder is Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of Adolescent Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ. Dr. Snyder attended George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and SUNY-Upstate Medical Center. She received fellowship training in adolescent medicine at the University of Rochester School Of Medicine. Dr. Snyder is board-certified in pediatrics and adolescent medicine. She is a Fellow of the Society for Adolescent Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Snyder is the Chair of the Section on Adolescent Health in the American Academy of Pediatrics. She teaches medical students and residents about adolescent health and has an active clinical practice, with special interest in well adolescent care, adolescent gynecology and eating disorders.

Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D., L.P.

Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California

Dr. Kerri Boutelle is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Dr. Boutelle’s research and clinical interests focus on the causes, characterization, prevention, and treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity and eating disorders. Her research activities include investigating the role of familial factors in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of obesity and eating disorders in youth, utilizing principles of basic behavioral science to inform and improve treatments for obesity and eating disorders; and determining intervention and prevention strategies aimed at changing the trajectory of weight and eating disorders in children and adolescents. She has published scientific articles on a wide range topics dealing with pre-adult weight issues. Dr. Boutelle is a member of the Academy of Eating Disorders, the Eating Disorder Research Society, the National Association for the Study of Obesity, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Max Gomez, Ph.D.

Medical Broadcast Journalist at WCBS-TV

Award-winning broadcast journalist, Dr. Max Gomez has been reporting on health and medicine in the New York and Philadelphia markets for over 25 years. In June of 2007 Dr. Gomez rejoined WCBS-TV as a medical reporter, coming from WNBC-TV where he had served as Health and Science Editor since 1991. Gomez began his broadcast career in 1980 as the health and science reporter/editor for WNEW-TV followed by six years at KYW-TV in Philadelphia.

Dr. Gomez is the recipient of numerous journalism awards including six New York Emmy Awards, two Philadelphia Emmys, a UPI honor for Best Documentary for a report on AIDS, and an Excellence in Time of Crisis Award from New York City after September 11. He was also named the American Health Foundation’s Man of the Year and was a NASA Journalist-In-Space semi-finalist in 1986.

Dr. Gomez serves on the national board of directors for the American Heart Association, the Princeton Alumni Weekly and the Partnership for After School Education. He chairs the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science and Technology for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and serves on the Board of Visitors for Wake Forest University.

A native of Havana, Cuba, Dr. Gomez is bilingual in Spanish and graduated cum laude from Princeton University, and earned a Ph.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Stephanie Knatz, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Center

Stephanie Knatz is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Center. She currently conducts the clinic’s week-long Intensive Multi-Family Therapy Program and works within the adolescent day treatment program, providing individual, family, and group psychotherapies. She specializes in family based treatments and behavioral parent management training. In addition to her clinical work, she is also involved with conducting research in eating and weight issues and is involved with her clinic’s efforts to develop and improve current treatments for eating disorders based on neurobiological findings. Other research interests include pediatric obesity and emotion regulation in bulimia nervosa.

Paul Weiss, Ph.D.

Senior Athletic Director at the George School

Paul Weiss is the Senior Athletic Director at the George School in Newtown, PA and formerly Chief Program Officer at Asphalt Green, a unique private non-profit organization that operates out of a 5.5 acre sports and fitness campus in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and a 60,000 sq. ft. campus in Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

Dr. Weiss earned a PhD in Educational Research and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a B.A. in English and History. He has taught at the collegiate level, including undergraduate and graduate level instruction in Educational Psychology, Human Motivation, and Sport Psychology/Peak Performance.

Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont

Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont, one of the world’s leading centers of behavioral weight-management research. A nationally recognized obesity treatment researcher, she has appeared on the Today Show, National Public Radio, and in numerous newspapers and magazines as an expert on the subjects of weight loss, obesity and nutrition. She is author (with Joyce Hendley) of the award-winning book, The EatingWell Diet: Introducing the Vtrim Weight-loss Program.

Dr. Harvey-Berino is a recognized expert on behavioral weight management programs, particularly Internet-based interventions for weight loss and weight maintenance, having published numerous peer-reviewed articles based on her research. Additional research interests include the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, and weight loss interventions for coronary patients. She holds BS and MS degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kathryn Henderson, Ph.D.

Former Director of School and Community Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and Clinical Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders

Dr. Henderson is the former Director of School and Community Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and Clinical Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. As a clinician, she provides treatment to individuals with eating disorders and obesity, and clinical supervision to graduate students. Dr. Henderson has published and presented on the topics of obesity, weight bias and stigma, environmental contributors to obesity, and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Her current research focuses on the impact of policy initiatives on the nutrition and physical activity environment in school and childcare settings, and strategies to assist families in negotiating the current difficult food environment. Dr. Henderson received her B.A. from the University of Victoria in Victoria, Canada, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada. She completed her clinical internship at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital in Boston, and her post-doctoral training in the Yale Department of Psychology.

Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez, M.D.

Pediatric Endocrinologist, New York-Presbyterian / Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Ileana Vargas-Rodriguez helped establish the pediatric component of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. She has participated in the establishment of the pediatric component at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and the Comprehensive Weight Control Center.

Dr. Vargas-Rodriguez instructs residents and fellows in the management of childhood obesity and both type I and type II diabetes. She is involved in a number of ongoing clinical trials and was a fellow in 2000 of the National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Program. She is active in recruiting patients from the community to participate in ongoing efforts to promote changes in lifestyle with regard to childhood obesity. Her practice is principally related to the care of overweight and its co-morbidities. She is Board certified in Pediatric Endocrinology.

Dr. Vargas-Rodriguez received her MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her residency at Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NY, NY and a fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O.

Director of Women's Heart Health, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum is an attending cardiologist and the Director of Women’s Heart Health of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She has done fellowship training in both Preventive Cardiology and Cardiology. She is the author of Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book: Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life, teaching all women how to lead the healthiest lives by living from the heart and Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally, with the editors of Prevention. She is the host of Focus on Health, a weekly magazine news show spotlighting health topics, seen on WLNYTV. She has been awarded a New York Times Super Doctor, a Castle and Connolly Top Doctor for Cardiovascular Disease and New York Magazine’s prestigious Best Doctors in New York edition.

Dr. Suzanne has devoted her career to the treatment of heart disease through early detection, education, and prevention. She has lectured nationally on topics of coronary artery disease, Women and Heart Disease, natural and alternative ways of treating heart disease and the prevention of heart disease. She is often cited in magazines and newspapers and is regularly seen on network news health segments as a leading consultant in the field of women and heart disease, preventive cardiology, and topics of lifestyle management. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post,, Dr. Oz, Bottomline Health, and Sharecare.
Dr. Steinbaum is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. She is a National Spokesperson for the Go Red for Women campaign and chairperson of the Go Red for Women in New York City.

Jamie S. Stang, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor and Chair of the Public Health Nutrition Program

Dr. Stang is assistant professor and chair of the Public Health Nutrition program and the co-director of the Leadership Education and Training Program in Maternal and Child Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include nutrition and weight status in pregnancy, child and adolescent nutrition, behavioral counseling in child obesity, and obesity among women of child rearing age.

Dr. Stang is a Registered Dietitian and holds an MPH in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Minnesota.


Hendrik Kranenburg

Information Services Executive

Rik Kranenburg is an information services executive with a unique leadership track record in the digital and global transformation of educational publishing and financial information. A 30 year veteran of McGraw-Hill, Rik now applies his organizational leadership and analytical skills in the positioning, sale and integration of information services companies as vehicles to transform traditional publishing business models. He serves as an Industry Partner at DeSilva + Phillips, an investment bank focused on the media and information industry. He is also an active investor in and advisor to a range of education technology companies.

Mr. Kranenburg served as the Group President for Higher Education, Professional and International Publishing at McGraw-Hill Education from 2005 to 2011. There he focused the $1.3 billion business on the development and distribution of a range of new educational software and services offerings. He led the company’s international business operations in a strategic migration from book distribution to the delivery of outcomes-based learning services.

From 1999 to 2005, Mr Kranenburg served as Executive Vice President for Investment Services at Standard & Poor’s, directing a wholesale business repositioning to focus on the delivery of proprietary data and investment research. He led the global build-out of the S&P index business as the world’s leading source of licensed trading instruments and the analytical foundation for a whole new exchange-traded fund asset class. He also led the acquisition of Capital IQ as the foundation for a more extensive investment data business and the successful divestiture of Comstock, DRI, Kenny Brokerage and Money Market Services. digit revenue growth trajectory.

Over the 1990’s, Mr Kranenburg managed the international expansion of the Standard & Poor’s Ratings franchise, driving the ten-fold expansion of the company’s international revenue to $750 million through a series of acquisitions, joint ventures, affiliations and new product/service entries across Europe, Asia and Latin America. He led the creation of a global sales, marketing and product development capability building on a network of highly qualified and motivated financial services professionals.

His board service includes the publicly listed McGraw-Hill Ryerson in Canada, the Association of American publishers, the S&P-ADEF joint venture in France and Taiwan Ratings. He is also active in a range of non-profit organizations including Educate!, and One Media Player per Trainer.

A Chartered Financial Analyst, he holds an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a BA in economics and political science from UC Berkeley.

Thayer Bigelow

Managing General Partner of Bigelow Media, LLC

Thayer Bigelow is the managing general partner of Bigelow Media, LLC, a media investment and consulting firm.

Prior to founding Bigelow Media, Thayer spent over 30 years at Time Inc. and Time Warner where he held a number of senior financial and management positions including CFO of Time Inc., President and COO of ATC, the second largest cable operator at the time, and President and COO of Home Box Office, Inc.

In addition to his activities with Bigelow Media, he is a director of Crane Co.; Huttig Building Products, Inc.; and The Lord Abbett Mutual Funds. He is also a Trustee of Trinity College.

Bigelow is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Colgate Darden Business School.

Sheryle Bolton

Founder and CEO of QUIXIT, Inc.

Sheryle Bolton is a business leader and serial entrepreneur with start-up, IPO, and public company CEO experience. Most recently, she was Founder and CEO of QUIXIT, Inc., which developed and marketed scientifically based, online games for mental fitness.

Ms. Bolton has held the positions of Chairman and CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation, a publicly held neuroscience technology company and President and COO of Physicians’ Online, Inc. She has also held senior posts at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and Rockefeller & Co., the global asset management firm.

Ms. Bolton has served on several public and private corporation boards, including Bridge Capital Holding Company and Austhink, a ventured-backed decision-support software company. She holds a BA in English and an MA in Linguistics from the University of Georgia, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

William Roedy

Former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International

Bill Roedy is the former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International, where he and his team built from scratch a global operation of 200 channels, 20 brands (including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) in 200 countries, reaching a potential audience of 2 billion people, launching the most channels in the history of television.

Prior to joining MTVNI, Roedy was a Vice President for HBO for ten years, and was inducted as one of the “Pioneers” of the U.S. cable industry. Earlier he was a career officer in the United States Army where he qualified as Airborne and Army Ranger and was a decorated combat veteran in Vietnam. He also commanded nuclear missile bases in Italy as part of NATO during the Cold War.

In 1998 Mr. Roedy was named Ambassador for UNAIDS and he has addressed the UN General Assembly on several occasions regarding the pandemic. He was a founding member and chair of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS from 1998 to 2002, and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board. In 2005, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed him founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative Leadership Committee. Mary Robinson also appointed him as an Envoy for the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations (GAVI) in 2010.

Mr. Roedy currently serves as Chairman of the Staying Alive Foundation, which provides young people with resources to fight the epidemic at the grass roots level, in combination with MTV’s award winning HIV/AIDS programming.
In addition to the above, he is active in a wide range of other Global Health initiatives, including the boards of amfAR, Healthright, Fitsmi, The Hawn Foundation (Goldie Hawn) and Global Health Corps. His business roles include Zumba (Healthy Lifestyle), Moshi Monsters, Lionsgate, Ping4 (Mobile Alerts), DJZ and the private equity advisory boards of TowerBrook (NY/London) and ClearVue (Shanghai).

His education roles include board membership with Westminster College, and the American School in London (ASL), and advisory board roles with Baruch College and the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.
He has received numerous awards – – including Individual Business Leadership Award presented by US President Bill Clinton, the International Emmy Founder’s Award, amfAR’s Award of Courage, Doctors of the World Leadership Award and the UN Correspondents Association Global Citizen of the Year Award.

Mr. Roedy holds degrees of Bachelor of Science from West Point and an MBA from Harvard. He has recently joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Mr Roedy is Executive Producers of the documentary Battle of amfAR, and . the author ofWhat Makes Business Rock,

Georgia Casciato

Fellow of the American College of Health Executives

Georgia Casciato is a Fellow of the American College of Health Executives with over 25 years of experience in the health care and wellness industries. She is Founder and Principal at Georgia Casciato Consulting, Inc., where she advises hospital systems, physician organizations and networks, retail healthcare networks, employers, and health technology companies on business development and strategy.

Georgia has previously held senior positions with Columbia/HCA Health Care, William M. Mercer, Inc., and Alexander & Alexander Consulting advising health and wellness companies and programs.

Georgia has published numerous articles and speaks widely at trade meetings and to professional organizations on issues related to business strategy and development in the wellness and healthcare industries. She currently sits on the board of the Chicago Health Executives Forum and is a past president of that organization and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Executive Health Council.

Michael E. Grindon

Former President of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI)

Michael Grindon served as president of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) , from April, 1995 to March, 2010 during which time division revenues grew from less than $100 million to over $2 billion.

He joined Columbia Pictures, then part of the Coca-Cola company, in 1986 and served in several executive positions in the international television division before being named President of SPTI in 1995.

Previously, Grindon spent six years at HBO, first as manager, special markets, then as director of national accounts.

Michael serves on several boards and charitable foundations, including the Vijay Amritraj Foundation. He also serves as President of the Advisory Board for the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College.

Art Bell

President and COO of Court TV

Art Bell is a media executive with extensive experience in programming, marketing, finance, and general management in the cable television business. He has worked in television since 1982. Art specializes in strategy for media companies. Clients include MGM, A&E Networks, The Weinstein Company, The NFL, The NBA, and the PGA among others.

In his most recent managerial role, Bell was President and Chief Operating Officer of Court TV from 2003 through September 2006. Bell joined Court TV in 1998, serving as Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Programming, and was responsible for introducing the network’s prime time schedule in the January 1999 re-launch. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Programming and Marketing for Court TV in 2000, and was responsible for all Court TV programming and production. He also oversaw all aspects of Court TV’s consumer marketing initiatives, as well as the development and implementation of the network’s brand positioning activities and on-air promotion. Bell was named Promax “Brandbuilder of the Year” in 2003. He was responsible for Court TV’s award-winning programming, including the original movie, The Interrogation of Michael Crowe, which won the George Foster Peabody award in 2003. The documentary of the same name won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award in 2001, and the Court TV documentary Ghosts of Attica won a duPont in 2002.

Bell has worked in the television industry for over 25 years. Before joining Court TV, he worked in various divisions of Time Warner Inc. for more than 14 years, including senior management positions at HBO and at Comedy Central. While at HBO, he spearheaded the idea and business plan for the Comedy Channel, which became Comedy Central. He served at Comedy Central in various capacities for eight years including Senior Vice President of Programming and Senior Vice President of Marketing and On-Air Promotion. Before leaving Comedy Central, he launched its popular web site, and co-authored a humorous book on the Internet entitled, “Comedy Central’s Web Sightings: A Collection of Web Sites We’d Like to See.”

Bell received a BA with Distinction in Economics from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.