Married with young children at home, Bessie O'Connor is passionate about nutrition and the impact food choices have on lifelong health.
Her experience learning and working in diverse cultures throughout the world influences her work, providing her with a unique perspective that she leverages to build strong relationships with school and community stakeholders. Her commitment to elevating the health of students and families is evident in her work, leading to the successful implementation of nutrition education programs and wellness strategies in school districts throughout her region.
Bessie is an avid advocate for wellness and disease prevention. She works tirelessly to identify opportunities to increase nutrition education and access to healthy foods for children and families. She believes that nutrition education and food access work together to build healthier children, families and communities.
Bessie earned a B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Northern Colorado and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii. As a mother of three children, she models lifelong healthy habits by making nutritious foods the easy choice and encouraging physical activities like running, hiking, camping and spending time at the beach.
I believe preventative measures such as implementing nutrition education in schools will improve the lifelong health and well-being of Californians.
For over 25 years, Rhoads has served as Dairy Council of California’s office coordinator and database technician.