Better Beginnings is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving child health through diet. 
We believe prevention must begin long before children start school.  Our mission is to inspire, educate and enable parents of young children to parent and feed in ways that encourage healthy habits in their children.  Using group education and behavior change techniques, we empower parents with the knowledge and skills they need to raise active children with the quality diets that lower their risk of chronic diseases.


    Susie Zachman, MS, RDN

    Susie Zachman, MS, RDN

Susie Zachman, MS, RDN, is the founder of Better Beginnings. Susie was a global business leader with 16 years of experience in legal, finance and human resources, functions and operational management. Traveling for work, she became increasingly disturbed by the growing number of young children she saw with weight problems, and finally decided to try and do something about it. Susie returned to school and as a part of her masters degree, she researched and designed a nutrition education program for parents of young children. This program was the foundation for Better Beginnings. Susie has a Masters of Science with a concentration in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her dietetic internship through Columbia and became a registered dietitian nutritionist. She also has a BA in Economics / Business from the University of California, Los Angeles, a JD from the University of California, Berkeley and completed the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School.

Board of Directors

Pat Baird, MA, RDN, FAND, is the owner of Confident Health, which communicates evidence-based information about the impact of nutrition and diet to consumers, health care professionals, and the media.  Pat is a media spokesperson, award winning author, provides corporate wellness services, and is an adjunct professor at University of Connecticut-Stamford and Norwalk Community College.  Her client portfolio has included Mazola, P&G, GlaxoSmithKline, Tropicana, and Quaker.  Pat served as President of the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and serves as an Advisory Board member to several organizations.  She holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from New York University, and a Certificates in Adult Weight Management (from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), and Advanced Nutrition Counseling (from the American Heart Association).

Brianna Farrand, MS, RDN, is a clinical dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital (Mount Kisco, NY), where she delivers medical nutrition therapy and nutrition education to a variety of inpatients. She is also the hospital's bariatric dietitian, counseling outpatients before and after weight loss surgery, as well as leading the bariatric support group. Brianna holds a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. Prior to her career in nutrition, Brianna worked in client marketing and corporate communications. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Psychology and Studio Art from Wesleyan University.

Phoebe Lindsay is a homemaker, mother, and volunteer. Prior to this occupation, she worked in the commodity trading field and then for the New York City watershed to reduce sourcewater pollution on farms. Phoebe has a Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from Penn State University and a BS in Biology/Botany from Colorado State University.

Catherine Staffieri, MS, RDN, is the founder of Roundtable Nutrition, a private practice focusing on nutrition counseling in the Fairfield County area. Catherine also works at Greenwich Hospital providing outpatient dietary counseling at the Center for Behavioral and Nutritional Health working in the areas of weight loss, diabetes, bariatric surgery, and other medical nutrition therapies. Before pursuing a career in nutrition, Catherine worked in finance at various hedge funds and asset managers in the investor relations/client service and marketing areas.  In addition to her role on the board of Better Beginnings, Catherine is on the board of the Junior League of Greenwich.  Catherine has a Masters of Science in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she completed her dietetic internship.  She has a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.