Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Meet the HKC Team

Healthy Kids Challenge® staff of registered, licensed dietitians has years of experience as trainers, mentors, and coaches for schools, programs, and communities in creating actions that support healthy eating and physical activity choices. HKC dietitians specialize in program assessment and guide user friendly ideas and resources.  Workshops, curriculum and activities help schools and youth programs implement wellness policies, meet the HealthierUS School Challenge, and teach kids nutrition from childcare through middle school.

Healthy Kids Challenge® Staff

National Award Winning Healthy Kids Challenge® Staff Develop Viable Solutions for Kids and Families to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Healthy Balance™.

Our vision is for all have a healthy balance of eating and active living everywhere they live, learn, work and play.

VickieVickie L. James, RD, LD
Healthy Kids Challenge Director

ClaudiaClaudia Hohnbaum, MA, RD, LD
Healthy Kids Challenge Assistant Director

EmilyEmily Poole, RD, LDN
Special Events

JaneJane Pelkki, MPH, RD, LD
Workshop Trainer

TammyTammy Simons, MS, RD, LD, NSCA-CPT
Communications Coordinator

SarahSarah Wamsley, MS, RD, LD
Web Site Coordinator
WOWS Newsletter Editor

TiffanyTiffany Wegerer
Bookkeeping and Distribution

Group PhotoRecent HKC Team Retreat Photo

Layout and Design


Vickie L. James, RD, LD, Director

Her passion and expertise......a vision to create a path, yet not paved, that can lead the way for schools, families, and communities to get healthier…has developed HKC, a small nonprofit, into an organization with large scale capacity.

  • B.S. Dietetics and Institutional Management, Kansas State University
  • Registered, licensed dietitian
  • Presented the 2003-04 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (American Dietetics Association) Award of Excellence in Community Dietetics
  • 2012 MDPA Communicating Childhood Obesity Prevention and Policy Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 15+ years of experience implementing, managing, and consulting community wellness projects and initiatives

In addition to directing HKC, Vickie is known for

  • interactive, inspiring and educational workshop messages
  • mentoring university students to become tomorrow's healthcare professionals
  • working with schools and community programs leadership to bring creative solutions for wellness to the forefront of their daily practice
  • networking and partnering with leaders and business across the U.S.

Quote: "My work is a gift, a wonderful opportunity to help others and feel like I can do something to make a difference today for tomorrow."

Claudia L. Hohnbaum, MA, RD, LD, Assistant Director

  • B.S. Food and Nutritional Sciences, Iowa State University
  • M.A. Instructional Design, Health Sciences, University of Iowa
  • Registered, licensed dietitian
  • 15+ years of experience implementing, managing, and consulting community wellness projects and initiatives

In addition to assisting with day-to-day operations, Claudia manages:

  • grant writing and project evaluation
  • website development
  • resource and toolkit development
  • various initiatives

Quote: "Each day we take a minute to find one simple and enjoyable healthy change we can make, we open the door for fit and healthy kids.”


Jane Pelki, RD, LD, Training

  • B.S., Dietetics, Southeast Missouri State University
  • MPH, Nutrition, University of Minnesota
  • Registered, licensed dietitian
  • 20 years experience with community nutrition and diabetes education

Quote: "It's a privilege to work with creative educators who want to help children in all areas of life-especially in making healthy choices!"

Emily Poole, RD, LD, CPT Special Events

  • B.A. Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University
  • Dietietics, Kansas State University
  • Registered, licensed dietitian
  • Certified in Adolescent and Childhood Weight Management; certified personal trainer
  • Experiences include clinical dietitian, private practice, and editing for a nutrition-based magazine

In addition to daily social media, Emily helps present the Explore MyPlate event, and other special HKC projects.

Quote: “Any healthy change, even small changes are steps int the right direction. Getting kids involved in these changes helps them learn a healthy lifestyle.”

Tammy Simons, MS, RD, LD, NSCA-CPT, Communications Coordinator

  • B.A. Exercise Science, Wichita State University
  • B.S. Dietetics, Kansas State University
  • M.S. Nutrition and Exercise, Kansas State University
  • Registered, licensed dietitian and certified personal trainer
  • Community wellness experience and past project coordinator for Kansas Kids C.A.N. (Connect Activity and Nutrition), a 3-year HKC grant in Southwest Kansas

Tammy leads the social media and internet marketing plan for HKC, writes monthly newsletters and works on special projects.

Quote: “When kids are presented a choice, they go for what's SIMPLE and FUN; we can make a difference in their lives by offering them easy, appealing healthy choices every day."

Sarah Wamsley, MS, RD, LD, Web and Newsletter Coordinator

  • B.S. in Dietetics and Institutional Management , Kansas State University
  • M.S. Exercise Science, University of Arizona
  • Registered, licensed dietitian
  • Varied experiences promoting hospital-based and community wellness

In addition to coordinating the HKC Web and writing newsletters, Sarah helps with special projects.

Quote: “Every effort to educate, demonstrate and model healthy behavior is valued and worthwhile.”

Tiffany Wegerer, Bookkeeping and Materials Distribution

Tiffany’s responsibilities include shipping and handling, invoicing, inventory, and providing monthly reports.

Quote: "Knowledge is power. Learning about healthy habits enables you to make the small changes that add up to healthy living for a lifetime."

Designwoerks, Layout and Design

Toolkit and resource graphic design.