20 Most Influential: Bill St. John, Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals

Bill St. John is leading the charge for change for the organization formerly known as DMA.

Bill St. John
President and CEO,
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals

On Jan. 1, the 50-year-old Dietary Managers Association changed its name and its focus as an organization. In becoming the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals, the organization has acknowledged the need to adapt to a changing foodservice environment and evolving membership.

The man at the heart of this change has been its president and CEO for more than 25 years. Bill St. John, at a time in his life when he might contemplate retirement, has instead chosen to be part of a rebirth.

“DMA is at a pivotal moment in its history,” said St. John when the name change was announced. “It has just celebrated its first 50 years and recognizes that, like so many other organizations, it must evolve and grow with the changes occurring around it. There is a growing demand for individuals who have the skills needed to navigate the increasingly complex foodservice environment and are able to combine that skill with a solid understanding of how to implement nutrition care plans.”

St. John has had a profound influence on the DMA membership since he took over management of the group in 1986. Ironically, shortly before St. John joined the organization it had undergone a name change; when the group had formed under the sponsorship of the American Dietetic Association it was known as the Hospital, Institution and Educational Food Service Society.

“Bill has been just such a tremendous asset to this organization,” says Ricky Clark, training and development coordinator supervisor at the Academy for Staff Development for the Virginia Department of Corrections and the current chair of ANFP. “He keeps us up on the latest trends and is instrumental in keeping the association moving forward.”


Foodservice Director has undertaken a bold initiative by identifying people who we believe are having the biggest impact on non-commercial foodservice. Our list may surprise you and should certainly intrigue you. Our honorees have backgrounds as varied as their personalities. They range from the father of the modern-day food truck to the wife of a sitting president. They include operators and suppliers, chefs and consultants, CEOs and civil servants. There are traditionalists and there are mavericks. Well-known names share space with hot newcomers. In all, 17 people, two groups of individuals and one institution compose the list. It’s time to meet FSD’s 20 Most Influential.