Meet Sheila Viswanathan – Director of Nutrition Research

“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with great people on a meaningful issue that I happen to be trained in.”

Sheila Viswanathan, who joins Zipongo as its Director of Nutrition Research, is a public health nutritionist and credentialed as a registered dietitian. That said, her path as a dietitian has been anything but traditional. Before joining Zipongo, Sheila applied her training and experience to drive innovation in workplace wellness at Safeway and food rating systems at GoodGuide. Prior to this, she completed her doctoral degree in nutrition and public health at Columbia University and her undergrad degree at MIT.

1. Tell us why you joined Zipongo. I joined Zipongo to help support individuals seeking practical advice to improve their eating habits. The barriers to eating well are less about nutrition knowledge and more about adopting behavior change. Zipongo aligns with this philosophy, which is one of the main reasons I came aboard. Additionally, it was clear to me during the interview process that Zipongo values its employees; this speaks highly about how the company does business. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with great people on a meaningful issue that I happen to be trained in.

2. What are you most proud of (personal or career-wise)? I’ve been lucky enough to find happiness in both my professional and personal lives. My proudest accomplishment is completing my graduate training; it was probably one of the most enriching experiences in my life. Beyond that, I’ve been fortunate to grow from what I call “stretch opportunities,” such as moving across the country from my family and going from a 20-person startup to a 200,000-person corporation.

3. What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? Nearly any restaurant in the city can be healthy, as long as you make good choices. It’s true though that in San Francisco we’re lucky enough to have restaurants that put more effort into developing “health-forward” menus. One of my favorites in this category is Gracias Madre.

4. Can you share something that ranks high on your bucket list? This is such a tough question because there are so many things I’d like to do. Picking up the cello or viola, taking a cross-country road trip across the United States, seeing the Northern Lights and visiting the Galapagos Islands are some of the items on my bucket list.

Want to work with Sheila and the folks at Zipongo? Check out our current job openings.

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