Dena Smith Ellis is the Organization Lead for Blue Zones Project in North Hawaii. With a dual certification as a health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teacher’s College, Dena naturally embraces Healthways’ mission of ‘creating a healthier world, one person at a time.’ Because Dena believes that good nutrition starts at birth, she was a breastfeeding support counselor for over 20 years. Dena holds a dual certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Institute and Cornell University. She was also selected to train as a Certified Food for Life Instructor through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to teach cooking classes to prevent cancer, diabetes, obesity, educate youth about healthy foods, and promote corporate wellness. Dena is also passionate about local community development and service. She has experience working in non-profit management and is currently a Charter Member of the Hawaii Island Women’s Leadership Forum, former Club President of Waimea Toastmasters, Founding President of Cirque Ohana, Secretary of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance, member of Slow Foods Hawaii, member of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, and member of the ACF Kona Chef’s Association.