The Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) was recently acquired by the Association of Retail & Consumer Professionals (ARC). ARC is also the parent company to the Category Management Association (CMA) and the Shopper Insights Management Association (SIMA). All associations under the ARC banner are at the forefront of advocating for their industries, providing a common language, best practices and diverse learning opportunities in the ever-changing retail industry. They offer a collaborative, non-competitive environment for retailers, consumer packaged goods companies, industry technologies, and thought leaders to learn, connect, and grow. Headquartered in Chicago, IL the associations provide value to their members through training & certification, events, networking, content, best practices, and thought leadership projects as well as joint initiatives that elevate and evolve the various professions.
The RDBA serves as the professional group to almost 1,000 retail dietitians throughout the US and Canada that work for or consult to supermarket chains helping customers and employees with food, culinary, and nutrition issues. The organization’s mission is to foster the continuing business education and career development of current and future retail dietitians.
RDBA delivers a first-of-its kind retail industry and business education programs for registered dietitians, guided by an Advisory Board of retail industry experts. In addition to online and in-person training at key events, RDBA offers education and insights through its newsletter, website, webinars, podcasts, and special events for the community of retailers and dietitians.
Our comprehensive educational content will provide insights to help retail industry leaders develop health and wellness strategies that support your business goals.
RDBA is on a mission to advance the business education and career development of current and future retail dietitians - and the reason is simple: we believe retail dietitians are uniquely positioned to profoundly impact public health while at the same time supporting the business of food retail. We hope you will join us!
Emily Callahan, ARC President, Chief Innovation & Administrative Officer at Xerxes Global
As Chief Innovation Officer for Xerxes Global, Emily’s primary responsibility is to lead innovative thinking and digital transformation for a variety of businesses in the Xerxes portfolio including private equity consulting, business analytic software, a full-service production studio, and ARC - The Association for Retail and Consumer Professionals. Emily has been with the Xerxes organization since 2011 in a variety of roles including marketing, operations, product management, and senior leadership. She also currently serves as the President of ARC, parent association for the CMA, SIMA and RDBA, which she has been intimately involved since 2014 most notably executing the Annual Conference, growing it from a few hundred attendees to over 900 in her stead. In 2021, when the Conference pivoted to a virtual format during COVID, she spearheaded the design and architecture of an entirely virtual ‘ARC Campus’ complete with interactive gamification, live video streaming, networking rooms, and more. Her rich visionary mindset serves as the foundation for ARC’s current mission, goals, and path to becoming the largest professional organization for the retail field in the world.
Stephanie Schultz, MSM, RDN, CD, RD Ambassador to RDBA, ARC Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
Stephanie is a registered dietitian with business acumen. She has more than 14 years of experience in the retail and manufacturing industries and is a pioneer in retail dietetics. After building a retail dietitian program, she went on to lead marketing and advertising, manage branding and communications and build the eCommerce channel for a $1B+ grocery retail chain. Stephanie knows what it takes to succeed in the ever-changing, always competitive world of retail. She also understands the value an RD can provide at all levels of an organization.
In addition to retail, Stephanie has worked in corporate innovation for a consumer-packaged goods company and served organizations as an executive coach and leadership facilitator. She enjoys connecting with industry colleagues and building innovative programs. She brings an entrepreneurial mindset to everything she does and holds the distinguished honors of being named one of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery and the inaugural recipient of the RDBA Retail Dietitian of the Year in 2014.
James Jackson, RDBA Sponsorship Sales, ARC Strategic Sales Director
James comes to RDBA with over 25 years in category management, shopper insights, and business development roles while at PepsiCo, SUPERVALU, Nielsen/Spectra, Tyson Foods. Prior to RDBA, James worked for Radian Group, a boutique consulting firm that provides category management and analytical support for retailers, manufacturers, and foodservice distributors throughout the U.S. While at Radian, he launched several projects over the past decade, handling everything from initial sale and program launch to ongoing delivery of solutions for merchandising and sales teams. James leads our sponsorship sales organization and will be working with strategic partners to identify compelling opportunities within RDBA to enhance our community experience.
Suzi Wirtz, RDBA Member Services, ARC Vice President of Member Services
Suzi is an association leader with over 25 years of experience serving various industries and members. She specializes in membership, marketing, communications and strategy, with a strong background leading organizations through change and growth. She has worked with small and large associations, from philanthropic groups to professional membership associations to trade organizations. Her expertise and passion are in developing and maintaining strong relationships as well as creating compelling experiences for her audiences, with the ultimate goal of strengthening brands, increasing engagement and connection to the organization.
Sally Smithwick, RDBA Weekly Managing Editor
Sally has been a writer, editor and producer of food industry related content for 20+ years, starting her career in this field working with Phil Lempert in 2002. She currently serves as managing editor for SupermarketGuru.com, co-hosts the weekly video and podcast series The Lempert Report Live, has been managing editor of RDBA Weekly since its inception and has been a member of the production team for the RDBA Virtual Experience. In addition, she has held managing editor titles for industry publications Facts, Figures & the Future, Food, Nutrition & Science, The Food Journal, Coffee Chat News, and has contributed as a writer to Forbes.com. Besides her career as a food editor, she also has an extensive background in writing and composing music for film, television and advertising, working as a voice over actor, and acting on camera in various television and film projects.
Tim Turensek, RDBA Finance & Accounting
As a dedicated and detail-oriented accounting professional, Tim Turensek has been handling accounting & finance duties for the RDBA and sister companies of RDBA for four years. Tim got his start in the accounting industry his Junior year of college and never looked back. He has since worked at PwC in the Federal Tax Department and Callero & Callero, a Chicago based CPA firm where he acquired a wide variety of accounting skills and insights. After departing Callero & Callero in 2019 to join the Xerxes family he has worked through every aspect of accounting while helping maintain and grow the team, in a rapidly changing environment. In his current role Tim can be reached for inquiries to RDBA related invoicing and payables.
Kevin Snell, RDBA Director of Technology
Kevin has an extensive background in information technology with over 25 years of industry experience as an accomplished web developer, designer and systems/network engineer for leading organizations and businesses. Always keeping an eye on the latest technology trends and developments, Kevin is able to apply a wide range of experience and latest best practices to craft well thought-out bespoke solutions. Always striving, Kevin is continually developing his skills to encompass the many new challenges that the ever changing information technology world brings.
Shari Steinbach, MS, RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
With over 25 years of experience as a registered dietitian with two major supermarkets, Shari understands the retail wellness landscape and consumer needs to provide RDBA members with timely food industry knowledge and retail business insights. Shari is a leader in retail dietetics and a co-authored and presented the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Certificate of Training Program: “Supermarket Business and Industry Skills to Thrive in Retail Dietetic” and served as an advisor for the more recent “Excelling in the Retail Food Industry” training program. She has served as Chair of the Supermarket Retail Subgroup within the Academy’s Food and Culinary Professionals DPG and currently provides food and nutrition consultation to a variety of commodity groups, CPG companies and retailers.
Phil Lempert, RDBA Founder & Contributor
Phil Lempert is an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, and the changing retail landscape. He identifies and explains impending trends both to retailers, brands and to consumers. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. Lempert started RDBA in 2012 to advance the business education and career development of current and future retail dietitians; and in 2022 ARC acquired RDBA to reinforce Lempert's foundation and grow it's programs and efforts. Phil remains as advisor and contributor to RDBA.