Cassandra Umile, R.D., L.D.N, the manager of Nutrition Services and Food Production for The Kenny Family ShopRites of Delaware, was named the Retail Dietitian of the Year by the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) at the RD Retail Exchange earlier this week in Chicago. This award recognizes a retail dietitian who shows leadership in utilizing business skills and industry knowledge to positively impact consumer behavior through the retail sector.
“We congratulate Cassandra and applaud her success that has made a difference with her customers, colleagues and community,” says Phil Lempert, CEO and president of the RDBA. “Although Cassandra is relatively new to the industry, we’re glad RDBA helped her to become a successful leader in her organization and the industry.”
“The thing that impresses me most about Cassandra is her ability to try new ideas that improve customers’ and employees’ health,” says Melissa Kenny, owner and director of Sales and Marketing, Kenny Family Shoprites of Delaware. “Her ability to combine her business knowledge with her expertise on nutrition and understanding of the retail industry makes her an excellent retail dietitian.”
Two years ago, Umile started as a retail dietitian at one of the Shoprite stores and was later named manager of Nutrition Services and Food Production for The Kenny Family ShopRites of Delaware. She provides nutrition education across the family’s six ShopRite stores and in the New Castle County community. She also teaches the company’s food safety class that certifies employees as Certified Food Safety Managers. In addition, she oversees quality assurance to make sure products and conditions meet company and FDA standards.
Umile taught herself how to write grants and was able to launch a “Green Bucks Program” through a grant from the Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive (FINI). This program provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries with $2 fresh fruit and vegetable vouchers for every $5 spent with SNAP benefits. More than 1,600 people participated in the Green Bucks program and those customers increased their produce purchase by 100 percent. Umile subsequently went to Capitol Hill with the National Grocers Association to lobby on the importance of the FINI program.
“It’s an honor to win this award,” says Umile. “The RDBA is critical to my success and it has helped me learn about sales, marketing and data analysis while sharing tips and programming with other dietitians. This career is so rewarding and I know I will continue to grow. I look forward to helping others in the future.”
Click here to view Cassandra’s award acceptance speech.