Julie McMillin, RD, LD, the Assistant Vice President of Retail Dietetics for Hy-Vee was named the Retail Dietitian of the Year by the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) at FMI Connect in Chicago. This award recognizes a retail dietitian who shows leadership in utilizing business skills and industry knowledge to positively impact consumer behavior change through the retail sector.
“Julie has an enormous job where she’s not only a skilled dietitian, but she is also a business person who works with varying corporate departments to implement innovative and successful campaigns and services to every Hy-Vee store,” says Phil Lempert, CEO and president of the RDBA. “We applaud Julie and recognize her as a role model for every retail dietitian in the country.”
“I’m honored to be named the RDBA Retail Dietitian of the Year,” says McMillin. “The award highlights the importance of retail dietitians and how we impact the lives of our customers, communities and employees by providing an accelerated customer service that cannot be matched. This award recognizes the profession as a whole, which is really exciting.”
As an assistant vice president for Hy-Vee, McMillin supports 228 in-store dietitians, three retail dietetic supervisors and one corporate dietitian by helping them define services and accomplish their goals. McMillin also serves as an integral component to the retail experience, working with store merchandising, buying and marketing. She also is a liaison for the Hy-Vee health and wellness program to both the community and corporations, and also internally with employees. McMillin serves on Hy-Vee’s Innovation Committee where she helps bring new ideas, products and trends to the company and stores.
She says RDBA is helpful in her career.
“Being an in-store dietitian you have to build your customer base from the store up, and RDBA provides promotional ideas, guidance with vendor relations and creates a community where other RD’s can share ideas. It’s learning to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk of retail,” says McMillin.
McMillin began her career working part-time in a Hy-Vee deli and kitchen. After college she took the traditional clinical route and worked in a hospital setting for almost five years. She then rejoined the retail industry becoming an in-store dietitian and working her way up the Hy-Vee corporate ladder.
She is a member of the Iowa and American Dietetic Associations and a board member of the American Diabetes Association. She’s also a board member of ChildServe, an Iowa nonprofit that partners with families to help children with special health care needs.