By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
What's the story behind your experience in retail and your position with your store?
My first experience with Hy-Vee was as an intern while a student at Iowa State University. I interned with six different dietitians in the Quad Cities area over two weeks. After my rotation, I knew I wanted to pursue a career with Hy-Vee. I started as an in-store dietitian at our Osage Beach, Missouri, location. After five years there, I was offered the opportunity to help open a new store in New Hope, Minnesota as an in-store dietitian. After one year, I became a HealthMarket® supervisor for our West-Central region. Shortly after my transition into this role, I was asked to join the marketing team at the corporate office. As health and wellness marketing manager, I oversee marketing projects and campaigns for our health and wellness department, including our dietitian program, pharmacies, HealthMarkets, in-store clinics, Healthy You Mobiles and our KidsFit® program.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
With the continuous innovation and evolution in the health and wellness industry, staying up to speed with the many moving parts can be challenging at times but is vital and extremely rewarding as a retail dietitian.
What is one thing that you wish you would have known before starting your career as a retail dietitian?
Looking back, I wish I would have pursued a minor in marketing. That education would have been of great benefit and aligned really well with my various roles during my Hy-Vee career.
Has there been anything specific that has helped you move forward?
I’ve been so fortunate to have some incredible mentors in my career with Hy-Vee. Our corporate dietetic staff, in particular, has been there every step of the way as my biggest supporters and advocates. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
Continually researching current trends and keeping up with innovation that is happening in the world of health and wellness is key. I also feel that establishing a great relationship with our amazing customer base when I worked in our stores, truly enhanced my development as a retail dietitian and helped me be most effective in my role.
Tell us about one of your programs or initiatives of which you are most proud.
Our company’s continuous innovation and prioritization of health and wellness is what I am most proud to be a part of. The establishment early on and growth of our dietitian program is so exciting. The fact that Hy-Vee considers our dietitians invaluable and a key component to our company’s success, is a really incredible opportunity to be a part of. I am so grateful to be a member of the Hy-Vee family and such an amazing group of retail dietitians.