By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
The finalists for the 2017 RDBA Retail Dietitian of the Year award demonstrative the innovative and business savvy work of retail dietitians across the industry. The caliber of the talent continues to make it difficult to select a winner of this award! This year’s finalists are:
Maryrose Agel, RDN ShopRite of Spotwood is an integrated member of the store's management team. She provides recommendations on product offerings and merchandising; assesses sales data; and provides customer feedback and requests to ShopRite's merchants and vendors. She attends store director meetings, trains newly hired ShopRite dietitians and store managers, and regularly precepts dietetic interns. In a letter of recommendation, it was stated that Maryrose “is a true embodiment of ShopRite’s purpose, to care deeply about people helping them to eat well and be happy. Not only does she possess a keen understanding of the retail dietitian role, she continually strives to advance it by exceeding her job expectations and upholding the dietetics profession to the highest integrity.”
Kira Paris Felker, MBA, RD, LDN is a manager within Giant Eagle’s Quality Assurance Team. For the past few years, she has tirelessly worked as part of a cross-functional team with Merchandising, Marketing, Retail Operations and IT to ensure compliance with the FDA's Menu Labeling Law. Kira oversees the nutrition analysis of store-prepared products and assists in the development of marketing materials such as tags, menus and menu boards. In order for full nutrition facts panels to print at the stores for made-in-store products, she spent a great deal of time testing, developing and implementing these capabilities. To ensure continued accuracy of marketing materials, Kira has assisted in the development of processes for checks during team member store walks and internal audits. Testing has also taken place to display full Nutrition Facts for online platforms including Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo's websites and Curbside Express, Giant Eagle's digital personal shopping service where orders are placed online and are ready for customer pick-up.
Monica Hansen, RD from Village Super Market (ShopRite) is unique in the industry as her experience started before her role in the industry as a RD. Monica spent seven years working in a supermarket on the other side of the spectrum- working holidays, venting frustrations about department managers, trying to get along with disenfranchised coworkers. Coming into the retail role with this past experience enabled her to sympathize with other associates and better understand their needs. Previous to this role, she also worked as an assistant manager in a retail setting, where she was responsible for hiring, training, firing, inventory, hours management, and sales monitoring. These are all things Monica hadn't learned about in school that she was able to gain valuable insight into before entering a retail setting where she was to take on responsibilities as a RD and similar to a department manager.
Lauren Tulig, RDN, CD leads the RD team at Skogen’s Festival Foods as well as its marketing and advertising efforts. Lauren’s use of business skills were put to good use when she revamped Festival Foods™ Eat Well advertising program. She dug into this program and created a menu of offerings with price points for both advertising and marketing, which in turn created a steady income stream for the dietitian team. She also created an invoicing, tracking and reporting system and defined roles within her team to make it a team effort. Lauren brought in significant incremental ad dollars with this program; these extra dollars allowed her to reinvest in the program by funding promotions for Family Meals Month and other nutrition-related community events.
Jenna Werner, RD and Manager of Corporate Retail Health & Wellness for Inserra Supermarkets (a ShopRite chain), serves as a liaison for the Inserra health and wellness program to both the community and corporations, and internally with associates. Her responsibilities also include working with store merchandising, buying and marketing.In her letter of recommendation, it was stated that “Jenna is savvy and business-minded, and always thinking about how our team can show a return on investment. One program that Jenna implemented is the Dietitian Product Spotlight. Each month our team of dietitians showcases our product spotlight in-store. Not only does this program demonstrate a powerful lift in product sales through the support of dietitian demonstrations, it brings unknown, exciting, or new products to the attention of customers. Our program has gained recognition in our industry, and vendors clamor to be selected as our product spotlight.”
Please join RDBA in congratulating these 2017 Retail RD of the Year finalists.