Retail RD of the Year Finalists

Retail RD of the Year Finalists

May 25, 2016

Each year the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance recognizes a Retail Dietitian of the Year.  The award recognizes a retail RD who shows leadership in utilizing business skills and industry knowledge to positively impact consumer behavior change through the retail sector.  RDBA is pleased to share the four finalists for this year's award. 

Kris Lindsey, RD, MPH, Hannaford Supermarkets
Kris as a unique role, even for a retail dietitian, serving as the dietitian accessible to all Hannaford shoppers through the company’s online communication channels.   According to her manager Hadley Johnson, “In the era of the Digital Omnivore, consumers are increasingly inclined to seek nutrition information through digital channels – via our website or through social media. Kris's willingness to embrace these new methods of communication has enabled Hannaford to expand our reach and help shoppers make informed decisions about their food choices wherever they live. Kris not only helps shoppers build weekly menus based on their personal needs, she also helps find healthy recipes and creates custom shopping lists using Hannaford online shopping filters.”  Johnson continues “It just shows you that you can still make a difference as a retail dietitian, even if you are not standing in the aisles of our stores. As shoppers increasingly shop through their keyboards, it is more important that we find dietitians who can reach shoppers through digital platforms.” 

Samantha Joy Mark, RD, CDN, ShopRite of Tuckahoe Road
Samantha’s role is quite broad as explained by ShopRite Sarah Daubman, RD, CDN, Manager of Nutrition Services for ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. “In her role as ShopRite dietitian, Mark is responsible for the planning and execution of complimentary nutrition programs to her store’s customers, community, and associates. As her store’s nutrition expert, Ms. Mark also influences the selection, ordering, and merchandising of specialty grocery items to better meet customers’ dietary needs. She is an integrated member of the management team, attending weekly meetings and huddles as well as acting as mentor to the store’s associates.”  Even more impressive is how Samantha has positively impacted consumer behavior while upholding the company’s purpose “To care deeply about people, helping them to eat well and be happy.” She provided over 400 counseling sessions in 2015, with one client losing 70 pounds. Her grab and go display boosted the sales of nutritional bars nearly 400%. In recognition of her community contributions, Ms. Mark was acknowledged three times with a National Nutrition Month proclamation by the county executive's office.

Christine Patorniti, RD, MBA, Village Super Market Inc.
According to Jack Batista Store Manager, ShopRite of Livingston, NJ, “Christine has a great business sense, and as a store manager in charge of the store’s financials and profitability, I appreciate this the most.”  From aggressively generating sales with new items (she lead the company in sales of Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles, exceeding all others by 40%) to merchandising health and wellness products to increase sales year over year as well as gross profit, Christine has definitely hit her stride as a retail dietitian.  Amanda Fischer MS, RD Director of Business Relations Village Super Market, Inc. indicates that Christine is responsible for implementing, managing and evaluating health education and sales initiatives, as well as positioning ShopRite as a credible source of nutritional information with an extensive line of healthier product offerings. According to Fisher “Christine has developed and field tested over fifteen different health programs and events based on clients’ needs.”  

Allison Yoder, MA, RD, LD, Hy-Vee, Inc.
In her role as a Retail Dietetic Supervisor, Allison manages a team of 79 RDs.  She hires and trains dietitians to provide free health, wellness and nutrition services that are difficult to find in many communities. She creates monthly dietitian toolkits - articles, media pitches and social media templates - to help cultivate a companywide health message beneficial to Hy-Vee customers. She’s increased use of Hy-Vee’s Healthy You Mobiles to offer customer screenings, vaccinations and samples. And, she started an employee wellness program used by 30,000 employees in 8 states.  According to Helen Eddy, Vice President of Health and Wellness at Hy-Vee “Allison encourages the dietitians she supervises to use all the tools at their disposal and educates them on how best to reach out to their communities and her passion for health and her organizational skills make her an invaluable resource to Hy-Vee.”