Talented RDs Enter Retail RD of the Year Contest

Talented RDs Enter Retail RD of the Year Contest

May 22, 2019
Annette Maggi

Each year, the caliber of talent in Retail RD of the Year applications continues to raise and impress RDBA’s Advisory Board reviewers. Given the quality work and continued expansion of services within the retail RD profession, RDBA recognizes the following four RDs, who were finalist for the award along with our winner Emily Parent.

Kerry Clifford, MS, RD, LDN, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

Kerry Clifford is the Corporate Dietitian and Media Spokesperson for Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets based out of Downers Grove, Illinois. Kerry’s role includes planning, developing and implementing nutrition marketing for 80 stores across 11 states. Kerry delivers nutrition education to customers, employees and community partners through multiple forms of communication including media segments (TV, radio), online media placements, in-store and community events, social media, in-store marketing signage and handouts, and Crave Magazine. Her role at the corporate office also puts her on key projects including a nutritional attribute program for shelf edge and e-commerce, food safety programs, Fresh Thyme Ingredients Standards and Guidelines, and nutritional analysis for menu items at the store. Kerry’s role in marketing has also allowed her to broaden her skill set in marketing through her development and management of the Fresh Thyme Vendor Partner Marketing program. Kerry has also supported Fresh Thyme’s Grand Openings by supporting the growth from 60 to 80 stores in 2019. As Fresh Thyme continues to grow, she is also piloting a Registered Dietitian Ambassador Program, which allows local RDs to be utilized in the major markets for community and in-store events.

Being that Fresh Thyme’s tagline is healthy food, healthy values utilizing a Registered Dietitian to promote the mission is key to our business growth. In 2018 alone, Kerry delivered over 46 media placements representing the brand yielding over 87 million impressions in 9 states and 10 cities. In May of 2017, Fresh Thyme launched Crave Magazine, a 44-page bi-monthly publication with recipes and health tips available for free at the stores. Kerry played a heavy role in the magazine approving content, drafting health messaging and collaborating with the company that publishes the magazine. She saw a business need to help fund the magazine by tying in relevant vendors products to recipes, and started work on this front. Kerry’s knowledge of the grocery business, specific products and impressive communication and collaboration with our merchant team lead to a 400% increase in revenue on the Fresh Thyme Crave Magazine

Elizabeth Hall, MS RDN LDN, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.

Elizabeth works across all departments to compliment Food City initiatives.  In 2018, she worked with local media to provide nearly 120 Healthy Living TV segments with 120,000,000+ reach and her weekly newspaper articles generated a reach of 3 million+ and social media provided 10,000+ impressions monthly.  She writes in-store audio for departments in 134 Food City stores. Elizabeth’s media involvement promotes the Wellness Club and in-store meal solution programs (Shortcuts program, “Meals in Minutes”, and online ordering through GoCart curbside pick-up and home delivery service), which positively impacts Food City’s credibility as a health/nutrition resource in the community. Elizabeth assisted the Produce management team to develop Produce Snack Packs to be sold in stores.

In the community, Elizabeth provides health fairs, cooking demonstrations, professional presentations, and interactive workshops for adults/children with a reach of 60,000+ participants. Elizabeth worked with our corporate chef and culinary trainers to plan healthier lunch and snack catering options for local businesses. This generated recognition from Healthy Kingsport, a nonprofit organization through Kingsport TN Chamber of Commerce, of which Food City is a Platinum Partner, Better Tennessee Magazine, and the TN Governor’s Foundation. Elizabeth and Healthy Initiatives team developed Steps to Wellness program (480 enrolled patients) in partnership with Summit Health, a local medical group, and was highlighted in Today’s Dietitian magazine. 

Katy Keogh, MS, RDN, LD, The Kroger Co., The Little Clinic

Katy is an in-store retail dietitian with Kroger in Columbus, Ohio where she spends 90% of her time helping people through one-on-one nutrition consultations.  She also see patients for personal shopping appointments out in the grocery aisles where she helps them find nutritious products and meal ideas, tailored to their needs.  This is one of Katy’s favorite appointment types since you can see the customers eyes light up as they discover nutritious options in the store.  A small part of Kay’s role also involves nutrition marketing and education through media, social media, written articles and presentations. 

Katy has been with the in-store dietitian program from its infancy and thus has helped grow it into what it is today.  She helped tweak the program to improve efficiency, sustainability and reach and has built a thriving private practice from ground up inside of her two stores.  

A few of Katy’s favorite success stories are a patient who “no longer has diabetes” (according to him) as his a1c reduced to the normal range after only two visits; a client who lost 12 percent body weight; and a doctor who sends several referrals to Katy each week as his patients are finally losing weight after years of recommending them to do so and not having success.  Katy uses community outreach and marketing for their dietitian services to local medical offices and hospitals, and last year, received over 200 patient referrals for dietitian appointments. This not only raises the profile of dietitians as a whole, but also of retail dietitian services.

Jaclyn Padovano, RD, CDN, Inserra Supermarkets, Inc.

Jaclyn’s programs are structured to deliver relatable nutrition recommendations and information that not only encourage positive lifestyle change but also drive sales of better-for-you products throughout the store. Her cross-merchandising within the store, ability to identify high gross profit items, capacity to optimize their potential, and creation of strong relationships with associates and department managers, have allowed her to create a well-respected department and program. Her programs have generated approximately 150 new community partners and over 200 one-on-one consultations annually. As a member of her immediate team of dietitians, Jaclyn assists in training new dietitians.

On a daily basis, Jaclyn attends manager meetings to identify ways to partner on push items in the store whether it be directly through classes and demonstrations or indirectly through displays or recipe sets. She has taken it upon myself to learn the store computer operations to assist in creating secondary allocations for displays, ordering product, and tracking sales. Endcaps and merchandising displays follow yearly themes and coincide with holidays and seasons to share new items that generate sales and are relevant to customers. The most recent display increased product sales by 97% while the display was up compared to one week’s sales prior.