RD Close-Up: Deanna Scheid, RD, SpartanNash
By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Please describe your role at SpartanNash.
In my current role as the Health & Wellness Dietitian at SpartanNash, I coordinate their health and wellness strategy, initiatives, and programs. I work with merchandising, communications, and distribution marketing to bring health and wellness programs like Kid’s Crew, Nutrition Pathways, and Store Tours to the forefront of our stores. I am also the sole content creator and manager for our Living Well programs and campaigns which spans from recipe development, quarterly publications, and cooking demonstration videos, to general social media content and am responsible for fostering and maintaining partnerships across the country where our stores are located.
What's the story behind your experience in retail and how you came to work at SpartanNash?
While I have never worked in the retail setting, my experience working in clinical and sports nutrition led me to my current position at SpartanNash. After conducting educational programs for athletes at the university and private practice level and collaborating with retailers to source proper fuel for student-athletes, my interest in a career involving community nutrition and program development grew. In this field, dietitians can have a phenomenal impact on a large audience - in an efficient and effective way.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
As a retail dietitian, navigating the business architecture of a retail corporation is my biggest challenge. Most of the previous operational settings I was exposed to were university and hospital type settings, with a low priority placed on business. Another challenge has been building buy-in on how my new health and wellness strategies will contribute to the success of the organization.
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting in retail?
How much the consumer dictates nutrition rather than the dietitian. The retail dietitian must adapt to the demand of consumers, their dietary lifestyle, and what the consumer values most.
Has there been anything specific that has held you back?
Being hired and starting a new position completely virtually during a global pandemic has been a challenge! It has been challenging to adapt to a new position while also having to adapt to building working relationships 100% virtual. In addition, I have had to develop content without having access to the typical equipment and resources.
In a similar vein, has there been anything specific that help you moved forward in your role?
The mentorship of my supervisor, Eric Rouleau. He has provided guidance through situations I was unsure how to navigate and his mentorship has helped me hit the ground running in retail. The dietetic community has also provided immense support. From a quick email for advice, a webinar on RDBA, or professional networking, I have found these types of professional involvement to be key to my career and professional development.
Is there a program or initiative of which you are most proud?
In my current role, the program I am most proud of is the one-month campaign for Family Meals Month. This is the first campaign I have developed as the retail dietitian for SpartanNash and I am excited to see my health and wellness messaging reach every corner of our organization and store network.
Please provide a short bio as well as your social media links.
Deanna is a Registered Dietitian that has delivered nutrition messaging from university locker rooms, to hospital beds, and now to grocery store aisles. Deanna graduated from Central Michigan University and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Houston. Deanna’s nutrition expertise is enhanced by her background in psychology, biochemistry, and physiology. She served as an investigator on multiple research studies, was the lead dietitian of an inpatient Eating Disorder Program at Forest View Hospital, worked as a Diet Technician in inpatient acute care, and has been contributing to the community through her private practice. She now utilizes her background to carry SpartanNash health and wellness programs forward. Learn more about her retail Living Well program and services at shopfamilyfare.com/living-well.