RD Close-Up: Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD, Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Please describe your role at Hy-Vee.
Currently, I help lead our Hy-Vee dietitian team in our corporate initiatives. My tasks range from supervising team progression to collaborating with other teams and helping push forward our initiatives and branding to informing customers and media about health and nutrition.
What's the story behind your experience in retail and how you came to work at Hy-Vee?
I had the opportunity to grow up in Hy-Vee, which as large as it is, still has that family feel. My father is a retired store director, my husband is a fuel station manager, and my sister is a marketing coordinator for the company. When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to work for Hy-Vee in the health industry, and at that time, the role of dietitians at Hy-Vee was beginning to expand. Therefore, you could say Hy-Vee shaped my career choice and education.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
One of the biggest challenges working as a retail dietitian is finding new and creative ways to draw customers and bring excitement to health and nutrition. Every individual’s health and wellness journey is different and unique to him or her, so you have to find ways to connect and resonate with each individual.
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting your career in retail?
Looking back, having more marketing and retail experience would have been beneficial to have as a retail dietitian. In many ways, working in the retail industry is almost like a start-up business and marketing is a key component.
Has there been anything specific that has held you back?
Absolutely. My biggest career setback was during my first interview with Hy-Vee when applying to be an in-store dietitian. The job was offered to another individual, and that was difficult for me to handle at that stage in my life. However, since then, I have been able to look back and see how much maturity and growth that experience gave me. From that point on, I had more focus and drive to be the best dietitian Hy-Vee had ever seen, and now, 11 years later, I am a full-fledged Hy-Vee registered dietitian and still continue to strive to be the best dietitian every day.
In a similar vein, has there been anything specific that help you moved forward in your role?
Taking on management positions within Hy-Vee prior to my in-store dietitian career helped me get to where I am today. While in college, I worked closely with management and later worked as an assistant manager for about a year prior to becoming an in-store dietitian. These experiences gave me the opportunity to have a better look at my role as a dietitian in a retail setting.
Is there a program or initiative of which you are most proud?
Our online patient portal has been one of the most rewarding initiatives of which I have had the opportunity to be a part. Building the system from the ground up and ensuring that it worked for our dietitian team and our program goals was extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time.
Bio: Megan Callahan is a Hy-Vee corporate dietitian dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full-time for more than 10 years. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Megan has served as the president and vice president of the Kansas City Dietetic Association. With a passion for nutrition and wellness, Megan is dedicated to educating customers and promoting healthy lifestyles. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, with her husband, Matt and their two children, Kennedy and Carsyn.