Stephanie (Walker) Schultz ’09
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Career: Festival Foods Health and Wellness Director
New Viterbo graduate Stephanie Schultz was hired as a dietitian at Festival Foods in 2009. Her challenge? Build the then 13-store grocery chain a comprehensive and consumer-driven nutrition program.
Times had changed in the grocery industry, as a growing number of customers became much more health conscience. For Wisconsin-based Festival Foods, hiring a dietitian was simply good business.
“It was a daunting task, but it was a challenge that I welcomed,” Schultz laughed. “I began researching and strategizing, trying to figure out how one dietitian could serve all of our guests at each store.”
Festival Foods adopted the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, a nutritional guidance program that assigns foods a score of 1 to 100—the higher the score, the better the nutritional value. The organization then began to partner with health care providers across Wisconsin to educate communities about living a healthier lifestyle.
The programs were a great success. Today, Schultz is the Health and Wellness Director for Festival Foods and leads the team consisting of the company’s two other dietitians and the food safety supervisor.
The Viterbo dietetics program had her well prepared for her present career, she said. The Viterbo program also is very unique in that students complete an internship in their junior and senior years, allowing them to graduate in four years.
“I would absolutely recommend Viterbo and the dietetics program to future students,” she said. “Viterbo was the perfect fit more me. Small class sizes meant a great deal of one-on-one direction from my professors. Academically the program couldn’t have been better for my career at Festival Foods because it has a foundation in science and a focus on community nutrition and real life application. I owe my career to Viterbo because of the networks I made while in school.”