Kelly Springer, Kelly’s Choice
On this episode of driving leadership, Kelly Springer of Kelly’s Choice joins Bill Berthel in Skaneateles NY to talk about her leading a national network of licensed dieticians and wellness experts making a positive impact in people’s lives.
Driving Leadership – Kelly Springer
Bill Berthel: Joining me today is Kelly Springer, licensed dietician of Kelly’s Choice. We’re gonna take a walk and a drive in beautiful Skaneateles, New York. Thanks for being here.
Hey Kelly. How are you doing?
Kelly Springer: Awesome.
Bill Berthel: So good to see you.
Kelly Springer: So good to see you too.
Bill Berthel: Great to be doing this today?
Kelly Springer: Absolutely. How great of a day?
Bill Berthel: Oh my. It could not be more beautiful.
Want to take a little walk before we take a drive.
Kelly Springer: Let, let’s go, let’s go. Awesome. Let’s go.
Bill Berthel: Awesome. So thank you.
Kelly Springer: Yes. Welcome to my neighborhood.
Bill Berthel: Oh my gosh. This is, this could not be more beautiful. I live here as well in Skaneateles. And just to enjoy the water. Enjoy the, everything the village has to offer. No major travel this year. I think we’re gonna stick home actually this year It is nice. It’s really nice.
Kelly Springer: We might be going to Alaska.
Bill Berthel: What’s there?
Kelly Springer: Salmon fishing.
Bill Berthel: Okay. I want to go.
Kelly Springer: So it’s an opportunity. I’m a part of an entrepreneur group in Atlanta called Cliff Co. Okay. And they always have these really cool opportunities for us, and this is one of them. Holy cow. It just came up and this is like my husband’s dream. Right. So, they will have like, wine tasting, roe tasting.
Bill Berthel: So tell, is it going to be fly fishing? Do you know? I’m, I, I’m, yes. I’m a fly fisher. Yes. I tie my own flies. You’re gonna be, yeah. Oh, fun.
Kelly Springer: I’m necessarily, not a fisher, But I enjoy the outdoors. Awesome. And will thoroughly enjoy seeing another state.
Bill Berthel: Yeah. Yes. So. Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun.
Kelly Springer: Yeah. So I hope it works. I just wrote ’em today and I was like, let’s get this going.
Bill Berthel: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah. Hey, you ready to go for a ride?
Kelly Springer: Yes. Sounds great.
I love that every day is different and I get to do all these cool things.
Bill Berthel: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Me too. And, yeah. Yeah, I was actually just reflecting on that. Just, just yesterday I was. And this is gonna sound a little corny, but I was like, it’s just so grateful that I’m getting to do the work that I want to do.
And the way that I get to work. It’s not just the work, it’s the way that I’m getting to do my work. And I I know we’re, we’re both in the transformation business, right? Yes. Yes. Y your, your work Kelly’s Choice. Tell me about the organization and how it, how it works.
Kelly Springer: Well, it’s funny you say the word transformation because we actually have a transformation program.
We call it that. And you know, because different people were saying, well call it this or call it that, and it can be used with anyone because nutrition education. It’s for everyone. Yeah. So Kelly Choice was started because I was going through divorce. Okay. Yeah. And I was working all of these kind of odd jobs at the time.
My main job was at Wegman’s Food Markets. Oh. So I was the dietician for the employees. And it was a really interesting situation because I realized if Danny Wegman really held it that highly, you know, that we, that he wanted dieticians you know, to work with the employees of how many other companies would want that as well.
Yes. And at the same time, I was working with colleges and doing private practice, like really trying to make ends meet. And I was getting so much work that I couldn’t do all the work. So I said, that’s a nice problem, right? It was. And so I reached out to a few of my dietician friends and I was like, Hey, would you wanna work with me?
Okay. So that’s how the whole thing started. So 10 years later, which is crazy to think about. We are we have 15 dieticians across the us. Okay. Our workplace wellness platform is in over a hundred companies. That’s awesome. And across the US Yes. Which is really neat. And you know, we’re doing a lot of media, so writing for newsmax and gnc and working with the Food Institute and doing all of these really fun things, like we were talking about podcasts and So it’s been just a really fun experience over the last 10 years to have amazing opportunities.
Bill Berthel: So wellness programs in organizations. So these are, these are like corporate wellness programs?
Kelly Springer: Yes. Is that kind? What, yeah.
Bill Berthel: Tell me about the program or the programs.
Kelly Springer: So it’s interesting, I started this 10 years ago because this guy named Joe Markland, he’s, he was working out of in Boston in hr and he’s like, if you can clone yourself in the way of video content, that’s cool, we can get you out nationwide.
Wow. So I was like, Joe, that’s brilliant. How do we do it? So we started, and today we have over 250 videos. It makes it fun and accessible to all employees. 24 7 access. Absolutely. So my goal is to get it into more central New York locations. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re in more, more businesses in the Atlanta area than in my hometown.
Oh, isn’t that interesting? So I’m really trying hard to work with our center state, work with our local Blue Cross Blue Shield. I just talked to them yesterday and to really see if we can bring more wellness into Central New York. So it’s really interesting, we are true professionals, we’re bound under hipaa.
We can work with physicians’ offices. We can work with lab work. So you’re right, it is this the highest echelon of nutrition education and we don’t sell anything but education.
Bill Berthel: Okay. So it isn’t about supplements or products? it’s about like just real food, real people,
Kelly Springer: Real food, real people. That’s our tagline. Thank you.
Bill Berthel: Oh, your kidding? All right. This is cool.
Kelly Springer: It’s, literally our tagline.
Bill Berthel: All right. Well it’s the overlap at our work is getting to be scary here actually. Our, that’s cool. That was not planted. That was not. All right. That’s cool. Yeah, that’s cool.
Kelly Springer: So yeah, so we don’t, and he asked me that yesterday too.
He’s like, you don’t, and I said, no. I said, we can recommend, but I said, supplementation is exactly that. You should be supplementing your diet when you don’t have that food in your diet. Or you have lab work that is, you know, that goes along with getting that supplementation. But if you’re just blanketly supplementing you may be getting too much of one thing. Yeah, sure. And so that’s where we as dieticians have to look at the whole picture of medications. Yes. The food intake, what’s going on, if they’re having a surgery you know, we work with some orthopedic groups and things like that, so they might need a higher protein level if they’re going into sur.
So we really, and I was trying to explain this, this guy, I’m like, this isn’t just. A willy-nilly, like, here you go, here’s your packet and here’s your 30 day meal plan. So, you know, we have programs that people can do self-directed and then that’s fantastic, but we really, you know, that even the self-directed is based in science.
Bill Berthel: What do you do to create cohesiveness or a sense of team? Right, because I think, yes, I think many organizations would benefit from understanding that better. Mm-hmm. Right? With more remote workers, your business is designed for that. It is. What are you doing as a leader to create more team?
Kelly Springer: So it’s a, it’s something that we’re working on.
It’s something I want to have conferences, get together. We do have, right now monthly check-ins Great. That we’re all getting together. We also are doing like free continuing ed credits where they can come on and, and get those credits and they’re kind of on together. Okay. They can work together as well too.
So if someone says like, this patient’s not right for me, they can pass off. Okay. So they feel like they’re a part of a team
Bill Berthel: So they get that chance to collaborate with one another? Yes. Well, we knew it’d be a risk taking a walk with noisy traffic, but. It all fits the theme of driving.
Kelly Springer: Yes, it does. Yes it does. So it, it is tough though, and I think that that’s something, you know, I’m always trying to work on. Yeah. And honestly, asking feedback from my team of What are they looking for? What would they like to see? Right. You know, and, and a lot of times sometimes they don’t want extra times getting together because it’s away from their family or things like that.
So it’s what would be beneficial for you? Or what, what would you like to see in the way of leadership?
Bill Berthel: I, I love that in, in our language, we say it’s really meeting them where they are. Right. It’s meeting each individual where they are. Right. Because every team is a. Combination or an glomerate of individuals.
Right? And we can’t lose that individuality on our teams, right? We want them to be part of a collective, part of a group. Yes. Yeah. Awesome, awesome.
Kelly Springer: So, and I’m trying to build right now a management for, like, I have three verticals in my company. We have dietician services. Okay. Workplace wellness and our media.
So my goal is to have a really strong manager. Who’s also a dietician, so can relate to the dieticians over all those verticals. That’s great. So that they are responsible for checking in, doing those continuing ed credits, like making sure that we are doing all of that appropriately and, and they have someone to go to on a regular basis so it’s not just me.
And they’ll feel more comfortable with that person of asking questions. Yes. And also having. In that way for me, I’m like, they are responsible. Right? Like giving them actual responsibilities that like this is what needs to happen.
Bill Berthel: So you’re already scaling your leadership with and through others.
Yeah. Making sure that well I think you said a little earlier, you’re cloning yourself in the business. Trying to Yeah, yeah. Yeah. We say leadership is an energetic practice and our physical wellbeing is one of those pieces. Mm-hmm. Our emotional social wellbeing. Mm-hmm. Our mental, Right. We have to stay sharp.
Right. And then our spiritual, the meaning, the importance of the work that we do. Right. What’s the meaning for you in the work you’re doing? Like, so like why do you do what you do, Kelly?
Kelly Springer: So that’s why we were talking earlier about me keeping a few private practice and just yesterday I got to see people and truly affect change.
And these. The, the one couple that came in to see me, they were struggling with fatty liver disease, obesity high cholesterol. Blood pressure. I mean, you, you name it, they check the box. Yeah. They are both down a hundred pounds each. Wow. They have changed their habits because of education now that they understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
And they said, if I had only had these lessons, 10 years ago, and also it was like one of those things that gave you goosebumps yesterday they said we thought it was too late. And I’m like, it’s never too late.
Bill Berthel: Like almost no hope like giving up on strike.
Kelly Springer: And they were able and they couldn’t believe the changes.
And so I get to see
Bill Berthel: I bet you can’t at a certain point too, right? Like that must be amazing to watch a witness
Kelly Springer: It’s amazing. And you see that light bulb turn on. You see that they get it. And. That this is doable and we’re there to support them. So our, our program actually has that app that goes along with private practice, so they’re always having around the care, like support.
Bill Berthel: So there’s a piece of sustainability in that too, right? It’s not just the loss of a pounds, got healthier. You want that to sustain? Yes, I do. Yeah. So you’ve got that. Yes, I do. Built into your programs.
Kelly Springer: Right. And having the education, it’s not just the meal plan. It’s not just the vitamin pack. It’s truly understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Bill Berthel: That’s why those have never worked for me. All right. Now I’m, I’m good. I’m good now. I’m getting it. I’m getting it.
Kelly Springer: But it does incorporate, like I am not a psychiatrist, but there’s a lot of psych involved Of course. And I have. I listen to a lot of the stories of like, what’s happened to these people?
Of course. of course, you know, and that affects what they eat. Yeah. So it’s interesting of how much we really do dive into that. Like you’re saying, the mental wellbeing. In the physical, and, you know, and it all ties together.
Bill Berthel: So what’s in the future for Kelly’s choice? Where do you see your organization growing or what does it look like?
Kelly Springer: Well, it’s an interesting question, right? Because I remember a few years ago I said, if it never got bigger than this I would be happy.
Bill Berthel: What was this at the, at that point?
Kelly Springer: It was a lot less than it is now. Yeah, And honestly now that I’ve taken it to this level, I wanna go all the way.
Bill Berthel: What does that mean? Yeah. Yeah.
Kelly Springer: All the way really means building up more dieticians, having having more Of that leadership. I wanna be able to have this organization, you know, of being one of the best places to work. Right. I think everyone has that goal. Sure. But having that goal, right, of people want to come to work, like you said, they have a purpose.
They feel good about it. I’m supporting them and in growing our profession, being that leadership person like in our profession. I think that’s something I. I really greatly just want to do, I want to move our profession forward. I believe what we do has such an impact and I wanna get to more people.
Bill Berthel: So I love that. So in some of our work, we think about scaling leadership and so the leader, him or herself, really needs to develop and grow. Mm-hmm. They need to grow their team. Right. They need to grow their organization. Then they can get into the organiz, then they can get into the community and the world.
And that’s what’s next for you. You’re really interested in. That larger community. Yeah. And making maybe someday a global impact.
Kelly Springer: Yes. Yes.
Bill Berthel: That’s fantastic.
Kelly Springer: It really is. And so, and everyone says, they’re like, you can do it. And I’m like, can I?
Yes. Yes. You can do it.
Kelly Springer: Yes. I can do it.
Bill Berthel: Well, you want that impact, right?
Kelly Springer: I do. Because of those moments, right? Yeah. I know what we’re doing and the dieticians are coming back to me with those stories as well. Oh, it’s great. So they’re seeing it too. So I think that we can, we can affect the world.
Bill Berthel: Kelly, this was a great conversation. Thank you so much.
Kelly Springer: Thank, thank you.
Bill Berthel: Absolutely.
Kelly Springer: It’s so nice to get to know you.
Bill Berthel: You as well. And as well.
Kelly Springer: And I think, you know, it’s just interesting of knowing who’s in our community and having more of these connections is just, So helpful. So thank you for inviting me to do this.
Bill Berthel: Absolutely, absolutely.
Kelly Springer: And you know, it’s we live in a very special place and I’m, I’m so grateful that my children have this opportunity to live here as well.
Bill Berthel: Absolutely. Same here. Thank you.
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