Christiana Castillo, MS, RD
What about the foodservice/hospitality industry intrigues you?
Regional Wellness & Sustainability Director | Eurest
As a dietitian, healthy eating in respect to disease prevention has always been my passion. Working in foodservice has given me the opportunity to work with a number of cafés and marketplaces that serve thousands of people. By supporting chefs and managers in foodservices, I’m able to collaborate in the menu process to assure that health and wellness are available to our customers. Being in this industry has allowed me to pursue my passion by promoting healthy eating habits with the ability to impact a large number of diverse people; much more than I would be able to personally outreach on my own.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I very much enjoy my current position as a Regional Wellness Director for Eurest and would like to have the opportunity to continue to grow as a wellness leader within Compass Group. In five years, I’d like to see health and wellness embedded in all foodservice programs as a standard and would love to say that I’ve played a part in that!
Is your current position the first you’ve held at Compass Group?
No; my career with Compass started as a Corporate Wellness Dietitian & Manager for a smaller account. Within that year, I was able to learn the responsibilities of a wellness manager in a corporate setting as well as the impact I can make on its employees. I was also able to expand my position and managed the catering department. By acquiring this position, I gained a new set of skills in the foodservice/hospitality industry which further increased my knowledge and experience in another part of the business. A year later I decided to go out for a regional wellness role and fortunately accepted, in which I’ve been in for the last 18 months. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities Compass has given me. I’ve gotten to work with people who have taught me various skills and have supported my personal growth. I look forward to continue my success in the business alongside my team members.
What experience from university do you most value?
As an undergraduate, I was able to network with thousands of my peers in various majors. By creating relationships with them, I’ve not only learned about their areas of expertise (that were different than mine), but also had the opportunity to learn about their various backgrounds, religions, and cultures. I’ve learned so much about different eating habits that continued to spark my interest in foodservice. Since my time as an undergraduate, I’ve grown a much larger interest and respect to diversity within my peers which continues to expand as I work with the diverse group of people in my career today.
How has your involvement with SHFM helped your professional success?
SHFM has given me the opportunity to expand my network to those outside of Compass Group. With only four years of foodservice experience under my belt, I’ve gotten to meet with leaders in the foodservice/hospitality business who hold a wealth of knowledge and years of experience. Now being in the SHFM Rising Stars Program, I get to work with my peers in outside companies, in the same industry. It’s exciting to share ideas, questions and best practices with one another. Overall, I have the opportunity to learn so much from other members in SHFM that will continue my success and support me in my personal career growth.