Why Compass Group for Registered Dietitian Sheree Ledwell? Because It’s More Than Possible to Grow Your Career While You Grow Your Family
Why Compass Group?: “I had no idea Compass Group had so many opportunities for my career. There are so many great things I can do and places I can work within Compass.”
Through the sweat and strain, Sheree Ledwell pushed herself forward. As a college athlete at Southern Illinois University, she stood out on the cross-country trail and separated herself from the pack in her signature track event, the 800-meter sprint. It was at SIU that Sheree was first exposed to dietetics.
“Someone suggested I look at becoming a dietitian for a career,” she said. “As I looked into it and started to learn about the possibilities, I got excited. As an athlete, I saw right away the impact health and nutrition could have on my life and my ability to compete.”
It is often said that people rarely use the degree they get in college, but that couldn’t be further from the truth for Sheree. She uses it every day as a registered dietitian at the University of Chicago, where she works with students to help them better understand what they are eating and make healthy decisions to set them on a lifetime wellness journey. In addition, she is passionate about working with high-risk communities to improve nutritional outcomes.
“There are not a lot of black dietitians,” she said. “How do we keep people who look like me in roles like this? How do we keep people like me healthy and out of the hospital? Those are key questions we need to ask ourselves and plan for.”
Those are questions she is exploring at Compass Group. She joined the team at the University of Chicago in 2022, following 16 years in other areas of contract foodservice. She spent much of her career traveling, but when her family needed stability, she took the registered dietitian role with Chartwells Higher Education.
Her aunt lost a battle with cancer, so Sheree took in her two children. At the same time, she began caring for her aging grandmother.
“I had to reevaluate what I was doing, so I could take care of my family. In taking the role with Chartwells, it allowed me to have the financial resourcesI needed to support my family and be home each evening to care for them, while still using my skills and experience to help others. A lot of companies try to deliver this kind of work-life balance, but they don’t succeed. Here at Chartwells, we do it right.”
Through her journey and all the difficulties, Sheree never lost sight of herself and where she wants to take her career. She loves working with college students on the south side of Chicago where every day brings something new. She loves working at a company that provides opportunity and fosters growth, while putting a significant emphasis on the communities she serves. She loves that Compass works to represent the communities it services through local vendors, in her case, the Chicago Urban Farm solutions.
Through the trials and tribulations of the past few years, Sheree is happy that she found a home where she can cultivate her career while still nurturing her burgeoning family.