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Monday, March 28, 2016

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Sheila Kemper Dietrich, Founder and CEO of Livliga Our Coverage Sponsored by Maine Woolens

Sheila Kemper Dietrich

Maine Woolens is a weaver of blanket and throws located in Brunswick, Maine. We work primarily with natural fibers, like cottons and worsted wools and are committed to using renewable natural fibers from American growers whenever possible. We do piece dyeing and package dyeing in house and the combined experience of our excellent employees exceeds 300 years. Our wool and cotton blankets and throws are 100 percent machine washable, soft and luxurious to the touch, cozy warm and comfortably light. We have many styles to choose from. Our clients are very positive about our products and happy to support a Made in Maine, USA company. Jo Miller is a Mover and Shaker:

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Maine Woolens, affordable luxury and tradition. 


Sheila Kemper Dietrich is the Founder and CEO of Livliga, award-winning author and mother of three. This entrepreneur is the inventor of Livliga portion-control dishware, serveware and glassware for adults. She has also created Kidliga, portion-control dishware for children with Moonbeam award-winning children’s storybook, Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal. The book and accompanying dishware are a fun, engaging, well-designed teaching tool for families focused on creating healthy living habits for life.

Recognizing that dishes have grown by 51% since the 1900's, Sheila created the first Livliga prototypes by hand at a local “paint your own” pottery store and started using them with her family as their primary dinnerware set. They found they enjoyed the appealing design of the dishes, while feeling satisfied after eating appropriate servings at each meal. Sheila and her husband each lost over 50 pounds while their daughter lost over 20 pounds and regularly share recipes and tips on the Livliga blog

Sheila has more than 20 years of leadership experience. Most of her professional career has been in trust and wealth management in the banking industry. She is an expert in research, focus groups, product launches, as well as assisting non-profit organizations with their strategic growth and financial stability. Her expertise led a multi-billion dollar Trust & Wealth Management division at UMB Bank to be the fastest growing and most profitable part of that organization.

Kemper Dietrich has been recognized by many organizations for her community leadership. This passion for making the world a better place has manifested itself throughout her life. In addition to her board and volunteer leadership it also includes her years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaïre) Africa, and her leadership as CEO and Executive Director of both PATH International and The Denver Division of the American Heart Association.  We are so pleased to present Sheila Kemper Dietrich as our newest Mover and Shaker!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Sheila for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first memory of dishes? 
Sheila Kemper Dietrich: 
I have always loved Beatrix Potter children’s dishes that went with her wonderful books that captured my imagination. They inspired me to develop the adventures of Sammie and Sax and the dish sets we now offer for kids to inspire them to enjoy and live a healthy lifestyle.

We understand Livliga is a Swedish word; please tell us about the name behind it and if you are Swedish please expand on your ancestry and also please tell us the proper pronunciation of your brand. 
Livliga (livLEEguh) means lively, vibrant and vivid, which is what we wish for everyone’s life. We figure if people are eating healthier and in right-sized portions they will feel better, be more lively and have more energy to enjoy their Bucket List. We are not personally of Swedish descent. The name was chosen because of its meaning and that the very pronunciation of the word makes us think of life and living.

With price being no object of course, what five china sets from anywhere and from any time in history would you want to own and why? 

1. Livliga Celebrate the Poetry of Life 16 piece set
2. Livliga Hälsa 16 piece set
3. Livliga Vivente 16 piece set
4. Herend, Rothschild Bird, our wedding pattern over 30 years ago so it is “right-sized” and is rimmed with strong, artistic design, key features in our designs today for Livliga patterns
5. Dansk, Allegro Blue, our everyday china for 30 years, little did I know that it was a great design for healthy living because of its color. Blue, as it happens, is an appetite suppressing color so we can feel fuller faster with right-sized amounts of food.

What is the biggest problem with portion control in America?
The biggest problem is the super-sized world we live in. As humans we are made to respond to the environment we live in. So, as we can see, we are doing a darn fine job of reflecting the super-sized world with are lifestyles, obesity and subsequent health issues. I firmly believe by right-sizing our world we will begin to right size ourselves. It is too hard to do if everything around you remains gargantuan in servings, packaging and images on TV, video, magazines, online, you name it. If that is what we see, that is what we will be. By changing our environment research shows we can change the way we eat and live.

Have you read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mover and Shaker Mireille Guilano and if so what did you think of it? 
I have definitely read about the book and seen interviews she has done. My key take away is that she talks about the French culture and lifestyle. It is a way of being. Again, it is the French environment that supports a healthy lifestyle. Everyone is living the same way. It makes it so much easier to live healthy when those around you are doing the same. There is nothing better than preparing a delicious meal with fresh ingredients, sitting down with the ones you love and like to spend time relishing your food and conversation. Add a little wine too and you are set for the perfect evening. This is why we created Livliga. Right-sized, artist designed and eco-friendly tableware people can enjoy healthy meals with while savoring them. And this is also why I spend time creating healthier recipes, telling stories about healthy adventures and entertaining on my blog. Living a healthy lifestyle is about a way of being. That being requires surrounding yourself with like-minded people and building a life that has beauty and is sustainable—something Livliga is all about.

Do you partner with any healthy food brands and if so which ones and if not what CEOs in this discipline would you like to work with and why?
We have not yet partnered with any healthy food brands. We have partnered with the International Culinary Center and Brian Wansink in New York for a dinner party where we served a healthy, elegant dinner on our Vivente dinnerware pattern to editors and journalist and bloggers to illustrate the beauty and effectiveness of Livliga.
There are many healthy brands we could partner with to show how “hack” dinners can be healthy dinners or to highlight a fresh food as part of a balanced meal. We also think it would be great to partner with “meal in a box” companies with home delivery like Door-to-Door Organics, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated and others. It will be a great way to beautifully and easily present healthy, balanced meals to a satisfying effect.

Do you partner with any gyms or exercise-related brands and if so which ones and if not what CEOs in this discipline would you like to work with and why?
We have partnered with the YMCA locally. They are a great lifestyle organization supporting people in achieving their health goals. I taught a class on easy, healthy meal prep. It would be a dream come true to forge a partnership nationally.
We have also recently partnered with Jay Cardiello, a health strategist and celebrity trainer, who was one of the coaches on ABCs “My Diet’s Better than Yours” this spring. We were thrilled when he agreed to be our celebrity host at the launch of our new line of dinnerware—Celebrate The Poetry of Life in New York at the end of January.

What restaurants would you like to see carry your Livliga ware and would you do bespoke for them?
Seasons 52 serves delicious and innovative meals within a certain calorie range for healthy, balanced meals. They were very supportive of Livliga when we launched our children’s line, Kidliga, in Kansas City. Our launch celebration was held there. How cool would it be to have specially designed meals served on Livliga across the nation in All Seasons 52 restaurants? 
We also see that there are other restaurants focusing on healthy eating that would be a great partner with Livliga. There are so many ways we could design unique patterns, still using our patented and iconic design, to provide original looks for any restaurant wanting them.

What do you like to eat and drink the most with your product line? 
There are so many! My favorite thing to do is design healthy, balanced, right-sized “holiday meals”. Most recently I blogged about a Valentine’s Dinner I did for my husband and me—Bistro chicken, pomme frite and a tossed green salad with a mustard vinaigrette. It was delicious and looked gorgeous on our new “bistro” pattern, Celebrate the Poetry of Life.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
I went to an all-girls school growing up in Kansas City. It was a school that fostered learning and excellence. I continue to live by its motto today—Freedom with Responsibility.

What are you proudest of and why?
Of course it is my children! And then I would say it is a remarkable feeling to take a dream, a crazy big dream, of creating a product to help people live healthier lives and persevere until it becomes a reality in the founding of Livliga. I am very proud of what we have created, the difference we already see happening and the exciting potential to continue to grow.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
I would like to take a small young company and build it to a large, influential one.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
I have been very honored to receive a number of leadership awards over my lifetime. Most recently my book- Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal received the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Bronze Book Award and our Aveq Wine Glass was a finalist in the 2014 Martha Stewart Made in America contest.

What one word best describes you and why?
Enthusiasm. I have a boundless enthusiasm for life and its potential; manifest in the people I am with and meet everyday. 

What do you take your sense of identity from?
Making a positive difference in the world.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? And Colorado?
Manhattan: Going to a Broadway theater to see new productions. It is so energizing and unique to New York.
Colorado: Up in the mountains hiking.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? And Colorado?
Manhattan: the MOMA store. I love being inspired by innovative design
Colorado: McGuckin in Boulder; the most amazing hardware store on earth.

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
I have always said that anyone who has done “crew” is a great hire. They are disciplined, incredibly healthy, committed and have to be a team player. They tend to be very intelligent too. At this point I have to disclose both my sons did crew in college!

What is your favorite drink? 
A great tasting red wine…in a Livliga wine glass, of course!

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
Once I was in London enjoying a cocktail in the foyer of a theater when someone came up to me whom I knew in high school. He found me, he said, because he heard my laugh in the theater and knew I was there!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? And Colorado?
I have a dear friend who worked at Gourmet for a number of years. Every time we visit New York he takes us to a new restaurant. My favorite thing to do is to try out a new restaurant in NYC. 
What I find fun to do in Colorado is to take advantage of Farm-to-Table dinners held outside in the summertime outside in a field. So fresh and so good.

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? And Colorado?
New York-Eloise. She loves adventure, is fearless and a good judge of character.
Colorado-Isabella Bird was an English woman who made a remarkable series of journeys at the end of the 19th century and ended up a frontier woman in Estes Park, Colorado.

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
There is no one I would particularly like to be for a day. There are many people I would like to meet. Imagining I could go back in time, I have always admired and been inspired by Helen Keller.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? And Colorado?
I imagine a store of Healthy Lifetyle Products called “Livliga” on 5th Avenue in New York and in Downtown Boulder, Colorado. Inside the store will be “Sheila’s Healthy Kitchen” where there will be all variety of classes for cooking, baking, entertaining and for kids.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? And Colorado?
I love walking in Central Park. Each time you can discover something new or return to old favorites and there is so much to see.
My most memorable athletic experience in Colorado was when I set about to cycle 100 miles in a week with my husband in honor of an up coming birthday a couple of years ago. I had never ridden that far before and I did it. In fact, I exceeded my goal and donated money for every mile to Action for Healthy Kids.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
 Go to the theater. 
And Colorado? 
Hike from our cabin into the Rocky Mountains.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
Thomas Jefferson. It would be incredible to talk to one of our founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? And Colorado?
There are many. Perhaps the most memorable in Manhattan was taking our daughter to The Lion King on Broadway many years ago when it was new. It was so “other worldly” and seeing her delight made it so fun for me.
In Colorado the Colorado Music Festival has wonderful concerts in the summer performed in an historic park, Chautauqua. Sitting on the lawn, lounging on a blanket eating healthy picnic food, sipping a little red wine and listening to music performed by a live orchestra is no less than fantastic.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I get up every day hoping to contribute and make a difference. I am proud of my time in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. I am now proud of creating Livliga and how we can help people live healthier lives as individuals and with their families with our lifestyle products.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? And Colorado?
Manhattan is a very friendly place. When I lived in Brooklyn I found it to be a neighborhood filled with people supporting me and looking out for me. It is a best kept secret. Overrated?…can’t think of a thing! I love New York!
Colorado- It is a very innovative state that is supportive of startups. We are so fortunate to be here. Had we not lived here I am not sure we would have created Livliga! 
As a lifestyle state Colorado has the challenge of looking in the mirror about how healthy the people are who live here. Compared to the rest of the country it is among the best for healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately the rate in the rise of obesity for Colorado children is on the rise at the same rate as the rest of the USA. 

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite WhomYouKnow
column and what do you like about it?
I am always looking for things to add to my “pamper yourself” list that are not food related but definitely rejuvenating and feel good.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I have the best chocolate chip recipe and I am willing to share! It is on our website: Look for Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Please feel free to contact us through our website or through Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

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