Community Connect Partner Q&A: Doug Miller With Core Nutritionals and The Nutrition Corner
Choosing to be part of “opening a new front door” has been a unique journey to each participating Columbian. God has called us to come together for this great task, but the ways and reasons for which He calls us are different; that is what makes G2G/G2G2 a powerful testimony of what it looks like to be whole-life disciples.
Community Connect is designed to enable increased giving to G2G2 while simultaneously strengthening our ties within Columbia and the community around us. The Community Connect Partner Network is a directory of businesses, products, and services made available to all members and attendees of Columbia. Over the next several months, Community Connect Partners will be invited to share their experience at CBC and why they chose to participate in the G2G/G2G2 building campaign through the Community Connect initiative.
We are excited to hear first from Doug Miller, CEO of Core Nutritionals and The Nutrition Corners.
Tell us about your history with Columbia, including how you came to Columbia and how long you have been a part of CBC.
My wife Stephanie and I were attending another large local church where we got involved in a small group and really got connected. (I should say Steph dragged me to the small group!). I’m glad she did because it was there that I really got to know Christ. As people in our small group had kids and moved away, we became somewhat disconnected.
I believe we actually found Columbia on a Google search and started attending. We were one of those couples that came for two years before finally coming forward one service to become members. It then took another three or four years (and the birth of two kids!) for me to decide to be baptized in front of the church in April. I guess you could kind of call us “late bloomers,” but we hope to make up for any lost time! We feel like we have truly found our home and a great church community here at Columbia.
Tell us about your business.
I will try to keep this short because it can be somewhat of a long story. In actuality, we have two separate businesses that we are involving in Community Connect: Core Nutritionals (www.corenutritionals.com) and The Nutrition Corners (www.thenutritioncorners.com). Core Nutritionals is our international sports nutrition supplement brand and The Nutrition Corners is our chain of 9 local retail supplements stores (Arlington, Dulles, Fairfax, Manassas, Newport News, Oceana, Short Pump, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg).
In my former life, I was an economic litigation consultant for 12 years. I started there right after college (Penn State’s Scheyer Honors College), about the same time as I picked up drug-free bodybuilding competitions as a hobby. I have a background in Biochemistry and became fascinated with all of the dietary supplements on the market. In reality though, because of my background, I got frustrated (and disgusted) by the horrendous products companies were selling that used under dosed ingredients, fillers, and my biggest pet peeve, proprietary blends where a company can hide behind very cheap formulas.
I began researching what it would take to bring a product to market that I would want to take. At the time it was a meal replacement. So with a small amount of money, I created our first product, Core MRP, and Core Nutritionals was born. Core Nutritionals is a brand that to this day sticks behind the principles of intelligently designed formulas, no fillers, no artificial colors, and no proprietary blends so the consumer can be assured they know exactly what they are consuming.
What started as a hobby, turned into career. As I became more successful in natural bodybuilding by winning the Pro World Championships a couple of times, the brand took off. Now we are a full line of high quality sports nutrition supplements with almost 30 products that are sold around the world.
The Nutrition Corners also arose out of necessity like Core Nutritionals. Back in 2010 as the Core Nutritionals brand really began to grow, I started seeing that many of the retailers in the supplement industry lacked any real knowledge of what they were actually selling people and were so focused on sales numbers that the customers became nameless and faceless to them. So Stephanie and I set out to change that and Arlington Nutrition Corner was born. The idea behind this chain of retail supplement stores is three-fold.
- We would have the best selection of products (not just pushing a house brand like other large retail chains). We have over 150 brands in our stores (where Core Nutritionals is just one of those brands).
- Our pricing will be second to none and on par with even internet sites (even matching Amazon Prime prices!).
- And finally and most importantly, our stores, and more specifically our staff, are there to be a resource (not just a retailer) to our customers. All of our staff truly have a passion for the health and fitness industry and really love what they do. Before they ever sell you a product, they will ask you about your history, your goals, and build that relationship with you. So many people are lost when it comes to how to diet and workout properly, and that is what our stores are there for; to educate and encourage our customers (and then finally to sell them some awesome supplements that will help them achieve their goals).
Why did you decide to become a Community Connect Partner?
Besides it being cool to have an awesome new building to worship in, this is important to me for three reasons:
- I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I love for a living and wake up every morning with a passion for my job/businesses. I am very grateful for this and thank God every day for that. Giving back through the businesses is the least we can do.
- But more than that, I hope people can see that through Community Connect, people can see the Lord using people in very different and non-traditional ways to minister to others. I mean, I know I always think of Jesus while popping my multivitamin and pounding a protein shakes but others might not!
- And finally, I’m using this as an opportunity to have the “Jesus” conversation with a number of my employees who do not fully understand what it means to be a Christ follower.
Have you made any connections through Community Connect that have been meaningful to you?
Absolutely. I have met and spoken to more people through Community Connect here at Columbia in the past month since signing up then I have in the past 6 years. It has been a good conversation starter for many people who may have been intimidated to speak to me otherwise (not sure why ).
What is your desire for the next generation of Columbians?
My desire is that the next generation of Columbians (including my sons) see the new building as representation of what is possible with a strong faith in God and a church family who is passionate about serving the Metro Washington Area. I desire that they use these awesome new resources to encourage others and lead them to the faith.