Heidi Funkhouser And Cecily Walters 0000-00-00 00:00:00
DENVER, COLO., IS WELLKNOWN FOR BEING THE GATEWAY TO THE SPECTACULAR ROCKY MOUNTAINS, and that made the Mile High City a fitting host for the 7,000 operators, vendors and allies who attended SNA’s 66th Annual National Conference (ANC), July 15-18. Why? Because these school nutrition professionals were making time to climb their own type of summit, seeking to approach and conquer a host of changes on the horizon in school nutrition, from changing regulations to revolutionary technologies to product innovations and more. Mile High Motivation This year’s ANC featured approximately 90 education sessions that covered a range of topics for school nutrition professionals at all career levels. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in pre-conference sessions on subjects such as dealing with conflict, mastering food safety basics and managing finances. Some took advantage of a unique “field trip” to Denver Public Schools for a firsthand look at its farm-to-school program and a demonstration of how its team incorporates scratch recipes into school meals. And once ANC really got underway, attendees could craft an unparalleled learning experience by selecting from sessions organized into program tracks representing the four “key” areas of SNA’s Keys to Excellence and Certification programs. From “Writing Excellent Food Bid Specifications” to “Avoiding a Showdown: Successfully Working With Your Inspector” to “Simple Solutions for Personal Wellness,” there was something for everyone. Among the anticipated sessions were six repeated Hot Topic sessions that featured presentations on the new meal pattern regulation. In addition, a special series of sessions were targeted specifically to new directors. Many were so popular, attendees had to be turned away in order to adhere with fire code restrictions! If you missed a specific workshop—or were unable to attend ANC—be sure to visit SchoolNutrition.org and click the Meetings tab to access PowerPoint presentations and other materials made available by speakers. Reaching the Peak In between attending educational sessions, members couldn’t wait to “scale” the always dynamic but dauntingly massive Exhibit Hall. As the minutes ticked down, a DJ spun tunes to rev up attendee enthusiasm before 2011-12 SNA President Helen Phillips, SNS, welcomed the crowd by cutting the ribbon and declaring the Hall officially open! Once the eager school nutrition explorers made their way inside the Exhibit Hall, they visited dozens of aisles and hundreds of booths showcasing all types of school nutritionrelated merchandise, including foods, beverages, supplies, equipment and other resources. Attendees sampled products, collected valuable information and interacted with vendor representatives—many took advantage of offered creative games and activities, many with a prize attached. Themed aisles—Dairy Way, Green Aisle, Produce Row and USDA Lane—helped highlight notable areas within the crowded Exhibit Hall. When a break from the rush and excitement of the show floor was needed, attendees stopped by the Wellness Village to recharge with free massages and take advantage of other resources focused on personal well-being, including valuable blood pressure monitoring (ANC is pretty darn exciting!). They also discovered new ways to help stay healthy and fit with information offered by the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Red Cross, Denver’s Downtown Chiropractic Centre and American Association of Retired Persons. Other hot spots on the Exhibit floor were the annual culinary demonstrations, the new Cutting-Edge Complex demonstrations (which showcased new technology products) and the Catch the Moment photo booth, in which attendees could insert themselves onto the cover of School Nutrition magazine! Colorado Connections Indeed, while ANC is the premier learning opportunity for school nutrition professionals, what makes it extra-special are the events and activities designed for both personal inspiration and fun! For example, on Tuesday, many conference-goers rose early in the morning to join together in instructor-led centering tai chi exercises. Later that night, they cheered on the brave Puttin’ on the Glitz performers who put aside their professionalism for silliness—all in the spirit of raising money for the School Nutrition Foundation and its professional development scholarships. In a profession focused on caring for the health and nutrition needs of kids, it’s important to hear reminders about caring for one’s own well-being! Two of the General Session speakers, Denise Austin and Ali Vincent, drove home those messages in entertaining presentations that had fitness expert Austin getting attendees to do stretches at their seats and Vincent recounting hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from her winning season on “The Biggest Loser.” But arguably the most memorable highlight from ANC 2012’s General Sessions came on Tuesday. As a surprise to the audience, contestants from the Food Network’s November 2011 “Chopped” episode featuring school chefs appeared on stage for a panel discussion with food advocate and media personality Phil Lempert and White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass. (Kass had appeared on “Chopped” as one of the episode’s judges.) Refreshingly honest and funny, the entire panel was a living testament to the pride and passion of America’s school nutrition professionals. [Editors’ Note: For behind-the-scenes scoop on the “Class Acts” episode, see “Head of the Class,” in the June/July 2012 issue. And check out the preview for “Class Acts, Too” on page 30. ANC wound down with an enthusiastic attendee welcome for music legends The Beach Boys, whose infectious and timeless melodies certainly had the audience experiencing good vibrations during the energy-filled 90-minute performance. The crowd sang and bopped along as they were transported to the land of California cool while The Beach Boys segued from one popular hit to another. Timely education sessions, innovative products, sharing opportunities galore, fun entertainment and more than a few surprises combined to give ANC 2012 attendees an unmatched professional and personal experience. SNA already is planning for ANC 2013, so mark your calendars now for July 14-17, 2013. You and your entire school nutrition team will want to make a “splash” in the City of Fountains, Kansas City, Mo., next summer! ANC By the Numbers ● More than 7,000 school nutrition operators, vendors and advocates participated in ANC 2012. Among these were 609 first-time attendees. ● The school nutrition professionals in attendance represented 823 districts and more than 13.6 million students from all across the country. ● This year’s Puttin’ on the Glitz lip-sync show to benefit the School Nutrition Foundation introduced the audience to 9 energetic and talented teams who vied for this year’s trophy. Nearly 500 attendees cheered on their favorite teams. Congratulations to “Sonny & Cher and the Dancing Fruit Loops” for capturing the top prize. The event raised more than $6,000. ● SNA’s Political Action Committee raised more than $3,000 to support the Association’s legislative advocacy efforts. ● Good luck to the 48 individuals who sat for the School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) credentialing exam on Sunday morning. ● Some 375 companies exhibited their products at ANC; exhibitors showcased food, beverage, equipment and technol- ogy products and services to the attendees visiting the sold-out 850-booth Exhibit Hall. ● The 28 industry participants in School Nutrition’s Denver Dash Scavenger Hunt connected with many eager school nutrition professionals, as more than 400 attendees completed contest forms to be eligible to win prizes. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 attendees were able to use special reserved time to complete the Directors-Only All-Access Pass. A lucky 13 winners won free registrations to SNA’s 3 2013 national meetings, courtesy of 13 generous sponsors. ● Attendees made sure not to miss the 6 culinary demos presented by ConAgra Mills, Kikkoman, MARS Foodservices, McCormick For Chefs, National Dairy Council, National Food Service Management Institute, USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Food Distribution Division and Western Dairy Association. In addition, they packed in to check out 3 presentations from Duke Manufacturing, MCS Sofware, LLC, and RATIONAL USA in the brand-new Cutting Edge Complex. MOUNTAIN HIGH MEMORIES Did you make lasting memories at ANC 2012? This year, you can view and download photos of your favorite conference moments from SNA’s Flickr account. To find candids of yourself, your co-workers, your friends and many of your favorite conference highlights, visit www.flickr.com/schoolnutrition. To view a larger size of a particular image or to download a photo, click on your selected photo, then click on the photo when the magnifying glass icon appears and then click “View all sizes” from the top right side of the screen. KEY ANC SPONSORSHIPS ● Cybersoft Technologies (Major City, District Director and State Agency Lounges) ● Domino’s Pizza (Hotel Key Cards) ● Forrest T. Jones & Company (Wellness Village) ● Hobart, Traulsen & Vulcan (Catch the Moment) ● Horizon Software International (CyberStop Internet Café) ● Jennie-O Turkey Store (Closing General Session) ● MARS Foodservices/Uncle Ben’s (Peak Performance Awards Ceremony) ● McCormick For Chefs (Second General Session) ● MCS Software (Lanyards/Badge Holders) ● PepsiCo Foodservice (New Directors Social and Nutrition Education Track) ● Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. (Learning Journal) ● SFSPac Food Service Sanitation Systems (Learning Journal) 2012 AWARD RECIPIENTS School Nutrition leads the standing ovation for this year’s outstanding winners! PRESIDENT’S AWARD OF EXCELLENCE New Hampshire—State associations with membership from 1-500 Massachusetts—State associations with membership from 501-1,000 Georgia—State associations with membership from 1,001+ HEART OF THE PROGRAM AWARD Congratulations to the national Heart of the Program Award winner, Kathie Sardeson, cafeteria manager from Lassen View Elementary School in Redding, California. Regional winners follow. MIDEAST REGION Watasha Rosemond, Delaware MIDWEST REGION Angie Talbert, Missouri NORTHEAST REGION Lillian Muise, Massachusetts NORTHWEST REGION Dunya Brannock, Montana SOUTHEAST REGION Cindy Foxworth, Georgia SOUTHWEST REGION Karma Honeycutt, Oklahoma WEST REGION Kathie Sardeson, Californ LOUISE SUBLETTE AWARD OF LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE IN SCHOOL NUTRITION Kudos to Mitzi Marshall, cafeteria manager from Southern Elementary School in Georgetown, Kentucky, who is this year’s national winner of the Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence. Regional winners follow. MIDEAST REGION Nancy Mears, Delaware MIDWEST REGION Stephen Riley, Minnesota NORTHEAST REGION Mary Leslie, Massachusetts NORTHWEST REGION Accordia Horn, Washington SOUTHEAST REGION Mitzi Marshall, Kentucky WEST REGION Connie McConahy, New Mexico OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Sherri Knutson, SNS, Student Nutrition Services Coordinator for Rochester Public Schools in Rochester, Minnesota, takes home top honors as this year’s Outstanding Director of the Year. Regional winners follow. MIDEAST REGION Patricia Cunningham, Seaford School District, Delaware MIDWEST REGION Sherri Knutson, SNS, Rochester Public Schools, Minnesota NORTHEAST REGION Megan Schaper, SNS, State College Area School District, Pennsylvania NORTHWEST REGION Donna Toly, SNS, Sweetwater County School District #1, Wyoming SOUTHEAST REGION Helen Phillips, SNS, Norfolk City Public Schools, Virginia SOUTHWEST REGION Karl Sprague, Great Bend Unified School District #428, Kansas WEST REGION Jane Stallings, SNS, Pomona Unified School District, California INDUSTRY MEMBER OF THE YEAR Congratulations to Barbara Jirka, PhD, SNS, formerly of McCain Foods, Lisle, Illinois, this year’s recipient of the Industry Member of the Year Award. Jirka was nominated by SNA industry member and past Industry Member of the Year Award recipient Tami Cline, PhD, SNS. 2011–12 MEMBERSHIP GROWTH AWARDS 1-500 Numerical Increase, Oklahoma Percentage Increase, Hawaii 501-1,000 Numerical Increase, Massachusetts Percentage Increase, Colorado 1,001+ Numerical Increase, Tennessee Percentage Increase, South Carolina 2011–12 CERTIFICATION GROWTH AWARDS States with the greatest overall increase Oklahoma Oregon CHILD NUTRITION SHOWCASE WINNERS SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES “Chefs to Schools Create Junior Chefs Club,” Anthony M. Terrell and Memphis City School Elementary Students, Memphis City Schools, Memphis, Tennessee RESEARCH ”Plate Waste and Lunch Program Experience Among School Lunch Program Participants at Two High Schools,” Jessica Haas, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado “STAND UP FOR SCHOOL NUTRITION” MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN WINNERS “The Stand Out” Award Winner Gretchen Wilson, SNS, North Carolina “The Outstanding Crowd” Prize Winners Kay Hall, Florida Martha Boger, North Carolina Lisa Chatterton, Washington Patricia Daley-Jimenez, SNS, New York Lisa Winter, SNS, Virginia Lori Rieth, Idaho Diane Gruman, SNS, Arizona Geanie Matthews, Utah Christine Wallace, SNS, Connecticut Suzette Braithwaite, Utah Susan Maffe, SNS, Connecticut WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR SCHOOL NUTRITION SWEEPSTAKES SNA encouraged members nationwide to participate in the ANC What’s on the Horizon for School Nutrition Sweepstakes for a chance to win three free registrations. The winning names were drawn from 1,500 submissions. Connie Morris, Manchester City School District, Tennessee Katie Hruby, Cherokee County School District, Georgia Linda Webster, St. James R-1 School District, Missouri ANC 2013 TRIP & REGISTRATION Dena Moragues, Colorado
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