SNA Annual Election Rock the Vote! What a difference one vote can make. Your vote will help to decide who will represent you on SNA’s 2013-15 Board of Directors and will be the voice for your professional interests and concerns in the coming years. As a national member of SNA, you should make casting your vote a top priority. If the Association is to continue serving as the voice of child nutrition programs in the United States and around the world, it is critical that you participate in the selection of your future leaders. Voting will be conducted through SNA’s website, from October 15 to November 15, 2012. For details about how to vote, as well as biographies of all the candidates, log on to www.schoolnutrition.org/snaelection. Meet the Candidates With the annual election opening later this month, School Nutrition is providing you with a first look at the candidates running for SNA vice president. Once elected, this person begins a three-year cycle that also includes the positions of president-elect and president; this cycle helps ensure the continuity of SNA leadership. This year’s SNA vice president candidates are Marilyn Moody, SNS, senior director of child nutrition services, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, N.C., and Jean Ronnei, SNS, director of nutrition and custodial services, Saint Paul Public Schools, Saint Paul, Minn. Marilyn Moody, SNS Marilyn Moody’s passion for school nutrition goes way back—to when she served as a monitor for a summer feeding program during college. “It was such a joy to feed hungry children,” she recounts, adding that she admired the efforts of the program’s child nutrition director, who became a mentor to Moody in pursuit of her vocation. As a graduate student (working on her MS degree in home economics education from East Carolina University), Moody participated in internships and took electives in school foodservice to prepare for the possibility of garnering a position in her local school system. At first, the jobs best suited to her training were classroom teaching positions, but after relocating to Pennsylvania, Moody became a nutritionist and then director of an area Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Later, following her family’s return to North Carolina, a vacancy at the local district’s child nutrition department finally opened. “I only had to wait 15 years for a position to be available!” she remarks. When asked to describe herself, Moody notes, “By nature, I am a servant leader. I enjoy working alongside a team with a common goal.” That’s why she applies the Baldrige approach to leadership, ensuring that everyone’s work is focused on a shared goal, using strategies determined together. One of her own leadership priorities is acknowledging individual effort. Whether it is through formal awards ceremonies, or the simple congratulatory notes that she writes school staff on a daily basis, Moody understands that “recognition is a strong motivator.” Over the course of her school nutrition career, different professional achievements stand out; one that Moody is particularly proud of is success in the HealthierUS School Challenge; every elementary school in the district has earned recognition, with a total of 18 silver and 86 bronze awards. In addition, her team received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Best Practice award for doubling high school meal participation and a Community Outreach award for significant increases in the summer feeding program. Moody is committed to sharing her passion for feeding children and for giving back. She has served as president for the North Carolina state affiliate, as well as on the SNA Board of Directors as Southwest regional director (2011-13). Reflecting on her candidacy for SNA vice president, Moody explains that her priority will be to better equip SNA members to serve their students in nourishing body, mind and soul. To this end, she will advocate for policies that help members to provide the healthiest meals possible; promote and provide training and development to allow members to be the authoritative expert voice in school nutrition; and develop resources to assist members in improving their confidence and self-esteem in order to provide the best service and nurturing to students. “I want to give back to an organization that has helped me grow personally and professionally,” she states. “I want to be a leader of the Association that is the voice of child nutrition.” Jean Ronnei, SNS I went to college with the notion that I would become a food scientist, develop the perfect food and save the world’s children from dying from hunger,” says Jean Ronnei, looking back on her youthful expectations. “Then I ran smack dab into biochemistry, and we didn’t get along!” However, she found that her degree in hotel and restaurant management from Iowa State University allowed her to fill a related passion: making people happy through food. After graduation, she first worked for a chain of public cafeterias (Ronnei attributes the chain’s corporate motto, “We’re a little bit fussier,” to her pride in the value of paying attention to detail). After travel-intensive work with contract management, she settled into a position with Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Center, being named director within a mere nine months. Networking with those in other large operations with central kitchens led Ronnei to Candace Witter, then the school nutrition director at Saint Paul Public Schools. This connection opened her eyes to new career possibilities: K-12 school nutrition could be her dream job, combining her desires to nurture children and make people happy through food. “Twenty-two years later, and I still love it!” she exclaims. Having grown up with her father serving as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, Ronnei recalls many great experiences related to his work and teacher friends. “When the position opened up in Saint Paul, I knew it would be a life changer,” she says. And part of that transformation has been focused on changing public misperceptions about school meals and the professionals who prep and serve them. Public speaking skills come naturally for Ronnei, and she puts them to good use. Her team changed everything from its name to its menu to help improve their image. “I believe if we don’t tell our story, someone else will, so I will always be a tireless advocate for school nutrition,” she says. Ronnei’s also a committed advocate within the school nutrition profession. She has served as president for the Minnesota state affiliate, as well as on the SNA Board of Directors as Education Committee chair (2011-13), and she is eager to take on the challenges of becoming SNA’s vice president. “I am an energetic, well-networked leader,” she notes. “I take great pride in developing teams that excel at customer service….I will set the bar high, collaborate with others, listen to members and work together to take SNA to the next level.” Among her specific goals is a desire to make SNA’s website a one-stop shop for simple, practical educational tools. She wants to see SNA develop accessible training resources that are easy to use, no matter the size or available resources of an individual district. “I am ready to tackle our ever-increasing program complexities head-on,” she notes. “While biochemistry may have slowed down my dream of ending hunger, with all of us working together we can make an even greater impact on the health and happiness of millions of children.” SNA Meetings & Events OCTOBER 15-19, 2012 National School Lunch Week NOVEMBER 7-8, 2012 Industry Boot Camp JANUARY 13-15, 2013 Child Nutrition Industry Conference San Antonio, Texas MARCH 3-6, 2013 Legislative Action Conference Washington, D.C. MARCH 4-8, 2013 National School Breakfast Week APRIL 1-30, 2013 Global Child Nutrition Month APRIL 18-20, 2013 National Leadership Conference Savannah, Ga. MAY 6-10, 2013 School Nutrition Employee Week JULY 14-17, 2013 Annual National Conference Kansas City, Mo. 2013-15 SNA Board of Directors Candidates VICE PRESIDENT* • Marilyn Moody, SNS, North Carolina • Jean Ronnei, SNS, Minnesota MIDEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR • Sara Gasiorowski, SNS, Indiana MIDWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR • Paula Kullman, SNS, Missouri • Micheline Piekarski, SNS, Illinois SOUTHEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR • Jonathan Dickl, MBA, SNS, Tennessee • Melissa Livesay, Tennessee WEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR • Lyman Graham, New Mexico • Lynnelle Grumbles, SNS, California EDUCATION COMMITTEE CHAIR* • Gay Anderson, South Dakota • Diane Santoro, SNS, Florida PUBLIC POLICY & LEGISLATION COMMITTEE CHAIR* • Linda Irby, SNS, Virginia • Wendy Weyer, RD, SNS, Washington RESEARCH COMMITTEE CHAIR* • Jill Kidd, MS, RD, SNS, Colorado • Beth Mincemoyer Egan, SNS, Pennsylvania INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE • Gary Vonck, Illinois • Kevin Woods, SNS, Ohio Nominating Committee Candidates NORTHEAST REPRESENTATIVE • Paule Ralph, New Hampshire • Donna Roy, SNS, New Hampshire NORTHWEST REPRESENTATIVE • Dean Hamburg, SNS, Alaska SOUTHWEST REPRESENTATIVE • Barbara Cole, Arkansas • Beth Wallace, SNS, Colorado *All SNA members, except industry, may vote for these positions.
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