By Patricia Montague, CAE, SNA Chief Executive Officer 2013-06-11 22:13:06
Embracing Reasons & Seasons Over the course of my 20-year tenure with this Association, I have had the pleasure of working with 20 smart, passionate presidents who helped to build SNA into the powerful organization that it is today. Each brought a unique leadership style and enthusiasm to the job, remaining laserfocused on the goals she wanted to accomplish during her term, while being completely committed to making adjustments as changing needs dictated. This has been a challenging year for SNA on multiple fronts. A change in leadership at Headquarters. The trials experienced by school nutrition operations in the wake of the new school lunch meal pattern implementation. The uncertainties posed by the imminent implementation of nutrition standards for the School Breakfast Program. Pending regulations for competitive foods and professional standards. Whew! I believe that everything happens for a reason, and this year someone whom I greatly admire shared her own conviction that everything—and everyone—has a season. In time of great transition, it takes a special kind of person to lead an organization—and represent a profession—facing challenging changes. SNA is fortunate that Sandra Ford was at the helm as Association president during this particular “season.” I have had the privilege of working with Sandy for many years, as she has served SNA in numerous capacities, including several Board of Director positions, as well as chair of SNA’s Certification and Credentialing Governing Council. She is a strong, thoughtful, decisive and strategic leader, fiercely dedicated to this organization. When Sandy chose “Transform School Nutrition” as the theme for this year’s Annual Plan, I’m not sure she (or any of SNA’s leaders and staff) realized just how much transformation would characterize 2012-13! One of the wonderful things that I have witnessed about SNA is its resiliency. In the face of everything from funding cuts to legislative and regulatory challenges to media-perpetuated misperceptions and dozens of other trials and burdens over the years, the Association remains steadfast in defense of its members and partners. This is because of the robust support shown up and down the SNA chain, from individual school site members to the state affiliates to its national leaders and the loyal SNA Headquarters staff. We are united in our shared commitment to ensuring that students are well-nourished and prepared for success. I know that Sandy’s staff at Florida’s Manatee County Schools and her husband Don will be glad to have her back home once her term ends in July. Thank you, Sandy, for being a strong and strategic leader through this eventful year and for each individual step you took to help transform school nutrition.
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