By Leah Schmidt, SNS, SNA President 2013-09-04 19:43:54
Heartfelt Memories Our “ANC in KC” was an event like none I will ever experience again. Being in my own hometown for my installation as SNA president was a wonderfully unique occasion. It was awesome to have so many of my staff, family and district colleagues present. Among them was my phenomenal management team, averaging 15 years of experience and service. All of the superheroes in my office and on my team make it possible for me to take on the responsibilities of this position. In addition, I need to give a shout-out for all the help and support I’ve had from heroes who’ve retired (Marie Heistand and Betty Culley) and friends from across the state (Paula Kullman). Another unique hometown advantage I enjoyed at ANC was helping to coordinate a food donation of leftovers the close of the immense Exhibit Hall. Our local Harvesters received more than 11,500 pounds of food. As I write this in August, our district’s Community Assistance Council is still processing 10 pallets of donated items. Special thanks go to my two warehousemen, Dennis Barnes and Kyle Kelley, for doing a spectacular job taking care of the logistics of this job! Every conference is made up of memories that last. Many of these are featured in the wrap-up article that begins on page 38. But one of my favorites from 2013 is a story shared with me when I welcomed a group of SNA’s past presidents to Kansas City. I learned that Dr. Josephine Martin’s very first annual conference was right here—in the very same hotel! She reminisced how Thelma Flanagan served as president that year and right in the middle of the event, President Harry Truman returned home to KC, effectively evicting poor Thelma from the hotel’s presidential suite, which was his home-away-from home, due to its proximity to the closest airport. Maybe she decided to forgive him, since he did sign the original National School Lunch Act four years prior! I know it is a full year away, but my staff is already talking about “Making History” in Boston for ANC 2014. We are working on at least one proposal for presentation—how about you? Don’t delay: The deadline is September 30, 2013. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/ cfp for details. If we are able to present at an education session in Boston, I hope we will inspire someone else with our ideas. Right now, I’m making arrangements to contract with an SNA speaker to come and do a training session on customer service and communications with my team! This is the third time I’ve been able to make such a contact and arrange for valuable professional development for my entire staff—all because of ANC! Making new memories all the time….
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