By Kelsey Casselbury and Cecily Walters 2013-09-02 22:53:30
Kansas City, Mo., proved a memorable setting for learning, inspiration and new product solutions for the thousands of school nutrition professionals attending SNA’s 67th Annual National Conference. Kansas City, Mo., known for jazz, barbecue and hundreds of city fountains, extended its patented Midwestern hospitality to the 5,900+ operators, vendors and allies who attended SNA’s 67th Annual National Conference (ANC), July 14-17, 2013. These school nutrition professionals threw themselves wholeheartedly into participating in the many opportunities for learning, discovering new products and having fun that were available in the Heart of the Nation. Fountains of Knowledge This year’s ANC offered more than 90 education sessions that covered an assortment of topics for school nutrition professionals at all career levels. Attendees had the chance to participate in pre-conference sessions on topics such as leadership in school nutrition management, understanding the USDA Foods Program and managing finances. A bonus Major City pre-conference session focused on best practices for offering breakfast and supper, as well as lunch; it was complimentary to SNA members involved in running the nation’s largest school nutrition operations. Once ANC officially got underway, attendees could select from sessions organized into program tracks representing the four “key” areas of SNA’s Keys to Excellence and Certification and Credentialing programs. From “Collaborative Nutrition Education: Passport Required!” to “School Food Authorities and the New Administrative Review (CRE) Process” to “Bid Smarter…Bid Simple!”, attendees could access an impressively wide range of opportunities for learning. A variety of repeated Hot Topic sessions ensured that the most timely and popular issues—primarily related to the meal pattern changes for breakfast and lunch—could be worked into everyone’s agenda. A selection of sessions was geared specifically to those directors new to the K-12 segment. If you missed a particular workshop—or were unable to attend ANC this year—simply visit SchoolNutrition.org and click the Meetings tab to access PowerPoint presentations and other materials made available by speakers. Love of Discovery The consistently exciting and dynamic Exhibit Hall is always a must-visit priority for ANC attendees Monday through Wednesday. Why? Well, consider that the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” asserted that “everything’s up to date in Kansas City.” That declaration, written in 1943, certainly held true 70 years later, with nearly 850 booths showcasing more new products and resources than anyone could count! As eager attendees canvassed the Exhibit Hall, they sampled products, collected valuable information and connected with current and potential vendor partners. But business wasn’t the only name of the Exhibit Hall game—indeed, many booths engaged attendees in creative games and activities, including School Nutrition’s own “What’s Ruby Reading?” promotional contest (see page 8). When foot-sore attendees chose to seek out some well-deserved rest and relaxation, they made time to stop by the Wellness Village to recharge with free massages and take advantage of other resources focused on personal well-being. They included discovering new ways to stay healthy and fit with information offered by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Forrest T. Jones & Company and Tanita Corporation. Other hot spots on the Exhibit floor were the annual culinary demonstrations, Cutting-Edge Complex demonstrations (which showcased new technology products) and the ever-favorite Catch the Moment booth, at which attendees could insert themselves onto the cover of School Nutrition magazine! “You Are Here” kiosks guided attendees around the Exhibit Hall with a simple touch of a display screen. From the Heart ANC wouldn’t be what it is, the school nutrition event of the year, without the unparalleled learning opportunities available to operators at all levels. But the events and activities designed for both personal inspiration and fun are other essential hallmarks of this national meeting! Where else can attendees be treated to memorable messages from national celebrities and dance to chart-topping songs from current recording artists—all included in the price of registration?! In the Heartland, 2013 conference-goers were treated to humor from “Today Show” host and author Al Roker and provocative insights from global journalist and TV host Lisa Ling. A cutting-edge audience Q&A, using text messaging, allowed the thousands that filled the Grand Ballroom to interact with both Roker and Ling, getting them to offer personal reflections about their own favorite school meals and memories, food delights and struggles, raising their children and much more. But perhaps the ANC 2013 General Session with the most professional and personal resonance for attendees took place on Wednesday. Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author/illustrator of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, shared the story of how his vision of a school nutrition professional who transforms into a James Bond-ian schoolyard hero traversed from his imagination to the printed page—and soon to the big screen as a feature film! After detailing his involvement with the inaugural “School Lunch Superhero Day” observance in May (see page 32), Krosoczka’s remarks concluded with a surprise appearance on stage by all four of the school chef contestants featured on The Food Network’s “Class Acts—Two” episode of its “Chopped” cooking competition. The contestants joined Krosoczka in a brief panel discussion about their visit to the White House and their ongoing work serving our nation’s children. For hours, enthusiastic attendees lined up in the Exhibit Hall to greet the “Chopped” contestants and have their copies of the Lunch Lady books signed by Krosoczka. Many attendees took part in an early morning STEPS Challenge Wellness Jam on Tuesday, getting their hearts pumping learning fun line dances. The annual Star Club breakfast celebrated the hard work of members who recruit others to join SNA. Special evening receptions offered targeted networking opportunities among new directors and graduates of SNA’s Future Leaders program. An uplifting Inspiration Service and the recognition of state, regional and national honorees at the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony were other ANC favorites. Plus, several long-time vendors hosted customer appreciation parties at unique destinations all across Kansas City. Despite the non-stop pace of the ANC schedule, the energy was still sky-high when hitmaker Darius Rucker took the stage Wednesday evening. Rucker formerly fronted the Nineties-era Hootie and the Blowfish, and some of that band’s top hits blended seamlessly with his performances of the country music chart-topping “Wagon Wheel” and the just-released “Radio.” The crowd was on its feet and singing along from beginning to end. Relevant education sessions, exciting and innovative new products, networking opportunities galore, memorable entertainment and more combined to showcase why ANC is the premier event of its kind for school nutrition professionals. Plans are already underway for ANC 2014, so mark your calendars now for July 13-16, 2014. You and your team of school nutrition professionals surely will want to make history in Boston, Mass., next summer! Kelsey Casselbury and Cecily Walters are members of School Nutrition’s editorial team. Photos by EZ Event Photography. 2013 AWARD RECIPIENTS PRESIDENT’S AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Jeanne Pierce, SNS, New Hampshire— State associations with membership from 1-500 Jane McLucas, SNS, Massachusetts—State associations with membership from 501-1,000 Cindy Cooper, SNS, Tennessee—State associations with membership from 1,001+ HEART OF THE PROGRAM AWARD Congratulations to the national winner, Dawn Lehmann, foodservice employee, Seckman Middle School in Imperial, Missouri. Regional winners follow. MIDWEST REGION: Dawn Lehmann, Missouri NORTHEAST REGION: Rhonda Caron, New Hampshire SOUTHEAST REGION: Patricia Morris, Tennessee SOUTHWEST REGION: Deborah Willhite, Kansas WEST REGION: Toni Chaffee, California EXCELLENCE IN SCHOOL NUTRITION Give a round of applause to Beth Freeman, cafeteria manager, C. Milton Wright High School, Harford County Public Schools in Maryland, this year’s national winner. Regional winners follow. MIDEAST REGION: Beth Freeman, Maryland MIDWEST REGION: Nancy Heinicke, Nebraska NORTHEAST REGION: Denise Nedeau, New Hampshire SOUTHEAST REGION: Debra Petty, Georgia SOUTHWEST REGION: Atonia Isenhower, Oklahoma WEST REGION: Pam Johnson, Utah ONE VOICE FOR SCHOOL NUTRITION MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN WINNERS Recruiter of the Year/SNEW Membership Drive Winner Jessica Shelly, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio ANC 2014 Prize Winners Kaye Wetli, SNS, Washington Liz Johnson, Washington Lora Gilbert, SNS, Florida Debra Davis, Louisiana Sandy Wallace, South Carolina Leon Williams, South Carolina OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Kudos to Angela Haney, SNS, of Los Lunas Schools in Los Lunas, New Mexico, who was named as this year’s national winner. Regional winners follow. MIDEAST REGION: Lorrayne Corley, Randolph County Schools, West Virginia MIDWEST REGION: Roxanne Williams, SNS, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District #191, Minnesota NORTHEAST REGION: Jeanne Reilly, SNS, RSU 14 Windham Raymond School District, Maine NORTHWEST REGION: Charlotte Cook, Medical Lake School District #326, Washington SOUTHEAST REGION: Susan Johnson, Jackson-Madison County Schools, Tennessee SOUTHWEST REGION: Tammie Rempe, Thompson School District, Colorado WEST REGION: Angela Haney, SNS, Los Lunas Schools, New Mexico INDUSTRY MEMBER OF THE YEAR Congratulations to Sean Leer, vice president of Gold Star Foods, Ontario, California, this year’s honoree. Leer was nominated by SNA industry member and past recipient Tony Roberts. 2012–13 MEMBERSHIP GROWTH AWARDS 1-500 Numerical Increase, West Virginia Percentage Increase, Hawaii 501-1,000 Numerical Increase, Oklahoma Percentage Increase, Missouri 1,001+ Numerical Increase, South Carolina Percentage Increase, Ohio 2012–13 CERTIFICATION GROWTH AWARDS Tennessee earned the Certification and Credentialing 3% Goal Award. CHILD NUTRITION SHOWCASE WINNERS SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES “Food Allergy Management,” Shirley Parker; Humble ISD, Humble, Texas RESEARCH “Restroom Handwashing Facilities in Proximity to School Cafeterias,” Kevin Sauer, PhD, RD, Kevin R. Roberts, PhD, Jeannie Sneed, PhD, RD, Junehee Kwon, PhD, RD, Kerri Cole and Kathleen Novosel; Center of Excellence for Food Safety Research in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. ANC By the Numbers ● More than 5,900 school nutrition operators, vendors and advocates participated in ANC 2013. Among these were 460 first-time attendees. ● The school nutrition professionals in attendance represented 787districts and more than 14.3 million students from all across the country. ● SNA’s Political Action Committee raised more than $2,300 to support the Association’s legislative advocacy efforts. ● Good luck to the 25 individuals who sat for the School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) credentialing exam on Saturday morning. ● More than 360 companies exhibited their products at ANC; exhibitors showcased food, beverage, equipment and technology products and services to the attendees visiting the sold-out 849-booth Exhibit Hall. ● Some 500 attendees took advantage of special reserved time in the Exhibit Hall to complete the Directors-Only All-Access Pass. A lucky 14 winners won free registrations to SNA’s 3 2014 national meetings, courtesy of 14 generous sponsors. ● Attendees made sure not to miss the 6 culinary demos presented by California Olive Committee & California Cling Peach Board, ConAgra Mills, General Mills Foodservice, McCormick For Chefs, Mushroom Council and Sunkist Foodservice. In addition, they checked out 2 presentations from Heartland School Solutions and Winston Industries in the Cutting- Edge Complex. More than 20 vendors displayed brand-new products in the New Product Showcase. ● More than 40 posters highlighted recent child nutrition research and innovative projects and initiatives in the Child Nutrition Showcase. ● More than 11,500 pounds of food from the Exhibit Hall were donated to a local food ban There’s nothing more loving than feeding someone. You’re hard-wired for wonderfulness. Thank you. —Jarrett J. Krosoczka MIDWESTERN MOMENTS Look back on the memories you made at ANC 2013 by viewing and downloading photos of your favorite conference experiences 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 right-click on the photo when the magnifying glass icon appears and select the size of the photo you’d like to see when the “View all sizes” menu pops up. KEY ANC SPONSORSHIPS ● CyberSoft Technologies (Employee Manager and Major City Section Meetings; District Director, Major City and State Agency Lounges) ● Domino’s Pizza (Hotel Key Cards) ● Forrest T. Jones & Company (Wellness Village) ● General Mills Foodservice (Star Club Breakfast) ● Horizon Software International (CyberStop Internet Café) ● Jennie-O Turkey Store (Opening General Session and STEPS Challenge Wellness Jam) ● McCormick For Chefs (Closing General Session) ● MCS Software (Lanyards/Badge Holders) ● Mrs. T’s (Exhibit Hall Lounges) ● National Dairy Council (District Director Section Meeting) ● Payless ShoeSource (Operations Track) ● PepsiCo Foodservice (Future Leaders Social, New Directors Reception and Catch the Moment) ● Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. (Learning Journal) ● SFSPac Food Service Sanitation Systems (Learning Journal) ● Uncle Ben’s (Shuttle transportation and SNA Red Carpet Awards Ceremony)
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