Association News SNA Launches Strategic Realignment Project The Association’s leadership has commenced an ambitious project to improve the alignment of SNA’s governance, programs and Headquarters organizational structure to meet the priorities of its strategic plan. This action demonstrates the leadership’s commitment to improving its decision and work processes in response to current and anticipated opportunities and challenges. As many readers know, SNA developed a strategic framework in December 2010, organizing key priorities into five “pillars.” It’s expected that this framework will continue to be a key element in the realignment project. But SNA has not reviewed or made any significant changes to its governance structure since the late Nineties. In addition, its programs, services and national staffing need to be assessed to ensure that the Association is appropriately positioned for future growth and success. The project is being developed and managed with the expertise of Tecker International, LLC, a wellrespected association and management consultant, which was selected in a competitive review process. In the fall, a project team comprised of SNA officers, senior management and other key stakeholders met with Tecker representatives to establish a process and timeline for going forward; the group’s first planning retreat will be held this month in conjunction with SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference in Miami. As an SNA member, you can play a valuable role in this process! All members will be asked to respond to a web survey later this winter. Please do plan to participate and share your feedback about the project’s initial findings. To learn more about this project, visit www.schoolnutrition.org and click on “About SNA” to link to the Strategic Realignment page. This section will be kept updated as the project proceeds over the course of the next six months. Leaders also will keep members in the loop on the process and progress of this initiative through other communications, including the magazine and e-newsletters. SNA Meetings & Events JANUARY 12-14, 2014 School Nutrition Industry Conference Miami, Fla. MARCH 2–5, 2014 Legislative Action Conference Washington, D.C. MARCH 3–7, 2014 National School Breakfast Week MAY 2, 2014 School Lunch Hero Day MAY 5-9, 2014 School Nutrition Employee Week MAY 21–22, 2014 Spring Industry Boot Camp National Harbor, Md. JULY 12–16, 2014 Annual National Conference Boston, Mass. OCTOBER 13–17, 2014 National School Lunch Week ANC Prepare to Make History in Boston Although the docket of meetings in 2014 is plentiful—are you making your way to Miami for SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference this month?—it’s not too early to start thinking about your plans for the 2014 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston. Come join thousands of your peers in “Making History in Boston,” the theme of this year’s ANC, the can’t-miss national gathering of school nutrition professionals and companies serving the K-12 foodservice segment. Mark your calendars now for July 13-16, 2014, with additional pre-conference sessions and training opportunities on July 12. For details on the specific educational offerings planned for this year’s event, along with the scoop on keynote speakers, section meetings and the final event, don’t miss the March issue of School Nutrition—in it, you’ll find this year’s Program Preview, highlighting all the exciting events at ANC, plus conference logistics, such as official conference hotels, city information and more. In the meantime, check www.schoolnutrition.org/anc regularly for online registration and the latest news and details about the conference. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this historic event in the Cradle of Liberty! State Legislation Keeping a Watchful Eye While the national Association’s primary advocacy responsibilities are at the federal level, in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol and federal agencies in Washington, D.C., the organization’s leaders recognize how important it is for SNA to support its state affiliates in their efforts to advocate for school nutrition programs in statehouses from coast to coast. Various state measures not only have a profound impact on school nutrition professionals at the local level, they can have a positive (or negative) ripple effect that influences regional and national policy. In order to provide its state legislative teams with more targeted, up-to-date information, SNA switched to a new system to track proposed legislation in the states that could have an impact on school meals. The Association moved to subscription service StateTrak, operated by Congressional Quarterly, with the goal of making sure members aren’t caught unaware by legislative activity in their state. After all, federal rules set minimum standards; states can enact stricter rules—or provide additional funding. The tracking system also can review all 50 states to provide a national analysis by topic. The service tracks state legislation from start to finish, alerting SNA whenever bills are introduced, all the way through hearings and votes to, finally, vetoes or bills becoming laws. And with the analysis feature, the system can uncover surprising trends. For example, legislation about Epi-pens to remediate food allergy attacks recently popped up in a number of states. Also, at the conclusion of 2013 legislative sessions, the use of local produce was determined to be the number-one issue affecting school nutrition: Five out of nine bills on this topic were signed into law. At SNA Headquarters, Nichole Westin, director of state legislative affairs, sorts through various state legislation using keywords specific to school nutrition, such as “breakfast,” “National School Lunch Program” or “competitive foods.” Each state affiliate board is sent a monthly report, letting them know about legislative activity in their state, as well as a trends summary from across the country. This allows state affiliates to react promptly in support or opposition of proposals. Although access to the tracking service isn’t available to individual members or state affiliate teams, anyone interested in a particular bill or learning more about legislative activities in their state is invited to contact Westin directly at email@example.com. Public Awareness All Eyes on SNA! Across the country, Americans are hearing the message: School nutrition matters! When 2013 had come to a close, it was clear it was a banner year for media coverage for SNA members and their important messages. Take a look at just a few key instances in which school nutrition took center stage: School Meal Celebrations. Both National School Breakfast Week in March and National School Lunch Week in October were well covered by local media outlets, including various TV news broadcasts and articles online and in print newspapers. Much of the coverage focused on the celebratory activities of individual schools and districts, ranging from appearances by local celebrities to theme day menus. Recent regulatory developments often were a component of the coverage. Competitive Foods. Speaking of school meal regulations, the proposed competitive foods rule was a hot topic for operators and reporters alike! At the end of September, SNA was featured prominently in a Washington Post article on the topic. ANC 2013. SNA’s visit to Kansas City, Mo., in July brought a bevy of local media reps to the city’s Convention Center for positive promotion of the school nutrition profession. All four Kansas City stations paid multiple visits during the event, resulting in approximately 30 separate airings of teasers, packaged news reports and live coverage on morning shows. SNA also earned a front-page story in the Kansas City Star and a local radio news report, as well as considerable coverage in trade publications. In addition, SNA hosted bloggers from Mommy’s Memorandum and KansasCityMamas.com, yielding glowing blog articles, Facebook posts and tweets. Back to School. SNA’s Back to School PR campaign earned a high-profile story in USA Today regarding the creative ways schools are reaching more students with school breakfast and featuring quotes from SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS. Other coverage included an advertisement placed in family magazine KIWI, as well as a webinar with its subscribers focused on the healthy choices available in school cafeterias. School meals also were the subject of many positive posts from parenting bloggers and websites about healthy changes to school meals. Standing up for School Nutrition. In the fall, SNA was compelled to respond to some negative portrayals of school meals in the mainstream media. SNA issued a letter to Verizon Wireless regarding a Back to School advertising campaign that reinforced negative stereotypes and worked with members to submit letters to the editor in response to a syndicated column that denigrated school meals. In addition, SNA contacted DoSomething.org regarding the inaccuracies of the organization’s “Fed Up” school lunch campaign and mobilized members to submit their own photos of attractive, healthy school meals to be included in the campaign. When the government shut down in October, coverage of SNA President Leah Schmidt’s letter to members of Congress reached such outlets as The New York Times. It takes the voices of all Association members for school nutrition issues to be heard loud and clear— and accurately. If you’re interested in joining SNA’s official spokesperson roster, e-mail Director of Media Relations Diane Pratt-Heavner at firstname.lastname@example.org. STEPS Challenge Keep Your Resolutions With STEPS Did you overdo it during the holiday season with turkey, pie, cookies and cocktails? The new year is the perfect time for a new you! Keep your 2014 resolutions simple this year with SNA’s STEPS Challenge. Kick off the new year in a healthy way by participating in the January STEPS Challenge, Hit 30 Minutes. The first challenge of 2014 is simple—it’s all about making time for exercise. Your goal should be to get 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week. Does that seem unmanageable with your busy schedule? Follow a few tips to fit in extra exercise: • Break it up into more manageable pieces. Ten minutes of exercise three times a day provides just as many benefits as doing it all consecutively. • Take advantage of TV time. You don’t have to give up “Grey’s Anatomy” or “The Blacklist” in order to work fitness time into your schedule. While catching up on your favorite shows, march in place, lift weights or do some dynamic stretches to add to your total exercise time. • Book an exercise date, whether it’s with a friend, coworker or significant other. When you’re being held accountable by another person (and holding that person accountable, too!), it’s not as easy to make excuses to skip your workout time. Download your tracking sheet at www.schoolnutrition.org/steps to get started. Don’t forget to keep track of your points and submit them online. You could win a dumbbell set in varying weights to help you keep up your fitness efforts! Future Leaders Be a Part of SNA’s Future Calling all future leaders! If you think you have what it takes to be part of SNA’s leadership team—or if you know someone who does—take advantage of SNA’s Future Leaders Program. Led by SNA’s three most recent past presidents, Sandra Ford, SNS, Helen Phillips, SNS, and Nancy Rice, SNS, this program provides handson training not available anywhere else to prospective leaders of the Association and its state affiliates. The training begins at SNA’s National Leadership Conference, April 10-12, 2014, in St. Louis, Mo. There, program participants will network with other emerging SNA stars, hone leadership and communication skills and learn from veteran SNA leaders. Interested? Program participation is by invitation only. Candidates must be nominated; submit your nomination for the 2014 class to your state president by March 7, 2014. You must be a national-level member who is certified or credentialed (SNS) through SNA’s program. Planning to nominate a colleague? Take the following traits into account: • Demonstrates interest in developing leadership abilities and shaping the next generation of SNA initiatives; • is committed to life-long learning; • is dedicated to a career in school nutrition; and • has served in the school nutrition profession for at least three years. Those who are currently serving as vice president, president-elect or president of an SNA state affiliate cannot be nominated. For more information, contact Sara Sanders, SNA state affiliate relations manager, at (301) 686-3074 or email@example.com. Board of Directors Election Introducing Your Newest SNA Leaders Say hello to the future of SNA’s top leadership, as determined by the organization’s national membership. Voting was conducted online exclusively through SNA’s website, and 2,756 members logged on between October 15 and November 15, 2013, to cast their ballots. Congratulations to the 2014-16 Board of Directors, who will be installed at the Annual National Conference in Boston in July. They will serve under the leadership of 2014-15 SNA President Julia Bauscher, SNS. Vice President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, Virginia Secretary/Treasurer Linda Eichenberger, SNS, Ohio Northeast Regional Director Debbi Beauvais, SNS, New York Northwest Regional Director Debbie Kallio, Washington Southwest Regional Director Kevin Ponce, SNS, Oklahoma State Agency Representative Donna Parsons, MS, RD, SNS, Washington Member Services Committee Chair Renee Hanks, SNS, New York Nutrition Committee Chair Carol Weekly, RD, SNS, Arizona SN Employee/Manager Representative Teresa Stevenson, Georgia Members also voted for several regional representative positions to the SNA Nominating Committee: Mideast Victoria Moore, SNS, Indiana Midwest Annette Hendrickx-Derouin, SNS, Minnesota Southeast Diane Santoro, SNS, Florida West Analee Knudsen, Utah SNA Governance SNA VP Earns Exciting Promotion In Fall 2013, SNA Vice President Jean Ronnei, SNS, announced she had been promoted in her Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Schools district to the position of chief operating officer. In her new role, Ronnei will continue to oversee the district’s child nutrition program, but not retain day-to-day management responsibilities. Her promotion in a high-profile major city district is a positive reflection on the school nutrition profession, and the Board extends its congratulations to her for this achievement. A key aspect of SNA’s leadership structure is to elect a vice president who will begin a three-year term that includes succession to the roles of Association president-elect and president. Professional role changes do not in and of themselves automatically preclude the eligibility of a dutifully elected officer from participating in the full leadership cycle. SNA leaders have fielded some inquiries from SNA members regarding Ronnei’s continued eligibility to continue to serve as a member of the organization’s Executive Team. A review of the SNA bylaws by the Association’s legal counsel clearly affirms her eligibility, in keeping with similar situations by other SNA past presidents, including those employed by state agencies. In addition, Ronnei’s superintendent in Saint Paul fully supports her involvement in SNA as a benefit to the school district, as well as her own professional development. If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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