Unbowed and undeterred by new challenges and mean-spirited press, thousands of school nutrition professionals convened in Boston for SNA’s 68th Annual National Conference. With high spirits and boundless enthusiasm, they came determined to find ideas, innovations and inspiration. For the 7,000 participants of SNA’s 2014 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Boston last July, the event wasn’t the kind of history that will be written about in future textbooks. It wasn’t the kind of history that will be recounted in a future PBS documentary. And while it ranked among the most-attended ANCs, it didn’t quite break Association records. Still, something changed for all those who walked seeming miles of Exhibit Hall aisles, who raised their hand to ask a question of an education session presenter, who shared a tissue with a neighbor during Amy Purdy’s Opening General Session speech, who learned a helpful tip from a Culinary Demonstration chef, who made a new friend while waiting for the hotel shuttle and who felt the power of a stranger looking them in the eye and saying with all sincerity, “You are awesome.” For each and every school nutrition professional, industry representative, State Agency personnel and other school nutrition advocate who was in Boston this year, history was made. An indelible mark had been made on their individual timelines. “ANC 2014 in Boston—that was the conference when I …” If you were at ANC in July, how would you finish this sentence if you were looking back months or even years from now? School Nutrition has some guesses. Maybe ANC 2014 was when you: • watched SNA Presidents Leah Schmidt, SNS, and Julia Bauscher, SNS, exchange a ceremonial gavel and said to yourself, “Someday, that’s going to be me up there.” (After all, it was at an ANC 20 years ago that Bauscher had that same thought!) • got “fired up” by energetic Closing General Session Speaker Aric Bostick, and resolved to be “a life-changer” for the students in your school. ANC by the Numbers • More than 7,165 school nutrition operators, vendors and advocates participated in ANC 2014, making it the 3rdlargest ANC to date. Among these were 575 first-time attendees. • The school nutrition professionals in attendance represented 935 districts and more than 16.3 million students from across the country. • More than 400 companies exhibited their products at ANC, showcasing food, beverage, equipment and technology products and services to the attendees visiting the sold-out 879-booth Exhibit Hall. • Some 1,437 director-level attendees took advantage of special reserved time in the Exhibit Hall to complete the Directors-Only All-Access Pass. Congratulations to the 14 lucky winners who won free registrations to SNA’s 3 2015 national meetings, courtesy of generous sponsors. • Nearly 500 School Nutrition readers spotted the Ruby Reader icons hiding throughout the June/July 2014 issue, and 20 participants won enviable prizes in a prize drawing (see page 8). • SNA’s Political Action Committee raised $1,967 to support the Association’s legislative advocacy efforts. • Good luck to the 47 individuals who sat for the School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) credentialing exam on Saturday morning! • Attendees made sure not to miss the 6 culinary demos presented by the National Dairy Council, Sunkist Foodservice, Tyson Foods, Inc., Dole Packaged Foods, Sun Maid Growers and USDA–Food Distribution Division & Walpole Public Schools. • More than 42 vendors displayed brand-new offerings in the New Product Showcase. • More than 250 movers and shakers got up early Tuesday morning to enjoy an energetic start with Ali Vincent of “The Biggest Loser” fame, as she led the STEPS Wellness Challenge Activity. • Poster presentations from 38 teams highlighted recent child nutrition research and innovative projects and initiatives in the School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase. • At the end of the conference, more than 27,000 pounds of food from the Exhibit Hall were donated to a local food bank. • sampled a new product destined to become one of the most popular items with the Class of 2016. • read a Best Practices poster presentation about an innovative recipe contest that inspired you to create what has now become an eagerly anticipated annual event in your district. • saw the first glimpses of a return to congressional bipartisan support for school nutrition in the Opening General Session remarks made by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). • discovered an equipment or technology solution that would revolutionize your operation. • enjoyed the STEPS Challenge Wellness Event with special guest Ali Vincent so much that you pledged to sign up for STEPS, losing 25 pounds in your first year by committing to simple diet and exercise changes. • started sharing “war stories” with the person sitting next to you at one of the new Roundtable education sessions and she is now going to be a bridesmaid at your wedding next month. • felt so moved by Second General Session speaker Billy Shore’s eloquence about fighting childhood hunger that you began volunteering at a local food bank twice a month. • finally got to see Huey Lewis and the News play live in concert 30 years after you first hung a poster of the band in your dorm room. • started a new habit of reminding yourself of Opening General Session Keynoter Amy Purdy’s personal triumphs every time you’re inclined to complain about anything. • got so inspired about being a part of the school nutrition profession that you made the decision to go back to school, subsequently earning your degree, climbing the career ladder and landing your most coveted dream job. How did you make history this summer? What was it about your trip to Boston that may wind up changing your personal or professional—or both—life forever? For all of this year’s ANC First-Timers, we hope that ANC Boston was the history-making conference that prompted you to decide you will never miss another ANC again! And we hope that those of you who did miss this year’s event will be so inspired by this summary and the accompanying photos that you will start planning now for ANC 2015 Salt Lake City, Utah, July 12-15! KEY ANC SPONSORSHIPS • AdvancePierre Foods (Hotel Shuttle Buses) • Cranberry Marketing Committee (Catch The Moment ) • Cybersoft PrimeroEdge (Major City Directors Section Meeting, District Directors Section Meeting and State Agency Lounge) • Domino’s Pizza (ANC hotel key cards) • Forrest T. Jones & Company (Wellness Village) • General Mills Foodservice (Star Club Breakfast) • Heartland School Solutions (Badge Holders) • Horizon Software International (TechCentral) • Jennie-O Turkey Store (STEPS Challenge Wellness Event) • Mrs. T’s/Ateeco (Exhibit Hall Lounges) • National Dairy Council (District Directors Section Meeting) • PepsiCo Foodservice (New Connections Reception and First Timers Scholarships) • Schwan’s Food Service (Learning Journal) • SFSPac Food Service Sanitation Systems (Learning Journal) • Uncle Ben’s (Awards Ceremony) 2014 AWARD RECIPIE President’s Award of Excellence • Christopher Derico, SNS, West Virginia—State associations with membership from 1-500 • Kristina Sandoval, Colorado—State associations with membership from 501-1,000 • Lynette Rock, SNS, California—State associations with membership of 1,001 or more Heart of the Program Award Congratulations to the national winner, Brenda Thompson from Palm Springs Unified School District in California. Regional winners are: Mideast: • MaryPat Robertson, West Virginia Midwest: • Amanda Meteraud, Wisconsin Northeast: • Joann Sylvia, Massachusetts Northwest: • Mary Brown, Washington Southeast: • Cathleen Clark, Tennessee Southwest: • Mary Annette Turner, Oklahoma West: • Brenda Thompson, California Louise Sublette Award of Excellence in School Nutrition Give a round of applause to Gail Gramling of Torrance Unified School District in California, this year’s national winner. Regional winners are: Mideast: • Barbara Gostomski, Maryland Midwest: • Nancy Buettner, Nebraska Northeast: • Erin Perpetua, Connecticut Northwest: • Pixie Ertz, Oregon Southeast: • Amanda Jones, Kentucky Southwest: • Jeanne Hornberger, Colorado West: • Gail Gramling, California Outstanding Director of the Year Kudos to Lauren Teng, SNS, from Huntington Beach Union High School District in California, who was named as this year’s national winner. Regional winners are: Mideast: • Gary Childress, SNS, Harford County Public Schools, Maryland Midwest: • Gay Anderson, SNS, Brandon Valley School District 49-2, South Dakota Northeast: • Anne Sheehan, SNS, Glens Falls City School District, New York Northwest: • Cinthia Hiatt-Henry, SNS, McMinnville School District 040, Oregon Southeast: • Beverly Girard, PhD, RD, SNS, Sarasota County Schools, Florida Southwest: • Kaye Kabus, SNS, Seaman Unified School District 345, Kansas West: • Lauren Teng, SNS, Huntington Beach Union HSD, California Industry Member of the Year Congratulations to Stacy Sagowitz, SNS, of School Nutrition Services, this year’s honoree. School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase Winners Research “Pilot Study—The Impacts of Removing Flavored Milk From Elementary School Menus,” Sarah Maver, RD, Albert Benjunas and Margie Saidel, MPH, RD, LDN, Chartwells, Fairfield County, Conn. Best Practices “Eating With Your Eyes: Merchandising and Plating School Food,” Judy Baker, RD, Cynthia Gonzalez, Cynthia Fitzgibbons, MS, RD, LD, and Elizabeth Cowan Phillips, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, Harlingen, Texas Go Places with SNA Membership Campaign Winners Recruiter of the Year • Jonathan Dickl, MBA, SNS, Knox County School District, Knoxville, Tenn ANC 2015 Prize Winners • Christine Bohannon, Florida • Cynthia Cline, Tennessee • Kristin Finck, Tennessee • Melissa Sayers, SNS, Delaware • Lori Shofroth, Indiana • Lila Szozda, SNS, Ohio • Bobbie Woody, Georgia Miami Vacation Winner • Debra Boston, Colorado School Lunch Hero Day Membership Drive Winner • Joan Montgomery, Tuscaloosa County School District, Elrod, Ala.
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