Consider the Candidates It’s almost time to head to the polls—the online polls, that is—to decide who will represent you and your colleagues as part of SNA’s 2016-17 Board of Directors. If it seems quite a bit later this year, that’s because it is! Last July at SNA’s 2015 Annual National Conference (ANC), the Delegate Assembly approved a new governance structure and, in order to fully implement the changes, a transition nomination and election process was required. The initial slate for the Association’s 2016 election was announced at ANC, but the transition process began with a Call for Nominations for seven new positions announced in August. (Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snaelection to read about how transition terms will be managed.) Nominations closed in late September, and a final slate was determined by the Leadership Development Committee during Fall Committee Days in October. Also, in order to reduce the amount of time between the election and installation of new Board members, it was determined that the SNA election will take place annually in February, effective immediately. This year’s election proffers 19 candidates whose SNA volunteer experience, leadership talent and passion for child nutrition have earned them a place on the ballot. SNA leaders are your voice, representing your professional interests and concerns. Each and every SNA member’s vote counts in selecting those who will step up to the task. Voting will be conducted through SNA’s website for two weeks only , from February 15 to 29 . For details about how to vote, as well as biographies of all the candidates, log on to www.schoolnutrition.org/snaelection. Meet the Candidates Every year, School Nutrition visits with the candidates for SNA vice president. Once elected, this person begins a three-year cycle that includes the positions of president-elect and president; this helps maintain the continuity of SNA leadership. This year’s candidates are Gay Anderson, SNS, child nutrition director, Brandon Valley (S.D.) School District 49-2, and Linda Eichenberger, SNS, food service director, Oak Hills (Ohio) Local School District. In addition to the short interviews that follow, review their goals and leadership statements found online on the SNA Election page. Gay Anderson, SNS Gay Anderson, SNS, fell into foodservice and management right off the bat—literally, right after high school! And it clearly suited her, because within a short period of time, she was successfully managing two family-style restaurants as the youngest manager in a 260-operation franchise. After a stint in a hospital setting as a supervisor for the foodservice department, as well as running her own daycare, however, Anderson inadvertently discovered her current position as child nutrition director for the Brandon Valley (S.D.) School District when looking for schools for her children. “I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,” she recalls. “It only took a few months to prove that it was what I was meant to do. Where else can one go to work and know they make a difference each day in the lives of so many others? No two days are ever alike, and I love meeting the challenges that we are faced with by problem solving.” Soon after assuming the director role, Anderson attended her first SNA chapter meeting in 2003. “I realized SNA was going to be a great resource for me to learn and be successful in my program,” she affirms. “I became a member at that first meeting.” While she has worked in foodservice for many years, Anderson’s formal educational background is more recent. Anderson had always promised her parents she would attend college one day, and as she evolved in her present position and grew within SNA, it became her dream to fulfill that promise. She went back to school in 2012 and completed her bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree. Anderson credits her service as a state leader, two terms on SNA’s Board of Directors (as Midwest Regional Director and Education Committee Chair) and the completion of her college degree with allowing her to dream of the “next level.” She strives to be an example for others to realize they, too, can achieve their own dreams in their personal lives or roles in leadership. Describing her leadership style as “welcoming,” Anderson believes in listening and engaging, while assessing needs and what is right for the situation. Specifically, her experience focuses on growing strong relationships, keeping open lines of communication, taking advice when needed and mentoring future leaders. “Teamwork is ultimately the key to my leadership style,” Anderson states. “I cannot be successful alone, so I encourage involvement as a team player to accomplish the tasks we are charged to complete. Once a decision is made, I expect a unified front. Fair yet firm, decisive, focused and passionate [are terms that describe] my leadership style.” If elected, Anderson plans to focus on building educational resources for members and growing SNA’s Certificate and Credentialing programs, as well as continually encouraging members to believe in themselves and dream. Linda Eichenberger, SNS Following in her mother’s footsteps, Linda Eichenberger, SNS, attended the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics. Later, she followed it with a master’s degree in Food Management from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. However, it was her first job out of the master’s program—foodservice director with the Deer Park Community Schools (Cincinnati, Ohio)—when she realized she “fell in love” with school nutrition. Eichenberger worked with student employees in the high school and was anxious to teach them about the profession that she is passionate about—one that would hopefully make a difference in their lives, too. Approximately seven years later, she attended an SNA of Ohio chapter meeting and, while touring one of the local vocational schools, she ran into one of her former students who was now a supervisor in the kitchen. He remembered Eichenberger and related that she was an inspiration to him. It was then that Eichenberger realized she was making a difference. Since attending her first local chapter meeting in 1983, Eichenberger has been active at the local and state level. Her involvement in Association leadership started when she became a chapter vice president and later president. Then it was on to SNA of Ohio vice president, president-elect and state president. “I am still active in SNA of Ohio as their membership chair since 2011 to present,” Eichenberger notes. “I attend local chapter meetings and state board meetings and never miss our annual conference in Ohio.” Moving forward into national leadership was a natural progression that Eichenberger welcomed and, in 2008, she became a member of SNA’s Resolution and Bylaws Committee. She has continued her volunteer involvement by participating in various SNA committee and leadership roles ever since. She currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer on SNA’s 2015-16 Board of Directors. Eichenberger’s leadership philosophies include dedication, dependability, efficiency, honesty, integrity, respect and fiscal accountability. “I value collaborative teamwork that has open communication and spirited negotiations, because these inspire the production of fresh thoughts and provide for the best solutions to problems,” she says. Eichenberger puts those skills into practice when she tackles professional challenges, including handling staffing for a brand-new school in the district. “I work at demonstrating a warm, friendly, easygoing attitude and have the ability to cooperate,” Eichenberger declares. “I always try to make everyone feel welcome. My motto, which I try to live by, is to be kind to people, stay active, enjoy life and live life to the fullest.” Eichenberger recognizes that growth of the Association is so vital, so if she assumes the role of SNA vice president, she would work to provide resources that will benefit both new and existing members and expand SNA’s support to the state affiliates. Additionally, she would endeavor to establish school nutrition programs as recognized valued components of the instructional day and work to see that SNA programs are acknowledged for improving students’ health, well-being and academic success. 2016-17 SNA Board Of Directors Candidates Vice President • Gay Anderson, SNS, Brandon, South Dakota • Linda Eichenberger, SNS, Cincinnati, Ohio Secretary/Treasurer • Debbi Beauvais, SNS, Rochester, New York • Cleta Long, Ed.D., SNS, Macon, Georgia Northeast Regional Director • Gail Koutroubas, Andover, Massachusetts • Curtistine Walker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Northwest Regional Director • Lynne Shore,v Willamina, Oregon • Kaye Wetli, SNS, Duvall, Washington At Large Directors • Lori Adkins, SNS, Waterford, Michigan • Mark Bordeau, Endicott, New York • Lilly Bouie, PhD., Little Rock, Arkansas • Ariane Maori Shanley, Port Orchard, Washington School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative • Delene Coates, Gunnison, Utah • Donna Myers, Saint Cloud, Florida Leadership Development Committee Candidates Mideast Region Representative • Karen Bissett, Oxford, Michigan Midwest Region Representative • Mary Betlach, Robbinsdale, Minnesota • Micheline Piekarski, SNS, Oak Park, Illinois Southeast Region Representative • June Barrett, SNS, Montgomery, Alabama • Linda Irby, SNS, Hampton, Virginia
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