It’s nearly time for SNA members to come “riding in,” hot and dusty, from all corners of the country to downtown San Antonio, Texas, ready to embark on the three main goals of this year’s Annual National Conference (ANC). They will learn. They will lead. And they will succeed. After all, how could you not accomplish these three objectives with everything taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center from July 10 to 13, 2016? From informative education sessions to inspirational leadership stories to the kind of networking that you can only access at ANC, this year’s event will prove to be a conference to remember in a town, “Alamo City,” with a memorable reputation all its own. LOVE TO LEARN Are you a brand-new director? An employee making the leap to manager? A small district jack-of-all-trades? A major city school nutrition veteran? You don’t have to wait to arrive onsite to review the dozens and dozens of education sessions that the conference offers for every type of member. Head online to www.schoolnutrition.org/anc/2016/educationsessions, where you’ll not only be able to peruse each session’s description, but you’ll be able to apply a new tool that lets you filter the massive list by date, key area, member type and 21 different topic areas, so you can put together the “lesson plans” that meet your top preferences and needs even before you arrive. (Of course, you’ll want to make note of a few back-up sessions, because seating at the most-popular ones will surely fill up quickly!) Speaking of popular programming, for the first time, this year’s ANC will feature three sessions conducted entirely in Spanish! Here’s the key thing about these education sessions, the one that makes attending ANC even more worthwhile: The programming is aligned with the federal Professional Standards rule, and that means you can meet this requirement for the year simply by attending this national event! But don’t be mistaken: The education sessions aren’t the only learning opportunities at ANC. There are the targeted presentations at membership section meetings and, of course, the awe-inspiring Exhibit Hall—this year, featuring a record-breaking 900+ booths! If you want to learn more about effective solutions to your operation’s needs, there’s plenty to see, taste, touch and try here. (For additional information about the Exhibit Hall, see “New Product Solutions,” page 130.) PREPARE TO LEAD When you ask SNA’s current generation of leaders where they truly felt inspired to answer the call to serve the Association, many tell a nostalgic tale of one of their favorite conferences—the moving speeches of keynote speakers, the encouraging words of the Association’s Board members, the whispered encouragement from a peer, saying “You know, YOU could do that.” This might be the conference where you find your calling! Beyond the inherent inspiration you’ll feel about your profession and your Association, you also can look forward to leaving each general session charged up and truly motivated in the wake of presentations from this year’s exciting line-up of keynote speakers. • On Sunday, we celebrate the spirit of achievement and leadership that will be on display later this summer in Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Don’t miss the panel discussion featuring track and field superstar Jackie Joyner-Kersee and one of the most decorated gymnasts in American history, Shannon Miller. The discussion will be moderated by well-known sports commentator Rowdy Gaines, himself a three-time Olympic gold medalist. • Tuesday, listen for the “Hootie-hoo!” of Carla Hall, a chef, daytime TV personality and memorable “Top Chef” contestant. • During the final General Session, on Wednesday, enjoy time with journalist, and San Antonio native, John Quiñones, who you might have seen hosting ABC’s popular “What Would You Do?” series. There are inspirational opportunities outside the General Sessions, too, such as the School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase. Here, you’ll find leading examples of best practices in action and research findings that help support the innovative changes you want to make. (Don’t forget to mingle with the “poster” authors on Monday, so you can ask how to adapt these great ideas in your district!) TIME TO SUCCEED Above all else, ANC honors the dedication, passion and brilliance of school nutrition professionals. Don’t miss the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony on Sunday, where you can applaud this year’s well-deserved winners in numerous categories. If you’re feeling motivated to emulate their passionate spirit, take advantage of the resources available to you at the SNA Marketplace. Talk to the staff representatives, who can tell you how to make the most of your SNA participation; visit the School Nutrition Foundation booth to learn about the scholarships available for members to further their education and training; pick up a T-shirt or an apron at the Emporium so you can display your school nutrition pride; and, of course, don’t forget to visit the School Nutrition magazine booth in the Exhibit Hall—we’re always looking to meet members and hear your success stories! Remember, you can’t succeed when you’re all about work, and you forget to play! The STEPS Challenge Wellness Event, early on Monday morning, will get your heart pumping and remind you the important role health plays in our lives. If you were considering leaving at the close of the last education session on Wednesday, think again—this year’s final event will definitely be one to remember. Pack your flower-child duds and rock out with RAIN, which takes you back in time, as four talented musicians deliver a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to hearing the Beatles. And if you want to do a little sightseeing before the concert, be sure to read “Alamo City: San Antonio” on page 124 for suggestions on exploring your host city. There’s so much to see, hear and do at #ANC16, how can you possibly stay organized so you don’t miss a thing? Don’t worry, once again SNA is to the rescue, offering a number of onsite tools to guide you through it all, including the ANC Program Guide, ANC Learning Journal and the ANC on the Go mobile app (download it now by searching for “ANC on the Go!” in your smartphone’s “app” store). Embrace the benefits of today’s technology, because the app features a daily trivia contest that could earn you some fantastic prizes. Learn. Lead. Succeed. Connect. Recharge. Play. What will you remember when you think back on #ANC16 in San Antonio? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK SNA is serious about catering to its members’ needs, so the Program Committee for ANC 2017 in Atlanta wants your first impressions about this year’s education sessions, so they can get busy compiling the right mix of offerings next year. Make a note to evaluate the education sessions that you attend, either using the ANC on the Go app, getting guidance from the app representatives in the Marketplace or at one of the Eval Stations located near the meeting rooms. After you’ve given your impressions, you’ll be entered into a brand-new ANC sweepstakes for a chance to win a free registration to ANC 2017 in Atlanta!
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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