COULD ANY OF THE 800+ FIRST-TIMERS ATTENDING SNA’S 70TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE (ANC) this past July forget their four-day whirlwind of education, solution-seeking and fun? Could a proud Texan forget what happened at The Alamo? We think not! After all, ANC is a series of indelible experiences that led another 6,200 school nutrition professionals and exhibitors to San Antonio—returning to an event they’ve attended once, five times, 20 times or more! If you’ve never attended an ANC, it’s impossible to fully capture the scope of this gathering, the largest school nutrition conference and tradeshow in the country. The enormous ballroom filled with thousands of your peers listening intently to the inspiring words of a well-known celebrity. The array of education sessions on dozens of topics from allergy management to Generation Z; how can you possibly choose just one for each time slot? The miles of aisles in the Exhibit Hall; with so many tempting products to discover at each, there’s no way you’ll make it to all of them. Convention center hallways ringing with laughter and conversation, as ideas—and common challenges—are shared, and business cards and hugs are exchanged in equal measure. The photos and brief details in this ANC recap will surely generate memories for those who did attend this year’s event, but they can’t truly encompass the experience if you missed out. Don’t rely on a few pages of photos—mark your calendar now to see, hear and taste ANC for yourself next year in Atlanta! Hot topics and cool connections will pack the agenda, July 9–12, 2017! KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Golden Olympians Legends in U.S. swimming, gymnastics and track and field served as the perfect preview for August’s Olympic Games in Rio, embodying the strength of spirit, dedication and camaraderie not only of the world’s greatest athletes, but of America’s school nutrition professionals! Rowdy Gaines was direct: “It’s you who are the heroes to our children!” Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who once depended on school meal programs, recounted, “The professionals who worked in the cafeteria were like family. I relied on school breakfast and school lunch as a kid.” Shannon Miller jokingly divulged that “Pizza Day” was her favorite school meal then, but now as a mother, she has a different perspective: “You see amazing changes in children when they get good nutrition and fitness.” The Power of YES A self-described “recovering caterer,” Carla Hall delighted the audience with self-deprecating tales of the twists and turns of her journey from family cook to “Top Chef” competitor to co-host of ABC’s “The Chew.” She was humble in the face of her vast audience of school nutrition professionals. “You all know what an honor itis to feed someone. To feed their energy, their smiles and their soul.” Her “six-word-novel” of life lessons is “Say YES! Adventure follows, then growth.” Native Son Keynote speaker, broadcast journalist, television host and San Antonio native John Quiñones shared amusing anecdotes about his childhood and early career and offered some wisdom passed on to him by legendary newsman Peter Jennings: “Don’t worry about talking to the movers and the shakers of the world. Talk to the moved and the shaken.” An excerpt from his popular “What Would You Do?” TV show featured individuals rising to support a hungry homeless man, and it left many audience members on their feet, faces streaked with grateful tears. 2015-16 AWARDS ￼￼￼Please join School Nutrition in congratulating all of this year’s fabulous winners! President’s Award of Excellence Sal Valenza, SNS, New Jersey—State associations with 1-500 members Kim Minestra, Illinois—State associations with 501-1,000 members Sebasthian Varas, SNS, Utah—State associations with 1,001+ members Employee of the Year Congratulations to the national winner, Patty Embry from Hurricane Deck Elementary in Camdenton R-III School District in Missouri. Regional winners are: Mideast: Carla Morehead, West Virginia Midwest: Patty Embry, Missouri Northeast: Maki Koetting, Massachusetts Southeast: Shanta Lawson, Georgia Southwest: Rita Wobker, Kansas West: Janet Clark, Utah Manager of the Year (in honor of Louise Sublette) Give a round of applause to Bonnie Schmidt of Morris Area High School in Morris Area Schools, Minnesota, this year’s national winner. Regional winners are: Mideast: Evelyn Hess, Ohio Midwest: Bonnie Schmidt, Minnesota Northeast: Timothy Kenaley, New Hampshire Northwest: Jean Simmons, Washington Southeast: Donna Richard, Kentucky Southwest: Catherine Francois, Louisiana West: Luis Morales, Utah Industry Member of the Year Congratulations to Scott Swogger, President and CEO, AccuTemp Products Inc., this year’s honoree. Director of the Year Kudos to Lucretia Chancler, SNS, from St. Landry Parish School Board in Louisiana, who was named as this year’s national winner. Regional winners are: Mideast: Teresa Baker, Raleigh County School District, West Virginia Midwest: Susan Malesa, Menasha Joint School District, Wisconsin Northeast: Jeanne Sheridan, SNS, Acushnet Public Schools, Massachusetts Northwest: Katharine Dumas, Bellevue School District, Washington Southeast: Carol Young, RD, SNS, McMinn County School System, Tennessee Southwest: Lucretia Chancler, SNS, St. Landry Parish School Board, Louisiana West: Brenda Padilla, Sacramento Kathleen Stitt Award The Kathleen Stitt Award gives one participant in the ANC School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase $500 to help defray travel expenses incurred to attend the conference. Tracee Watkins, MBA, “Time and Temperature Control of Foods in the Summer Food Service Program,” Center of Excellence for Food Safety Research in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. SNA Membership Recruitment Winners Recruiter of the Year:Denise Hooper, Memphis, Tennessee ANC 2017 Prize Winners: Allison Johnson, SNS, Massachusetts Deborah Riso, New Hampshire Jayci Dalton, Kansas Pamela Gouge, SNS, Delaware Sue Helm, Wyoming School Lunch Hero Day Membership Drive Winner: Jennifer Dang, Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs, Honolulu, Hawaii 2015–16 State Membership Growth Division Champions: 1-500 Numerical Increase: New Jersey Percentage Increase: Montana 501-1,000 Numerical Increase: Texas Percentage Increase: Arkansas 1,001+ Numerical Increase: Florida Percentage Increase: Alabama ANC 2016 Sweepstakes Winners SNA encouraged members nationwide to share how ANC “helps you learn, lead and succeed”— in 100 characters or less!—to be eligible to enter a random drawing for a free ANC 2016 conference registration. The winning names were drawn from nearly 500 submissions. Lori Dornbusch, Palm Beach County School District, Florida Lauren Gean, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia Ruth McDowell, Edgecombe County Public Schools, North Carolina ANC 2017 Winners SNA urged attendees to evaluate the education sessions they attended—either by using the ANC on the Go mobile app or at designated kiosks throughout the Convention Center—to provide valuable feedback regarding sessions and their success in meeting members’ professional development needs. After completing an evaluation, attendees were entered in a random drawing for a free registration to ANC 2017 in “Hot’lanta.” Congratulations to Ana Benavides, Lamar Elementary School, Harlingen, Texas! We’ll see you in Georgia next summer! A second random drawing earned a free trip to ANC 2017 for one lucky ANC attendee who completed and submitted a card found in the onsite ANC Program Guide just prior to Wednesday’s Final General Session. We’re looking forward to seeing Debbie LeBlanc, Acadia Parish School Board, Morse, Louisiana, too! School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase Winners Research: “Evaluation of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Workshop,” Karen W. Cullen, DrPH, RD, and Keith Rushing, PhD, RD; Institute of Child Nutrition, Applied Research Division, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Best Practices: “All Aboard the Nutrition Express and Cruisin’ Café,” Jennifer Harper McDermott, MS, RD; Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, Virginia. SNA’s awards program (featuring Director of the Year, Manager of the Year and Employee of the Year) will begin accepting nominations this month. What creative solutions have you developed in your district? Make sure they get recognized! Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SNAAwards for details. ANC BY THE NUMBERS • SNA welcomed 7,048 attendees to ANC in “Alamo City” (San Antonio, Texas), including 823 first-timers. This was the 4th most-popular ANC destination, behind Nashville (2001, 2011), Boston (2014) and Baltimore (2005). Not surprisingly, ANC’s host state this year, Texas, was the most-represented state at the conference! • School nutrition professionals in attendance represented 934 districts and more than 17 million students across the country. • Nearly 340 operators arrived one day early to kick start their professional development by participating in one of 12 pre-conference sessions, including 46 individuals who took part in an off-site visit to the San Antonio campus of the Culinary Institute of America and 40 Chapter Leadership Day participants. • Best of luck to the 52 individuals who sat for the School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) credentialing exam on Saturday! • With more than 120 individual education sessions on the agenda, attendees had to make some hard choices about their professional development priorities. Not surprisingly, many popular sessions were standing-room only, even when repeated. • A record 412 companies exhibited their products at ANC, showcasing foods, beverages, equipment, technology, supplies and resources to the attendees visiting the enormous 920-booth Exhibit Hall. • At the close of this year’s conference, ANC exhibitors donated 32,593 pounds of extra food samples and supplies to San Antonio’s Daily Bread Ministries. • More than 28 vendors displayed 30 brand-new offerings in the New Product Showcase. • Nearly 250 enthusiastic (and inspiring!) STEPS participants arrived early on Monday morning to take part in an energizing Zumba exercise program. • At the 26th annual School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase, poster presentations from 24 teams highlighted recent child nutrition research and innovative initiatives. • More than 500 School Nutrition readers spotted the Ruby Reader mascot hiding throughout the newly designed June/July 2016 magazine—the largest issue ever with a record-breaking 192 pages—and 20 lucky participants won generous prizes in a random drawing (see page 11 for a list of winners). • ANC attendees received 5 informative ANC E-Daily newsletters delivered to their email inbox containing conference highlights, exclusive interviews, a daily “ANC Pledge” and fun facts! • Over 2,700 attendees used the convenient mobile app—ANC on the Go—for an even more unique experience. This was an increase of nearly 1,000 users from the previous year! • At the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) booth, staff, state ambassadors and member volunteers helped raise $8,182 for the Foundation. With over 200 individual gifts received, SNF’s fundraising efforts in San Antonio increased by over 124% from the previous year. • SNA’s Political Action Committee raised $1,814 through donations and the sale of clever attendee ribbons. The funds will help support the Association’s legislative advocacy efforts. Key ANC Sponsors » Domino’s (Hotel Key Cards)» Forrest T. Jones and Co. (Wellness Village) » General Mills Foodservice (Star Club Breakfast) » Heartland School Solutions (Badge Holders) » Horizon Software International (TechCentral) » Jennie-O Turkey Store (Opening General Session) » Kellogg’s (Mobile App) » PepsiCo Foodservice (First Timers Scholarships, New Connections Reception) » PrimeroEdge (Big Reveal, Major City, District Directors and State Agency Lounges) » SFSPac Food Safety and Sanitation System (Learning Journal) » Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. (SNA Red Carpet Awards Ceremony) » Uncle Ben’s (Awards Ceremony)
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