Beth Mincemoyer Egan SNA Member Since 1987 » University Park, Pennsylvania Some people know from a young age that they are destined to become a leader. Beth Mincemoyer Egan, MEd, RD, LDN, SNS, a senior instructor in the School of Hospitality Management at The Pennsylvania State University, unquestionably falls into this category. Egan grew up participating in many youth organizations, where she sought out leadership roles, supported by guidance from her parents on setting and accomplishing goals. Later, her work as a school foodservice consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the school nutrition director for Sun Prairie (Wis.) Area School District led to her first SNA leadership positions. Join SN as we explore Egan’s most rewarding accomplishments and take a look at what’s next. On Leadership My parents were 4-H advisors, and my mom started a local club. At age 8, I presented demonstrations, teaching younger kids. My first demonstration was “Are There Four Wheels on Your Diet Mobile?” I taught about the [then] four food groups. As a teen leader, I organized activities for younger kids and learned about leadership skills. I also participated in Future Homemakers of America and Future Farmers of America when I was in high school. I was a state leader for those groups and went to their national conferences. In college, I was the national president for the student section of the American Home Economics Association. As an undergraduate, I hadn’t heard about school nutrition, but I got an introduction during my dietetic internship. I loved it, because it combined so many of my interests: management, nutrition education and adult education. When I became a school nutrition director, I wanted to get involved in my professional association. My parents had been involved in their professional associations, plus I knew the value of such organizations from my experiences growing up. I wanted to give back. In addition to serving as Nutrition Committee chair and president of SNA of Wisconsin, I’ve been very involved at the national level, serving multiple times as College Section chair and Research Committee chair (a position on the Board of Directors). Members, volunteer leaders and SNA staff are so committed to our mission. It’s easy to stay motivated to work on the cause when everyone around you is so passionate. I believe my strengths as a leader are asking the right questions, mentoring and offering a long-term perspective. I try to make sure to pull out everyone’s expertise and put all those minds together to accomplish goals. As an extrovert, I have to talk aloud to process ideas. This gets me in trouble sometimes, because I can talk too much. I try to be aware and make sure I stay silent at times, but when I get excited about things, it’s really hard to be quiet! On Goals Growing up, my dad sat us down with a yellow tablet, and we all wrote down our goals. Where did we want to be in one year, five years, 10 years? I learned to approach goals by mapping out a strategy. It’s important to set smaller goals and steps to help you get to the bigger ones. I put my goals on my computer desktop and on sticky notes so that I’ll see them. There are a couple of goals I’ve had to let go of over the years, though. When I was a young professional, it was my goal to be the national SNA president, but when I started teaching at Penn State, I knew I couldn’t do it and be out of the office as much as the role would require. I also let go of getting my PhD. I have no doubt that I could do it, but I made the decision a few years ago that I would rather spend my time doing other things, including serving on SNA’s Board of Directors. I’m headed to retirement now, so I am looking forward to having more time to volunteer for a variety of causes. I also want to keep doing some training, maybe some consulting. I want to travel, possibly leading groups. I’ll organize some small trips and work up to bigger ones with friends. If I like it, I’ll see about doing it on a broader scale—maybe for a company. I want to visit China, Africa and places in Europe and finish visiting all 50 states—I only have three left! On Achievement I don’t like the expression “it was meant to be.” Opportunities present themselves—some work out, while some don’t—but you have to watch for those opportunities, even seek them out. I’m proud of the courses and learning experiences I’ve developed over the years, as well as my roles as a teacher and trainer. I’ve been lucky to have a good foundation of education, training and experience to help others learn. The best achievements are those that help others, as well as yourself, to grow. When I started teaching in the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State in 1995, I taught “distance education” classes, which then turned into online courses. I’m now teaching undergraduates in a regular classroom setting, but still work to blend in-person and online elements. Our program includes running an operation that’s a cafeteria at lunch and a fine-dining restaurant three nights a week, with students practicing food prep and menu writing. I also make a point to introduce students to school nutrition as a career. While I am only a small part of their success, I take pride in the accomplishments of my students. Three of my former students are currently on state president tracks, and I saw many others from all around the country at SNA’s Annual National Conference in July. It is so amazing to see their involvement in their professional association. This makes all of my work over the years incredibly rewarding! 30-SECOND BIO CHILDHOOD HOMETOWN Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania CURRENT HOMETOWN Boalsburg, Pennsylvania EDUCATION B.S., Home Economics Education and Food Service and Housing Administration (Administrative Dietetics focus), The Pennsylvania State University; M.Ed., Extension Education, The Pennsylvania State University YEARS IN SCHOOL NUTRITION 30+ TITLE Senior Instructor, School of Hospitality Management EMPLOYER The Pennsylvania State University SNA LEADERSHIP 1992-93 SNA of Wisconsin President; SNA Research Committee Chair (3 terms); SNA College Section Chair (4 terms) FAMILY Husband Rod (married for 31 years), daughters Laura (26) and Megan (23), Border Collie sisters Piper and Bailey and farm cat Boots
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/My+Leadership+Journey/2874597/435695/article.html.