By Lynn Harvey, EdD, RDN, SNS, SNA President 2017-11-23 14:12:12
Financial Management: A Matter of Trust ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES ME PROUD to be a school nutrition professional is how we respond to our individual and collective opportunity to work every day in a manner that is worthy of earning and sustaining public trust. When we serve students satisfying meals with an encouraging word, showing enthusiasm for what we do, we earn their trust. When we consistently provide safe, wholesome, nutritious school meals, we earn the trust of parents, school personnel, healthcare providers and child advocates. Likewise, when we demonstrate that we are good stewards of the federal, state and local dollars available to us in order to support school meal programs, we earn the trust of taxpayers, policymakers and stakeholders around the country. Earning the public’s trust requires the utmost attention to ethical leadership, responsible and accountable business practices, transparency and a genuine commitment to program integrity. With this in mind, the SNA Board of Directors recently formed a Financial Management Task Force consisting of members who are experts in fiscal accountability, budget management, analysis and financial planning. The Task Force is examining opportunities to identify and develop reliable resources to support Association members in achieving and sustaining financial excellence. On a separate track, School Nutrition’s editorial team has also worked to prioritize this important topic throughout the year. In the January 2017 issue, the “Onsite Insights” column for managers and employees focused on the critical role that site-level staff play in the financial health of a school nutrition operation. Late this summer, a two-part series looked at how a technology overhaul at one district is driving data-based decisions. And now, this month’s issue offers additional resources designed to help you develop your skills and confidence in financial management. As you read, I encourage you to consider how you and your teams can strengthen your practices and, in so doing, continue to earn the trust of those who look to you to be good stewards of public resources. It’s one of the most important things we can do to protect and preserve the future of our programs. As I prepare this final message for 2017, I want to thank you for your membership in and commitment to SNA. It is my great honor to serve you, working to earn your trust. I wish you each a joyous holiday season and a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year!
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