2014 FAME Award Winners Announced

November 8, 2013 – SNA Past President Sandra Ford, SNS, director, food and nutrition services, Manatee County School district, Bradenton, Fla., has been named the 2014 Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year in the annual FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) Awards competition. This marks the 25th anniversary of the FAME Awards program, which honors exceptional school nutrition program directors and supporters.

The Golden School Foodservice Director, the most prestigious honor in the FAME competition, demonstrates outstanding achievement in leadership, spirit/dedication, innovation, career awards, management systems, humanitarianism/community involvement and bettering the lives of students.

As this year’s Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year honoree, Ford is recognized for numerous achievements, marked by successful leadership, strategic planning and perseverance. Over the course of her nine-year tenure in Manatee, her initiatives have led to double-digit percent increases in lunch and breakfast participation, in addition to taking the department’s fund balance from $500,000 in 2004 to $5.2 million in 2013.

As 2012-13 SNA president, Ford guided the Association through a period of transformative change. She continues her volunteer involvement as treasurer of the School Nutrition Foundation. Colleagues describe Ford as a “servant leader,” not only within SNA but as a director in districts in both Florida and Kansas. She prioritizes staff training and student-centered marketing, among other strategies, in her efforts to position her operation—and the Association—for maximum success.

Five other school nutrition professionals were lauded by the FAME selection panel, which included winners of the 2013 competition, as well as the editors of School Nutrition magazine and other trade publications and SNA President Leah Schmidt, SNS.

The 2014 winner of the Silver Leadership Award is Constance Little, SNS, supervisor, student nutrition services, Beavercreek City (Ohio) Schools. This award recognizes a director who demonstrates outstanding leadership, dedication, fiscal achievement and innovation in menuing/merchandising.

FAME’s Silver Spirit Award is given to a person in a supervisory position who demonstrates a commitment to the people and programs of child nutrition through the development and execution of innovative programs in marketing, training, customer service, and/or staff motivation. Reginald Ross, former area supervisor, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools was recognized for his efforts as the 2014 winner of this award. Ross recently accepted a new position with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

The Silver Rising Star Award recognizes and encourages the next generation, honoring a director with three or fewer years’ experience directing a K-12 school nutrition operation. Bertrand Weber, director, culinary and nutrition services, Minneapolis Public Schools, Special School District #1, has been named this year’s recipient.

FAME’s 2014 Silver Special Achievement Award winner is Anna Apoian, foodservice director, Hawthorne (Calif.) School District. This honor is bestowed on a director who shows innovation in districts with 10,000 or less student enrollment.

This year’s Silver Friend of Child Nutrition Award, which recognizes an outstanding supporter or advocate of school nutrition programs, is SNA Past President Katie Wilson, PhD, SNS, who serves as executive director of the National Food Service Management Institute.

In addition, the fourth honoree of the Gertrude Applebaum Lifetime Achievement Award, selected exclusively by the FAME sponsors, is another SNA pioneer: Jane Wynn, MS, LDN, retired school nutrition director of the School Board of Broward County, Fla. Wynn served as president of the national Association in 1987-88.

The 25th FAME Awards are made possible with the generous support of Basic American Foods, Schwan’s Food Services, Inc., and Tyson Foods, Inc. The awards will be presented at an event on January 12, 2014 at the Rusty Pelican in Key Biscayne, Fla., in conjunction with SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC).

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