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OPENING GENERAL SESSION

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Denise Austin
How often do you tell yourself you can’t do something? Are you constantly putting yourself down? If this sounds familiar, then isn’t it about time you break free from self-sabotage? Of course it is! And no one can help boost your self-esteem and confidence like Denise Austin, whose positive outlook and can-do attitude has endeared her to countless fans and earned her the reputation as “America’s favorite fitness expert.” In her 25 years promoting health and fitness, Austin has created more than 85 workout videos, authored more than 10 books and starred in the longest running exercise show in the history of television. Today, she can be seen each morning on Lifetime’s “The Balancing Act,” through which she has a unique ability to make her audience feel as though she’s right there with them, cheering them on. Whether you need an extra push to chase down your dreams or to become the example of healthy living that your students will want to follow, this five-foot-four-inch dynamo will motivate you to make it happen!

SECOND GENERAL SESSION

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Sam Kass & Phil Lempert
It’s not often that school nutrition employees receive positive affirmation for the work they do day in and day out on behalf of the nation’s children—much less be recognized for it on national television! But that’s exactly what happened last fall on an emotional episode of the hit Food Network show, “Chopped,” which blew the lid off the enduring lunch lady stereotype. In this special ANC presentation, the guest judge of the “Class Acts” episode, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass, will take the stage to share his unique behind-the-scenes perspective of the culinary showdown, including how the program further bolstered his own support of the front-line staff working in America’s cafeterias. Kass then will be joined by food advocate & media personality Phil Lempert for an engaging discussion on the changing perceptions of school meals and school nutrition professionals, and how such programs as “Chopped”—and initiatives like the First Lady’s Let’s Move! and Chefs Move to Schools campaign—are helping to open eyes to the innovations and opportunities in school meal programs across the country. Whether your community already considers you a class act or there are days when you feel completely invisible, you will leave this session with renewed pride and reinvigorated passion for the important work you do as a school nutrition professional.

FINAL GENERAL SESSION

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Ali Vincent
Success isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. If you want to take positive steps forward, you have to set your sights on the goals that are important to you and face down your fears. And whether your goals are personal or professional, big or small, Ali Vincent will inspire you with her personal philosophy, “Believe It, Be It,” and her conviction that anything is possible. For Vincent, the first female winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” learning the power of goal setting and believing in herself were the first steps to her amazing transformation. Since her win, Vincent has shared her story with audiences nationwide and in her book, Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life. She has also appeared in numerous magazines and on such programs as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Ellen” and the “The Today Show.” Fit, full of energy and ready to spread her message of positivity, Vincent will empower you to reach higher and explore new horizons.