ANC Speaker Spotlight: Kern Halls, Ingenious Culinary Concepts


SNA is providing you with a “sneak peek” into some of the most popular speakers we have lined up for ANC 2015. Read on for a Q+A with Kern Halls, Chief Innovator with Ingenious Culinary Concepts, to learn what he’ll be sharing with you in Salt Lake City!

In your opinion, what are the most important trends and issues impacting school nutrition professionals today?
One of the biggest opportunities for growth and improvement I see is communication with our internal customers (students). We can do a better job of drawing their attention and authentically engaging them. Students are exceedingly savvy and our marketing and communications need to reflect that!

With parents and other external stakeholders, the issue is their limited understanding of what school nutrition professionals do on a daily basis. Many are still unfairly judging current FNS programs based on their experiences from 10+ years ago. We have to try and gain parent trust and support, making them allies.

Give us a sneak peek about what you have planned for your ANC Pre-Conference Session! What can attendees expect from you?
Interactive. Real-World. Engaging. Those are the words I apply to my trainings. At ANC, attendees can expect to be fully engaged while learning fresh approaches to feeding more students. I do not stand up and lecture. We work in collaborative groups where participants not only learn but also share various techniques to solve everyday challenges. Attendees are exposed to various points of view on the scenarios FNS professionals face daily. Attending this session well worth the time because you will not find these resources and real-world information (in this format), in one place-at any given time.

Describe a little bit about your career in school nutrition.
I have a background in culinary management and foodservice that ranges from the military to the legendary mouse -- “Mickey Mouse” that is! I managed $18M in sales at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My Disney experience helped me to easily transition into the next foodservice in Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), Orlando, Florida. During my tenure in Orange County, the district's FNS team received multiple recognitions and awards for school foodservice practices. We saw high school sales grew by an unprecedented 46%!

After eight very successful years at OCPS, I decided to start Ingenious Culinary Concepts (ICC). ICC is a consulting company committed to helping school districts bring the best out of their employees. We also provide a set of “Fresh Eyes” when we visit districts to assist them. Our service involves collaborative site visits to examine FNS practices (customer service, marketing etc.) for improvement and to help increase participation.

What are you most excited about for ANC Salt Lake City?
ANC is a time to collaborate with peers and other FNS professionals to share and support each other’s efforts in the field! I l love being able to share the invaluable information I have acquired from school districts nationwide.

Where can attendees get more information and keep up with you?
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to learn more.

Be sure to register for Kern Hall’s Pre-Conference Session, “Student-Centered Customer Service”, taking place at ANC Salt Lake City. Get more #ANC15 updates by following SNA on Facebook and Twitter!

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