Attendees Depart ANC 2015 Inspired for the School Year Ahead


Time flies when you’re having fun, and such was the case on the final day of SNA’s Annual National Conference 2015 (ANC). During the exciting Closing General Session, the 2015-2016 SNA Board of Directors, including new President Jean Ronnei, SNS were installed.

Additionally, Scott Swogger, chair of the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) and President and CEO of AccuTemp, and SNA’s CEO Patricia Montague, who serves as the Executive Director of SNF, discussed the Foundations’ successful year due to support from SNA members. As a result of this support, the Foundation allocated $25,000 in scholarships for SNA members. Swogger thanked two industry partners, PepsiCo and Schwan’s Food Service, who have made scholarships possible this year.

Montague explained that SNA and SNF are working more closely to implement the strategic plan; detailed SNF’s continued work with Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom and relayed the success of the second Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes event that was held earlier this year during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. The third annual Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes will be held on February 29, 2016. “I encourage you to nominate someone you know who may be a school nutrition hero,” said Montague. Nomination forms can be found on the Foundation section of SNA’s website.

For the final time, 2014-2015 SNA President Julia Bauscher addressed the Association’s membership. “You might have heard recently of a little horse who did something spectacular. American Pharaoh—who just happens to hail from my home state of Kentucky—was the first to win the Triple Crown in 38 years. They were pretty astonishing races to witness! During the past year, we’ve had our own Triple Crown at SNA. Every single one of you has inspired me and so many of my colleagues to energize, engage and excel—that’s our School Nutrition triple crown,” explained Bauscher.

After concluding her remarks, Bauscher delighted the audience by singing a song made famous by Carol Burnett. “I'm so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it comes the time we have to say, ‘So long.’"

With a new year comes a change in leadership, and the audience was introduced to the 2015-2016 Board of Directors, as well as incoming president Jean Ronnei, SNS.

Ronnei received a warm welcome from the jam-packed room of ANC attendees. “I am also so very proud to be in service to you— to advocate on your behalf; to sing your praises; and to ensure you have tools you need to serve healthy food to the students you give your hearts to each and every day,” enthused Ronnei.


Les BrownThe Closing General Sessions concluded with motivational speaker, Les Brown. In elementary school, Brown was mistakenly declared “educable mentally retarded.” However, his tenacity and belief in his ability unleashed a course of amazing achievements from sanitation worker to broadcast manager, political commentator and multi-term state representative in Ohio. Brown’s mother worked in school nutrition and he praised attendees for their hard work on behalf of the nation’s children. He also recounted fond memories from his childhood of the school food service staff who took the time to make him feel special. His address focused on taking time to develop your own passion and remembering that everyone has greatness within. 

Attendees also gleaned valuable information from Wednesday’s education sessions, including the following:

  • “You”….Only More Professional. At this session, custom designed for managers and employees, JoAnne Robinett gave tips for being perceived as professional—even while wearing a hairnet and tennis shoes!
  • Ringing the Supper Bell: How to Implement, Optimize and Promote Afterschool Supper Programs. This program offered tips and advice on how to run a successful program including partnering with other organizations.

This year’s education program was built around the four key areas of the Association’s Certificate and Credentialing programs. These are the same four key areas in USDA Professional Standards.

The posters at ANC’s School Nutrition Research & Best Practices Showcase featured successful practices and research in school nutrition. Winners were named in two categories:

  • Research: Outcomes of the Montana Cook Fresh Culinary Workshop. Lacy Stephens, BS, Carmen Byker Shanks, PhD, Aubree Roth, MS, and Katie Bark, RD, LN, SNS; Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.
  • Best Practices: Grab and Go, the Way to Go! Erika Dolan; Waterbury-Duxbury School District; Waterbury-Duxbury, VT.

To see additional posters from the 2015 School Nutrition Research and Best Practices Showcase

The ANC Final Event concert featured a rousing, hand-clapping, foot-tapping performance with country chart-toppers Big & Rich! Many attendees donned their favorite Western wear items and discovered their inner cowgirl/cowboy while singing and dancing the night away!

This memorable evening was a perfect conclusion to a successful conference—where 5,000 school nutrition professionals came together in fellowship and camaraderie to EXPLORE and DISCOVER and return home to INSPIRE their teams, students and community members.

The ANC conversation doesn’t have to end just because the conference is over! You can keep it going on our social media sites—comment on our posts, share your thoughts about the conference and post pictures. Connect with us on Facebook, follow @SchoolLunch on Twitter and view candids of your favorite conference moments on Flickr,


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