Keynote Speaker Laura Schroff Inspires Attendees at ANC 2015


At yesterday’s Second General Session at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC), the mood was naturally Step ANC15 festive as hundreds of attendees started off the third official day of the conference by participating in the STEPS Wellness Challenge Event sunrise stretch. SNA President Julia Bauscher recognized the three STEPS All-Star states that have done a tremendous job growing participation in the STEPS Challenge: Ohio, Missouri and South Dakota. Additionally, she acknowledged STEPS Sweepstakes winner Margie Byrd, Manager from Scott County (Ky.) Schools, who joined her peers at ANC after winning an all-expenses-paid trip!

Bauscher began the session  by recapping the national winners from Sunday’s Red Carpet Awards Ceremony:

  • National Employee of the Year Award: Ann Roberson, Pierce County (Ga.) High School
  • National Manager of the Year Award: Lizabeth Randall, Wayzata (Minn.) Public Schools
  • National Director of the Year Award: Past President, Leah Schmidt, Hickman Mills C-1 (Mo.) School District
  • Industry Member of the Year Award: Tracey Tinder, Con Agra Foods

Additionally, SNA Past President and current Chair of the Nominating Committee Leah Schmidt, SNS announced the candidates for the upcoming election of SNA Board of Directors, Vice President and Nominating Committee. Schmidt reminded the attendees that as members of SNA, they can shape the future of the Association by casting their vote. 

Wendy Weyer, RD, SNS, SNA’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee Chair, and SNA’s CEO Patricia Montague detailed SNA’s advocacy efforts, including the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which addressed several key issues with school meal regulations, and the Healthy School Meal Flexibility Act, a bi-partisan bill that would permanently cap sodium reductions at Target One and would restore the 2012 requirement that half of all grains offered with school meals must be whole grain rich.

“There is still a lot to do as we work toward reauthorization this year and the role that you play is essential. But you might be wondering how to help. First, your contributions to the SNA Political Action Committee (PAC) help more than you know! Also critical are SNA Action Alerts, which allow you to send a message to your Congressional representatives requesting their support for legislation critical to your school meal program,” remarked Weyer.

Laura Schroff

Tuesday’s keynote speaker and New York Times No. 1 bestselling author, Laura Schroff touched a chord with the audience when she detailed the importance of small acts of kindness and mentorship. Schroff has fully committed herself to advocating and inspiring others to give back through her book, An Invisible Thread, that brings to life her true story of meeting an 11-year-old homeless boy and their unlikely friendship which has lasted almost 30 years.  

In Schroff’s address she described how school lunch helps combat hunger for 16 million children in America and she praised the attendees by saying, “You are in the trenches every day, accepting your challenges with a smile.”

Conference-goers took the opportunity to attend a wide variety of education sessions on Tuesday, including:

  • The Magic Kingdom—The Cafeteria focused on how to engage, energize and electrify the community to become school nutrition partners.
  • The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement: A NationalMovement with Local Impacts Presented by the Smarter Lunchroom experts from Cornell, this session highlighted the growth and expansion of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM) across the USA.

Are you a fan of Facebook? Do you tweet? Join in on the conference-related conversations happening now on SNA’s Facebook page and @SchoolLunch on Twitter. You can also add hashtag #ANC15 to your own tweets to have your tweet show up in the conference Twitter stream.

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