Education Sessions

bonus starburstBonus Sessions

Two Bonus Sessions are scheduled for Saturday, January 16. Click here to learn more!

Designed for your professional development and focused on the most important issues facing school nutrition, the Education Sessions will build on the conference theme, Building Practical Solutions for School Nutrition, and will provide tangible skills and take-aways that you can utilize immediately.

Topics are expected to include:

  • Cost-effective mobile serving solutions;
  • Procurement best practices;
  • Business ethics;
  • Social media;
  • Administrative Review preparation;
  • And much more!

After three days of exploring innovative ideas, examining upcoming trends and speaking with the brightest and best professionals in the field, you will return home with a clear plan for how to make your business thrive in these challenging times.

Monday, January 18, 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Does Your Future Depend on Your Social Media Etiquette?
Speaker: Don Schindler, Senior Vice President Digital Initiatives, National Dairy Council
There are unofficial do’s and don’ts in every social situation. When navigating social media, tweets and posts can be taken out of context and spread to the world. Learn how to promote and protect your online reputation. The better you get, the more influence you’ll wield.

Goin’ Mobile
Moderator: Patricia Fitzgerald, Editor, School Nutrition magazine
Speakers: Brent Craig, SNS, Nutrition Services Director, Douglas County School District; Tamara Earl, SNS, Child Nutrition Supervisor, Mason City School District; and Ken Yant, SNS, School Nutrition Director, Gwinnett County School District
A panel of school nutrition directors share why and how they’re expanding points of service beyond the traditional serving line to capture more customers at breakfast, lunch and when school is out. Learn how they made decisions about equipment, technology and the right menu mix for grab ‘n’ go success. Time will be reserved for Q&A and for audience members to share their own challenges and solutions.

The Interplay of Food & Nutrition Trends in the Policy Landscape
Speaker: Melissa Musiker, MPP, RD, Vice President/Director, Food and Nutrition Policy Global Chair, Food, Consumer Products and Retail Practice, APCO
When it comes to food and nutrition, everyone is an expert because everyone eats! The consumer information environment is filled with an endless echo chamber of both information and misinformation. Policymakers, thought leaders and stakeholders are influenced by what they watch on TV, read in popular magazines and blogs and advice they receive about food and nutrition. This session will focus on the consumer trends that have made their way into the policy sphere and how those impacted by these policies can help shape the landscape in their favor.

Tuesday, January 19, 9:45 am-10:45 am

A Deep-Dive into Personal Branding: Developing Your Brand Toolkit
Speaker: Valia Glytsis, CEO and Founder, The Paradox of Leadership
For those looking to take personal branding theory and put it into practice right away, this session is for you! In this hands-on workshop, you will work on various components of your personal and professional brand “story” and craft it all into a branding statement. This statement will serve as your “North Star” or compass to help you navigate challenging situations, make big decisions or prioritize your health and energy. You will also receive homework, resources, and practical next steps to continue your personal leadership exploration. Please sign up for this session in advance at the registration desk at SNIC. Spaces are limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

How to Influence the #SchoolLunch Debates Online
Speakers: Melissa Musiker, Vice President Nutrition Policy, Global Chair Food, Consumer Products and Retail Practice, APCO; and Don Schindler, Senior VP Digital Initiatives, National Dairy Council
Are you tired of seeing other “experts” control the #schoollunch conversations? Want to know how you could respond to all the misinformed articles with unflattering #schoollunch photos? Learn how online grassroots efforts can influence food policies and market trends and how you can do the same from two nutrition marketing and social media professionals. Join us to discuss what this means for your school nutrition program.

New Dietary Guidelines Roundtable Discussion  Just Added!
Speakers: Lynn Harvey, EdD, RDN, SNS, SNA Vice President, Section Chief NCDPI and Patricia Montague, SNA Chief Executive Officer
Learn all about the new dietary guidelines that were published on January 7, 2016 and discuss implications for school nutrition with your peers.

Preparing for the Administrative Review
Speakers: Jaclyn Cantu, Coordinator for Food & Nutrition, Texas Department of Agriculture; Lynne Fellin, SNS, Associate Director, Office of School Nutrition Programs, Virginia Department of Education; Donna Parsons, SNS, State Director, Office of Superintendent Public Instruction, Child Nutrition Services; and Carolyn Rhodes, Audit Manager, Alabama State Department of Education
Join State Agency representatives who will discuss how to prepare for the Administrative Review, avoid common pitfalls and learn best practices so your district can be even better prepared the next time the Administrative Review comes around! This session will include time for Q&A.



SNA CEUs are aligned with USDA Professional Standards’ required annual training. All SNIC attendees who attend the full conference will earn CEUs toward SNA’s Certificate Program, the SNS Credential renewal and USDA Professional Standards.


A tracking grid will be provided at Registration for attendees to track CEUs and training taken at SNIC. For your convenience (and where applicable), the bonus session, general sessions and education sessions will be coded to correspond with USDA’s Professional Standards Learning Topics. The training tracking grid is also available at Registration and electronically here.

Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

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SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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