General Sessions

SNA's SNIC 2017 Speaker Kai Kight

Kai Kight

Violinist & Motivational Speaker
This inspiring opening session features classical violinist turned innovative composer Kai Kight. Discover how he uses music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations across the world to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment. Inspired by his mother who, when diagnosed with cancer, revealed regrets of not bringing her ideas to the world, Kight is on a mission to spark a global mindset shift in which ingenuity is the norm, not the exception.

Kight holds an engineering degree from Stanford University’s design school, and as a violinist has performed in an array of venues including the White House and the Great Wall of China. He has proven himself to be a leader of the next generation of innovative and entrepreneurial talent. As a speaker, he creates impactful experiences for audiences.

Through emotionally powerful presentations, Kight performs mesmerizing original music and shares stories from his own transformation as an artist, translating these insights into takeaways that you can easily infuse into your work and home lives.

SNA's SNIC 2017 Speaker Jim Painter

Jim Painter, PhD, RD

Food Trends Forecaster
Join Dr. Jim Painter at SNIC 2017 for a fresh take on some of the biggest trends in the food industry! This session will be jam-packed with the latest information and research on fats, the gluten-free movement and the use of GMOs in our foods. Be sure to attend to broaden your perspectives on these hot topics.

Painter, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas’ School of Public Health in Houston, focuses on various areas of research, including reducing the risk of heart disease through phyto-nutrient and dietary intervention, as well as mindless eating and stealthy calorie intake.

A Registered Dietitian since 1980, Painter has served as the director of nutrition research for the California Raisin Marketing Board, as well as nutrition advisor for Sun-Maid Raisin Growers of California and Paramount Farms Wonderful Pistachios.

With more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presentations to his credit, including the authored text book, Nutrition You Can Use, Painter is back by popular demand, after recently capturing the interest of school nutrition attendees at SNA’s 2016 Annual National Conference.

SNA's SNIC 2017 Speaker Sharon Schaefer

Sharon Schaefer, SNS

Trained Chef Turned Proud School Lunch Lady
As a classically trained chef and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Sharon Schaefer has more than 16 years of professional experience in catering, fine dining, culinary education and school nutrition services.

Since childhood, Chef Sharon has been on a quest to make healthy food taste good, and over the past five years she has turned that focus on great-tasting food that kids want to eat. In fact, she directed her culinary experience and unique style of coaching and training to build one of the most successful high school programs in the country.

Chef Sharon’s action-packed General Session will wow you with ways to boost participation through new school meal recipes. She’ll focus on recipes that highlight ethnic, trendy and popular flavors in the food world right now—and invite you to explore how to use these flavors and techniques to create dishes that will excite your students and communities. And as a bonus, each attendee will take home a set of delicious recipes for schools developed by Chef Sharon herself. You will want to be a part of this unique learning experience!

SNA's SNIC 2017 Speaker Cindy Long

Come See How the USDA is Embracing Innovation!

Join us for a keynote General Session featuring Cindy Long, Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, as she discusses the top innovations taking place at USDA right now. In this highly informative session, receive firsthand details about the Department’s new projects, initiatives and developments directly from a principal representative. Innovation is vital to complying with school nutrition rules, so don’t miss the opportunity to walk away with new tools, tips and resources to help with all aspects of your program.

Clean Label Trends

No preservatives. Hormone-free. Organic. Local. What is a clean label? This interactive session will focus on the food movement that continues to gain momentum: clean labels. Join us to examine how retail, restaurants and some schools have embraced clean labels; how clean labels are affecting our industry partners; and provide your input on next steps for school nutrition programs.

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