General Sessions

SNIC19-jbarehamShimi Kang, MD

Award-Winning Harvard-Trained Physician | Bestselling Author

Leadership and the Power of Play
Sunday, January 12, 8:45 am–10:00 am
“Play is our highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein. It may sound dramatic but without play we risk our very survival. Why is play so important? Play is how we adapt. Adaptability is the key to survival and success.

In this fascinating session, Dr. Shimi Kang will present the science behind the seven different types of play, the diversity of play personalities, and show you how to use play in your professional life to generate innovation, motivation, resilience and achievement.

Translating science into everyday tools for optimal performance of the brain, body, and relationships, Dr. Kang’s presentation will help you unlock motivation, find balance, and cultivate an awesome life of health, passion, purpose, connection, and lasting success. Understanding how to leverage the power of play may be the game-changing ingredient you need to lead an even more successful team. You’ll leave this session as many others have—wanting more!

A dynamic and entertaining world-renowned speaker, Dr. Kang draws on her extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the science of motivation to help people succeed both professionally and personally by cultivating essential life skills. The current Medical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Kang is the author of the best-selling book The Dolphin Way and has contributed to NPR, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Time Magazine, among others.
Sponsored by: TITAN School Solutions

SNIC19-jbarehamJamie Murdock

Vice President of Sales, Experient

SNIC THINKubator Challenge
Sunday, January 12, 3:00 pm–4:45 pm
Don’t miss an exciting opportunity to participate in SNA’s first-ever THINKubator challenge during Sunday afternoon’s general session! A THINKubator is an innovative concept of collaborative problem solving and idea generation to address some of the toughest school nutrition challenges. Think "Shark Tank" meets "America’s Got Talent," but better!

Seven teams of school nutrition professionals and students worked hard to solve a key school nutrition challenge on Saturday. Using the theme “Think Outside the LUNCH Box,” they’ve put their vision to the test to uncover fresh and unconventional ways to increase school lunch participation.

The teams will pitch their creative solutions to you, the audience, in this general session—and you get to vote for your favorite ideas with the help of three judges and discuss these innovative solutions together!

This general session will be facilitated by Jamie Murdock, Vice President of Sales at Experient, a Maritz Global Events Company. Since 2016, Jamie has facilitated over 20 “thinkubator” type sessions (known as hackathons) on topics such as membership engagement and experience design. Prior to joining Experient, Jamie led the national sales team for Disney Destinations. He was also a sales executive for Zentila, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and Gaylord Hotels, where he was recognized as the Sales Person of the Year and received its CEO’s Leadership Excellence Award. Most recently he was awarded Citizen of the Year by Experient and named one of the Top 500 People in Events by BizBash in 2018. He holds a BS in Business from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Sponsored by: American Egg Board, Cool School Café, General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, JTM Food Group, KeyImpact Sales & Systems, Premier, Inc., Yangs 5th Taste

SNIC19-jbarehamJoe Gerstandt

Leading Expert on Diversity & Inclusion

Inclusive Leadership: Keeping it Real
Monday, January 13, 8:30 am–9:45 am
In this thought-provoking session, you’ll learn how to bring greater clarity, action, and impact to your organizational diversity and inclusion efforts by making inclusive leadership an active practice. Anchored in a practical model of what inclusion really is, this session will introduce you to a set of competencies and commitments to ensure that your leadership is, in fact, inclusive. You will leave this session with valuable hands-on tools to immediately put what you’ve learned into practice.

Joe Gerstandt has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. A strong advocate for resetting the diversity and inclusion conversation, he is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, and numerous other print and online journals. Gerstandt co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships and serves on the Intersectional Culture and Diversity Advisory Council for the social networking platform, Twitter. Follow his blog at
Sponsored by: TITAN School Solutions

SNIC19-jbarehamSchool Nutrition Program Updates

Monday, January 13, 4:00 pm–4:45 pm
From advocacy to regulatory updates and exciting professional development opportunities, learn about a host of new resources available to you from SNA, the School Nutrition Foundation, USDA, ACDA and the Institute of Child Nutrition.

SNIC19-kim-learCharlene Li

Bestselling Author | Disruptor | Top 50 Business Leadership Innovators

Creating a Next Gen Customer Experience Strategy
Tuesday, January 14 10:30 am–11:45 am
We all know that creating customer experiences is important. But which experiences take priority? And how do we justify long-term investments and tie them to business outcomes?

  • In this high-level strategy session, learn what it takes to build a culture that keeps students and customers at the center every day by understanding how to:
  • Prioritize which customer experience initiatives to invest in, so that they drive both business results and meet customers’ heightened expectations.
  • Define and create next-generation customer experiences.
  • Involve the right people and ensure that they have the skills, capabilities, and mindsets required to succeed.
  • Make great customer experiences a priority for everyone in your organization or school district.

Charlene Li is a principal analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company, author of the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership, co-author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell and author of The Engaged Leader. She is one of the foremost experts on business strategy and disruptive technology, and a sought-after speaker and advisor to many top global companies. Formerly, Li was the Founder and CEO of Altimeter Group (acquired by Prophet Brand Strategy) and a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. She was named one of the Top 50 Leadership Innovators by Inc. and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Li is frequently quoted by leading media channels and has appeared on "60 Minutes," "The McNeil NewsHour," ABC News, CNN and CNBC. 
Sponsored by: TITAN School Solutions

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