#SNIC19 Opens to Record-Breaking Crowd in Austin, Texas


snic2019-conf2.jpgThe  School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) opened on Sunday, January 13 to a packed house of nearly 700 attendees who enjoyed a little bit of live music, Austin style, right before the show.

snic2019-conf3 Continuing the Western theme, SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS, welcomed attendees and introduced the SNIC 2019 “Cowboy” Program Advisors Mike Burke, SNS and Dan Witkowski. Drawing on principles from the Austin-based Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership, Witkowski urged attendees to embrace their inner cowboy or cowgirl and live each day with courage, take pride in your work, always finish what you start, do what has to be done, be tough, but fair, remember that some things aren’t for sale and know where to draw the line.

snic2019-conf2.jpgKeynote speaker and global futurist Daniel Burrus challenged attendees to make the conference a “defining moment” and commit one hour a week to "opportunity management” to build an anticipatory mindset and become innovative disruptors, rather than reactors, urging them not be "too busy" to make this a priority. Noting that hope was not a strategy, Burrus went on to say that a trend was useless unless it was tied to an opportunity, engaging the crowd in a lively discussion about the difference between a hard trend that can’t be changed and a soft trend that can with the right mindset.

Burrus went to explain the difference between change, which comes from the outside in and which one controls, versus real transformation, which comes from within and is one of the keys to becoming an innovative disrupter. More takeaways included knowing the difference between communicating and informing and true collaboration versus simply cooperating. Citing one of the newest management principles, Burrus told attendees to take their biggest problem and skip it—“if you’re problem is about money, that’s not the real problem,” and encouraged them to look to the kids for innovative solutions. Despite the exponential growth of technology, “it’s still all about people” he said.

snic2019-conf4.jpgFollowing the general session, attendees enjoyed an afternoon of networking, learning about innovative product solutions for school nutrition, an invigorating two- mile STEPS Wellness Walk and a celebration honoring the stars of school nutrition at the FAMEawards.

 The conference continues through Tuesday, January 15.

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