Leading in Times of Change Kicks Off Virtually


In the midst of one of the biggest challenges that school nutrition professionals have ever faced, hundreds of SNA members came together—virtually, of course—for the 2021 School Nutrition Industry Conference(SNIC). Originally scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, the annual event convened Tuesday, January 12, via Zoom as SNA’s first-ever virtual major conference.

SNA President Reginald Ross, SNS, serving as an emcee for the conference, was joined on-screen by conference advisors Dan Ellnor, Assistant Director for Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky, and Carol Weekly, Vice President of Services for TITAN—A LINQ Solution, to kick off SNIC. First on the agenda: keynote speaker Lee Rubin, corporate human resources professional, who gave a rousing address on how to build an extraordinary team in times of change. SNIC keynote sessions were sponsored by TITAN—A LINQ Solution.

Rubin’s one-hour talk was notably free from the PowerPoint slides that typically grace Zoom presentations, but instead focused on emphasizing what Rubin calls, “The five components of extraordinary teams.”

“Teams exist because there’s a challenge or an opportunity too big for one person to handle alone,” Rubin told SNIC attendees.“...We can’t just pull the cape out of the closet, be a superhero and be expected to seize all of the opportunities by ourselves.”

Seizing on personal anecdotes from his time as a college football player at Penn State, as well as his role as a father and husband, Rubin laid out “The 5 Cs” that he says a team needs to be successful: Competitors (People who “love to win,” which he defines as meeting or exceeding the team’s capabilities), a common goal, communication, chemistry (in science, bonds are formed under heat and pressure; teams need mature individuals who can absorb heat and pressure, Rubin explained) and consistency. Rubin ended with a bit of sage wisdom: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond,” he put forth, adding that excellence is a habit, not an act.

Day one of #SNIC21 continued with the discussion, “Leadership Perspectives from Industry Thought Leaders,” featuring a panel comprising Sherry Coleman Collins, RDN, LS, MS, of The National Peanut Board; Emily Mark, RD, SNS, of Kellogg’s, Sean Leer of Key Impact Goldstar Food sand Gary Vonck of Key Impact Systems and Sales, as well as updates from SNA and USDA and a host of Zoom breakout sessions.

The virtual conference continues through Friday, January 15, with a second keynote speaker, Sara Frasca, scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, January 13. She will speak on “Harnessing Innovation to Drive Growth in Times of Change.” For more information, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snic

A special thank you to our SNIC 2021 sponsors!  


SNIC Event Sponsors

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SNIC GEM Club Sponsors

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