If You Want to Grow Yourself Professionally, ANC 2017 in Atlanta is Where You Want to Be


SNA's 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC)

The following is the second in a series of news stories exploring the exciting events at ANC.

Thanks to the development of a new revamped menu that changed from a four-week cycle to three over a year ago, lunch participation at Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia jumped from 60-to 70%. While student favorites survived the makeover, like chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, pizza, tacos, sub sandwiches and chef salads, fried or trans-fat foods were successfully eliminated and exciting new items where added.

“They finally added mozzarella sticks,” exclaimed Cendarius Walker, a sixth-grade student at Jordan Middle School.

A combination of innovative culinary techniques, effective repackaging, the use of a mobile menu app, and nutritional value, all added up to students not only eating healthy but getting excited about it and throwing away less food.

“It’s realistic with what you would eat at home,” added happily surprised sixth-grader Laci Holbrook.

District Culinary Coordinator, Chef Rachel Petragilia and District Dietitian Karen Hallford, who together masterminded the menu change will share their secrets and much more, at an exciting off-site, Pre-Conference Workshop at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC), “Planning Menus with A Chief’s Edge.”

“Not every school district has the resources to have both a chef and dietitian on staff so Rachel and Karen are going to present some best practices and hands-on techniques to improve your menu planning,” said Vanessa Hayes, SNS, co-chair ANC 2017 and child nutrition Director at Tift County, Georgia. “I have a background as a chef and am very familiar with Gwinnett County and I know the work of these two foodservice professionals. I think this pre-con is going to be an amazing eye-opening kind of workshop that is going to show you how to think outside the box, and ultimately, take the lid off of the pot of best practices and open up new ways of presentation.”

Top 10 Reasons a Director Should Attend:

  1. Networking
  2. Professional Development
  3. Peer-to-Peer Training
  4. Inspirational
  5. New Trends
  6. Exhibits
  7. Critical Practices to SNP Success
  8. Personal Development
  9. Tools of Leadership
  10. Plain down home FUN

This is only one of 12 Pre-Conference Workshops where ANC attendees who attend the full conference will earn 12 plus or training hours for Professional Standards, across all four key areas (Nutrition, Operations, Administration, Communications and Marketing).

“Attending any one of these 12 hands-on, pre-con workshops, you are going to leave ANC changed,” said Hayes. They are all going to take you on an incredible journey of professional knowledge and experiences, where you will find yourself discovering plenty of ‘aha’ moments.”

Please excuse Hayes if she is excited about all the pre-con workshops at ANC 2017 in Atlanta, but why should you attend this year?

Top 10 Reasons a Manager/Employee Should Attend:

  1. Life-Changing Experiences
  2. Professional Growth
  3. Updates on our Programs
  4. Connection with SNP from Different States
  5. Motivational
  6. Latest and Greatest Trends
  7. Gathering Resources
  8. Top Best Practices
  9. Out-of-the-Box Service Opportunities

“Because it grows you professionally,” said Hayes. “When you attend ANC in this kind of environment, you meet people from all across the country who are doing the same kind of think that you are doing. You listen to the way that they do things, you hear all the challenges they have, the failures and the successes, and it makes you think differently about your job and it really makes you appreciate who you are in this industry.”

Sound interesting? Registration for ANC is now open. For a complete schedule, special event and general session information, hotel and travel information, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/anc or ANC video.

Next week in the series, Program Chair Jeremy West and Vanessa Hayes will share their “tips” on how you can get the most of your ANC experience.

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