A Message from Your SNA Industry Representative
It's truly an honor to serve as the new School Nutrition Association's Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) Chair. I will certainly do my best to represent every segment of Industry during my term. I would like to applaud Gary Vonck for his dedicated years of service as IAC Chair, and to my fellow IAC members, who share my passion for this industry. We look forward to a great year, and to serving our membership!

One of my favorite things about attending the Annual National Conference (ANC) is the opportunity to visit and listen to School Nutrition Professionals at every level. Below are a few talking points from "Hot-Lanta" that I think are worth sharing:

1. Staffing is a major concern for School Nutrition Programs today. The economy has improved creating new employment opportunities and many veteran staff members have reached retirement age, resulting in many districts being short staffed from top to bottom. This challenge is not unique to School Nutrition; the same is true for transportation, custodial, maintenance and educational positions, all of which are competing for qualified candidates.

2. Compliance with regulations, procurement reviews and paperwork are occupying an increased amount of time and attention for school nutrition professionals, and subsequently they are forced to do more with less...much less in some cases. Being an effective communicator, bringing value and time savings have never been more important.

3. The need to keep up with ongoing education requirements per the USDA's Professional Standards is also a daunting task, especially when coupled with items 1 and 2 above. Recruiting qualified candidates and training, motivating and retaining employees has definitely become a top priority.

How do these challenges potentially affect the products and services that your company provides? Moreover, how can the products and services that you produce or represent help customers to achieve their goals?

There is a great opportunity in School Nutrition Programs today to make a positive impact and difference. As partners to school nutrition professionals, I encourage you all to consider getting involved at the local level. Call a customer, or local school district today, and volunteer to help with a back-to-school meeting. Take off your sales hat and be there as a partner to help, or listen, and you just might be surprised by what great things happen next.

Wishing you all a prosperous school year!


Michael Miller
SNA Industry Representative

Contact us to learn about exhibiting in the Virtual Expo!

More than 20% of SNA districts surveyed offer made-to-order items according to SNA's School Nutrition Operations Report 2016.


November 8-9, 2017
Fall Industry Boot Camp
National Harbor, MD

January 21-23, 2018
School Nutrition Industry Conference
New Orleans, LA

May 9-10, 2018
Spring Industry Boot Camp
National Harbor, MD

More Meetings and Events

Upcoming SNA Webinars

SNS Credentialing Exam Dates

Industry Membership
SNA Research

Important Announcements

A Tough Nut to Crack: School Nutrition Operator & Industry: Food + Equipment Conversations
The School Nutrition Foundation hosted a Breakfast in the Classroom bonus session at the School Nutrition Industry Conference in January 2017. This report captures the conversations between school nutrition program operators and industry members as they discussed challenges and solutions in transitioning breakfast service to an after-the-bell model.

When the Exhibit Hall Comes Down, Exhibitors Show Up for Hunger
With more than 1 in every 4 children in Georgia living in a food insecure household (per the 2014 Hunger in America study), SNA is proud to announce that more than 45,000 lbs. of food were donated by our generous exhibitors to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. This has been an on-going tradition following the close of the Exhibit Hall for many years and is valued by companies and community members alike. Read the full web story for more on the remarkable results of this donation.

2018 School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC)
SNIC will be held January 21-23, 2018 at the beautiful New Orleans Marriott. Join us for a high-level meeting experience and three days of unparalleled learning for school nutrition operators and industry partners. Whether you're new to the School Nutrition Industry Conference or a seasoned attendee, this conference promises to provide you with fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and new solutions to key challenges in school nutrition. SNIC 2018 has something for everyone. Save the date and keep a look out for registration to open this fall!

SNIC Innovative Solution Sessions & Tabletop Displays
Sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. There are only 15 Innovative Solution Sessions and 50 Tabletop Display spots! Applications will be available beginning Wednesday, September 6, 2017. Act Fast! Innovative Solution Sessions are $3,500 and Tabletop Displays are $2,250, or participate in both for only $5,500. For more information click here or contact Nicolette Daleske at ndaleske@schoolnutrition.org or Crystal Harper-Pierre at charper@schoolnutrition.org.

SN Magazine Welcomes Jo Neese, New S. Midwestern Regional Sales Manager
School Nutrition, SNA's award-winning flagship publication, is thrilled to announce the addition of Jo Neese to our advertising team. Neese is a third-generation advertising professional, having spent her entire career in advertising and marketing. Jo will be joining Barbara Boyce, National Sales Manager, Lisa Turner, Eastern Regional Sales Manager and Gayle Massey, Western Regional Sales Manager. Click here to learn more about all digital and print advertising opportunities.


Be a Friend of the Foundation
You can support the School Nutrition Foundation and its programs, including Breakfast in the Classroom, scholarships for SNA members, and the Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes. With a contribution of $500 or more, you can become a Friend of the Foundation. Make your gift today online or complete the gift form and return to the Foundation.

Annual National Conference Reminders

ANC2018 Las Vegas Exhibit Hall Sign-Up:
You don't want to miss an opportunity to network with fellow exhibitors, demo your culinary expertise, and meet influential decision-makers. ANC is the School Nutrition Event of the Year!

If you haven't done so already, visit https://schoolnutrition.org/Meetings/ANC/2018/Exhibit-Hall-Sign-Up/ to see what exhibit space is still available for the upcoming 72nd Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on July 9-12, 2018.

Deadline to receive the early bird booth rates is September 30, 2017. Contact Crystal harper-Pierre, SNA Exhibits Sales Manager at 800/877-8822, ext. 140, or charper@schoolnutrition.org, to reserve your booth space. Crystal would be glad to hear from you!

Legislative & Regulatory Update

Share Your Thoughts: Regulatory Reform
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, announced intentions to solicit direct and specific guidance from School Nutrition Association members for the shaping of school meal policies. Here’s your chance to do just that. The USDA wants your opinion on how best to simplify school nutrition program regulations. They are specifically asking for your ideas on regulations, guidance documents, or policy documents that are in need of streamlining, modification, or repeal. SNA provides this simple form in response to a Federal Register notice posted June 17, 2017.

Trump Administration, USDA Names New Leadership
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Wednesday, July 19, the names of three new individuals who will be taking leadership roles within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Also on July 19, the White House sent the Senate Agriculture Committee its official notice of intent to nominate Stephen Censky for USDA Deputy Secretary. Read more in SNA’s Tuesday Morning.

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