A Message from Your SNA Industry Representative

I recently attended the SNA's School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in New Orleans, LA. While I was excited to attend the conference itself, I have to confess, that I was also looking forward to enjoying some Cajun cooking.

The thing I love about Cajun cuisine is that the dishes often incorporate simple ingredients like the “holy trinity” of southern vegetables (bell peppers, onion and celery), which are then thoughtfully combined with flavor and flair to create incredibly memorable meals (as Chef Emeril Lagasse would say...“Bam!”). Add a dash of southern hospitality, and it’s no wonder why people travel to experience New Orleans and its famous cuisine.

While I did enjoy the local fare, my favorite part of SNIC were the educational sessions and opportunities to network with so many smart school nutrition professionals, industry representatives and SNA staff members. Some key takeaways from SNIC for me were:

  • School nutrition professionals, industry members, and the School Nutrition Association are all experiencing new challenges. The ongoing quest to understand the ever-changing student palate and creating nutritious and appealing meals, while procuring food, equipment, software and services, in an honest and ethical manner, and maintaining the necessary workforce, are paramount to success.
  • For industry, the challenges have much to do with supply and demand in an increasingly technological data-driven and competitive environment, where vendors vie for manufacturers’ line time, brokers long for accurate forecasts, and all strive to maintain margins despite increasing operation and transportation costs.
  • Together, we all face the potential threat of a Federal Block Grant which would change the way that school meals are funded, and would be a major blow to everyone in this industry, especially the kids.

As I reflect on this conference and the state of our industry, we have much to be proud of! We continue to take simple ingredients and thoughtfully combine them into appealing creations that our customers look forward to consuming every day. Considering the regulations, and all that is necessary to grow, manufacture, procure and distribute food, equipment and services from farm to fork, it is clear to me that the secret sauce, or “holy trinity”in school nutrition is the synergy between dedicated school nutrition professionals, innovative industry representatives and the leadership and advocacy of the School Nutrition Association.

I hope you will all join me at the Legislative Action Conference March 4h-6th, 2018 at the JW Marriott in Washington D.C., so that we can continue to simmer, learn, grow and advocate for School Nutrition together.


Michael Miller
SNA Industry Representative

Check out promotion opportunities in the Sponsorship Brochure!

Offering students customizable menu options is the norm. Learn more about these options in SNA's 2017 School Nutrition Trends Report.


March 4-6, 2018
Legislative Action Conference
Washington, D.C.

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

July 9-12, 2018
Annual National Conference
Las Vegas, NV

More Meetings and Events

Upcoming SNA Webinars

SNS Credentialing Exam Dates

Industry Membership
SNA Research

Important Announcements

SNA Wants YOU to Attend this Spring's Industry Boot Camp
Are you an industry representative new to the multi-billion-dollar school nutrition market -- or a seasoned veteran that wants to brush up on the intricacies of this complex segment? Designed specifically for our industry partners, SNA's Spring Industry Boot Camp, taking place May 9-10, 2018, in National Harbor, Md., is a dynamic educational seminar that provides a thorough overview of today's school nutrition environment, including new information on procurement ethics, a tour of a local cafeteria and a two-hour panel discussion with Major City School Nutrition Directors. Reserve your spot today as seating is limited.

Interested in Attending the 2018 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes?
The 2018 Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. held during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference (LAC). The Celebration is the only fundraising event that the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) holds to support its scholarship program. Become a sponsor, purchase a table, or simply just a ticket! Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this meaningful event! For information on sponsorships and the recognition at each level, click here. To indicate your commitment as a sponsor, purchase a table or ticket click here. If you have questions, please contact SNF Executive Director Jane Balek at jbalek@schoolnutrition.org or (800) 877-8822, ext. 125.

Big Savings! School Nutrition and ANC Program Guide Combo
Save when you advertise in both of the summer’s hottest, most viewed publications from SNA!

  • School Nutrition’s June/July Issue: Delivered to more than 58,000 school nutrition decision-makers, this ANC edition (double issue) is jam-packed with hot topic school nutrition features and all the conference details. Plus, exhibiting advertisers in this issue are eligible to participate as sponsors in the ever popular “What’s Ruby Reading” magazine contest.
  • ANC Program Guide: This colorful 100+ page guide provides 6,000+ ANC attendees with the onsite particulars of the “Hottest Event in School Nutrition!”

Click here to learn more and to book your space today.


PLEASE NOTE: The ANC schedule for 2018 shifts by one day and runs from Monday, July 9 through Thursday, July 12. This means the Exhibit Hall will open on Tuesday and will close on Thursday. Please ensure you book your travel and hotel room accordingly.

Annual National Conference Reminders

Limited Booths Available! Last Chance ANC2018 Las Vegas Exhibit Hall Sign-up
You don’t want to miss an opportunity tonetwork with fellow exhibitors, demo your culinary expertise, and meet influential decision-makers. ANC is School Nutrition Event of the Year!!!

If you haven't done so already, click here to see what exhibit space is still available for the upcoming 72nd Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, NV at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on July 9-12, 2018. Contact SNA Exhibits Sales Manager Crystal Harper-Pierre at (800) 877-8822, ext. 140 or charper@schoolnutrition.org to reserve your booth space. Crystal looks forward to hearing from you!

It is Time to Submit Your Program Description for ANC
The official ANC Program Guide includes all session and event information, as well as an in-depth buyers’ guide section. It is a valuable onsite tool and future reference guide for attendees. Visit the ANC 2018 Program Guide Description Form and submit your company description by February 28, 2018.

New This Year: The Culinary Demos will be Held During the Education Session Time Slots; More Visibility for Your Company
Culinary Demonstrations are one of the highlights of ANC. They provide an opportunity to showcase your latest food products, recipes, techniques, nutrition and food presentation skills, and offer ways to enhance school meals and increase participation. These demos will be available for purchase of $3,500 each. You must be exhibiting at ANC18 to present a demo.

Change in Personnel
Please notify SNA when there is a change in staff or management, so that we can update your company record. Email us at meetings@schoolnutrition.org. Thank you.

Legislative & Regulatory Update

Industry Opportunities at SNA's 2018 LAC
Today is a great day to register for SNA’s 2018 Legislative Action Conference (LAC), to be held March 4-6 at the JW Marriot Hotel in Washington, D.C. This policy and advocacy-packed event will get you prepared and excited to Charge the Hill! The conference offers opportunities for industry to connect with school nutrition professionals and learn their needs and challenges in sourcing for their programs. Industry Exchange on Sunday, March 4 will cover Block Grants: Concerns, Challenges and Industry Response ā€“ a can’t miss look at the potential impacts of a school meal block grant. Be informed, raise your voice, and build your relationships at the SNA’s 46th LAC!

SNA Submits Comment on USDA School Meal Rule
On Friday, January 19, SNA submitted an official comment to USDA in response to the Interim Final Rule on Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium, published in the Federal Register on November 30, 2017. SNA reminded USDA that school districts are looking forward to a permanent solution eliminating the onerous management of temporary rules and, where allowed, annual waivers.

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