I’ve attend the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (ANC) several times and always enjoyed the opportunity to learn and network with fellow School Nutrition peers. This year I won’t be attending and I have a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) that is quite manageable when I think about how hot it will be. I’ve spent many a 110 degree summer day in Las Vegas and while my school nutrition and school garden peeps in that hot part of the desert of some of my favorites, it’s just too hot for me.
For those of you who work in kitchens, you know when you swing open the door of a hot convection oven and the heat blasts you in the face and curls your eyelashes back? That’s how it feels when you step off the plane in Las Vegas in summer.
But, ANC does present an amazing opportunity for learning and networking. I’m so excited for all my fellow Nevadans that will be attending, this year will be the greatest number of Nevadans that have attended ANC in a long time!
If you are attending here are some of the presenters I’d be sure to not miss:
Stefanie Dove, RD, SNS
Stefanie is the content creator and social media mastermind behind Loudoun Public Schools and has done an amazing job showing the world how great school food can be through social media. She’ll be presenting on how to market your program and how to use social media during three sessions, details here. Stefanie is also the proud dog mom of a sweetie pie pitbull so of course she gets first billing!
Chef Brenda, RDN
Chef Brenda is a Registered Dietitian and has played many roles in school meals programs, from conducting administrative reviews to creating awesome recipes for school nutrition cookbooks like Idaho Department of Education’s amazing series found here. She’ll be doing a pre-conference session and a cooking demo that takes place on Monday, July 9 at 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM in the Oceanside B, Level 2.
Chef Cyndie is sort of like the school nutrition chef’s version of Martha Stewart. She’s been around from the start, she’s super chill and she knows all the tricks. She pretty much invented school chefs, her and her team conduct amazing culinary skills workshops and she is pretty darn funny. I don’t have details on any sessions or demos she is participating in but I’m sure you can find her or her team members doing culinary demos at a variety of time slots.
Donna Martin RDN
If Chef Cyndie is Martha Stewart, Donna is Michelle Obama. She’s the past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, long time school food service director of a high needs school district in Georgia and has really helped push school meals into a positive light. I’ve never met her in person but admire her from afar. I don’t have details on any sessions she may be leading but her facebook suggests she will be there live and in person!
There will also be lots of great folks from the regulatory world like ICN and USDA, don’t forget to check out their booths and educational sessions. The list of vendors I will miss catching up with is to long to start here but I would not miss what’s going at the Eggs in Schools or the Mushrooms in School booth. I also hear Colyar has a big new fancy thing they’ll be rolling out, so go and introduce yourself to Matt Essner at the Colyar booth who is pretty much the nicest guy in school foodservice and he will tell you all about it!
On the social media front, the official hashtag looks to be #ANC18 so don’t forget to post some great pictures and use the hashtag so everyone else can join in!
Are you wondering why Dayle Hayes isn’t included and where she fits between Martha Stewart and Michelle Obama? First, sadly she won’t be at ANC so you’ll have to catch her on her social media here and here. Second, I’d put her somewhere between Annie Oakley and Amelia Earhart……