Child Nutrition Industry Blog 2010

CNIC Book Signing

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Following the Closing General Session on Tuesday, January 12th, there will be a book signing in Champions Foyer. Don't miss your chance to meet keynote speaker Ira Chaleff, who will sign his book, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders. This award-winning book, now in its 3rd edition, is a landmark in the newly emerging field of leader/follower studies. To learn more about the book, visit

CNIC attendees will be able to purchase a copy of this book following General Session for $25. So get in line and be sure to have your pen handy!


Five Days and Counting Until CNIC 2010

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There are only a few days left until the official start of CNIC 2010! Are you ready? Of course you are! But in order to get the most out of your CNIC experience, here are a few notes to help you hit the ground running when you arrive in Florida:

Weather & What to Pack
  • As you prepare for your trip, remember that although Florida winters are generally dry and mild, the current weather forecast is predicting colder temps, so be sure to pack for chilly conditions. Pack business casual clothing for the conference, as well as a light jacket to wear in case meeting rooms are chilly. For the current weather forecast, click here.

Travel & City Info
  • From arriving early, to checking in and making your way through security checkpoints, airline travel can be a headache these days….but it doesn't have to be! Proper planning can make your trip a lot easier. To travel smart and travel safe, log on to and learn tips from the experts at the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Don't forget to arrange ground transportation from the airport to the hotel. Arrangements can be made through Pearl Executive Shuttle, Inc., the official airport shuttle provider, by calling (888) 997-3275 or online at Please have your flight itenerary available when making your reservation.
  • Planning a dinner on the town? Or perhaps you’re planning to take a few days at the conclusion of the conference to explore Ponte Vedra Beach? Be sure to check out all there is to see, do and eat in Ponte Vedra Beach by clicking here.

Hotel Reservations
  • Be sure to confirm your hotel reservation. If you need a reservation, please contact SNA Meetings Assistant Nita Artis at Please provide the number of rooms, guest name, arrival and departure date.

Conference Info
  • If you haven’t yet registered, it’s not too late! To register onsite, head to the Registration area of the Sawgrass Marriott, located in Champions Foyer. Already registered? This is also the place to go to pick up your badge and the conference program.
  • Want to plan your itinerary in advance? You can access the conference highlights online by clicking here.
  • And last, but certainly not least, be sure to join your colleagues for the “19th Hole” Networking Reception and Volunteer Activity, being held Monday evening, January 11th. School nutrition operators and industry partners are encouraged to meet someone new, form a team and work together to assemble baskets that will benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. CNIC attendees are encouraged to bring a small, unwrapped item for the baskets. These items can be dropped off when you check in at registration. For ideas of what to bring, click here.

CNIC 2010 is sure to ignite new friendships, spectacular solutions, professional growth and good times for all. See you in Florida!


Past CNIC Chairs Share Conference’s Value

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CNIC is just a few weeks away, and last year’s conference chairs—and repeat attendees—share what they’re looking forward to in January in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Helen Phillips, SNS, SNA vice president and senior director of child nutrition services for Norfolk (Va.) Public Schools, explains that she enjoys the smaller, more intimate atmosphere of CNIC as compared to SNA’s larger conferences. “I know I will always gain some new knowledge or great idea. It's great to have the opportunity to work more closely with other operators and industry from across the country,” she adds.

Phillips is looking forward to hearing Ann Cooper, nutrition services director for Boulder Valley (Colo.) School District and founder of the Food Family Farming Foundation's Lunch Box Project, present her keynote address at the Jan. 11 general session. “It will be interesting to see how she faces the people she has so harshly criticized,” Phillips states.

In addition to seeing colleagues from across the country that she doesn’t seen often, Director of Food and Nutrition for Oak Park and River Forest (Ill.) High School Micheline Piekarski, SNS, says that she always anticipates CNIC’s educational content, “which really pertains to the director level.” This year, Piekarski is looking forward to seeing all of the new items in the marketplace displayed at once, rather than several at a time, as in previous years. She indicates that she’s also glad to have the opportunity to participate in the planned volunteer project to assemble baskets to benefit Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.

What advice do these veteran attendees have for first-time CNIC attendees? “Come prepared to learn a lot and leave with a greater appreciation of the work you do,” Phillips shares. Offers Piekarski, “The first-timers session (to be held on Jan. 10) is a valuable source of information.” She also recommends the pre-conference session designed for major city directors, district directors and supervisors. Attendees will learn about the work of the Council of the Great City Schools and what the Council looks for when conducting reviews of district programs, including foodservice operations.

The “19th Hole” Networking Reception and Volunteer Activity

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We are looking forward to seeing you in only four short weeks at CNIC 2010! As you know, SNA has put together a volunteer activity to be held in conjunction with the “19th Hole” Networking Reception on Monday evening, January 11th. School nutrition operators and industry partners will be encouraged to form teams and work together to assemble baskets that will benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. To that end, and in the spirit of the giving season, we are asking CNIC attendees to kindly bring a small, unwrapped item for the baskets. These items can be dropped off when you check in at registration. Below is a partial list of items requested by the hospital:

Action figures
Board games
Children’s books
Coloring books and crayons
Disney DVDs or other current DVD movies (must be rated G or PG)
LEGO sets
Musical books (sing, have buttons, make noise, etc.)
Stuffed animals

Thank you in advance for your kind support. We wish you all a very happy holiday and a wonderful New Year!


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