Child Nutrition Industry Blog 2010

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!


Innovation Stations at CNIC

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Don’t miss the premiere of SNA’s new Innovation Stations, formerly known as “What’s New For You” sessions. Innovation Stations were designed to allow members to visit with more vendors, thereby enhancing the value of the conference for all attendees. Members will visit three companies in a single 45-minute time period. Presenting companies will see three times as many customers! Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to network with industry peers, make new friends and learn fresh ideas to enhance your operation. For a preview of the companies that will be participating at CNIC’s Innovation Stations and bringing you new products and services in the coming year, click here.

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