Connect in Nashville

Get Ready for a “Good Time” with Alan Jackson at ANC Nashville!

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As ANC 2011 in Nashville winds down, you’ll probably feel ready to take a break and relax with friends in true Music City style. To help you bring your ANC experience to a close, Alan Jackson will put on a memorable performance that is sure to have you and your school nutrition colleagues singin’ and dancin’ the night away.


Jackson has remained one of country music’s most successful singer-songwriters, regularly topping the country charts with one hit after another. Some of his well-known songs include “Good Time,” “Gone Country,” “Remember When,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and the Jimmy Buffett duet, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” His career includes more than 30 number-one hits

Jackson was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and set a record at the 2002 Country Music Association awards for receiving the most nominations in a single year. He is the winner of two Grammy Awards, as well as numerous Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards.

As you’re making plans for your time in Nashville, be sure to join in the fun at the Final Event, beginning at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, July 13, at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. A ticket to the show is included in the full ANC registration fee, but space is limited—registration does not guarantee a ticket. Tickets will go fast, so make sure you indicate your intention to attend when registering for ANC.

What’s your favorite Alan Jackson song? Are you a fan of Alan Jackson on Facebook?

Do you have a favorite Final Event memory from your previous ANC experiences?


Puttin’ on the Glitz at ANC 2011

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It’s not too late to sign your team up to perform in the School Nutrition Foundation’s (SNF) annual lip-syncing competition: Puttin’ on the Glitz. This event will be held Tuesday, July 12, 7:30 pm, at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland, and is your chance to get creative, have some fun and compete for prizes, all while helping to support SNF’s valuable educational programs. Interested in putting together a team? The team registration fee is $500. More information can be found at Is your team deserving of the “ANC Glitz” title? Well, there’s only one way to find out!

And what would be a good lip-syncing event be without an enthusiastic audience of ANC attendees? If getting up on stage isn’t your thing, you can still be part of this fun-filled evening by being a part of the audience! Come cheer on your peers and vote with your applause for the act you like best! If you’d like to attend, be sure you indicate so when registering for ANC.


“I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher was just one of the many entertaining songs chosen by teams participating at ANC 2010. What songs would you like to see used by this year’s Puttin’ on the Glitz teams?

Do you think this summer’s performances will top last year’s?


Take Your Career to the Next Level at ANC 2011

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Are you interested in applying for initial certification? Well, why not make even more of your ANC educational experience by signing up for the core course pre-conference sessions being offered at ANC 2011. SNA once again will be offering both “Nutrition 101” and “Food Safety & Sanitation: Serving It Safe” at ANC to give you a convenient way to meet SNA Level 1 Certification requirements. What a big opportunity to kick start your efforts to take your career to the next level and to demonstrate your commitment to providing nutritious school meals to children all over the country!

Already certified and looking to move up a level? SNA will be offering Key Area Hours for the ANC Education Program and you can earn additional hours by signing up for a pre-conference session, including “Back to the Future with Scratch Cooking” or “Produce: Get it Local and Keep it Safe.”

ANC is also an opportunity to earn your School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) designation. The SNS Credentialing Exam will be administered at ANC on Sunday, July 10, providing you the opportunity to enhance your professional image and add credibility to your program! Please note: The SNS exam being administered at ANC is the newly updated exam and those interested in taking the exam should refer to the NEW SNS Credentialing Handbook. This exam registration deadline is June 20th!

If you’re already registered for ANC, you can still add a pre-conference session to your registration. You can even register onsite at the conference, though we recommend that you register in advance, since pre-conference workshops do have limited space. To learn more about how you can become a part of an elite group of SNA certified or SNS credentialed professionals, click here.

Have you participated in a pre-conference training at ANC before?

Which pre-conference session looks the most interesting to you this year?



ANC 2011: This Photo Needs Your Caption!

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If you’re a seasoned ANC attendee, you know all too well that there’s nothing like the ANC Exhibit Hall experience. If you’re going to be a first-time attendee this summer, prepare yourself for the overwhelming spectacle you will encounter upon walking through the Exhibit Hall doors. Hundreds of booths will beckon for your attention. And don’t be surprised if you see some, well, interesting characters. Rumor has it that Bigfoot was spotted at ANC 2010!

Photo: The Food Channel/David Nehmer

Got a caption for this photo? Perhaps something along the lines of:

So, what was your favorite school lunch growing up, twigs and berries?

or maybe…

Tell me, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

What would your caption be? Let us know in the comments below!


The ANC Exhibit Hall – Everything Under One Roof

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What part of the ANC experience is consistently cited by attendees in post-conference feedback as one of the most valuable elements of the conference? The ANC Exhibit Hall of course! Year after year, the exhibit floor is the place to discover the newest and most cutting-edge food, beverage, supply, equipment and service solutions for your school nutrition operation. And this summer will be no different! Currently we have more than 746 booths representing 326 companies lined up to participate, including 35 new companies! Of course, the exhibit floor will still feature your favorite fun aspects, including the Catch the Moment photo memorabilia booth, attendee lounges strategically placed so you can catch your breath and 6 culinary demonstrations. Also, be sure to check out the NEW Wellness Village, featuring relaxation (massage) stations and interactive Wii Sport games, as well as health and fitness information from the Tennessee Obesity Task Force and American Heart Association.


With so much happening in this year’s Exhibit Hall, the ANC 2011 exhibitors are certainly counting down to July, including Jill Conklin from Winston Industries and SNA’s 2010 Industry Member of the Year, who recently shared these thoughts with us:

“Winston Industries is an 18 year ANC veteran and the conference is one of the best opportunities we have as a vendor to network with school foodservice operators and learn about new trends and program changes many will launch in the new school year. The Exhibit Hall is the #1 way to introduce our new products and programs to operators that will be using them and implementing them every day. It is where manufacturers hear the heartbeat of the child nutrition industry, hearing firsthand whether the food, equipment, software and supplies we make really provide solutions or whether we need to go back to the drawing board. No other opportunity exists to see and talk with operators from across the nation at one time, under one roof.”

Did you attend ANC 2010 in Dallas? What was the one product or innovation that impressed you the most? Did you implement it into your operation?

Do you think you’ll take time out of your Exhibit Hall exploration to enjoy a massage at this year’s Wellness Village?


ANC 2011: Calling All Chapter Leaders!

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Are you a chapter leader looking to brush up on some of your leadership skills? Join us for the 6th annual Chapter Leadership Day, held during ANC on Saturday, July 9, 2011, from 10 am-3:00 pm, at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland. This is your opportunity to gather the fresh ideas that will help you lead your chapter through a successful year, as well as develop programs and services that will enhance your chapter and allow you to attract and retain members. Presentations by experts will cover topics such as volunteer development, growing membership and leading effective meetings. You also will learn more about all the SNA resources at your disposal directly from SNA leaders and staff. Network with other chapter leaders from across the country and experience breakout sessions that will provide you with the opportunity for discussion, including the chance to express any issues confronting you and learning how these issues can be addressed. All chapter leaders are encouraged to attend this event.

The cost to attend is $25.00 (includes lunch). If you would like to participate in this fun-filled day of leadership traning, be sure to indicate your intention to attend when registering for ANC. 

Have you ever participated in Chapter Leadership Day? What was your most valuable takeaway?

Will you be participating in Chapter Leadership Day for the first time at ANC 2011?


ANC 2011: Be a Leader, Not a Follower

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We’ve got a series of three great sessions on leadership at ANC this year, all of which will offer great suggestions, tips and advice for all of you who are interested in taking your careers to the next level. Janine Driver, one of our keynote speakers, will speak about “Creating the Total Leader: Five Surefire Success Secrets,” which should give you the confidence to achieve your professional goals. If you are interested in getting involved in leadership at the local, state or national level, then you won’t want to miss “Linking Leadership to Professional Development.” The session speakers, Karen Johnson, Teresa Stevenson and David A. Short, who are all leaders involved at different levels in both SNA and in other associations, will share their experiences and insights. Last, but certainly not least, you’ll hear about the success Polk County (Fla.) Public Schools has had creating a training program and how you can implement a similar program in your district. 

Now, let’s hear what another one of your school nutrition peers is saying about ANC. The following thoughts were went to us from Kathie McClanahan, School Nutrition Director, Humphreys County (Tenn.) Schools:

“The networking and educational opportunities are always at the top of my list of reasons for attending ANC. However, this year one of my top reasons for attending is to hear keynote speakers is Janine Driver. She was on ‘The Nate Berkus Show’ last week and I can’t wait to see her in person and learn all about body-language. If you missed it, go to the show’s website to learn a little about her. My other reason for attending ANC is Alan Jackson! I saw him on the Academy of Country Music Awards on television the other night, he is so special. I have seen him in concert twice and he can really put on a show. He doesn't run all over the stage but his music speaks for itself. One of my favorite Alan Jackson songs is ‘Drive,’ but then there is also ‘It's Five O'Clock Somewhere’ and I could go on an on.”

You can also hear what Kathie has to say about ANC Nashville on YouTube, visit
Have you ever been to Tennessee? Are you looking forward to visiting Music City, USA?

What’s your favorite Alan Jackson song?



ANC 2011: Last Chance for Early Bird and Connect Sweeps!

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You know the saying, “The early bird catches the worm.” Well, at SNA we have another saying…”The early bird catches the discount!” In order to help you save big on your ANC 2011 registration, you have just two days left to take advantage of the early bird rate! After this Friday, April 15, 2011, the cost of registration will go up!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably taken notice that the theme for this summer’s conference is “Connect in Nashville.” This theme was chosen to highlight the fact that ANC is all about connecting and staying connected to the ideas, information and knowledge you need to achieve school nutrition excellence. To emphasize this theme, SNA has been asking members to share how they connect with key stakeholders like students, parents, teachers and administrators, as well as how they get feedback to strengthen your program and meet their needs. If you haven’t already shared your thoughts with SNA, do so now so that you can be entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three (3) free ANC 2011 Nashville registrations.*

Ideas for how you connect with key stakeholders include might pertain to customer service, taste tests, menu marketing, satisfaction surveys, social media and technology—just to name a few. To enter to win today, visit The sweepstakes closes on April 30, 2011.

(*Prize includes one (1) annual conference registration fee only and does not include land transportation, airfare, meals, hotel accommodation or any other expenses. No purchase necessary. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Visit for complete rules and regulations.)


Dear Boss: Send Me to ANC Nashville!

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Your district, like many others, is likely looking for ways to reduce costs and to ensure that the money it spends to meet students’ needs goes as far as possible. But professional development is important, too, and this year’s ANC in Nashville is designed to connect you to the skills, strategies and solutions you need to energize your program, entice your students and enhance your career.

So, why not ask your supervisor to send you to ANC to ensure that you’ll gain valuable ideas and suggestions to bring back to your district? Tracks in operations, nutrition, administration and communications and marketing, as well as sessions on other key topics, such as the HealthierUS School Challenge, USDA Foods and food allergies, will provide you with cost-effective essential training and knowledge that also can be used back home. And if you’re looking to become SNA Level I certified, the “Nutrition 101” and “Food Safety & Sanitation” core courses offered as pre-conference sessions will give you a convenient way to meet your requirements. If you’re already certified and looking to move up a level, ANC provides Key Area Hours for the Education Program.

The sample below (see Related Links) is a template for a letter you might consider submitting to your supervisor to let him/her know about how important it is that you attend ANC Nashville. As school nutrition professionals work together to provide healthy yet affordable meal options for all students and as school meals face scrutiny from those who do not understand the full scope of the school nutrition profession, training and professional development remain as important as ever. Feel free to tailor the information as suggested to your and your district’s own needs.

If your letter to your supervisor convinces him/her of the value of ANC and you plan to be in attendance in Nashville, let us know in the comments!

Related Links:

ANC 2011 Supervisor Letter (doc)

ANC is On YouTube! Check it out!

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Have you seen the “Connect in Nashville” flip-cam series on YouTube yet? If not, don’t miss hearing what your school nutrition peers are saying about ANC over the coming months, so be sure to keep checking back! To view the latest video, visit

Paul Kelly, Division Manager for Food Services, Hopewell City (Va.) Public Schools, also recently shared with us these thoughts on ANC:

“ANC is the best! I’m excited to see all the new foods to select for my menu and, as always, see all my old SNA friends. All of us in Virginia are also very excited to be going to Nashville to see another great Virginian, Helen Phillips, become our next SNA President. Go Helen!”

Also, don’t forget… you have just until the end of the month to participate in the “Connect in Nashville” Sweepstakes! How do you connect with students, parents, teachers and administrators to meet their needs and get feedback to strengthen your program? Ideas for how you connect with key stakeholders might pertain to customer service, taste tests, menu marketing, satisfaction surveys, social media and technology—just to name a few. Share your thoughts and be entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three free registrations to ANC. For more information about this promotion, including complete rules and regulations, visit

Are you a frequent YouTuber? Have you or any of your school nutrition peers used YouTube to promote your school meals program?

How do you “get connected” with key stakeholders?

ANC Education Sessions Are in Full Bloom

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While the weather may not quite be cooperating, spring has definitely sprung in the nation’s capital, as you can see by the blossoming cherry trees:

Jefferson Memorial

But the cherry blossoms aren’t the only thing popping up! Additional ANC education sessions are also emerging, with 12 new sessions added to the Education Sessions listing earlier today. From “Using Creativity to Motivate Future Leaders” to “Tackling Childhood Obesity: The Role of Good Communication,” be sure to look for these latest additions.

Are you seeing signs of spring in your neck of the woods?

Have you perused through the education session listing? What sessions pop out and are sure to be on your ANC agenda?

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