Connect in Nashville

New National School Lunch Week Theme: “School Lunch - Let’s Grow Healthy”

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We were excited to roll out several fresh, new school food programs at ANC 2011. Last week in Nashville marked the debut of the 2011 National School Lunch Week theme, called “School Lunch - Let’s Grow Healthy.” The new theme is designed to help students understand where their food comes from. As we all know, an essential benefit of school lunches is to help kids grow strong and healthy; “School Lunch - Let’s Grow Healthy” aims to create a connection between growing kids and the food they eat—the food that contributes to their growing up healthy and more here

ANC 2011: A Year in Review, A Look to the Future

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What a week we had in Nashville, TN! ANC 2011 was the best-attended ANC in a decade--almost 8,000 of our members were in attendance--and we thank all of the conference attendees, the speakers, our leadership, and our industry partners for making this event so successful and memorable. read more here

ANC 2011 Final Event Was ‘Hotter Than A Hoochie Coochie’

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The doors opened. The crowd rushed in, quickly taking the nearest seat in the intimate concert hall. Waves of anticipation swept through the audience, one after another. Everyone chanted for the guest of honor. You could feel the excitement in the air. And then… the hall went dark, the strumming of guitar strings slowly filled the room and then a spotlight appeared center stage. The time had arrived for what would be an ANC Final Event like no other and the historic Grand Ole Opry had never seen an audience quite like this—a hall filled with boisterous and energetic school nutrition professionals ready to celebrate and unwind after four days of learning and networking.


The night’s performer, country superstar Alan Jackson, certainly picked up on the energy in the room, even stopping to comment after the first song on what a lively crowd these school nutrition folks were. He continued, “I know why they wanted me to come and sing at this thing, ‘cause my momma… she was a dietician in the cafeteria at the elementary school.” He added, “I appreciate y’all for inviting me to come sing tonight. We just do ole country music and songs about life, love, having fun and heartache, and hopefully I’ll play something y’all like, recognize or enjoyed over the years and just have a good time.” Jackson did not disappoint, playing all his well-known favorites, including the upbeat “Little Bitty,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” and “Chattahoochee,” as well as his heartfelt ballads “Remember When,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”

From the very first song to the time the lights went up, the Final Event was absolutely and undeniably a “Good Time” for all in attendance, and it was a fantastic and memorable way to end yet another great ANC.

First Timers Make Connections, New Friends at ANC 2011

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It was wonderful to see all the new faces at this year's Annual National Conference in Nashville. We were so happy to see many of these new faces at our First Timers' Reception. Past SNA president, and current SNF chair Dora Rivas (Dallas, TX) welcomed the new attendees and urged them to ask questions, learn as much as possible in education sessions, and make connections during their time in Nashville. read more here

ANC 2011: The Flash Mob!

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Yesterday's flash mob got our members on their feet! Performed to Alan Jackson's "Good Times" we took over the President's Lobby at the Opryland Resort & Convention Center! Check out the photos, below, and click through to see video of all the fun!

read more here

ANC 2011 Nashville: The Fun Begins

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We are have an amazing time already here in Nashville, TN, and we thank our friends for a warm welcome to the Volunteer State. Day One started off strong: we're connecting with old friends and making new ones at the best-attended ANC in a decade!

See you tomorrow! read more here

ANC 2011: Rock the Jukebox Scavenger Hunt and SN Booth

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For many veteran ANC attendees, School Nutrition magazine’s annual Scavenger Hunt is among their favorite activities! If you’re an ANC first-timer or haven’t participated in this event before, here’s what you do. Simply visit participating exhibitors and request that they mark your playing card (found in your onsite ANC Program Guide) and return the completed card to the SN booth (Booth #690) at the front of the Exhibit Hall by 2 pm on Tuesday, July 12, to enter a drawing for fabulous prizes.

Winners will be posted at the SN booth on Wednesday, July 13. All foodservice operator and state agency attendees are eligible to participate. Up for the challenge? Grab your colleagues and get ready to have a blast as you explore the Exhibit Hall in pursuit of your mission to complete the Rock the Jukebox Scavenger Hunt!

ANC 2010 Photo: EZ Event Photography

In addition to stopping by the SN booth to drop off your completed Scavenger Hunt card, be sure to take a moment to meet some members of the magazine staff. The SN team would love to hear any ideas or suggestions you might have for the publication!

Are you looking forward to the Scavenger Hunt? What prizes are you hoping to see offered? Or, share in the comments about a recent School Nutrition article that you found helpful.



ANC Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Mapping Out Your Visit

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What better way to kick off the grand opening of the ANC 2011 Exhibit Hall and get connected to others in attendance than by joining SNA, industry partners, your friends and colleagues for the School Nutrition Jam Fest on Monday morning, July 11th! Featuring high-energy tunes played by local musicians, this fun and exciting event will have you tapping toes and bobbing your head as you wait anxiously for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and with it, your first opportunity to explore hundreds of exhibits showcasing an array of the latest food, beverage, supply, equipment and service solutions. While waiting, don’t forget to cheer on the SNA Patrons for all they do for the Association and school nutrition programs nationwide.

ANC 2010 Photo: The Food Channel/David Nehmer

Upon walking through this year’s Exhibit Hall doors, be ready to brace yourself for the overwhelming spectacle you will encounter. Hundreds of booths will beckon for your attention. One booth will be giving out tote bags. Across the aisle another will be offering a drawing for a special prize. Next to it, you can get your picture taken with a familiar mascot. It’s a lot to take in!

But most important, the ANC Exhibit Hall is an opportunity to enrich your decision making by meeting directly with the manufacturers and brokers who can answer your questions. Whether you have the authority to make purchase decisions or you help influence those decisions, you can make the most of your visit to the Exhibit Hall by coming prepared. Take a few minutes before you arrive in Nashville to identify the vendors that interest you and map out your visit Exhibit Hall experience in advance. Click here for an alphabetical listing of the 2011 exhibiting companies and for an interactive map of the exhibit floor.

The Exhibit Hall once again will include the popular dedicated aisles Dairy Way, Green Aisle, Produce Row and USDA Lane. In these special areas, you will discover everything from fruit, vegetable and going green trends to dairy products, USDA foods and their vendors.

Finally, the Exhibit Hall hours are designed not to conflict with scheduled education sessions, so there’s no need to tackle everything at once. So pace yourself and remember to have fun!

Have you created your “must-see” list of exhibit booths yet?


Meet the ANC Keynote Speakers in the Emporium

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Don't miss your chance to meet ANC keynote speakers Janine Driver, Dominique Dawes and Barton Seaver, as they sign their popular books in the SNA Emporium. Below is the ANC 2011 signing schedule.

ANC 2010 Photo: EZ Event Photography

Sunday, July 10, 4:45 pm
Janine Driver (aka the “Lyin’ Tamer”) is a body language expert and CEO of the Body Language Institute, as well as a successful author, an in-demand speaker and media guest. She will be signing copies of her book, You Say More Than You Think: Use the New Body Language to Get What You Want!, after the Opening General Session.

Tuesday, July 12, 5:15 pm
Dominique Dawes is remembered as a member of the gold-medal-winning “Magnificent Seven” U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She will be signing copies of her motivational CD, “ENVISION” Reaching Your Full Potential, after the Second General Session.

Wednesday, July 13, 9:15 am
Craig Weidel, SNS, Area Supervisor, Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools, will be signing copies of his book, My Heroes Have Always Worn Hairnets, which will help you revitalize your interest in one of the most important jobs in the world: being a school nutrition professional. Craig will also be speaking at the School Nutrition Employees/Managers Section Meeting on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 4:45 pm
Barton Seaver is a celebrated chef and sustainability advocate who has dedicated his career to restoring the human relationship with our oceans. He will be signing copies of his book, For Cod and Country, after the Closing General Session.

These books/CDs will be available for purchase and signing in the SNA Emporium (look for the School Bus in the ANC Marketplace area). So get in line and be sure to have your pen handy!



ANC 2011 Countdown: Five Days to Go! Are You Ready?

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ANC 2011 in “Music City, USA” is just days away! Are you one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals ready to immerse themselves in four invigorating days of education and excitement? In order to make the most of your ANC experience, here are some last-minute reminders to keep in mind as you make your way to Nashville.

If you haven’t yet registered, it’s not too late! To register onsite, look for signs in the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center that pointing you toward Registration. Already registered? This is also the place to go to pick up your badge and official ANC Program Guide. Please note the following registration policies:

- You MUST present government issued identification in order to receive your registration  packet.
- Check your badge and ticket information to make sure it is correct BEFORE leaving Registration.
- Attendees MUST pick up their own packets. You will NOT be allowed to pick up another attendee’s registration packet.
- Badges MUST be worn at all times during the conference. There will be a fee of $5.00 to reprint a lost badge.
- Tickets to ANC events, including the Final Event, will NOT be reprinted, no exceptions.

Transportation to/from Airport
The Gaylord Opryland and the Radisson both offer daily shuttle service to and from the airport. To book your shuttle, click here. If you are staying at one of the other ANC hotels, various taxi and transportation services are readily available from the airport. Click here to learn more about these services.

Transportation during Conference
The Radisson is just a short walk from the Gaylord Opryland. For those who prefer to ride, a hotel shuttle runs regularly between the Radisson and the Gaylord. For those staying at the Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and the Sheraton Hotel, complimentary shuttle transportation will run regularly to and from the Gaylord Opryland throughout the conference.

ANC Flash Mob
Don’t forget to join your peers and take part in the ANC Flash Mob Dance, where you’ll be able to show off your moves to Alan Jackson’s hit song, “Good Time.” The Flash Mob will take place twice during the conference—Monday, July 11, 1:45–2:00 pm in the Presidential Foyer, and Wednesday, July 13, 11:45 am–12:00 pm in the Exhibit Hall. Still need help getting the moves down? You can watch the tutorial video and learn the steps by clicking here. You can also watch the SNA staff practicing their moves to “Good Time” by clicking here.

Education Sessions
Need handouts for specific education sessions you plan to attend? They are now available for download here. These handouts also will be available online after ANC, therefore we encourage you to pack light and print the ones you need when you return home. Printing stations will not be available during ANC.

Exhibit Hall
Plan your Exhibit Hall strategy in advance! To decide what companies you want to see, take advantage of the online listing or check the listing in the ANC Program Guide when you arrive.

Final Event
And last but certainly not least, be sure to join your peers for the Final Event concert featuring country superstar Alan Jackson on Wednesday evening, July 13th! Shuttle service from the Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Sheraton Hotel to the Grand Ole Opry will begin at 7:15 pm. The Grand Ole Opry is just a short walk for those staying at the Gaylord Opryland and Radisson, however shuttles will be available at 7:15 pm for those who prefer to ride. Service from the Grand Ole Opry back to the hotels will run continuously.

Are you ready to make your way to Nashville?


Happy (Early) 4th and Just One Week till ANC 2011!

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Happy 4th of July weekend! Do you and your family have good food, lots of sun, fireworks and fun times on the agenda for this weekend? We hope it is a wonderful weekend, as well as a relaxing break before ramping up to attend the school nutrition event of the year! That’s right, ANC is just over a week away! Can you believe it?! SNA staff hardly can, but that’s not to say we’re not ready to put on one great conference for you and your school nutrition peers! And we know we’re not the only ones excited… we’ve been hearing lots of feedback from members about just how ready they are to—in keeping with our conference theme—“CONNECT in Nashville!”

Photo: The Food Channel/David Nehmer

Here’s what ANC Program Chair Cindy Brooks is saying about ANC:

“OMG, I can hardly believe ANC Nashville is just a week away! It has been the vision of SNA President Nancy Rice for this past year to provide quality educational sessions and networking opportunities through SNA meetings… and ANC Nashville will be no exception! There is always one conference that stands out in your mind, and I’m quite certain when you return home from Nashville, ANC 2011 will be that conference you always remember! If you’re still on that fence deciding whether you should attend or not… remember, it’s not too late to register onsite for the conference. So, I suggest you leap off that fence, pack your bags and join thousands of your school nutrition peers at ANC! Also, don’t forget to practice the dance for the Flash Mob that will take place on Monday and Wednesday during the conference. See ya’ll in Nashville!”

We also hope that you remember that ANC is the place to engage your mind, celebrate your passion and nourish your future! Actually, there are so many words to sum up ANC. Inspire, Empower, Renew—the possibilities are limitless at ANC!

So what three words would you use to describe ANC? Or what three words describe what you hope to take away from your conference experience?




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