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Charlie Cook
The Opening General Session and keynote address will be held Sunday afternoon, March 4, and will include an insider's look at Washington from Charlie Cook, one of the nation's top political analysts. When Charlie Cook makes a pronouncement about the political scene in America, people tend to sit up and take notice. For more than two decades he has been Washington's most trusted-and most accurate-voice on all things politics, whether he's analyzing political trends or predicting the likely outcome of the next Congressional, gubernatorial or presidential election. As the editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, Cook provides objective information about who is running in what races, what the most important dynamics are, who's ahead and what factors to look for as the campaigns progress. Cook also pens a regular column for The Washington Quarterly and is a political analyst for the National Journal, where he writes two indispensable weekly columns, The Cook Report and Off to the Races. He has been featured on the evening news programs for all three major networks and is a welcome fixture on CNBC, MSNBC, C-SPAN and National Public Radio. Most notably, Cook has also been an election night analyst for CNN and CBS News and for every presidential election since 1994 for NBC News.

With the clock ticking down to November and the 2012 election cycle shaping up to be a defining moment in the future of our country, Cook will peer into his crystal ball to give LAC attendees a perceptive look at what lies ahead. Will there be a shift in the balance of power on Capitol Hill with the entire House and one-third of the Senate up for reelection? Will the current Administration see a second term, or will we soon have a new Commander in Chief in the White House? And, most important, how will these pending elections and the ongoing budget battles impact our efforts to protect America’s valuable school meal programs? Using his encyclopedic knowledge, memorable stories and quick wit, Cook will lay it all out for us as we prepare for the challenges of 2012 and beyond.


Carl D. Perkins Memorial Speaker

The LAC Annual Reception and Banquet will be held Tuesday evening, March 6, at 6:00 pm, and will include compelling words from Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), a member of the 112th Congress who has a long history of serving the needs of his constituents and the American people. His public service commitment to Kansas began in 1980 when he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Eight terms later, in 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. As the ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, Roberts became the first person in history to hold the post in both the House and the Senate. He has also been hailed for his bipartisanship, believing in the importance in reach across the political aisle to pass legislation crucial to Kansas and the country. Roberts will discuss the key issues on the front burners for the Senate Agriculture Committee this session, as well as how they may impact school nutrition programs.

This event will also feature a special performance by the Capitol Steps, the political satire troupe of Capitol Hill staffers-turned-songwriters. Digging into today's latest headlines, this lively bunch creates side-splitting musical parodies set to familiar tunes that poke fun at the Washington political scene, leaving no party, politician or candidate untouched. In the 30 years since they first entertained audiences, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 30 albums, including their latest, "Desperate Housemembers," and their special holiday release, "Barackin' Around the Christmas Tree." They have been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, and can be heard four times a year on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their "Politics Takes a Holiday" specials. As the nation heads into a presidential election year, and the mudslinging that will likely ensue, this is your chance to sit back and have a good, hard laugh at it all.

Your full conference registration includes this special evening of grassroots networking. Additional guest tickets are $125 each.

Carl Perkins, a Kentucky legislator, was a strong influence in shaping federal nutrition programs. In 1985, the SNA Board of Directors established an endowment fund to provide for the Carl D. Perkins Memorial Speaker. Since then, speakers have included national leaders, who have provided Association members with a greater understanding of current public policy and legislative issues.


The ninth annual A Possible Dream Gala, which honors champions of child nutrition, will be held on Monday evening, March 5, 6:00-10:00 pm. Please join the Global Child Nutrition Foundation in recognizing the achievements of Lyman Graham, 2011 Outstanding Director of the Year and Tony Roberts, 2011 Industry Member of the Year, as well as Ambassador Tony P. Hall, the recipient of the 2012 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition. This event will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, with proceeds from the evening benefiting GCNF and its global initiatives. Participation is by reservation only. To purchase seats or to become a sponsor, contact Nicole Bernard, GCNF Operations Coordinator, at (800) 877-8822, ext. 150, or


Bring your expertise, your passion and your stories to Washington, D.C., and take advantage of this annual opportunity to get your message across to your state's Congressional delegation. Tuesday, March 6 is reserved for visiting U.S. Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill. Please schedule appointments with your legislators well in advance.


The LAC Industry Forum, to be held Monday, March 5, 12:00-2:00 pm, is designed to inform and connect industry leaders working in the school nutrition marketplace. Come join special guest speakers and a room full of your peers for an in-depth discussion of the implementation phase of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that will answer many of the questions you may have about how the pending new regulations may affect your business in the years to come.


The School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credentialing Exam will be administered at LAC. Registration, approval and payment of fees must have been completed prior to LAC and cannot be made onsite. To register, contact Shantal Hall, Certification & Credentialing Manager, at (800) 877-8822, ext. 180, or

Fees: Members $190; Non-members $285
Exam Date: Saturday, March 3, 2012, 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Registration Deadline: February 10, 2012