2018 Annual Conference Attendee Registration

October 25, 2018 8:30 AM to October 28, 2018 10:30 AM
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Lansing Center & Radisson Hotel
333 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48933
Venue Website

It Takes a Team to Feed the Dream

Conference Packages

Early Bird
(through 9/28)

(after 9/28)

Full Conference - Member Rate (includes: education sessions; exhibit show; Fri. reception; Sat. breakfast & dinner; & Sun. breakfast) 

$150 $170

Full Conference - Non-Member Rate (includes: education sessions; exhibit show; Fri. reception; Sat. breakfast & dinner; & Sun. breakfast) 

$200 $220

Saturday ONLY - Member Rate (includes: education sessions; exhibit show; Sat. breakfast & dinner) 

$125 $145

Saturday ONLY - Non-Member Rate (includes: education sessions; exhibit show; Sat. breakfast & dinner) 

$175 $195
All pre-conference sessions Thursday and Friday and guest tickets are an additional cost.

 Printable Registration Information & Form

Keynote Presentations

Opening General Session


Closing General Session

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Veronika Scott, Founder & CEO, The Empowerment Plan

Veronika Scott has been named a 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, “CNN Hero”, and the youngest recipient of the JFK New Frontier Award, just to name a few of her accolades. She created the Empowerment Plan - a Detroit based nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. Single parents are hired from local shelters and provided with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. The Empowerment Plan story has been told across the world.

  Dr. Robert Murray, M.D., Ohio State University

Dr. Murray, a renowned professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University, has focused on school-based nutrition policy emphasizing the importance of diet quality during early childhood throughout his career. He will provide encouragement and inspiration to keep up the efforts to ensure all children have access to a nutritious breakfast. You’ll leave with solid evidence to present to stakeholders on the importance of breakfast in your district and why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

Sponsored by 

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

Pre-Conference Sessions

(additional fees to conference registration packages)

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

10 - SNAM Leadership Academy (Day 1 of 2) 

Do you lead others or want to lead others in the future? This academy is a comprehensive leadership development experience to prepare individuals to effectively lead operations in their districts. In addition to growing leadership skills, you’ll also gain better understanding of topics such as financial accountability, nutrition, customer service, dealing with conflict and difficult employees, and much more. It is designed to improve the technical skills, but also help individuals grasp leadership concepts and prepare for making the leap from co-worker to leader!

Registration Fee: Member $275 (Must be a current member)

20 – Nutrition 1 (Day 1 of 2)

Presenter(s): Sue Bevins, Genessee ISD & Wen Guo, Warren Consolidated Schools

Learn essential nutrition facts and understand the dietary guidelines for Americans. Required for SNA certification.

Registration Fee: Member $50, Non-member $100

1:00 - 4:00 pm

30 – Shortcuts to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

Presenter(s): Liz Roesel, Horizon Software International, LLC

Discover shortcuts that will help you balance your busy schedule and market your program. You’ll learn time-saving social media shortcuts to promote your meal program to parents, students, and key stakeholders. You’ll also learn how to create professional images with a free & easy-to-use graphic design tool. You will get hands on experience with a variety of platforms. Bring your electronic device so you can leave ready to post!

Registration Fee: Member $35, Non-member $90

1:00 - 5:00 pm

School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credentialing Exam

The SNS Credential is a mark of excellence and achievement that reflects what it takes to manage school nutrition programs in today’s challenging climate. The SNS Credentialing Exam evaluates candidates’ knowledge and skills required to perform specific job activities related to managing or directing school nutrition programs.

Pre-registration required through School Nutrition Association (SNA) www.schoolnutrition.org/credentialing

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

Pre-Conference Sessions

(additional fees to conference registration packages)

8:00 am – 3:00 pm

10 - SNAM Leadership Academy Continued (Day 2 of 2)

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

20 – Nutrition 1 Continued (Day 2 of 2)

40 – Team Leadership

Presenter(s): David Hulings, Hulings and Associates, L.L.C.

Learn how to match your leadership style with the culture of the organization. Matching leadership style to the cultural landscape will allow you to increase your productivity, decrease communication problems and strengthen your conflict management skills.

Registration Fee: Member $35, Non-member $90

1:00 – 4:00 pm

50 - Meeting Children’s Special Food & Nutrition Needs

Presenter(s): Janet Gaffke, Consultant

Understand the laws and regulations that require accommodations for feeding children with special food and nutrition requirements.

Registration Fee: Member $35, Non-member $90

60 - Make a Better Breakfast Team

Presenter(s): Tyler Bordon, Shiver Shock; Andrew Lohser, General Mills; & Emily Mattern, UDIM

Is your breakfast participation experiencing a batting slump? Come join us for an interactive workshop about increasing breakfast participation. Add new recipes to your breakfast roster. Sample new products. Learn more about expanding breakfast and how to add new resources to your breakfast team.

Registration Fee: Member $35, Non-member $90

5:00 - 9:00 pm

Welcome Reception & Empty Bowls for Hunger Fundraiser
(All Attendees - Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Stadium)

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

Breakout Sessions

9:45 – 10:45 am

Session A

(Pre-register for your sessions, select one below)

A01 - The Empowerment Plan

Presenter(s): Veronika Scott, The Empowerment Plan

Empowerment is a strong tool in today's world. If you believe in what you're doing, you become self determined. Hear how a young eentrepreneur created a nonprofit organization on the premise of empowerment and is tackling homelessness in Detroit.

A02 - Pump Up Your School Breakfast

Presenter(s): Emily Mattern, UDIM; Christina Varady, Lincoln Park PS; & Bryan Van Dorn, United Way of SE Michigan

Students are better with breakfast. Even though low breakfast participation is common, but it doesn’t need to be. Hear about how many schools are pumping up participation.

A03 - Get More Local Produce in Schools

Presenter(s): Diane Conners, Groundwork Center & Jennifer Mattison, Dexter Community Schools

The 10 Cents A Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program is helping to connect kids to a wider variety of produce, to farms and farmers. Join us to learn more about this grant, it’s benefits to your program and how to become part of it.

A04 – Block Grants: Putting School Meals on the Chopping Block!

Presenter(s): Tamara Earl, School Nutrition Association

Get a brief update from SNA on where we are with Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR). You will leave with a better understanding of where we are in the process; what block grants are and if implemented just how detrimental they would be to our programs.

A05 - Leveraging Brand & Marketing Strategies to Increase Participation

Presenter(s): Meg Bohart, Tyson Foods

Marketing is a key aspect to making meal programs successful. Learn how to market and brand your programs effectively to increase participation while educating staff and parents on why school meals are better than ever. Leave with strategies to showcase your existing and new items.

A06 - Feeding the Whole Child for the Whole Year

Presenter(s): Diane Golzynski, MDE; Mary Kurkowski, Port Huron Area SD; & Carolyn Thomas, Macomb ISD

We know as Foodservice Professionals many students receive their most nutritious meal of the day at school - in some cases, their only meals. How can we relay this message to our school boards and administrators? Get tools to help you communicate the importance of school nutrition and how your district can benefit from a successful program.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Session B

(Pre-register for your sessions, select one below)

B01 - Innovative Menus

Presenter(s): Caroline Dylewski, Warren CS; Carl Hopp, GFS; Dawn Pully, Bendle PS; George Siedis, Fennville/Bangor PS; & Patricia Wall, Holland PS

Do your menus need a makeover? Find ways to provide delicious options for your fussiest eaters.  Leave this session with innovative ideas to create new and exciting menus your students will enjoy.

B02 - Stress Less with Mindfulness

Presenter(s): Jacqui Rabine, MSU Extension

Learn about mindfulness and how it can benefit you at work and home.  Pinpoint behaviors which can make you vulnerable or resilient to stress.  Experience mindful movements as a way to relax.

B03 – Feeding the Dream: What Exactly is that Dream?

Presenter(s): Paul Baumgartner, Grand Rapids PS, retired

It should be our dream that all kids are provided a nutritious meal through our programs. Join a discussion on how to jump start your school meals program while finding team members that can help you realize that dream nutrition program.

B04 - Benchmarking for Financial Success

Presenter(s): Sara Simmerman, Huron Valley Schools

Discover how you can establish meaningful benchmarks that help monitor meal participation, expenses, and revenues. Having the right data to analyze can go a long way toward a successful program.

B05 - Bridging the Gap: Generations Working Together

Presenter(s): Lori Adkins, Oakland Schools

For the first time in history, four generations are working together in the workplace. In this session, you will learn about these different generations, including values that drive each group, as we explore ways to work effectively together.

B06 - Cooking Up Success with Your Admin & Board - Improve the Food Service Departments Image

Presenter(s): Dan Gorman, Montague Area PS/Whitehall Schools

Hear best practices for helping administrators understand the importance of school nutrition. You’ll leave ready to show your administration how school meals fuel learning, the professionalism of the school nutrition team, and the importance of belonging to SNAM/SNA.

12:15 – 1:15 pm

Session C

(Pre-register for your sessions, select one below)

C01 - STEPS Wellness Warriors & Tips from Champs

Presenter(s): Ryan Haughey, University Club of MSU; Mary Kurkowski, Port Huron Area SD & Whitney Vance, MDE/Team Nutrition

It takes a team to feed our students and create a successful school nutrition program. Hear from wellness champions on how to increase staff morale and improve your team's health and productivity!

C02 - Benefiting from Standardized Recipes

Presenter(s): Caroline Dylewski, Warren Consolidated Schools

Learn the important benefits of standardized recipes that can positively impact your program. Save your program money, make sure nutritional integrity is consistent and improve customer satisfaction.

C03 – Let Your Voice Be Heard

Presenter(s): Kristen Hennessey, Plymouth-Canton PS & Sara Simmerman, Huron Valley Schools

Do you hear about legislation and don't understand how it relates to you and your position? Get a quick overview of the implications federal legislation has on our food service programs and how your voice really does matter.

C04 - Whole Grain Products: Menuing Them & Getting Kids to Like Them

Presenter(s): TBD

Some level of whole grains appear to be with us from now on. Hear an overview of whole grain and its importance in school meals. Learn useful strategies on getting kids to like whole grain products.

C05 - Steal This Idea

Presenter(s): Mary Darnton, Jenison/Hudsonville PS & George Siedis, Fennville/Bangor PS

Want to try something new in your district? Or do you have an idea to share with others? Come to this interactive session to hear about innovative and fun ideas from across the state that you can steal for your district.

12:15 – 1:15 pm

Exhibit Show (Directors Only)

1:15 – 3:15 pm

Exhibit Show (All Attendees)

3:30 – 4:30 pm

Session D

(Pre-register for your sessions, select one below)

D01 - The Role of the Chef in School Nutrition

Presenter(s): Dan Connors, SNAM & Xaviar Jaramillo, Spectrum Juvenile Justice Services

Chef collaboration in school food programs has become a vital component for success. Improve taste, nutrition, consumption and palatability in your school district by working with a chef.

D02 - Making the Most of Your Local School Wellness Policy

Presenter(s): Whitney Vance, MDE/Team Nutrition

Sure, every district that participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program is required to have a Local Wellness Policy. But how do we do more than the bare minimum? How do we get people involved? How do we avoid findings in our Administrative Review? Tackle these questions and more, and learn about resources to help build a strong local wellness policy.

D03 – Image is Everything

Presenter(s): Sue Bevins, Genesee ISD & Carolyn Thomas, Macomb ISD

How can you change how your colleagues view you in the workplace? How you dress, behave and present your personal image can impact how others view and treat you. Learn small changes that you can make to ramp up your image and present your best self.

D04 - All the Possibilities of a School Garden

Presenter(s): Doreen Simonds & Joy Turney-Hartman, Waterford Schools

Hear about how Waterford Schools has implemented an extensive school garden program. Explore all the benefits such a plan can bring to your foodservice program and how to get the school community engaged. Learn about the endless possibilities and how you can successfully start your own.

D05 - Mentoring Your Staff

Presenter(s): Evan Robertson, Holt PS

One way to increase employee engagement is to create a culture of appreciation. Hear how one FSD has prepared her assistant for his future in school foodservice. Learn how to foster talent, be a great mentor, bring out the best in others and create a culture of recognition and appreciation.

D06 - Work Life Balance – Take Care of Yourself!

Presenter(s): Ryan Haughey, University Club of MSU

Work-life balance is a struggle for all of us, even as our work continues to be more demanding.  Get encouraged to make time for yourself and learn strategies to help you stay clearheaded and healthy on a daily basis.

General Conference Information

Friday, October 26

5:00 - 9:00 pm

Welcome Reception & Empty Bowls for Hunger Fundraiser

(All Attendees Welcome - Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Stadium)

Saturday, October 27

Morning Events

6:15 - 6:45 am

STEPS Wellness Event

(All Attendees Welcome - Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Stadium)

7:00 - 10:00 am

Breakfast & Opening General Session: Veronika Scott, Founder & CEO, The Empowerment Plan

Evening Events

6:00 - 7:00 pm

Networking Reception

7:00 - 11:00 pm

Dinner & Awards Reception

(Live performance by Rodney Page to follow)

Sunday, October 28

7:00 - 8:00 am


(Radisson Hotel)

8:00 - 10:00 am

Installation of Officers; Annual Meeting & Closing General Session: Dr. Robert Murray M.D., Ohio State University

(Sponsored by UDIM)

Registration Hours (Lansing Center)

Thursday - 7:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Friday - 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday - 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Continuing Education Credits

All full conference attendees will earn 6 CEUs. Pre-conference sessions may qualify as additional CEUs.

Parking Information

Parking lots are located under the Lansing Center and north of the Radisson Hotel for a flat daily rate, view map here. Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Overnight Accommodations

Radisson Hotel Lansing
111 N. Grand Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
Group Rate: $135.95

Reservations must be made by September 24, 2018 to guarantee the group rate.

Call 800.333.3333 and mention the School Nutrition Association of Michigan conference or make a reservation online here with promo code SNAM18.


$15.00 T-Shirt

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