I would like to express to you what an honor and privilege it has been for me to work with such great people this past year as President of the Association. Our main goal is to serve all members in their pursuit of improving the health of children not only in our state, but this great nation. The executive board began the year with a "Plan of Action" focusing on the five pillars of SNA:
- Education and Professional Development
- Public Image
In the area of Education and Professional Development, meetings and classes were abundant by way of an SNS Exam, Healthy Edge, Serving It Safe courses, and Director/Supervisor Meetings. We provided a wide array of classes at our state conferences. Wanda Grant, SNA's West Regional Director, presented on credentialing and certification. Mimi Ford from J&J Snack Foods presented on program accountability, integrity, and the roles of the Director/Supervisor as well. We also created many new SNA links to our SNAAZ website.
The wide array of classes and speakers for members to choose from helped to improve our Public Image. The Department of Education and the Department of Health Services shared their expertise on salad bars in schools with members at our State Conference. Speakers were brought in from the National Foodservice Management Institute, along with many others, to provide members with the most current and accurate information. A Serv-Safe class was also available in April to our membership. In addition, we created student registration discounts to increase student attendance at state conferences.
In the area of Advocacy, our website provided a great deal of information on public policy and legislation throughout the year. Our Director/Supervisor chairs, Jim Hemmen and Patti Bilbrey, along with PP&L chairs Carol Weekly and Janene Smith, hosted a Mini-Legislative Workshop Day at Skysong on January 25th. It was well attended and provided a wealth of financial information to members. It also provided members with information to get them ready for the SNA Legislative Action Conference (LAC). Arizona was very fortunate to have 22 members attend LAC in Washington D.C. this year. We received valuable information and were able to "charge the hill," meeting with our representatives and congressmen to share with them our expertise and advocate for our children. As a result of our charge, two new bills were introduced regarding Child Nutrition Programs. It was a great feeling of accomplishment.
For Community, we provided a free registration to a representative of NSFMI, an allied organization. In exchange, NFSMI presented at our state conference. We also led a round table discussion for chapters at our state conference, held meetings with our industry partners, and provided the SNA toolkits on our SNAAZ website. Our service project, new this year, "Packages from Home" was a great December event where we packaged food and supplies to the troops in the Middle East. It was extremely successful thanks to generosity of our memberships and industry partners.
In the area of Membership, we held both a fall and spring membership drive. Arizona was the West Regional Winner for the fall, with an 8% increase. Arizona received a free membership which was given away at the Professional Growth Conference to member Ronald Beck. A special thanks to Michelle Burkhart, Membership Chair, Kristy Harding, Industry Chair, and all of our SNAAZ members for working so hard to achieve this special recognition. In addition, a "new member" packet was developed. This packet is provided to each new SNAAZ member by the Executive Secretary, providing valuable SNA and SNAAZ information. SNAAZ teamed with our industry partners to reach out to all state district directors to promote the benefits of SNAAZ membership.
We had over 235 members attend our Professional Growth Conference in Prescott on February 22-23, 2013. Bart Christian from Southwest Training Systems was our keynote speaker and shared many insights into "Being the Best You!" In addition, we offered a Healthy Edge Class and many other professional growth opportunities. Patty Hunn and Ann Vigil, our conference chairs along with Cathy Wylet, SNAAZ Executive Secretary, did an outstanding job. Our "fun"raiser BINGO, put on by Debbie Gasiorek and Connie Parmenter, Fundraising chairs, was also a huge success. We collected over $850. A special thanks goes out to our generous industry partners for their donations for the event..
You won't want to miss the upcoming Child Nutrition Industry Conference (CNIC) held June 3-4, 2013 in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Please see the website for the new online registration for this important event.
I wish each of you continued success in your personal and professional commitments for 2013. I look forward to the great accomplishments Arizona will continue to achieve.