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Executive Summaries


									2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference
           A Magical Experience

  Executive Summaries

                    January 15-17, 2006 • Orlando, Florida
                 Sponsored by: School Nutrition Association™

                                             Created for SNA by:
                                                   2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                 January 15-17, 2006
                                                             A Magical Experience                               Orlando, Florida

                                2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference
                                                A Magical Experience

                        Dear SNA Members:

                        The 2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference was a magical experience and
                        another great success. Once again, attendance exceeded expectations, and those
                        participating in the “What’s New For You” sessions were delighted with the many
                        new products and services developed for our industry.

                        The CNIC Planning Committee, led by co-chairs Joyce Lyons and Chuck
                        Ainsworth, put together a terrific program that offered new opportunities for
                        professional growth, networking with our peers, and much fun at the various
                        special events. This dynamic programming will enable us to build better
                        partnerships, develop strategies and share information—all in an effort to
                        captivate customers and boost student participation in school meal programs.

                        To help maximize the value of your attendance at this important conference, SNA
                        is pleased to provide the enclosed executive summaries, which capture the key
                        information from all of the general sessions. We hope this information reinforces
                        your key take-aways and enables you to share what you learned with others
                        within your organization.

                        Make plans now for next year’s CNIC that will be held from January 14-16, 2007,
                        at the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. We look forward to
                        seeing you there.

                        Ruth Jonen, SFNS

Sponsored by:                                                                                               Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                       Page 2
                                                     2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                          January 15-17, 2006
                                                               A Magical Experience                                        Orlando, Florida

                                                     Table of Contents
             Summary            Description                                                     Speaker                Page

             Key Themes         Key Themes from A Magical Experience                                                       4

             Summary 1          Releasing Your Brilliance                                       Simon T. Bailey            5

             Summary 2          The Essential Concepts for Building Partnerships                Susan Reimer-Sifford       7
                                                                                                Susan Tatum
                                                                                                Susan Valenti-DeVito

             Summary 3          School Nutrition Partnerships in Action                         Helene Clark               8
                                                                                                Rosemary Dederichs
                                                                                                Arthur Dunham
                                                                                                Stephen Hull
                                                                                                Matt Musgrove
                                                                                                Susan Reimer-Sifford
                                                                                                Susan Tatum

             Summary 4          Quality Service—Disney Style                                    Jeff Noel                10
             Summary 5          Organizational Creativity                                       Joel Strack              12

             Summary 6          Translating the Magic to Reality—In the Business                Dr. Mardell Wilson       14
                                of Nutrition

             Summary 7          Nutrition Education Advocacy                                    Lora Novak               16

             Summary 8          Understanding Ourselves and Others                              Dr. Jim Kern             18

             Biographies                                                                                                 19

Sponsored by:                                                                                                          Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                        Page 3
                                                      2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                   January 15-17, 2006
                                                                A Magical Experience                                                 Orlando, Florida
                                                                    Key Themes

                    Key Themes from CNIC 2006: A Magical Experience
                                                                               balance the need to appeal to students by serving items they like
Overview                                                                       with the need to provide healthful meals, create a healthy
                                                                               environment, and teach lifelong healthy eating habits. Along with
The business of school nutrition is complex. Legislative and                   these challenges lobbying campaigns and media coverage have
regulatory changes, increasing rates of childhood obesity,                     begun pointing the finger of blame for childhood obesity at
diminished budgets, growing student populations, and rapid                     school nutrition programs.
demographic shifts present an array of challenges for school
nutrition directors, vendors, and manufacturers.                               Gwinnett County School District in Georgia, the fastest-growing
To thrive in this environment, all of the stakeholders in the school           district in the country, provides an example of a district that has
nutrition equation must learn to work together in building                     successfully faced these issues. The district dramatically altered
successful partnerships which lead to creative win-win solutions. As           its organizational structure to give more autonomy and resources
children become more demanding in their tastes and expectations                at the local level, and developed an extensive education program
of service, all of the participants in the industry—schools,                   to teach both students and staff about nutrition. As a result of
distributors, and manufacturers—need to re-evaluate how they                   these structural changes and this education program, the district
provide school nutrition, balancing the need to provide healthful              has been successful in meeting its financial goals, increasing
meals with a greater emphasis on customer service.                             student participation rates, and teaching healthy eating habits.

                                                                               Building strong partnerships is a key component of
Context                                                                        delivering effective school nutrition.
More than 400 SNA members and industry representatives                         All of the stakeholders in the industry—vendors, distributors, and
convened in Orlando, Florida to discuss the changes underway in                schools—must take the time to build relationships and develop a
the school nutrition industry, and strategies for managing these               deep understanding of the challenges faced by the other players.
changes.                                                                       Schools must balance nutritional concerns, complying with
                                                                               regulation, and financial pressures. Manufacturers must heed the
Attendees heard best practices from other school nutrition                     bottom line. Distributors see schools as a low-margin business.
directors, gained insights about partnership from a panel including
representatives of all stakeholder groups, learned about Disney’s              These understandings will create trust and will lead to working in
approach to service quality and innovation, and were inspired by               partnership to find creative solutions to each other’s problems.
compelling motivational speakers.                                              This collaborative approach can result in the parties developing
                                                                               school nutrition programs that serve the ultimate customer, the
Key Themes                                                                     student, in ways that are effective and profitable.

                                                                               School nutrition organizations must become more
  Students are more savvy consumers than ever before and
                                                                               customer-service oriented.
  have higher expectations.
                                                                               Given the options students have today, school nutrition programs
  School nutrition programs must serve a large array of customer
                                                                               need to become more service oriented and more creative in how
  groups, including parents, teachers, administrators, communi-
                                                                               they approach, market to, and deliver meals to students.
  ties, and regulators. However, the ultimate customers are
                                                                               Disney, a longtime leader in the service industry, explained their
                                                                               methodologies for being service oriented and creative. Service
  Students increasingly have high expectations for both food and
                                                                               excellence requires: knowing your customers (who they are, how
  service quality. They want their food to look and taste the same
                                                                               they think); developing a succinct and well-defined service theme
  each time, at the “right” temperature, with a flavor profile they
                                                                               that states the organization’s common purpose; setting service
  are accustomed to. At the high school level students are now
                                                                               standards; and ensuring that the delivery systems are in top
  more mobile than ever, meaning that they have the ability to
  purchase their food from other sources. Research among
  students shows that they tend to make up their minds about                   Empowering employees unleashes organizational creativity.
  whether or not to eat at school in the first two weeks of the school
  year, a time that is often chaotic as schools, distributors, and             Unleashing organizational creativity is beneficial in that it
  manufacturers are just getting in sync with each other.                      leverages the knowledge and experience of employees at all levels
                                                                               of the company. This requires creating a culture and an environ-
  Foodservice directors face a complex array of challenges.                    ment of collaboration and trust so that ideas are forthcoming,
                                                                               developing measurable standards of success, and implementing
  Many schools have gone through dramatic shifts in demographics               service structures that nurture and monitor innovation. This
  in a relatively short time. Growth of the student population, more           culture, environment, standards, structures, and processes
  diverse student populations, and popular culture have changed                provide organizations with a competitive advantage.
  the rules of the game. School nutrition organizations must

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                                                        2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                      January 15-17, 2006
                                                                  A Magical Experience                                                        Orlando, FL
                                                                       Summary 1

                                              Releasing Your Brilliance
                                Speaker: Simon T. Bailey, President and Founder, Imagination Institute, Inc.

                                                                                   Employees that know how to let go of stress are more productive,
 Overview                                                                          motivated, and healthy. Mr. Bailey advocates using a “time-out”
                                                                                   when inundated with stress. This is a ten-minute relaxation break
 When individuals operate in a state of brilliance they bring value                where one steps away from what is causing stress. During this
 to their organization, which in turn provides greater value to                    time, recall a fond memory and in some way “disconnect.”
 customers, clients, and constituents. By releasing our own
 brilliance we tap into the most productive and engaged state we                   Often workplace stress is the result of poor hiring. The most
 are capable of achieving. Brilliance is unlocked by reducing stress               successful companies (such as Disney and Ritz-Carlton) hire for
 and pursuing those activities about which we are most                             attitude and then train for success. People with the right attitude
 passionate.                                                                       reduce the stress of the entire organization.

 More powerful than individual brilliance is when teams achieve                    Each person’s energy is contagious. Give your energy a
 brilliance. This happens when all members are functioning at                      “green light.”
 their optimal level and when trust is established. The HOPE                       To release our own brilliance and energize those who work with
 model, which builds on and releases the brilliance of the parties                 or for us we must learn how to “give our energy a green light.”
 involved, maximizes the value of partnerships.                                    The energy surrounding the way in which people approach the
                                                                                   activities and tasks that make up their job can be divided into:
Context                                                                            Red lights: These are the “gremlins of brilliance.” They are the
                                                                                   tasks we avoid because we don’t like them or are not good at
Mr. Bailey, author of Releasing Your Brilliance, talked about how
                                                                                   them. In this state, we not only display low energy, we sap the
to optimize the brilliance of individuals and teams.
                                                                                   energy from others.

Key Conclusions                                                                    Yellow lights: These are those activities in which we engage that
                                                                                   are energy neutral.
  Every individual and team should seek a state of brilliance.                     Green lights: These are the activities that make us come alive.
  Brilliance is an individual’s intuitive intelligence, insight, and               Our head, heart, hands, soul, and spirit are fully engaged. Giving
  genius. Everyone has brilliance inside themselves; the key is to                 a person more green light activities not only makes them more
  realize and tap into this brilliance. However, often people are so               productive, but energizes everyone around them.
  consumed with their day-to-day tasks or achieving specific
  personal accomplishments that they fail to focus on and tap into                        “If you love what you do, you never work a day
  their brilliance. People not operating in their brilliance—those                        in your life.”
  lacking the passion and commitment—tend to perform poorly.                               Simon T. Bailey

  In particular, every individual can access his or her brilliance at              When looking at a team of employees it is more important to look
  work, and teams can also achieve a state of brilliance. For                      at the strengths of each team member—their green light activities
  individuals and teams to achieve brilliance an environment must                  —than at their specific job description. Assign tasks based on a
  be created where people listen to each other, where each                         given team member’s strengths rather than focusing on his or her
  individual is celebrated, not just tolerated, and where trust is                 specific role. In this way, managers can maximize the productiv-
  built. A key to achieving brilliance is that individuals do a job not            ity of all team members. Often one person’s red light is another
  because they have to but because they want to.                                   person’s green; a simple swap can make them both happier.
            “All the magic and motivation you need comes                           For teams to function at an optimal level there must be trust.
           from inside you.”
                                                                                   Everything we do speaks to those around us. As such we must be
            Simon T. Bailey
                                                                                   truthful and respectful in all interactions. Mr. Bailey emphasized
  Mr. Bailey commented, “What you do is brilliant.” Feeding 29                     the following keys to establishing trust and creating positive team
  million children and preparing them to receive an education is                   synergy:
  important and necessary work that requires brilliance.                             - Act with honesty and fairness. Don’t let your personal
                                                                                       agendas or loyalties become more important than what is
  Part of achieving brilliance is releasing stress.                                    fair or right.
  No matter how motivated or engaged an employee is, stress will
  cause him to disengage and become less productive. Stress is a                     - In challenging situations present yourself responsibly.
  growing challenge in modern society and takes a measurable toll                      Respond to problems by looking for solutions rather than
  on organizations. (According to the American Institute of Stress,                    blame. Take a step away from a specific issue and ask, “What
  60% of doctor visits are due to stress-related factors, and because                  does success look like to us?” This accesses the avenues of
  of stress American businesses lose $300 billion annually through                     brilliance within you and others on the team
  low productivity, absenteeism, and health problems.)                               - Help others achieve their goals. Listen to and acknowledge
                                                                                       others so they will be willing to share more of themselves
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School Nutrition Association™                                             Page 5
                                                        2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                     January 15-17, 2006
                                                                  A Magical Experience                                                       Orlando, FL
                                                                       Summary 1

        with you. You begin this process by putting your own truth
        on the table and being honest about what you want and need.           Other Important Points
        This inspires others to do the same.
                                                                                   Watch the eyes. Science says that when people look up when
           “Trust is the emotional glue of all partnerships                        formulating an answer, they are accessing the creative part of
           and relationships”                                                      their brain and thinking of the right thing to say. When looking
            Simon T. Bailey                                                       down or away, generally they’re trying to make up a fib.
                                                                                   Imbutu. This is a South African concept that means, “I exist for
     - Keep the confidences of others. Do not participate in joking
                                                                                   you.” The HOPE model embraces this concept, aiming to bring
       comments made at the expense of any group or individual
                                                                                   about deeper relationships through greater understanding of
       and discourage others from doing the same.
                                                                                   each other.
  The HOPE partnership model creates win-win outcomes.
  This model asks four questions designed to remove obstacles to
  forming effective partnerships with clients, vendors, employees,
  and constituents. By asking these questions and listening
  carefully to the answers you can discover common ground,
  critical obstacles for the person on the other side, specific desires
  for the relationship, and the expectations of all parties.
    1. What are we hoping to accomplish?
    2. How can I help meet your objectives?
    3. What does the ideal partnership look like?
    4. How well am I meeting your expectations?

Sponsored by:                                                                                                                        Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                             Page 6
                                                       2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                      January 15-17, 2006
                                                                 A Magical Experience                                                        Orlando, FL
                                                                      Summary 2

                         The Essential Concepts for Building Partnerships
                           Speakers:   Susan Reimer-Sifford, Owner, Sunshine Solutions Consulting, LLC
                                       Susan Tatum, Principal, Vinca Marketing and Communications
                                       Susan Valenti-DeVito, Creative Director, Vinca Marketing and Communications

 Overview                                                                              “If you communicate fully, it will reduce costs
                                                                                       and inefficiencies and reduce redundant work.”
 Effective school nutrition is an intricate web of complex                              Susan Tatum
 partnerships. Directors must interact with and serve a large
 number of constituents while keeping track of their ultimate                   5. Personalize partnerships by creating alliances that are truly
 customers—the students. To effectively relate to all stake-                       strategic.
 holders, school nutrition professionals will benefit from learning
 the basic concepts of partnerships (such as creating common                    6. Listen closely, intensely, and systematically. Listening is the
 goals, collaborating, and listening closely) and developing their                 most important thing we do but rather than listening
 core partnering skills.                                                           wholeheartedly, people often defend and justify. Don’t just
                                                                                   listen to satisfied customers; listen to dissatisfied ones.
                                                                                7. Learn from all of your customers and in doing so, share
Context                                                                            information and education with them.
The three moderators led the audience in a series of interactive and            8. Act on the knowledge you gain.
role-playing exercises to identify and reinforce the essentials of
building partnerships.                                                          9. Measure for success. Specifically, don’t just ask customers
                                                                                   about their satisfaction; ask about their willingness to
                                                                                   recommend you, and agree with all stakeholders on the
Key Conclusions                                                                    measurements to be used.
  There are numerous school nutrition customers.                            10. Create your own answer for more effective partnering. There
                                                                                 are no right answers and SNA members can create new
  School nutrition professionals have a wide array of customers.
                                                                                 answers and can change the world.
  The list includes: the PTA, school administration, school board
  members, staff, coaches, the USDA, the community, the media,                  Understanding the needs of your partners helps the
  government, and many others. School nutrition professionals                   partnership thrive.
  have the opportunity to build personal, collaborative
  relationships with all their customers.                                       The panel led an exercise where all audience members adopted
                                                                                the persona of one particular partner (such as a distributor, a
           “View the smallest nuance through the customer’s                     manufacturer, a student, a manager, or a director). A scenario
           eyes as the customer perceives it, not as you do.”                   was described and mid-exercise new problems were presented.
            Susan Tatum                                                        By forcing people to think from partners’ perspectives, the
                                                                                exercise drove home key points of partnering:
  Of course, the ultimate customers are students. By working                    - Understand the pressures facing your partners. Know their
  together to serve the ultimate customer, all parties can create a               objectives, goals, and priorities.
  customer service revolution focused on solving common
  problems and meeting the needs of students.                                   - Build relationships. This starts by learning to view your
                                                                                  partners truly as partners with whom you are working to
  Learn the rules of effective partnering.                                        achieve common goals.
  There are ten basic steps to creating effective partnerships.                 - Communicate frequently and openly. Effective partnerships
  1. Identify all of your customers. You need to know all of the                  are built on an open dialogue where each party shares their
      parties that affect your success.                                           objectives, their obstacles, their progress, and news (be it good
                                                                                  or bad) as it arises.
  2. Create common goals for the entire enterprise. Share your
     goals with your internal customers and learn theirs. Ask each              - Don’t forget the ultimate customer. The goal of all partnerships
     person on your team, “What are your top three objectives?”                   is to serve the ultimate customer. But, at times this goal is lost.
                                                                                  Treat the ultimate customer—students—like other customers.
  3. Select partners carefully. Challenge your current partnerships.              Understand their needs, seek their input, and communicate
     Be courageous and ask, “Are these the partners that will help                with them frequently.
     me reach my top three objectives?
  4. Collaborate and knock down the walls between you and your              Other Important Points
     customers. Collaboration means sharing information. People
     often believe that withholding information creates an                      Munch. The School Nutrition Communications Campaign
     advantage. This is not the case. Sharing information with                  (SNaCC) puts out a helpful quarterly newsletter for school
     customers creates trust and improves operations.                           nutrition professionals. Visit

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                                                        2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                     January 15-17, 2006
                                                                  A Magical Experience                                                   Orlando, Florida
                                                                       Summary 3

                                   School Nutrition Partnerships In Action
                            Speakers:   Helene Clark, Director of Marketing - Health & Wellness, ConAgra Foodservice
                                        Rosemary Dederichs, Director of Food Services, Minneapolis Public Schools
                                        Arthur Dunham, Assistant Director, Pinellas County School District
                                        Stephen Hull, Vice President, Marketing, U.S. Foodservice
                                        Matt Musgrove, U.S. Foodservice
                                        Susan Reimer-Sifford, Owner, Sunshine Solutions Consulting, LLC
                                        Susan Tatum, Principal, Vinca Marketing

                                                                                   demographic trends means that many students will have grown
 Overview                                                                          up eating different foods prepared in different ways. As a
                                                                                   result, it will be more difficult to please these differing tastes.
 Effective partnerships are based on understanding the needs and
 perspectives of your partners. Though partners often have                       — School foodservice directors: Directors are under intense
 competing or contradictory needs, it is still possible to find win-               budget pressure, face increasingly stricter nutritional
 win solutions. By taking the time to learn and understand each                    requirements, and seem to constantly fight thin staffing.
 stakeholder’s perspective and challenges, and by communicating                    During flu season there are often problems finding substitutes
 openly and quickly, school nutrition professionals are working                    and everything runs slow. Compounding these challenges is the
 with students, distributors, and manufacturers to build strong                    difficulty of buying and serving products that students like,
 relationships, create profitable partnerships, and develop                        that meet the nutritional requirements and budget constraints.
 creative approaches and solutions to problems.
                                                                                   Given the chaotic nature and the demands of the job, directors
                                                                                   often spend too much time “putting out fires” and struggle to
Context                                                                            stay focused on the mission of serving students healthful meals
                                                                                   as well as finding the time to meet with vendors and
This panel extended the previous session’s discussion on effective                 manufacturers to explore new products and menu ideas, and
partnerships by enlightening all participants on the viewpoints of                 nurture key relationships.
different industry participants. Represented were school food-
service directors, a manufacturer, a distributor, and a consultant               — Distributors: For distributors, schools are a low-margin
who expressed the voice of students.                                               business. To help improve their margins, distributors desire
                                                                                   greater predictability and volume. They seek fewer, larger
                                                                                   orders, and minimization of the SKUs required to serve a
Key Conclusions                                                                    facility. Often schools bid individually on a specific product or
                                                                                   category, making the potential opportunity for distributors
  Effective partnerships are based on all industry participants                    unprofitable and unattractive; this can discourage distributors
  understanding the perspectives and challenges of the other                       from bidding. Going with one primary distributor provides a
  stakeholders.                                                                    distributor with greater volume and predictability. When
  It is easy for all parties to only view their world from their                   multiple districts work together to pool their bids, it improves
  perspective and to assume that their problems are the only                       the volume, predictability, margins, and overall attractiveness
  problems. But, effective partnerships begin with understanding                   for distributors. Standardizing menus, thus limiting the
  others’ vantage points.                                                          number of SKUs the distributor must carry, creates additional
  — Students: Students have high expectations when it comes to                     profit opportunities.
    the food they eat at school. Research among students shows                     School districts should expect their distributors to provide the
    that their top complaints about school food are:                               best cost available and to deliver what they say they will. At the
           Broken trust. Students feel that their expectations are                 local level, distributor U.S. Foodservice has its sales personnel
           often not delivered on; the food that is served often                   visit schools to understand each district’s challenges and
           doesn’t look or taste the same from day to day. When                    arranges for school nutrition personnel to come to local
           schools make menu changes or provide substitutes that                   distribution centers to educate them on the distributor side of
           are noticeably different from what students expect, they                the business.
           have a poor reaction to it.                                           — Manufacturers: As for-profit entities, manufacturers are
           Temperature. Too often, the hot things aren’t hot and                   focused on making profits and their decisions such as
           the cold things aren’t cold.                                            developing a new product are based on return on investment.
           Flavor profiles. Students are often disappointed that the               A challenge for manufacturers is that they are far down the
           flavors of school food are not as good as what they get at              communication and information chain and are therefore often
           home or on the street. “It doesn’t taste like that anywhere             unaware of problems. As an example, over the summer
           else,” is a frequent refrain. School meals pose a greater               districts in Texas switched to a policy of providing breakfasts to
           challenge than restaurant or home-cooked meals because                  all students at all schools. A manufacturer was unaware of this
           of nutritional mandates. Schools must work with vendors                 change until just before school started. When order sizes began
           to find good-tasting food that meets those requirements.                arriving that were significantly larger than they had been, it
                                                                                   was too late to ramp up production to meet the orders for the
     Satisfying students in the future will be even more difficult.                beginning of the school year.
     One reason is that greater diversity resulting from societal and
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School Nutrition Association™                                           Page 8
                                                       2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                     January 15-17, 2006
                                                                 A Magical Experience                                                   Orlando, Florida
                                                                      Summary 3

  Additionally, manufacturers are often unaware of the product                  specific amount of time. Vendors are immediately given feedback
  mix being ordered by customers and the planned usage habits.                  regarding whether there is interest in the product or not. This
  They may know that a district is ordering large amounts of a                  forum provides a structured, organized way to continuously
  pizza product, but not know that the district intends to use half of          expose the key people in the district to new ideas and gives
  the ordered quantity in the first six weeks of the school year.               vendors an avenue to communicate with the district.
  Communication is the foundation of a strong partnership.                      Pinellas County has instituted a taste test program where
  The panel was asked to consider a hypothetical problem of a                   culinary arts students from its high schools try out new products.
  school cafeteria besieged with problems: pizza does not arrive                Manufacturers and distributors are invited to supply products,
  from its distributor because the manufacturer was out of stock;               and to attend and observe. This helps identify products that
  the mayor wants to tour the school’s facilities; the students are             students like and that comply with nutrition standards, and it
  unhappy. What would each of the panelists do?                                 gives students an opportunity to learn about ingredient mixes,
                                                                                the food manufacturing process, and the financial side of
  The foodservice directors recommend deferring the mayor’s visit               provisioning a school’s kitchen.
  to focus on the students. They recommend having a “plan B” in
  the event of such a crisis as pizza not arriving. This plan should
  include addressing the problem honestly to the students and               Other Important Points
  having other popular items on hand to substitute.                             First impressions. Research reveals that high school students
  The distributor representatives pointed out that effective                    form their impressions about the school café in the first two
  communication would have prevented this issue before a crisis                 weeks of the school year, a time when the café’s operations are
  occurred. Distributors would have known before the crisis that                often at its worst. Knowing the importance of this period, it is
  inventory was too low to cover the school’s order and could have              essential that school nutrition directors, distributors, and
  leaned on the manufacturer to provide additional stock, sought                manufacturers work together to improve the performance of
  product from other distribution centers, or provided substitutes.             schools during this chaotic period.
  It was incumbent on the distributor to inform the school of the               U.S. Foodservice works with customers at the end of one school
  potential problem immediately upon learning about it, present                 year to place their orders in advance for the beginning of the next
  the school with alternatives, and work with the school to                     year. This allows adequate time to communicate needs and
  formulate an acceptable solution.                                             changes to manufacturers, find the best pricing for the schools,
                                                                                and provide greater reliability at the most chaotic time of year.
           “You guys have got to know as soon as we know.
           That’s the bottom line.”                                             Fuel costs. Both distributors and manufacturers face challenges
            Stephen Hull                                                       associated with the rising cost of fuel, which ultimately affects
                                                                                schools and students. For distributors, this takes the form of
  Manufacturers could and should inform their distributors (or                  higher gas prices that increase the cost of delivery, which may
  schools if they are supplying schools directly), of ingredient or             result in special surcharges. These increased costs can be
  product shortages, the timeline for restoration, and available                mitigated if schools can work with fewer deliveries of greater
  substitutions.                                                                volume. Manufacturers are hit not only with transportation costs
                                                                                but also rising costs associated with petroleum products used in
  In the eyes of all stakeholders, communication is the key to
  preventing such a problem from occurring, or dealing with it if it
  does occur.

  Working together as partners, stakeholders are developing                 Action Steps
  creative solutions to the problems they face.
  With so many competing interests from the various parties                     Understand your partners. Find the time to have deep
  involved in school nutrition it may seem difficult to overcome                discussions with your partners about their business needs.
  each other’s challenges. However, the panel provided a number
                                                                                Communicate. Know your partners’ challenges, and make
  of examples where stakeholders found win-win solutions.
                                                                                sure they know yours. Rapidly communicate changes in
  To make time in busy schedules to learn about new vendor                      circumstances, notify of any difficulties, and ask for help in
  products and ideas, Minneapolis has created a “purchasing team”               finding solutions.
  comprised of school officials and a representative from its
  distributor (U.S. Foodservice). This team holds a day-long
  meeting once each month. A detailed agenda is developed, topics
  of interest are agreed to, and vendors are invited to present for a

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                                                      2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                       January 15-17, 2006
                                                                A Magical Experience                                                     Orlando, Florida
                                                                     Summary 4

                                        Quality Service—Disney Style
                                           Speaker: Jeff Noel, Program Facilitator, Disney Institute

                                                                                 was probably not essential as 99.9% of the audience would not
 Overview                                                                        have noticed if the scene wasn’t perfect. But this meticulous
                                                                                 attention to detail embodies Disney’s culture. (The term
 Disney’s renowned customer service is no accident. The company                  “bumping the lamp” is now a commonly used phrase within
 seeks to “create magic” for its customers through a culture that                Disney to remind cast members of attention to detail.)
 provides service exceeding customers’ expectations and by
 paying attention to every detail of the customer experience. A                  The overarching goal of delivering quality service is to create a
 core element of Disney’s quality service is its service theme which             consistent experience for customers no matter how, when, or
 creates a common purpose for the entire organization. Service                   where they interact with an organization.
 standards provide criteria against which to measure the service
 provided, and carefully designed delivery systems translate ideas               To deliver quality service an organization must know and
 into execution.                                                                 understand its customers.
                                                                                 Through extensive demographic and psychographic research,
 A culture of service, a service theme, clear standards, and a well-
                                                                                 Disney knows its customers so thoroughly that it is able to
 defined delivery system are all elements that can be applied with
                                                                                 understand exactly what they need, anticipate their questions
 success in any service organization, particularly school nutrition.
                                                                                 and wants, and deliver quality service that wows.
                                                                                 Demographic research yields data on who the customer is. The
Context                                                                          company has compiled reams of data on where its customers
Mr. Noel defined quality service from the Disney perspective,                    travel from, how they traveled, the size of their party, the length
presented examples of Disney’s approach, related this approach to                of their stay, how much they spend, and how long they had to
school nutrition, and led participants in interactive exercises to               save to afford the trip.
illustrate his points.                                                           Psychographic data helps the firm understand how the customer
                                                                                 thinks, and enables anticipation of questions before the guest
Key Conclusions                                                                  even asks them. Mr. Noel shared that outside of inquiries
                                                                                 regarding the location of Mickey Mouse or a restroom, the
  At Disney, quality service is about wowing customers, which                    question asked most frequently is, “When is the three o’clock
  begins with culture and requires attention to details.                         parade?” Disney understands that customers are really
  Organizations with repeated service failures cause customers not               wondering when they should get there, how long will the parade
  to come back, while organizations that consistently deliver                    last, where should they stand, which side of the street has shade,
  excellent service make their customers feel important, valued,                 etc.
  and appreciated, and cause them to come back frequently.                       The confluence of demographics and psychographics allows an
  Among all service companies, Disney is renowned for its service.               organization to navigate the four points of the expectation
  This begins with its culture, which is reflected in the company’s              compass: need, want, stereotypes, and emotions.
  language. Customers are “guests”; employees are “cast                      1. Need. Within a school cafeteria a student truly needs to learn
  members”; cast members are “onstage” or “offstage”; the physical              lifelong healthy eating habits.
  environment is “the setting”; and so on.
                                                                             2. Want. The student wants tasty food delivered quickly. There is
           Culture is what people think and do without                          often a disconnect between want and need; it is incumbent
           thinking. Language operationalizes the culture.”                     upon the organization to understand and deliver on both.
            Jeff Noel                                                       3. Stereotypes. Every customer of every organization has
                                                                                stereotypes associated with that organization. The organization
  Disney’s culture delivers quality service by focusing on two core             needs to develop positive stereotypes.
                                                                             4. Emotions. Every transaction is impacted by the customer’s
     - Exceed customer expectations. The company’s goal is to                   emotional state at the time of the transaction. This state
       inspire customers to say “wow.”                                          dictates different approaches to a transaction. Generally,
     - Pay attention to details. Exceeding customers’ expectations              students coming in for breakfast are in a different frame of
       comes from paying attention to even the smallest of details.             mind than those coming in for lunch after a morning full of
       The tone starts at the top, is present in all aspects of the             classes, tests, and homework assignments.
       business, and bleeds down to the front-line workers.
                                                                                        “Engage the brain and you have compliance.
  Nowhere is this more evident than in the animation to create a                        Engage the heart and you have commitment.”
  scene involving bumping into a lamp in the movie Roger Rabbit.                         Jeff Noel
  In the scene, which combined a live actor and an animated
  character, thousands of frames of animation were hand drawn to
  make the scene absolutely perfect. This hand- drawn animation

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                                                                 A Magical Experience                                                  Orlando, Florida
                                                                      Summary 4

  A “service theme” aligns everyone in an organization                           experience. Last in the order of quality standards at Disney is
  around a common purpose.                                                       efficiency. All employees know the standards and their priorities,
  A well-developed service theme provides guidance and clarity to                and as a result are more likely to make proper decisions when
  employees. It communicates the common purpose of the                           interacting with customers or encountering problems.
  organization to all of the organization’s employees by elucidating
  the image the organization wishes to project to its customers. The             Delivery systems implement service standards.
  service theme goes beyond simple goals like efficiency and                     A finely honed service theme and well-defined service standards
  encompasses the desired emotional reaction a positive customer                 do not help an organization if it does not have the ability to
  experience provides.                                                           execute. An organization’s delivery systems are the means
                                                                                 through which those ideas are converted to actions. The three
  A service theme follows a simple structure which involves filling              delivery systems are:
  in the following three blanks:
                                                                              1. Human resources. This is the organization’s employees. No one
     1. We create___________(This is the want or emotional                       knows more about the customer’s enjoyment than the front-
        connection a customer desires.)                                          line worker. This implies that employees at all levels must be
     2. By providing___________ (This is the need or product                     rigorously trained and inculcated in the organization’s history
        the company delivers.)                                                   and traditions. It also implies that management must be
                                                                                 vigilant in hiring those who exhibit not just the proper skill set
     3. For____________ (These are the customers who receive                     but also the proper personality and outlook for a given job.
        the product or service.)
                                                                              2. Physical/virtual resources. The resources used to serve the
  By following this structure, Disney’s 57,000 employees spread                  customer and the physical setting where the customer interacts
  across 2,500 jobs all know that the company’s common purpose                   with the organization must be well-maintained, functional, and
  is: We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment               deliver the desired visual and non-visual cues.
  to people of all ages everywhere.
                                                                              3. Processes. Whether simple or complex, processes and policies
  Setting service standards operationalizes the service theme.                   must be applicable across all customers and employees as every
                                                                                 process impacts the customer experience. Companies should
  An organization’s service standards are the criteria used to make
                                                                                 take advantage of the input of front-line workers as they have
  decisions and measure the quality of the service delivered. To
                                                                                 firsthand experience with how customers are positively or
  develop service standards the organization must identify key
                                                                                 negatively affected by policy and procedure.
  words that capture the elements of the service experience and
  then define specifically what those key words mean in terms of
  the business. After these key service elements/standards are
  defined, they must then be prioritized. Once prioritization is
                                                                            Action Steps
  completed, the standards are communicated thoroughly and
  repeatedly throughout the company.                                             Develop a service theme. Work with other constituents,
                                                                                 including students, to develop a succinct service theme.
  Every organization, regardless of service standards, has a non-
  negotiable top priority. At Disney this is the safety of all guests            Set service standards. Identify and prioritize the elements of
  and cast members. Next, an organization should prioritize those                service excellence.
  things that it is famous for or wishes to be famous for. In the case           Re-evaluate delivery systems. Make sure your delivery
  of Disney, safety is followed by “courtesy” (this is treating                  systems are in top shape. Pay particular attention to your
  everyone like a VIP—a very individual person), which is followed               employees. Make sure they have bought into the program and
  by “show.” Show is defined as the creation of a seamless guest                 seek their input on how to improve the customer experience.

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                                                                 A Magical Experience                                                   Orlando, Florida
                                                                      Summary 5

                                              Organizational Creativity
                                          Speaker: Joel Strack, Program Facilitator, Disney Institute

                                                                                 The components of a collaborative culture are:
                                                                                   - Passion for the purpose: People don’t just view work as a
 Innovation is necessary for the ongoing growth and financial                        job, but are passionate about what they are doing.
 health of any organization; it thrives when there is organizational
                                                                                   - Shared values: People have the same core values, which
 creativity. A creative organization comes about when there is a
                                                                                     helps to strike compromises and get through difficult times.
 strong organizational identity, a collaborative culture where idea
 generation flourishes, and structural systems to manage the                       - Communication: The key is breaking down silos. Many SNA
 implementation of creative ideas. By understanding the                              participants viewed communication as most critical.
 components of organizational creativity, any organization may                     - Trust: This creates an environment of openness where
 foster a trusting environment where it garners a competitive                        everyone, regardless of title or rank, is comfortable
 advantage by unleashing the creative talents of those within it.                    contributing insights and ideas.
                                                                                   - Leveraging a variety of perspectives: People have different
                                                                                     views based on their backgrounds, experiences, and different
Context                                                                              ways of thinking. Instead of wanting everyone to think alike,
                                                                                     organizations benefit from leveraging a wide diversity of
Mr. Strack presented Disney’s approach to organizational creativity,
                                                                                     thinking and ideas. Specifically, Disney has an informal rule
incorporating several interactive group exercises in his presentation
                                                                                     where managers and teams are encouraged to extract as
to illustrate key points.
                                                                                     many ideas as possible from new employees during the
                                                                                     person’s first 90 days, while they retain a more independent
Key Conclusions                                                                      view prior to becoming fully acclimated to Disney’s way of
                                                                                     thinking. These different perspectives can lead to a “blinding
  Organizational creativity is the key to unlocking an                               flash of the obvious.”
  organization’s ability to innovate.
  Disney has three fundamental beliefs about creativity:                         A clear organizational identity establishes a filter for
                                                                                 analyzing and selecting ideas.
    1. Everyone is creative, and therefore all organizations are filled
       with creative people.                                                     A clear organizational identity defines the organization’s purpose,
                                                                                 direction, and essence. It helps focus creative energy and when
    2. Organizations that leverage creativity create a competitive               clearly established serves to guide decision making and
       advantage. This involves tapping into the creativity of those             determine which ideas fit with the organization’s identity and
       in the organization in a systematic way that drives                       which don’t. The organizational identity is not static. As the
       innovation and continuously responds to the needs of                      organization grows the identity must be modified. There are four
       customers.                                                                components to the organizational identity:
    3. An organization can organize and maximize creativity.
                                                                              1. For whom do you exist? This is the customer. Many
  Organizational creativity is defined as the collective expression,             organizations have both direct and indirect customers and
  analysis, and implementation of ideas. Expression is the                       must identify and prioritize all of them. Within school nutrition
  generation of as many ideas as possible, which requires a                      these include the students, parents, staff, administrators,
  collaborative culture. Analysis is about selecting the best ideas,             school boards, and legislators.
  which is based on the organizational identity. Implementation is
  about having solid structural systems in place.                             2. What is your vision? This vision expresses what an
                                                                                 organization aspires to be.
  A collaborative culture creates the greatest number of ideas.               3. What do you do? This defines a company’s basic mission and
  A collaborative culture allows people to express their ideas                   the products and services it provides. However, the mission can
  honestly and without fear of censure. People are encouraged to                 be a pitfall as it is easy to be so focused on doing that an
  “separate their ideas from their identity.” At Disney they “plus it            organization loses sight of what it aspires to be.
  up” which is the process of stepping up an idea to realize its full
  potential. In ideation sessions instead of thinking about why               4. Essence. This is the emotion that you want your customers to
  ideas won’t work with the common language “Yes, but…” the                      feel when they experience your product or service and when
  nomenclature is, “Yes, and…” This choice of words creates a fun,               they think of your organization.
  collaborative environment where team members work together                     An example of how organizational identity comes into play in
  and ideas are expanded upon. This fosters an environment where                 deciding on ideas: when Disney decided to launch a cruise line
  the greatest number of ideas is generated.                                     business, unlike other cruise lines it decided not to offer gambling
                                                                                 on its ships as doing so would be inconsistent with its organi-
           “You want as many ideas as possible. It doesn’t                       zational identity. Instead, the space on a cruise ship normally
           matter if they’re good…yet.”                                          occupied by a casino was converted to child care space.
            Joel Strack

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                                                                      Summary 5

  Well-designed structural systems are essential for
  effectively implementing the highest-quality ideas.                       Action Steps
  For creative ideas to truly be effective they must be well imple-
  mented and managed. The implementation must be managed                         Create a collaborative culture. Determine what your
  such that it is efficient and the results are measurable. A                    organization must do to make the culture more collaborative.
  structural system that enhances organizational creativity:                     What are the barriers? Use the “Yes, and” method.
     - Sets the parameters with which an idea must comply.                       Define the organization’s identity. Take the time to develop
       Instead of thinking outside the box an organization should                your organization’s identity by identifying the customers,
       think inside the box dictated by its customers, vision,                   vision, mission, and essence.
       mission, and essence.
                                                                                 Assess the structural systems in your organization. Does
     - Takes advantage of internal expertise resident in the
                                                                                 the organization have the processes in place to effectively
       organization regardless of department or job title.
                                                                                 implement the best ideas? Is there a continuous improvement
     - Assigns accountability to the parties who are responsible for             system that is actively used?
       managing, monitoring, and measuring the results.
     - Defines and documents the processes used in implementing
       the idea.
     - Is continuously improved. Disney employs the continuous
       improvement cycle to empower its cast members to keep the
       company growing and changing. The components of this
       cycle are: listen and learn, which is particularly important for
       those who are closest to the customer; measure; act; re-
       measure; recognize and celebrate; and share with other parts
       of the organization so that all may benefit from innovation in
       any one part.

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                                                                     A Magical Experience                                                   Orlando, Florida
                                                                          Summary 6

         Translating the Magic to Reality—In the Business of Nutrition
                                Speaker: Dr. Mardell Wilson, EdD, RD, LDN, Associate Professor, Illinois State University

                                                                                     The public is bombarded by conflicting and confusing
 Overview                                                                            messages on childhood obesity.
 Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. As                     As the issue of childhood obesity attracts attention, more voices
 the issue garners more attention, many in the media and various                     join the chorus of concern. It is not surprising then that there has
 interest groups are seeking someone to blame and are pointing                       been a recent emphasis on identifying someone or something to
 the finger at schools. While schools are far from the culprits in                   blame. In many circles, school nutrition has been designated as
 this problem, schools can play an important role in the solution.                   the “fall guy.” Organizations with nice-sounding titles, such as the
 What is required is that school nutrition directors are educated                    Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools and the Center for
 about the facts, and are proactive in developing and                                Science and Public Interest, routinely issue statements that place
 communicating policies and programs that create a more                              the blame for childhood obesity squarely on schools. These
 healthful and nutritious school environment.                                        organizations are often poorly informed, sensationalistic, and
                                                                                     offer recommendations that are completely impractical.

Context                                                                                    “Magic won’t make it [childhood obesity] go
                                                                                           away. It took a long time to develop; it will take
Dr. Wilson presented facts about childhood obesity, warned about
                                                                                           a long time to fix.”
inaccurate messages, and offered suggestions for creating a                                 Dr. Mardell Wilson
healthier school nutrition environment.
                                                                                     The messages circulating create confusion among parents,
Key Conclusions                                                                      teachers, and politicians, all of whom bear some responsibility,
                                                                                     and all of whom are looking for a quick fix to the problem. There
  There is a childhood obesity epidemic in the United States.                        is no quick fix.
  Amidst the hysteria and hyperbole regarding childhood obesity in                   According to the Centers for Disease Control, reversing obesity
  the United States, it is important for school nutrition directors to               requires a long-term, well-coordinated approach to reach people
  know the facts. By focusing on the facts schools can make                          where they live, where they learn, and where they play. Schools—
  knowledgeable choices in regard to addressing the problem.                         as the place where children learn—play a key role. Research
  USDA surveys from 1996 found that children consumed 118 more                       shows that well-designed and implemented school programs can
  calories per day than in 1978 (a figure which has likely risen since               effectively promote physical activity and healthy eating. The
  1996). This caloric intake equates to twelve pounds per year. Over                 combination of the two helps children learn and develop lifelong
  the last two decades, rates of obesity have doubled in children                    healthful habits.
  and tripled in adolescents, with 16% of both groups being obese.
                                                                                     By following four steps, school nutrition professionals can
  While all age and gender groups have shown increases in obesity
                                                                                     help educate children and the public on healthy eating.
  rates, the problem is particularly acute among Hispanic males
  and African-American females. Children from lower-income                        1. Be proactive, not reactive. Children’s health is an emotionally
  families regardless of race are most at risk.                                      charged issue. Ignoring stakeholders who are interested in
                                                                                     school nutrition—even those who are critical—does not work.
  According to the USDA, on average, children consume only 35%
                                                                                     Stay positive and constructive, but be proactive in anticipating
  of the recommended amounts of fruit and 45% for vegetables. At
                                                                                     their questions, and make changes before they ask for them.
  the same time, children are consuming an ever-growing amount
                                                                                     Most important, communicate to keep all stakeholders
  of soft drinks. Today, 52% of white teenage males consume more
  than three servings (eight ounces per serving) of soda per day;
  this is three times as much soft drinks as milk.                                2. Assess your district’s health policy and develop a plan for
                                                                                     improvement. Consider the policies and programs already in
  These changes in diet take place while physical activity has
                                                                                     place and assess their effectiveness with brutal honesty. What
  declined as children spend an increasing amount of time in front
                                                                                     is working? What is not? Make changes and communicate the
  of an electronic screen (TVs and computers). Research has shown
                                                                                     plan to all stakeholders.
  a direct correlation between the amount of time spent in front of
  a screen and obesity.                                                           3. Innovate. Don’t ignore best practices or resist legislative
                                                                                     mandates. Be creative in addressing the changes required by
  The result of dietary changes combined with decreased activity is
                                                                                     legislation. Seek assistance from industry partners to
  an alarming increase in health problems among children
                                                                                     successfully promote the sale of more healthful foods and
  including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and
                                                                                     beverages. Opponents will not hesitate to point out failed
                                                                                     programs. Likewise, school nutrition professionals should not
                                                                                     hesitate in communicating their successes.
                                                                                  4. Develop a shared vision. When developing local wellness
                                                                                     policies, consider and involve the broad audience of interested

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                                                                 A Magical Experience                                                    Orlando, Florida
                                                                      Summary 6

     stakeholders. The overall effort is to affect children where they
     live, work, and play. Seek out advocates and partners in the            Action Steps
     community to assist in getting the message out and
     communicate wants and needs to industry partners.                             Get Informed. Know the facts about childhood obesity.
                                                                                   Numerous resources are available to assist you.
                                                                                   Be proactive in developing a plan. Educate your community
Other Important Points                                                             of students, teachers, and parents. Assess your current policies
  Portion Size Me. This is a documentary that countered the well-                  and programs and develop a plan to improve what is in place.
  publicized film Supersize Me where a person gains 20 pounds                      Communicate relentlessly.
  and experiences health problems when eating only fast food for a
  month. In Portion Size Me, individuals also only eat fast food for
  a month, but they lose weight by closely monitoring their
  portions. For further information, go to
  More information. The following web sites provide valuable
  information for those in child nutrition:
    - The Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA,
    - Center for Disease Control,
    - Action for Healthy Kids,
    - MyPyramid,

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                                                        2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                      January 15-17, 2006
                                                             Managing the Forces of Change                                                Orlando, Florida
                                                                       Summary 7

                                             Nutrition Education Advocacy
                                Speaker: Lora Novak, Director, Gwinnett County School District, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Overview                                                                          In addition, each school appointed a nutrition education leader,
                                                                                  usually the assistant cafeteria manager, to work with the
Gwinnett County, Georgia, is the fastest-growing school district in               advocates in coaching the staff, interpreting the nutritional
the country. As the population has exploded and the demographics                  requirements, and implementing the SNP in their school. Each
have changed, the district has faced distinct challenges in meeting               school’s nutrition leader is required to engage in activities such as
the nutrition needs of the school population.                                     classroom visits, staff meetings, and a monthly community event
                                                                                  of some kind. This revised structure better touches all
It has addressed these needs by launching the School Nutrition                    stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and students.
Program (SNP). The SNP provides education and resources focused
on nutrition, and changed the organizational philosophy to                               “Relationships have been formed that never
empower staff at each school to develop menus that are popular                           would have occurred without this change [in
with their students while also delivering on nutrition needs. This                       structure].”
program, which provides incentives to staff to participate, has                           Lora Novak
resulted in exceeding customer expectations and increasing
participation rates (while also improving nutrition).                             In addition to changing the structure of the organization to
                                                                                  facilitate greater nutrition education, the district has also created
                                                                                  incentives and rewards to recognize outstanding staff members.
                                                                                  Each year the district identifies Nutrition Education Leaders of
Context                                                                           the Year who are recognized at an annual conference and receive
Ms. Novak, who was supported by Sue Johnson and Sarah Willette,                   a trip to the Georgia School Nutrition Association conference.
shared background information about the Gwinnett County School
District and provided details of the SNP program.                                 The SNP is primarily focused on nutrition education.
                                                                                  The key to the SNP is the educational materials. These are age-
Key Conclusions                                                                   appropriate, and include handouts and PowerPoint presenta-
                                                                                  tions. Educators use them to educate staff, faculty, parents, and
  The district faced challenges brought about by rapid growth                     students. Articles about nutrition are generated and distributed
  and changing demographics.                                                      using the school newsletter and the PTA. Nutrition facts are
                                                                                  developed and included in the morning announcements for the
  Gwinnett County, 30 miles north of Atlanta, is the fastest-                     entire school. A popular component of the program is Nutrition
  growing school district in the country. A staff of 24,000 serves                Nuggets: one-line nutritional statements that the cashiers use to
  172,000 students. In 2005 the district took in over 5,000                       make positive statements about healthy food choices.
  students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The growth has also
  changed the makeup of the population. Once predominately                        The program revolves around monthly nutrition themes. Each
  white, the student population is now 53% minority students. The                 month a different theme is adopted, which is often based on
  population is projected to continue to grow rapidly.                            specific national and local nutrition-related events, such as
                                                                                  National Citrus Month. Each month the theme is reinforced via
  The growth of the district has placed enormous demands on                       announcements, class visits, staff meetings, bulletin board
  school nutrition. Today, the Gwinnett County School District                    projects, taste tests, kitchen tours, and the Nutrition Nuggets.
  serves 17 million lunches and 5 million breakfasts annually.
  District wide, 76% of students participate in the school lunch                         “Everything we do supports the monthly
  program, with 24% availing themselves of hot breakfasts. Among                         themes.”
  the student population, 37% are in free or reduced programs.                            Lora Novak
  Participation has steadily increased due to education and
  awareness programs, and due to improved customer service.                       A result of this revised organizational structure and these
                                                                                  enhanced nutrition education programs has been a significant
  To deliver improved nutrition and nutrition education, the                      increase in participation. In just the first year of the SNP,
  district changed its organizational approach.                                   participation at high schools was up 6%, and it was up 9% at
  Five years ago the district changed its approach to its food                    middle schools.
  program. With a goal of teaching children healthy eating habits,
  the School Nutrition Project was launched. In doing so, the                     Menu planning combines satisfying students with complying
  district moved away from a top-down administrative approach to                  with nutritional requirements.
  a multi-tiered infrastructure.                                                  To develop menus that both are popular with students and meet
  Four cafeteria managers with special nutrition training were                    nutritional requirements, the district analyzes the student
  designated as Nutrition Education Advocates. Each was assigned                  choices made in each facility and includes students in taste tests.
  to work with 23 schools in the district. The main role of the                   At the same time, the district reviews the nutritional
  nutrition education advocates is to create, assemble, and                       requirements for different menu items and encourages that
  distribute educational materials promoting healthy eating and to                healthy food be served. This can be seen through examples such
  foster a healthy environment.                                                   as five of six milks that are offered are low or no fat; vegetarian
                                                                                  selections are made available; and all salad dressings are low or
                                                                                  no fat. By developing menus through a combination of what
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                                                      2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                   January 15-17, 2006
                                                           Managing the Forces of Change                                             Orlando, Florida
                                                                     Summary 7

  students like and the nutrient content of those items, the school               - Improve employee participation: To improve employee
  exceeds the customer expectations and complies with the                           participation in the SNP the district instituted a new Teams
  nutrient standards that guide it in providing healthful meals.                    of Excellence program. Previously, teams were recognized on
                                                                                    a pass/fail basis. The revamped version breaks teams into
  The program is constantly evolving.                                               bronze, silver, and gold, with silver and gold level teams
  Initially, the SNP had five equally important educational areas:                  receiving financial compensation for their stellar efforts.
  nutrition, leadership, personnel, financial, and training. After                - Academic Knowledge and Skills: The district is aggressively
  building a solid base in the other four areas, the program now                    improving its ability to deliver on Academic Knowledge and
  focuses exclusively on nutrition.                                                 Skills (AKS) areas, which dictate the curriculum at the local
  Just as the program’s focus has evolved, so has participation. In                 schools. In middle schools, for example, students are allowed
  the first year, only 31 schools (out of more than 100) participated.              to use the kitchen to learn about portion sizes and ingredient
  Participation has increased each year, and this year there is full                measurements. Along with helping the students learn, this
  participation by all schools in the district.                                     provides an additional opportunity for the kids and staff to
                                                                                    get to know each other.
  As the program has progressed, the district has continuously
  adapted it to better meet the needs of students and employees.
  Changes include:
                                                                           Other Important Points
     - Intranet: A new intranet is easier to use and provides school
                                                                                More information. The district has developed a best practices
       nutrition leaders with more tools and resources. The intranet
       also allows the central office to be more proactive in                   guide that provides historical information on the SNP, samples of
                                                                                program components, checklists, guide documents, and much
       monitoring and improving compliance standards.
                                                                                more. The district is happy to share this resource with school
                                                                                nutrition professionals everywhere.

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                                                          2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                      January 15-17, 2006
                                                                    A Magical Experience                                                    Orlando, Florida
                                                                         Summary 8

                                      Understanding Ourselves and Others
                                Speaker: Dr. Jim Kern, Motivational Speaker and Consultant, Jim Kern Enterprises, Inc.

                                                                                    adults, let get away. We give up on some children too easily as
Overview                                                                            bad kids or lost causes. This is more of a reflection on us than it is
                                                                                    on those children.
People that work with children have the best job in the world. But
with that great job comes tremendous responsibility. To reach out                   We live in a society with confused priorities.
to children and to teach them—whether you work in a classroom, an
                                                                                    Dr. Kern is of the opinion that modern society does a poor job of
office, or a kitchen—requires that you earn those children’s trust. By
allowing a child to see the child in you, you become a trusted and                  prioritizing. He illustrates this by pointing out that many people
                                                                                    leave their car in the driveway because they have too much junk
valued teacher.
                                                                                    in the garage.
More and more, schools and the people working in them have to
supply children with what they cannot get elsewhere: love,                                 “Only in America will you leave a $30,000 car
appreciation, and attention. These elements are lacking largely due                        outside because you have a $39.95 cooker in the
to societal priorities that have become perfectly reversed, as greater                     middle of the garage.”
emphasis is placed on things than on people. This emphasis allows                           Dr. Jim Kern
adults to excuse themselves from fulfilling promises made to
children. More than anything, Dr. Kern urges all of us to never                     In our increasingly materialistic society, we have come to love
again renege on a promise made to a child.                                          things and use people, and too often those closest to us get our
                                                                                    worst side. Dr. Kern is particularly concerned that:

Context                                                                               - America’s parents are not raising America’s children.

Through anecdotes ranging from humorous to sad, Dr. Kern                              - We pay more each month to park our cars than we do to
discussed how best to reach and nurture society’s children.                             educate our kids.
                                                                                      - A man can make $36 million a year for playing a child’s
Key Conclusions                                                                         game (a reference to a professional athlete), yet those who
                                                                                        serve our children must live on the threshold of poverty.
  To teach children they need to know you.
                                                                                    In our schools we are putting too much emphasis on testing and
  Dr. Kern began by introducing himself and his background.                         not enough on teaching. Farmers annually plant seeds, water
  Instead of presenting the usual recitation of the curriculum vitae,               them, and wait for them to grow. They do not dig them up every
  he shared stories of his children. This served to emphasize the                   few months to see how the roots are doing.
  point that an audience must know whether they like a teacher
  before they can decide if they trust the teacher and are willing to               Children are the most important thing, but we too often
  listen. School nutrition professionals teach and work with                        act otherwise.
  children on a daily basis. These children do not care where any                   Not now. Later. Some other time. I’m too tired. These are
  of the adults in a school have gone to school, or even if they have
                                                                                    typically adult answers to the requests of children. Often they are
  gone to school. What they want to know is, “Do you see me?”                       the excuses used to postpone fulfilling a promise made to a child.
  “Do you like me?”
                                                                                    Dr. Kern’s book, Build the Fort…Today, is named for a particular
  Dr. Kern shared a story of one of his daughters who came home
                                                                                    event that points out the tragedy of a broken promise. A man’s
  on the first day of school and told him about her old teacher, Mrs.               seven-year-old son had asked him to build a fort. The father
  Brown. Over the year additional adjectives were added to
                                                                                    promised he would but could not do so that night. “I am too
  describe Mrs. Brown, such as mean and fat. On the last day of                     tired,” he said. He continued to put it off. One day the father
  school, Mrs. Brown arrived at the school picnic wearing jeans and
                                                                                    promised the boy that if he came straight home after school, they
  a sweatshirt and went down the slide “just like all us kids.” The                 would build a fort together. At the end of the school day the boy
  little girl decided she liked Mrs. Brown on that, the last day of                 bolted out of the building to run all the way home. He ran out
                                                                                    into the street, emerging from between two parked cars. He
                                                                                    was hit by a car and went into a coma. In the hospital, the father
           “Be who you are. God made you the way you’re
                                                                                    waited at his son’s bedside. Finally, the child awoke and said,
           supposed to be and God don’t make junk.”
                                                                                    “Daddy, it looks like we don’t have to build that fort.” Those
            Dr. Jim Kern
                                                                                    were the last words the child spoke.
  To truly connect with children you must be willing to laugh with
                                                                                           “Children’s all we got. We’ve got nothing else
  them, cry with them, and be scared with them. Anyone working
                                                                                           that matters at all.”
  with children must allow the children to know him or her and
                                                                                            Dr. Jim Kern
  must let the children know they are noticed and appreciated.
  Children who feel important are not the ones who bring guns to
  school or turn to crime. Those children are the ones that we, the

Sponsored by:                                                                                                                            Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                             Page 18
                                                       2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                January 15-17, 2006
                                                                 A Magical Experience                                              Orlando, Florida


Summary 1: Releasing Your Brilliance                                        Summary 2: The Essential Concepts for Building Partnerships

Simon T. Bailey                                                             Susan Reimer-Sifford
President and Founder, Imagination Institute, Inc.                          Owner, Sunshine Solutions Consulting, LLC

Simon T. Bailey is a “catalyst for brilliance.” As an internationally       Currently Susan Reimer-Sifford is the Director of Restaurant
known speaker, author and consultant who teaches people how to              Distribution Services for Darden Restaurants Inc. She is
find their passion and release their brilliance. He is the founder of       responsible for all negotiations, service levels, and operations
the Imagination Institute, Inc., an organization dedicated to building      within the Distribution Companies servicing Darden Restaurants
the world’s most valuable resource—its people.                              Inc., Seafood Logistics, and Re-Distribution centers throughout the
                                                                            country. Darden Restaurants Inc. is the largest publicly traded
Bailey has impacted the lives of over 250,000 people through his            casual dining restaurant company in the world. They currently
transformational presentations, content-rich workshops/programs,            operate over 1400 restaurants serving more than 300 million meals
and Internet presence. Simon’s counsel helps organizations drive            annually in the United States and Canada with annual sales of
productivity and increase employee retention, which ultimately lead         more than $5.2 billion.
to a brilliant bottom line. Simon consistently receives high marks for
his candid and practical approach to communicating key principles           Susan started Sunshine Solutions Consulting, LLC in 2004 to work
with a humanistic touch.                                                    with both school districts and government services in the areas of
                                                                            purchasing. From her previous experience in these areas, Susan
Simon’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies and national               understood the need for listening to customer wishes and is
associations to government agencies and educational institutions in         dedicated to providing solutions which will positively impact the
the U.S. and abroad. Notables include organizations such as Blue            organization. She has operational management experience in
Cross Blue Shield, McDonald’s, SunTrust, Disney, and Business               business and healthcare accounts, contract bid development and
Women’s Association of South Africa.                                        negotiation, training, and curriculum development which helps her
                                                                            to build consensus with the organizations she works with. Various
Simon is an accomplished author. His newest book is Release Your            clients have been Orange County School District, SYSCO of
Brilliance. He has authored one other book—Simon Says Dream:                Central Florida, Sarasota County School District, Hillsborough
Live a Passionate Life. Simon also played an integral role in the           County School District, and North Florida Buying Group.
Disney Institute book—Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of
Customer Service. He has been interviewed extensively on                    Previous to Sunshine Solutions Consulting, Susan worked for 10
television and radio; and articles about him have appeared in               years with Sodexho North American in the positions such as Vice
numerous publications, including Florida Trend business magazine.           President [VP] of Division Support, VP of Distribution and
                                                                            Operations Support with responsibility for managing a $60.3 million
Bailey’s expertise in leadership, sales, and customer service was           income budget and $1.467 billion in sales budget, Regional
honed over two decades. Simon first achieved success as                     Operations Director, and running hospital foodservices. She has
“Manager of the Year” with Hyatt Hotels and National Account                interfaced with division presidents, executives, operational
Manager for the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau. He                  management as well as industry partners from both the
became Sales Director in the Resort division of the Walt Disney             manufacturing and distribution lines of business. She was
Company, leading the team that procured international group travel          responsible for managing, meeting, and exceeding strategic goals
contracts. He then joined the Disney Institute as a customized              and objectives. A $5 billion company, Sodexho works with
program consultant, where he designed and delivered programs to             businesses, college and universities, K-12 schools, healthcare, and
organizations at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World Resort.             government clients
Simon was subsequently promoted to Sales Director for the Disney
Institute, managing accounts for organizations worldwide.                   Susan maintains membership in the Women in Foodservice,
                                                                            American Commodities Distribution Association, School Nutrition
Bailey graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from              Association, and American Association of Family and Consumer
Life Christian University and earned a master’s degree from Faith           Sciences. Susan is a board member of Central Florida’s Second
Christian University. He is also a graduate of the Rollins College          Harvest. Susan is married to Doug and lives in Winter Springs,
Executive Management Program. Simon was given an honorary                   Florida with two cats, Sugar and Spice.
doctorate of divinity degree by Faith Christian University. He was
chosen Speaker of the Year by the San Diego, California chapter of          Susan Tatum
Meeting Professionals International and was inducted as an
                                                                            Principal, Vinca Marketing and Communications
honorary member of the University of Central Florida chapter of the
Golden Key International Honor Society. Simon Bailey serves on
the boards of numerous organizations, including Health Central              Susan is a senior executive with more than 25 years of leadership
Hospital Foundation Board, a $130 million hospital with 1,500               in the service marketplace. She has a proven track record of
employees and the Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation. He                 effectively and profitably leading large and diverse organizations
has also been selected Central Florida’s “Man of the Year.”                 with multi-unit scope.

Sponsored by:                                                                                                                   Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                          Page 19
                                                      2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                    January 15-17, 2006
                                                                A Magical Experience                                                  Orlando, Florida

Currently, Susan is the Principal of Vinca Marketing and                    Medecine's Committee on Nutrition Standards For Foods in
Communications. Vinca works with firms large and small,                     Schools. Rosemary received the Golden Apple Award for Nutrition
specializing in educational nonprofits. Vinca's services include,           Education from the Minnesota Food Service Association and a
communications, strategic marketing planning, foodservice                   Community Partner Star Award from the University of Minnesota
consulting, branding, market research, customer segmentation, and           School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Division, in
promotions designed to work at the store level.                             recognition of her contributions to the guidance of Minneapolis
                                                                            Public Schools students. Dederichs earned a BA degree in
As Senior Vice President of Marketing for Sodexho, a $5B plus               psychology from Mundelein College of Loyola University and
hospitality and services company, she created double digit revenue          conducted additional studies in education at Northern Illinois
growth opportunities, while achieving high levels of client and             University, College of DuPage, and Elmhurst College.
customer satisfaction in a competitive environment with significant
cost pressures.                                                             Art Dunham
                                                                            Assistant Director, Pinellas County School District
Susan Valenti-DeVito
                                                                            Arthur F. Dunham (Art) was born, raised, and educated in New
Creative Director, Vinca Marketing and Communications
                                                                            York. He joined the U.S. Army in 1972 where he became a Warrant
                                                                            Officer on the General's staff in Korea. His main duties were to
A dynamic senior level corporate executive, Susan Valenti-DeVito            upgrade the military dining facilities from post Korean War
has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, branding, and              conditions to efficient, state-of-the-art facilities capable of feeding
communications. Her expertise is in working with accounts to turn           1,000 men at a time. Later in Germany, he was assigned to the
them into retail operations with a consumer product focus. Before           Army Officer Club System where he was responsible for the day-to-
joining Vinca, Susan served as vice president of marketing for a $5         day operation of three Officer's clubs and five NCO clubs.
billion company, Sodexho North America. Her development of
award-winning retail brand promotions is well documented. She has           Art has been a member of the local, state and national School Food
been a speaker at various industry conventions including Brand              Service Association since 1986. He has been very active in his
America.                                                                    local association by serving on many committees and also serving
                                                                            as Treasurer. In 1997-1998 he was President of the Pinellas
Summary 3: School Nutrition Partnerships in Action                          County School Food Service Association. His hard work was
                                                                            rewarded as Pinellas County won the Best Chapter award at the
Helene Clark                                                                Annual Conference. For several years Art has served as Teller for
Director of Marketing, ConAgra Foodservice                                  FSFSA. His duties were to count the ballots and votes in elections
                                                                            and monitor decisions.
Helene recently joined ConAgra Foodservice Specialty Potato
Products® as the Director of Marketing – Health & Wellness and is           Stephen Hull
responsible for the Lamb Weston® brand health communication                 Vice President, Marketing, U.S. Foodservice
strategy, issue/trend identification and K-12 marketing initiatives.
She has more than 25 years of sales, marketing and operations               Stephen Hull is the Vice President, Marketing with corporate
experience, including over 18 years in college dining operations.           responsibilities for segment strategies and eBusiness for U.S.
Most recently, Helene worked for General Mills in a variety of sales        Foodservice. Key segments include Education, Healthcare,
and marketing roles in non-commercial foodservice. Helene has               Hospitality, and Government. In concert with U.S. Foodservice’s
served on the Executive Board/Board of Directors of the School              Region and Division Organizations, Stephen’s team is tasked to
Nutrition Association, Child Nutrition Foundation, and National             develop and implement real solutions to address the rising
Association of College and University Food Services. She earned             pressures of school foodservice.
an MBA from Tulane University and a Bachelor’s degree in
Economics from Duke University.                                             Prior to his current role, Stephen led corporate initiatives to
                                                                            minimize the variation in facility spend within Nursing Home and
Rosemary Dederichs                                                          Assisted Living companies, controlling their foodservice costs. Over
Director of Food Services, Minneapolis Public School District               the last twelve years, Stephen has held roles in Management,
                                                                            Procurement, Sales, and Marketing within several Distribution
Rosemary Dederichs, BA, is the Director of the Food Services                Centers throughout the United States.
Department for the Minneapolis Public School District, Minnesota.
She has worked with the school district for 20 years, serving as a          Matt Musgrove
Food Service Assistant, Site Manager, Multi-Site Coordinator,               (Biography not provided)
Operations Manager, Interim Director, and currently as Director.
Rosemary's career in schools began as a certified elementary                Susan Reimer-Sifford
school teacher. At present she is certified as a State and City Food        (For biography, see Summary 2)
Manager and certified at Level III in Child Nutrition through the
National School Nutrition Association. Rosemary is a former                 Susan Tatum
executive board member of the Minnesota School Nutrition                    (For biography, see Summary 2
Association and serves on the Gold Medal Advisory Board for
General Mills, Inc. She is also currently serving on the Institute of
Sponsored by:                                                                                                                     Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                           Page 20
                                                      2006 Child Nutrition Industry Conference                                  January 15-17, 2006
                                                                A Magical Experience                                                Orlando, Florida

Summary 4: Quality Service—Disney Style                                    Joel grew up on a farm in northern Illinois where he and his siblings
                                                                           ran a commercial garden operation. He was active in FFA and 4-H
Jeff Noel                                                                  and awarded the National 4-H Leadership Award in 1979. Joel
Program Facilitator, Disney Institute                                      received his BS degree in public relations, with an emphasis in
                                                                           commercial recreation, from the University of Illinois.
Jeff began his Disney experience as College Program intern
“Jungle Jeff” on the world-famous Jungle Cruise attraction. He left        Summary 6: Translating the Magic to Reality—In the Business
Disney later that year to pursue his dream of riding a bicycle across      of Nutrition
the United States. Jeff returned to the Walt Disney World Resort in
1984 and held various front-line roles in theme parks and resorts          Dr. Mardell Wilson
and also taught the Disney Traditions orientation program. In 1988,        Associate Professor, Dietetic Internship Director, Director for
he began his leadership experience in Resort Operations and                University Assessment, Illinois State University
eleven years later he accepted the invitation to become a Disney
Institute facilitator. Here, he works hard to excite, inspire, and         Dr. Mardell Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Department of
motivate others. “To teach is to learn twice,” you’ll hear him say.        Family and Consumer Sciences where she taught in the area of
And this is why his 20-plus years in Walt Disney World operations          Foods, Nutrition, and Dietetics for eight years. During that time she
is such an asset in the classroom.                                         also served as Director of the Graduate Dietetic Internship
                                                                           program; a fully accredited program. Dr. Wilson credits managing
Spanning his career, Jeff managed the Corporate VIP department,            the accredited internship program for developing her interest in
working directly with Michael Eisner’s office in Burbank. He opened        assessment and quality program review. Currently, Dr. Wilson
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, managed Concierge                   serves as both the Director for the Dietetic Internship as well as
operations at Disney’s flagship Grand Floridian Resort, and served         Director for University Assessment. Dr. Wilson’s primary research
on the Disney Institute advisory team while managing Front Office          focus has been directed towards the supervised practice portion of
operations for Disney’s Village Resort. He returned to the Grand           dietetics education, with an emphasis on preceptors and
Floridian in a unique role as Guest/Cast Satisfaction Manager. His         evaluation. However, Dr. Wilson maintains a special interest in
passion was dedicated to developing the Cast while providing               promoting school foodservice and its positive link to child nutrition.
exemplary service to guests.                                               She has made several presentations nationally regarding this topic.
Jeff received his bachelor of science degree in corporate recreation
                                                                           Summary 7: Nutrition Education Advocacy
and fitness from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He
attended the University of Idaho as a National Student Exchange
                                                                           Lora Novak
Program participant and is a graduate of the North Carolina
                                                                           (Biography not provided)
Outward Bound School.
                                                                           Summary 8: Understanding Ourselves and Others
Summary 5: Organizational Creativity
                                                                           Dr. Jim Kern
Joel Strack                                                                Motivational Speaker and Consultant, Jim Kern Enterprises, Inc.
Program Facilitator, Disney Institute
                                                                           Jim Kern was born and raised in southern Minnesota. After
Joel began his over-20-year career with The Walt Disney Company            graduating from Byron High School he attended Winona State
as an attractions host at Disneyland Resort in California. The first       University where he earned his BS degree with majors in English
Walt Disney World College Program brought him to Florida during            and Physical Education, and later an MS degree with emphasis on
the summer of 1981. After completing his degree, Joel returned to          guidance and counseling. From the University of Wyoming, Jim
Walt Disney World Resort and has been part of the Disney family            earned his doctorate in educational psychology. Jim has taught
ever since. He’s been a performer in shows, parades, and                   every age group from kindergarten to seasoned citizens in
atmosphere experiences, and was an attractions guest service               Minnesota, Michigan, and Wyoming. Today Jim lives in South
manager at the Disney-MGM Studios. Joel was stage manager                  Texas with Denise, his wife, and their two children, Katie and
during the initial production of The Osborne Family Spectacle of           Jamie.
Lights, Dick Tracy Crimestoppers, Bear in the Big Blue House™–
Live On Stage!, and part of the team that hosted the premiere of           Jim gives between 150 and 200 presentations per year to a wide
Pocahontas in New York’s Central Park. Joel also spent a year as           variety of groups. A few of these groups are: National Association
associate director of character casting, selecting performers for the      of Secondary School Principals; National Association of Elementary
three theme parks that were operating at the time.                         School Principals; National Parents and Teachers Association;
                                                                           National Play Therapy Association; Young President's Organization
In 1987, Joel became an instructor for Traditions, a role he               (YPO); National 4-H Programs; National Future Homemakers of
performed for four years. He also developed and delivered training         America; National Future Business Leaders of America; National
programs for the Walt Disney World character performers, new               Student Councils Association; Council of State Governments; and
leaders at the Disney-MGM Studios, and the performers who would            American Probation and Parole Association.
portray Jim Henson’s Muppets when they joined Disney in 1990.

Sponsored by:                                                                                                                    Created for SNA by:
School Nutrition Association™                                         Page 21

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