Greetings from the President
By the time you read this article in early April, we will be nearing the end of this school year. I hope you all have had a successful year, and had the opportunity to grow from any challenges you have faced professionally and personally. Recovery from Hurricane Harvey still continues for many in the Gulf Coast area. Please keep them in your prayers. Freezing temperatures in a large part of the state, with bursting pipes, was a winter adventure many faced. I enjoy when Houston has a "winter" but at times this one was too close to what I experienced while living in New England – a climate I do not wish to live in ever again.
The Texas Legislative Action Day took place on February 13. Thank you to those that took time to call your local representatives to share our concerns. In early March TASN joined the School Nutrition Association's Legislative Action Conference and marched to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to make our voices heard. The first time I attended was many years ago when I was very new to school nutrition programs, and I felt intimidated and did not fully enjoy my experience. Now it is one of my favorite conferences and I understand how important it is to educate our representatives so they can work for us.
If you don't have the opportunity to travel to your representatives, contact in other ways also helps, such as by phoning in, emailing, or responding to surveys. SNA is currently collecting comments for a USDA survey about program simplification. If you think this is needed, now is an opportunity to submit your concerns and ideas. Click here to share your thoughts: www.schoolnutrition.org.
Fall was a time of reflection, followed by winter which is a time for evaluation, planning, and preparation for the seasons (and year) to come. What changes will you implement in your program or business? In what areas do you want to grow? Do you want to advance to become a cashier, manager, supervisor, or director? Will there be a vacation in your future?
Spring is the time to put plans into action. I hope your list includes registering to attend TASN's Annual Conference in June (17– 20). President-elect Shelly Copeland, her committee, and the headquarters staff are hard at work planning. As always there will be informative speakers, a showcase of food and equipment, and networking opportunities with vendors and peers. Successes will be celebrated at the awards ceremony hosted by Vice President Melissa Bryan and Betty Stanley, Education Chair. Last but not least, with San Antonio as the location and the Industry Committee's plans for their exciting evening event for all of us, FUN is also on the agenda.
Leadership has been a theme and a personal goal for me this year. I have learned a lot, especially in areas in which I would like to improve. At the conference in June TASN is excited to kick off a Leadership Academy for 20 participants which will begin with a track of leadership classes that many may attend. More strong leaders are needed in all professions, and the good news is that it can be developed!
Thank you for all you do to feed children nutritious meals every day, along with a warm welcome and a smile, which sometimes may be needed more than you will ever know.
I hope to see you in San Antonio in June!
2017–2018 TASN President