SNAAZ 2018 Wrap Up and 2019 Unwrap

2018 has come to a close with many of us looking forward to some time to slow down and spend time with family and friends.  As the SNAAZ president for 2019, I wanted to take the time to wrap up last year and unwrap what is ahead.

First, a huge thank you to Lisa Thrower as she finishes her year as president.  She is a great leader that kept the association moving forward with her energy and passion for school lunch and all of our members.  She now will serve in the past president role helping me to be successful. Although in a new role, she will always be involved in SNAAZ.

Our second big thanks is to Cathy Wylet!  Many of you know her through her emails and her welcoming you to every SNAAZ conference.  She served as our Executive Secretary for many years and was a resource to each president as she kept them on track.  She has taken on a new position with the AZ Science Center. Although we are excited for her, we will miss her, not just for her wheeling and dealing behind the scenes skills, but her friendliness was evident to every member.

What does the next year hold?  As Lisa moves to past-president, Stephen Protz will step in as the new vice-president and Rick Hall will move to president-elect.  We put out a request for interest for a temporary Executive Secretary until we can complete a formal RFP for a permanent Executive Secretary.  We are excited to have Craig Weidel serve as the Executive Secretary for the next six months.

Enjoy some time off and come back ready to go.  Take a few moments to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while or have lunch with an old friend.  You never know what tomorrow holds. Make the best of today and look forward to the days ahead!


Sandra Schossow

2019 SNAAZ President


Strategic Goal I: Professional Development

Goal:   School nutrition professionals will continually improve their knowledge and skills to administer, manage, deliver, and sustain successful school meal programs.

Objective:  Increase individual certifications for Levels 1-4 and SNS


  • Provide and publish tracks that incorporate conferences, chapter meetings, trainings and online work that ends with the final certification level desired
  • Provide and publish a training plan and offer the SNS exam in November in Arizona
  • Reach out to large and small districts to advertise the plan to encourage certification and make it easy for them to follow

Strategic Goal II:  Advocacy and Public image

Goal:  Policy makers, school officials, parents and school nutrition professionals will rely on SNA as the leading advocate for school nutrition programs.

Objective:  Increase efforts to enhance the public’s perception of school nutrition professionals and school nutrition programs.


  • Increased marketing of the qualifications of school nutrition professionals through certification recognitions through social media and notification of key district personnel
  • Increased marketing of the quality and nutritional value of school meals through nutrition related articles and images on social media, websites and direct communication with people outside of school nutrition
  • Continue to support legislative efforts by supporting SNA’s Legislative Action Conference and to visit Arizona representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Strategic Goal III:  Membership & Community  

Goal:  School nutrition programs nationwide will be strengthened through the engagement, leadership, and collaboration among SNA’s members, state associations, the School Nutrition Foundation, allied partners and other stakeholders.

Objective:  Increase involvement at chapter and state level


  • Implement a future leaders program to increase understanding of the process and confidence in board members to run for office at chapter level and state level
  • Reach out personally to districts that are not currently members to encourage new membership and involvement
  • Evaluate electronic methods to increase opportunities to attend meetings when driving distance is prohibitive to involvement

Strategic Goal IV: Governance & Operations

Goal:  SNAAZ will have a financially sustainable funding model with a nimble governance and structure that is aligned with the strategic plan and reflects contemporary business practices.

Objective:  Evaluate processes and options to improve efficiencies and communications


  • Evaluate the necessary software to minimize the hours needed and accuracy for the treasurer position on the board
  • Implement all online registrations for both vendors and members for conferences and sponsorships through the website to improve tracking and accuracy
  • Develop a cloud based online document storage location that is accessible to all board members (ex: google docs)


"SNAAZ membership allows access to attend conferences, meet school nutrition associates, share ideas, and learn new industry concepts."

Mary Venable

Paradise Valley Schools

"I have been involved in the School Nutrition Association and SNAAZ for over 20 years. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without the help and support of SNAAZ. SNA provided me with scholarship opportunities that helped me to finish my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. "

Michael Clark

Crane School District

"I appreciate the members of SNAAZ. They are always helpful and we can always count on their feedback and direction. We love getting new members involved and recommend everyone should be a part of SNAAZ and join their local chapter to get hands on experience and network with other professionals."

Corenda Lewis

Westside Chapter President

"My membership has afforded me the ability to stay up with the proposed regulations happening in congress that affect the school nutrition industry. And with the help of other state members, I have had the chance to help reorganize a chapter that has been disabled for 20+ years."

Stephen Protz

Tucson Unified School District

"SNAAZ gives me the opportunity to connect with many different Child Nutrition professionals throughout the state, helping me to grow professionally. "

Ronald Beck

Litchfield Schools

“ SNAAZ provides countless opportunities to grow professionally and network with amazing leaders in school nutrition. With every conference and meeting, I can always count on learning something new and valuable to take back to our schools. I highly recommend becoming a member of SNAAZ to anyone working in child nutrition!”

Brienne Berg

Creighton Schools

"My membership with SNAAZ has been extremely beneficial in networking and collaborating with peers to determine best practices for our nutrition programs. They offer plenty of opportunities to learn more, grow professionally, as well become a leader in the industry."

Jasmine Swier

Laveen School District

"I have been a SNAAZ member for 5 years now.  The conferences are great opportunities for new menu ideas and ways to increase student meal participation.  I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and networking with school nutrition professionals from other districts and across the whole state of Arizona. One significant opportunity that SNAAZ provided me, was by offering the SNS test at the State Conference."

Natalie Tenney

Gilbert Schools

“When I first got into the school nutrition, it was recommended to join SNAAZ. I am so glad I did. I have met some of my best friends through SNAAZ. When I became a director I was so fortunate to have a group of fantastic directors mentor me and help me get through my first year as a new director.”

Shannon Gleave

Glendale Schools

“I have been a member for 18 years and have been able to go to several State and National Conferences. I have been touched by many speakers. I have to say I have enjoyed every class I have taken and am so thankful that I have had this opportunity to learn more about my profession.”

April Smith

Yuma School District

“I’ve been with my district for over 31 years and have been a SNAAZ member most of that time. Over the years I have learned so much from Professional Growth, SNIC and the Annual State Conferences. The sessions offered at the conferences are always informative to help everyone keep up with the “latest and greatest” info and news when it comes to Child Nutrition.  And networking with our peers is always the best.  Thank you SNAAZ for all you do!”

Sandy Rogers

Paradise Valley School District

“Working with the School Nutrition Association of Arizona in partnership with my role at the Dairy Council of Arizona, is vital to meeting my goals and objectives. Through the years, SNAAZ has been a vocal champion of our focus on expanding school breakfast and summer food, providing equipment grants and supporting wellness policy activation with our flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60.  I firmly believe we have had so much success with our outreach and impact to Arizona schools due to the direct partnership and support of SNAAZ with Dairy Council of Arizona.”

Pat Johnson

Arizona Dairy Council