By Amber Hensley, Guest Editor
Some of the brightest stars in the foodservice industry were recognized Sunday night at the 21st annual Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards at the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Child Nutrition Industry Conference held at the Sawgrass Resort Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Fame Awards Honorees
The FAME Awards honor school nutrition professionals each year who raise industry standards by stepping up to challenges within their school districts and communities.
Karen Johnson, SNS, director of child nutrition program at Yuma Elementary School in Yuma, Ariz. was honored with the Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year Award. Johnson is described by colleagues as an inspirational leader and a professional with the highest standards. As a part of the district’s wellness program, Johnson invited the whole school to participate in â€˜Free Breakfast Wednesdayâ€™ to promote school breakfast. This program increased breakfast participation from 18% to 43% and provides students with a nutritious meal each morning, which has impacted academic achievement. Johnson’s interest in school nutrition spans the globe. She’s traveled internationally to share best practices from school nutrition programs in America to support the work of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation.
Gertrude Applebaum, independent contractor from Corpus Christi, Texas received the first-ever FAME Lifetime Achievement Award. Applebaum was honored with this award for her over 60 years of service and advancement in the school nutrition industry. â€˜I love this industry and to receive an award for something you love is astronomical,â€™ said Applebaum. She began her career as the director of child nutrition for Corpus Christi Independent School District where she founded the third centralized kitchen in the country. In 1970, Applebaum was invited to the first White House Conference on Food and Nutrition under the administration of former President Nixon. She has devoted much of her personal time to the Texas School Food Service Association, the School Nutrition Association and the Global child Nutrition Foundation. Her work continues to impact the welfare of children in the United States and abroad.
Other winners included: Mary Anderson, director of Culinary Express, Wayzata Public Schools in Plymouth, Minn. (Silver Leadership Award); Jacci Morrow, SNS, assistant director , child nutrition program & food service programs, Westminster School District, Westminster, Calif. (Silver Spirit Award); Harold Sullins, MBA, food service director for Fontana Unified School District in Fontana, Calif. (Silver Rising Star Award); Lori Adkins, MS, SNS, CHE, nutrition supervisor for West Bloomfield School District in West Bloomfield, Mich. (Silver Special Achievement Award); and Gene White, SNS, Rd, president of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation in Clinton, Wash. (Silver Friend of Child Nutrition).