Welcome to the 2016 SNF Scholarship Series! We are thrilled to revisit this popular series, in which we connect with your SNA colleagues from around the country to learn more about them and how an SNF scholarship is helping them pursue goals and achieve their dreams. Our First Timer recipients were nominated by a supervising director to attend their first Annual National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. We’ll meet our First Timers and their directors in the weeks leading up to ANC. Please visit the SNA website to learn more about ANC 2016 in San Antonio.
Like many school nutrition professionals, Nicole Holloway came to schools after working in other foodservice settings—catering, private dining, and retail management. In search of more family-friendly hours, she found them as an administrative assistant in the child nutrition department at Raymore-Peculiar School District.
“I had a little boy—he’s six now—and the time demands in retail and restaurant management were just unreal,” recalled Holloway. “I also have a 23-year-old daughter, and I did that whole ‘working-every-hour-you-can-get-your-hands-on” thing when she was little, and I missed a lot. With a husband in the restaurant business, I needed something that provided us all more time together. We’re just a foodie family!”
Holloway’s nominating director is Sarah Chellberg. With nineteen years of school nutrition experience, Chellberg is a recent arrival in Raymore-Peculiar, having taken on the director position just eighteen months ago. Chellberg has been an SNA member from her early days in school nutrition, and says that she hopes attending a national conference will be eye-opening for Nicole.
“My director at Blue Valley was [SNF Chair] Sandy Ford, and she is clearly very involved in SNA, and she encouraged me to work with the Kansas organization,” said Chellberg. “That led to going to nationals, and just getting involved. Nicole is very hands-on with the products we use, and I wanted her to experience the Exhibit Hall product showcase—there is nothing like it! I like ANC for the leadership skills it builds, and for the teambuilding opportunities it offers the three of us who are attending together.”
Holloway describes herself as something of a “firefighter”, putting out fires as they arise while also acting as first line of communication with parents.
“I manage inventory, do all the ordering, I do the daily attendance,” said Holloway. “I’m interested in [learning] anything about marketing, because we’re always looking for ways to drive participation. Anything new, exciting, and out-of-the-box is welcome! We are also tapping into our social media outlets this year with Facebook and Twitter.”
Calling Chellberg a “breath of fresh air”, Holloway said she looks forward to traveling to San Antonio with her team and soaking up everything the experience has to offer. Whether she’s on the Exhibit Hall floor or in an education session, her mission is to find creative solutions to bring back to her district.
“I am always interested to get out and travel; it will be my first time in San Antonio so I’m looking forward to that. The past year and a half has been exciting, with a lot of changes but everyone has jumped on board and been really supportive and we appreciate it. I just applied for my Level One Certification! Sarah came and introduced a lot of new products; she thinks outside the box, and our participation has increased dramatically as a result.”