JULY 15—Mary Kate Harrison, general manager of student nutrition services at Hillsborough County School District in Florida, was named 2010 Outstanding Director of the Year at the School Nutrition Association’s 64th Annual National Conference in Dallas.
Harrison was given the award in large part for the economic turnaround she initiated in the department. When Harrison first came to the district, the foodservice department had a $2.2 million deficit. After four years, the department showed a profit of $3.4 million. Harrison achieved the turnaround by increasing offerings of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, offering more nutritious à la carte items, improving procurement and reallocating labor to save costs.
Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia was also honored by SNA. The district, which is led by Food and Nutrition Director Penny McConnell, was named District of the Year. The department was given the award for its commitment to excellence in creating nutritious meals, implementing innovative nutrition education initiatives, developing a strong professional development program and exercising superior financial management.
Other awards given out at the conference included the National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence to Cheryl Dixon, manager at Horace Mann Primary School in Kittery, Maine; the Heart of the Program Award to Sandi Hansen, food service associate at Northview Elementary School in Eagan, Minn.; and Individual Industry Member of the Year to Jill Conklin, director of sales development, USA for Winston Industries.