White House asked to stay away from school nutrition summit

Sam Kass was denied his proposal to speak at the School Nutrition Association’s convention in Denver.

BOSTON — Michelle Obama’s food policy czar, celebrity chef Sam Kass, was once so in with the lunch lady crowd that he landed a guest judge spot on a tearful school lunch episode of Food Network’s “Chopped” and handed out awards at the School Nutrition Association’s convention in Denver.

Two years later, when he asked to speak at the group’s annual convention this week in Boston, the answer: “No.”

The rebuke shows how ugly the fight has become between the first lady and her supporters, who want kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their school lunches, and the organization that represents cafeteria workers and their allies who argue that the federal government is going too far in its push for healthier meals.

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Sodexo has appointed Cathy Desquesses as its chief people officer, the company announced on Friday.

Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

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