School Feeding Programs: Trends and Opportunities

Session Track: Consumer Lifestyles & Demographics
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2012; 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Session Description:

Foodservice programs are a vital part of the U.S. K-12 education system, but the changing and often complicated, local and federal nutritional policies can be a barrier for food manufacturers. A diverse panel will share the regulatory, financial, and product development obstacles and opportunities for success in this market.

Speaker Information:

Clare Keating, S.N.S., Executive Director of Account Management, Preferred Meal Systems, Inc.Clare Keating
Clare Keating has been involved in the foodservice industry for over 30 years.  She has worked with regional and national contract foodservice management companies, as a Federal Meal Program Auditor for the Illinois State Board of Education and is currently the Executive Director of Account Management at Preferred Meal Systems, a national supplier of component meals. Clare is also a certified instructor of the Illinois Department of Public Health Foodservice Sanitation Course.
Ms. Keating completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food Science at Northern Illinois University and has received an MBA from Lewis University. Clare has also received the designation of School Foodservice Nutrition Specialist (SNS) from the School Nutrition Association and Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) from the Dietary Managers Association.

Gary Vonck, Vice President of Education Division, KeyImpact Sales & SystemsGary Vonck
Gary’s started his career in foodservice in 1977 working for a full line distributor in Illinois. In 1984 he joined forces with Performance Food Brokers and quickly became an owner and eventually the CEO. Performance Foods niche was they were a “School Broker” and they took great pride in that. In December 2007 Performance Foods merge with KeyImpact Sales& Systems, an emerging National Food Broker based out of Odenton,Md., which is currently in 35 states. There he is Vice President of Education Sales. Some of his duties include managing the K12 Sales Team, The Bid Department and The Commodity Team for KeyImpacts entire footprint. In 2008 Gary was appointed to School Nutrition Association’s Industry Advisory Board, and reappointed in 2011, he is the first Broker/Sales & Marketing Agent to be put on this National Board. He also serves as the Chair for the School Nutrition’s Supply Chain Tool Kit Task Force and was also Co Chair for SNA’s CNIC 2012.