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NCA Board of Directors Elections 2023: Candidates and Town Hall

April 24, 2023

board candidates 2023 copy

Elections are right around the corner for the National CACFP Sponsors Association. CACFP Sponsor members are invited to get to know this year's candidates a little bit better in our upcoming Town Hall.


Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, June 13 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Eastern.

Before you attend the Town Hall, here's some more information on each of our seven candidates.

Kate Abernathy Web 2023

Kate Abernathy, MS, RD, LD, CMP, CCNP

Chief Executive Officer, Providers Choice, Minneapolis, MN

  • 7 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Family Home Child Care, Unaffiliated Centers
    • 3,002 family homes sponsored with 33,478 children served
    • 68 centers sponsored with 5,373 children served

"I have many goals and ideas that I would bring to the NCA Board. My first goal would be to continue to advocate for children and child care providers across the US. I also plan to support and promote legislation that would improve child nutrition outcomes, which would include an extra meal, Tier 1 for all family child care providers, improvements to the Serious Deficiency process, and more. I also want to continue to expand the National Child Nutrition Conference, and I would love to see a mentorship program started for new CACFP professionals and veterans. Lastly, support and additional advocacy training is needed for long-term success of CACFP."

Denise Andrews Web

Denise Andrews, CMP, CCNP

CEO/Executive Director, For the Children, Vici, OK

  • 29 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Family Home Child Care
    • 74 family homes sponsored with 710 children served

"I strive to develop cooperative working relationships with other CACFP sponsors and child care providers, and hope to do the same at a national level. I started my career as a young child care provider over 32 years ago, so I can easily understand and relate to their positions. I would like to build a bigger, stronger voice for not only the provider, but also the small CACFP sponsors. I plan to work toward encouraging good nutrition, one child at a time."

Beth Carlton Web

Beth Carlton, CMP, CCNP

Executive Director, Child Care Links, Hutchinson, KS

  • 18 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Family Home Child Care
    • 165 family homes sponsored with 1,627children served

"I would like to learn more about policy, and help bring positive policy change for the CACFP. I am interested in keeping CACFP Week in the spotlight by helping to bring fun and awareness to the food program during the month of March. Scholarships are also important to me, as cost should not be a factor when it comes to learning! Finally, I am very passionate about Farm to CACFP and would like to see this concept expanded."

Rhonda Kobylecky Web

Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, CCNP

Director of Food Services, Acelero Learning, Las Vegas, NV

  • 15 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Head Start Affiliated Centers
    • 49 centers sponsored with 5,000 children served

"My desire is to use my expertise in Head Start programs and regulations to support all the members of NCA. While the goals of family home care providers, center providers and Head Start providers are the same in providing healthy, nutritious meals to all children, our processes are different. One long-term goal of mine would be to reach more Head Start programs, encourage them to become NCA members, and encourage them to experience all the benefits the NCA has to offer."

Sarah McAleavy Web

Sarah McAleavy, CMP, CCNP

Supervisor of CACFP, Frederick Community Action CACFP, Frederick MD

  • 19 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Family Home Child Care, At-Risk Afterschool, Summer Food Service Program
    • 103 family homes sponsored with 817 children served
    • 1 ARAS site with 30 children served
    • 13 SFSP sites with 450 children served

"My long-term goals for NCA would be to reach as many sponsors, providers and organizations with our message and work towards healthy children and adults. This comes through increasing participation in food programs, and ending hunger is the ultimate goal."

Alix Pasillas Web

Alix Pasillas, CMP, CCNP

Executive Director, Food for Kids, Reno, NV

  • 25 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: Family Home Child Care, Adult Care, Unaffiliated Centers
    • 78 family homes sponsored with 724 children served
    • 27 centers sponsored with 2,224 children served
    • 12 adult care centers sponsored with 599 adults served

"My long-term goals for NCA are to assist in continuing to make the CACFP a successful program, to help with policy and in other areas that will assist sponsors in growing their numbers, and trainings so sponsors can be the best that they can be."

Lana Taylor Web

Lana Taylor, CMP, CCNP

Executive Director, Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Indianapolis, IN

  • 20 years CACFP
  • Sponsors: At-Risk Afterschool, Summer Food Service Program
    • 34 ARAS sites with 3,600 children served
    • 20 SFSP sites with 5,600 children served

"My long-term goal is to expand food programs to allow for more youth to be eligible, lowering the threshold to 40% FRL. Another goal is to expand food programs to allow for three meals in the summertime when school is out and more children are hungry, as well as expand nutrition guidelines to allow for some flexibility with whole grains and measurements."