In 1986, we started as a small, mid-western association with these few founding members Gaylene Barstow (Nebraska), Thora Cahill (Illinois) Lucille Patterson (Colorado), Cheryl Flaatten (Iowa) and Valerie Cable (Kansas).
We are now a more inclusive association, reaching friends in every state and Puerto Rico, across all seven USDA Regions. Thanks to our founders and to all our members for your support and faith in us throughout these years!
Lifetime Achievement Award
Stanley Garnett, September 2007
It was with great pride that the National CACFP Sponsors Association presented our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Stanley Garnett, Director of USDA's Child Nutrition offices in Washington, D.C. Stan retired in early in January 2008 after an illustrious career in the field of child nutrition and assistance to the under privileged.
Here is our celebration of the event.
Stan has a long history of service to youth and the poor. After teaching for several years he responded to President Kennedy's challenge, "Ask not, what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country," by joining the Peace Corps and serving in the Philippines. After his tour with the Peace Corps was complete he joined Catholic Relief Services and went to Vietnam where he provided food for refugees from the war. His next posting was in East Africa and he spent a couple of years in Nairobi, working at a regional office distributing food commodities to schools, hospitals, and other similar institutions. While there he was asked to assist the International Red Cross with refugee feeding during the Biafran conflict in Nigeria, West Africa. He ended his service in Africa with a posting to Ghana where again he was involved with pro- viding feeding programs for children.
In 1971, Stan, now married with a family, decided it was time to return to the States. He applied to the Food & Nutrition Service and from several jobs that were offered to him, chose one in Washington, D.C. The rest, as they say, is history.
During these past 36 years Stan has worked with the Child Nutrition Programs, working his way up through policy and regulation positions, and becoming Director of the Child Nutrition Office in 1997. To those that know him in Washington, he is known for his good cheer, his encyclopedic knowledge of child nutrition programs, and his patient but tireless pursuit of program changes that would allow more children to receive the programs benefits.
Stan has worked to positively influence the problem of obesity in children by addressing the challenges schools face to provide nutritious meals that children will actually consume within the current fast food environment taking into consideration the economic pressures that school districts face.
Stan's mission seems to have always been about improving the health and nutritional status of children both here and around the world. His long tenure has provided him the insight, prospective and experience to under- stand and influence legislative initiatives through the years and to have built up working relationships with cooperators at the state and federal level.
The history of Stan's career is but a small part of the story. Stan's commitment to public service and, more particularly, to children, speak volumes about who Stan is. Stan is always collected and reassuring even in the midst of crises. He is also a very skilled mediator; able to help others find common ground although they may come from highly divergent back- grounds. Those skills have been absolutely critical during the last 10 years as child nutrition programs have more and more become targets of budget cutting factions. Stan is ever cheerful and positive, even in times of policy disagreement.
So it is appropriate then, that the per- son who has been instrumental in helping to develop and nurture the child nutrition programs we have today, as well as the person who helped protect many of them from even more severe cut-backs in recent years, is the recipient of TSA's first ever CACFP Sponsor's Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Stan is truly de- serving of this honor and will be missed when he leaves his post in January. But we wish him the very best and hope he enjoys his well earned retirement.
Lisa Mack is the executive director responsible for working with the board of directors to develop and implement the long-term operating plan to ensure the growth and success of the National CACFP Sponsors Association. Central to that plan is managing member relationships, resource and product development, training and conference programming, and partnership development. Lisa previously served as the Director of Corporate Communications for a food service software corporation where she was responsible for client communications and newsletters, user group conferences, and partnerships with industry organizations such as Second Harvest, Research Chefs Association, Women's Foodservice Forum and the Society for the Advancement of Food Service Research. Lisa is a graduate of Pace University with a BBA.
It's kind of fun to do the impossible. ~ Walt Disney
Elizabeth Sherman is the association’s office administrator and your first point of contact for inquiries regarding memberships, conference registrations, product orders and certification applications. She manages the certification program along with daily administrative task such as database maintenance, financial deposits, social media updates and data entry. Elizabeth was a CACFP provider for several years in South Dakota before moving to Texas 10 years ago. Since then, she has spent the majority of her administrative professional career with the City of Round Rock's Parks and Recreation Department, most recently as an Office Manager.
There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. ~ Michelle Obama
Elan Patterson is NCA’s Conference and Partnership Coordinator. She works to develop relationships with many partners and with the participants in our annual conferences. Elan graduated from The University of Mississippi with a BA in Journalism and has studied abroad in Costa Rica. In 2015 she was awarded the Mentor of the Year award from a Round Rock ISD elementary school. With a career background in operations, marketing, and client relations, she also helped publish the book, The Business Process Management Guidebook: An Integrated Enterprise Excellence BPM System.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
~ John Wesley
Ericca Whitley is one of our newest team members, joining us as our Members Communications Specialist. She is responsible for taking all of our content and turning them into something visually pleasing for our sponsors and providers. Ericca brings years of marketing and design experience with major corporations like McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants and Banfield Pet Hospital. All of which are based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She moved to Texas almost 5 years ago and doesn’t miss the NW rain one bit.
Jennifer Basey has served in many roles for the association including membership, website, conference, sales, and education. Jennifer serves currently as our programs associate responsible for design and adminstration of resources for most committees.Jennifer graduated from Texas A&M Business Administration, then went on to obtain her Master of Education degree from Texas State University. Jennifer spent ten years in the education field as an elementary teacher and later on became an instructional coach working directly with teachers.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop
Alexia Thex is our partnerships manager charged with forming mutually long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with corporations and organizations that fit the mission of NCA. After earning a Master of Education degree in exercise physiology from the University of Texas at Austin and while working to develop health and wellness programs, Alexia realized the lack of funding available, which led her to a career in Development. She has raised funds for several organizations, first for the Downtown Houston YMCA and then for the Holocaust Museum Houston. Using her professional development expertise, Alexia has worked with the schools her children have attended to help them maximize their fundraising potential.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~ Dr. Seuss
Candice McElhaney is the organization’s policy associate. She assists the policy chair, committee, and Board in advocacy for the CACFP through conducting research, contact outreach, creating press releases, content creation for our website and social media outlets, and developing policy partnerships. Candice graduated from Marshall University with a BA in International Relations and recently obtained her MA from Texas State University majoring in International Studies with a focus in development. Candice’s academic background, prior work experience through Oxfam America and birth of her daughter have bolstered her belief in nutrition as a right for all.
We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.
~ Thomas Aquinas
Laurie McDonnell is the organization's Accounting Coordinator, with her primary responsibilities including processing accounts payable and tracking accounts receivables. She also tracks the monthly budget and prepares financial reports and documents for the association. With a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Virginia Tech, McDonnell has worked in different marketing communications roles in a variety of different industries including window treatment, industrial gardening equipment and engineering software and hardware. Over the last few years, she has been very involved in her children's schools and the PTA. This included 6 years as an executive officer; three of these years as budget coordinator and treasurer of an elementary school PTA.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C.S. Lewis
Shiva Waldecker is the association’s administrative assistant responsible for data entry and maintaining the data integrity of the organization’s contact management system. She is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor in Computer Science. Prior to joining us, Shiva worked in the computer industry for several years as well as in a school district as a substitute teacher.