About Us

About Us

Since 1986 the National CACFP Sponsor Association (NCA) has been the leading national organization for sponsors who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). We provide education and support to CACFP sponsors of all sizes from across the country and strive to improve communication between individual sponsors and between the sponsors and their supervising government agencies.

A National Platform for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Community, we promise to continue to uphold our mission, bringing you:

  • Sponsor information on legislation, regulation, and advocacy issues,
  • Shared resources among the entire CACFP community,
  • Engaging and informative annual conferences - offering the largest CACFP networking and training opportunities in the nation




National CACFP Sponsors Association Bylaws

(May 2016)




Kati Wagner, CMP, CCNP

President, Partnerships, Website, Conference, Finance, Personnel
President, Wildwood CACFP
Centennial, CO

Robin Paul, CMP, CCNP

Vice President, Conference Chair, Scholarship Chair, CACFP Week, Certification Program, Finance
Chief Executive Officer, Mid Michigan Child Care Centers
Freeland, MI

Melissa Moore, CCNP

Treasurer, Website Chair, Policy, Finance, Personnel
The Family League of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD

Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, CCNP

Secretary, Certification Chair, Personnel Chair, Conference, Membership, CACFP Week, Finance, Scholarship
Director of Food Services, Acelero Learning
Las Vegas, NV

Denise Andrews, CMP, CCNP

Calendar Chair, Nutrition Education Chair, Conference, Website, Certification Program, Personnel
Director, For The Children
Vici, OK

Susan Ison, CMP

Board Election Chair, Conference, Website, CACFP Week, Board Governance, Policy, Scholarships
Executive Director, Helping Hands
Taylorsville, UT

Vicki Lipscomb, CMP

Policy Chair
President, Child Nutrition Program, Inc.
Charlotte, NC

Gabriela Rangel, CCNP

Membership, Certification
Director, Child and Family Resources
Tucson, AZ

Annetta F. Rutland, CMP, CCNP

Membership Chair, Conference, Board Governance, Policy
4C for Children, Strategic Director, Quality Programs
Cincinatti, OH

Blake Stanford, CMP

Board Governance Chair, Partnerships Chair, Policy, Conference, Personnel
President, SW Human Development Services
Austin, TX

Senta Hester, CMP, CCNP

Immediate Past President
Founder & Executive Director, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN


  • Thora Cahill, Founding Board Member
  • Tom Copeland, Consultant
  • Geri Henchy, Food Research and Action Center


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.

Friend of CACFP Award

The National CACFP Sponsors Association Friend of CACFP Award honors and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to supporting and improving the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) through leadership and initiative. Individuals awarded have made significant and demonstrable contributions to the CACFP through advocacy, legislation, education or professional endeavors that exemplify a positive impact or advancement of the program.

2020 Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

2019 Congressman Robert "Bobby" Scott, Virginia

2018 Representative Jim McGovern, Massachusetts

2017 Gail Birch

2016 Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania

2015 Representative Marcia Fudge, Ohio



2011 Gaylene Barstow

2010 Senator Gilldibrand

2005 Thora Cahill

2003 Caroyln Brown & CA State Agencies

2002 Honorable Dale Kildee Michigan Congressman

2001 Stan Garnett USDA

2000 Ed Morawitz USDA

1999 Shirley Watkins USDA

1998 Geri Henchy FRAC

1997 Ed Cooney FRAC & USDA

1996 Senator Luger, Indiana



Lisa_Mack_LinkedIn.jpgLisa 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 and partner relationships, resource and product development, and training and conference programming. 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 tasks 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 office manager. 

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. ~ Michelle Obama


Elan Patterson is our conference and events 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


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 with a BA in 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 director of policy and partnerships charged with expanding NCA’s advocacy on policy matters and advancing the mission and interests of association members and stakeholders while 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


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

Halley_R-01.pngHalley Ramirez is our administrative assistant primarily responsible for contact management. She makes it possible to get education resources and policy information delivered directly to over 95,000 members of the CACFP community by ensuring information accuracy and integrity. Halley graduated from California State University of Bakersfield with a BA in child, adolescent, & family Studies. Her career history includes administrative responsibilities coupled with team leadership. In addition, she has also has employment and volunteer experiences with various childcare facilities.

There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Chloe Headshot

Chloe Smith is our marketing communications specialist. She maintains the NCA's website, creates and sources content for publication online and in weekly eNews, manages and designs the association's graphic elements, produces segmented communications for members and marketing efforts, and develops showcase materials, training modules and webinar materials. Chloe previously worked in collegiate athletic communications, and also served as the marketing coordinator for the indie video game Brukel. She graduated from Central Arkansas with a BA in mass communications and earned her MS in sport management from Eastern Michigan. 

Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time. ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg



You are welcome to download and use this CACFP logo to promote the program. Once the logo is displayed on your screen, just right click for options on saving or printing the logo.


Download CACFP Logo




Member organizations of the National CACFP Sponsors Association are encouraged to use this logo on their print and web marketing / provider materials. 

2020 Annual Meeting Presentation

April 15, 2020

April 15, 2020

October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019

2019 Annual Meeting Presentation

April 25, 2019

April 25, 2019

October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018

2018 Annual Meeting Presentation    

April 21, 2018

2018 Annual Meeting Minutes

April 21, 2018

FY2017 990

October 1, 2016-September 30, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Presentation    

April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017

FY2016 990 

October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016

2016 Annual Meeting Presentation    

April 22, 2016  

2016 Annual Meeting Minutes

April 22, 2016

FY2015 990 

October 1, 2014-September 30, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting Presentation   

April 23, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2015

FY2014 990

October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015

2014 Annual Meeting Presentation

April 22, 2014

2014 Annual Meeting Minutes

April 22, 2014

FY2013 990

October 1, 2012-September 30, 2013

2013 Annual Meeting Presentation

September 17, 2013                              

2013 Annual Meeting Minutes

September 17, 2013

FY2012 990


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1986-1992 Gaylene Barstow, Provider's Network, Inc., Lincoln, NE

1986-1992 Valerie Cable, Day Care Connection, Lenexa, KS

1986-2001 Lucy Patterson, Wildwood Resources, Inc., Centennial, CO (deceased)

1986-2005 Thora Cahill, Talavi Lane LLC, Phoenix, AZ

1986-2011 Cheryl Flaatten, Community Action of SE Iowa, Burlington, IA

1990-1996 & 2005-2014 Paula Peirce, A Child's Choice, Aurora, CO

1990-1999 & 2002-present Gail Birch, Providers Choice, Minnetonka, MN

1991-1994 Pam Dean, Arapahoe County Senior Resources Division, Littleton, CO

1991-1994 DonaKay Rein, Day Care Resources, Morton , IL

1992-2001 Doris Vanek, Child Care Links, Hutchinson, KS

1992-2002 & 2012-2014 Shirleen Piela, Heartland Child Nutrition, Bismarck, ND

1994-1999 Ron Herndon, Albina Head Start, Portland, OR (deceased)

1994-2000 Christie Bower, Midwest Child Care Association, Omaha, NE

1996-1999 & 2012-2017 Debra Ghia, Lehigh Valley Children's Center, Allentown, PA

1999-2001 Patti Johnston, Absolutely Nutritious, Inc., Destrehan, LA

1999-2000 & 2016-present Annetta Rutland, 4C for Children, Cincinnati, OH

1999-2011 Linda Leindecker, Horizons Unlimited, Inc., Greenbay, WI

2000-2009 & 2012-present Robin Paul, Mid Michigan Child Care Centers, Inc., Freeland, MI

2001-2002 Sheilah Mevis, Child Care Partnerships, Helena, MT

2001-2005 & 2008-present Vicki Lipscomb, Child Nutrition Program, Charlotte, NC

2001-2007 & 2010-present Blake Stanford, Southwest Human Development, Austin, TX

2001-2006 Diane Zwick, Ashland Child Development Center, Ashland, KY

2002-2005 Sandra Frantz-Kloppedal, WI Early Childhood Association, Madison, WI

2004-2010 Sharon Ray, Nutriservice, Inc., Rockwall, TX

2007-2009 Yolanda Keys, Food for Kids, Inc., Bellaire, TX

2009-present Senta Hester, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee, Inc., Knoxville, TN

2010-2013 Mary Rice, Association for Child Development, East Lansing, MI

2010  Suzanne Zanella, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh , PA

2011  Rita Kidwell, Joyce Network, Inc., Fountaintown, IN

2012-present Kati Wagner, Wildwood CACFP, Centennial, CO

2014-2017 Patrice Siergiey, Central Vermont Community Action Council, Barre, VT

2017-present Denise Andrews, For The Children, Vici, OK