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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

Blake Stanford, CMP


Rhonda Kobylecky, CMP, CCNP

Vice President

Denise Andrews, CMP, CCNP


Alix Pasillas, CMP, CCNP


Deborah Gillison-Wilson, CMP, CCNP

Vicki Lipscomb, CMP

Melissa Moore, CCNP

Robin Paul, CMP, CCNP

Gabriela Rangel, CMP, CCNP

Annetta F. Rutland, CMP, CCNP

Kati Wagner, CMP, CCNP

Lisa MackLisa 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 ShermanElizabeth Sherman
is the association’s manager of operations 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

Jennifer BaseyJennifer 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 administration 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. ~


Alexia Thex

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 McDonnellLaurie McDonnell
is the organization's accounting assistant, 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 RamirezHalley 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 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 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



Josie Johnson is our policy and partnerships coordinator, working to support the director of policy and partnerships. Josie graduated from Texas Christian University with a BS in nutritional sciences. While studying nutrition, she directed her internships and education toward issues related to food insecurity and nutrition public policy work. She was selected as a 2019 Zero Hunger Intern through the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington, D.C., where she spent 10 weeks learning the ins and outs of anti-hunger policy. Josie has had the opportunity to work with children in research projects and employment, and is passionate about making sure children have access to healthy foods and nutrition education.



Hannah Morris is our event specialist and is primarily responsible for planning the National Child Nutrition Conference. She organizes all aspects of the conference, including hotel logistics, volunteer opportunities, workshops, speakers, attendee experiences and assists with marketing the conferences. Hannah graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Hospitality Management. She has planned events for various Marriott/Hilton properties and assisted with multiple hotel openings. Hannah is a member of the National Association of Catering & Events, which provides ongoing education and access to a large network of event professionals.

Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want. ~ Ken Poirot



Chantal-Marie Grinstead is our executive assistant and administrator, supporting management, the Board of Directors and the team in accounting, payroll and project management roles. She comes from a background in construction management and logistics, where she worked closely with state and city institutions to update schools and public libraries to ensure adherence to current ADA and health code standards. She has worked closely with her children’s schools and PTAs, serving on boards at two campuses and helping with many fundraisers. She serves as an administrative volunteer for a local wildlife preservation land trust and she, along with her children, participate in debris clean-up drives at her local hiking trails.

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. ~ Neil Gaiman



Morgan Cunningham is our partnership sales associate, working with nonprofits, businesses and corporations to further support for NCA. She is primarily responsible for soliciting and managing partnerships, as well as coordinating exhibitors and sponsors for the National Child Nutrition Conference. Morgan graduated from Furman University with a BA in Sociology and Urban Studies. She has a background in event planning and corporate group and association sales.

People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~ Rob Siltanen



Irma Sierra-Moran is our marketing communications specialist. She 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 in English and Spanish.  Irma earned her BFA in Communication Design at Pratt Institute in New York.  She began her 15-year creative career as a designer and record promoter for independent and multi-national music labels in Spain. After years of working creatively abroad, she then returned to the USA to develop and manage creative teams for PR Newswire as a Creative Video Producer, as well as for AT&T Advertising and Analytics as a Creative Director of Marketing.


In 1986, we started as a small, Midwestern 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!

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.

Friend of SFSP Award

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

Lifetime Achievement Award