2024 Professional Growth Conference

Monday & Tuesday, March 25-26, 2024

Gateway Center, Ames, IA


SNA Iowa is excited to bring you an expanded offering for our 2024 Professional Growth Conference.  With early sessions designed specifically for new directors, excellent sessions for all on growing your leadership skills and being ready for change from organizational psychologist, Celina Peerman, and finishing with a Lead to Succeed session on getting your ideas adopted, this is definitely a meeting designed for your professional growth.  Check out the sessions and schedule below and then get registered TODAY! 

Schedule of Events

Monday, March 25

11:00 am - 12:00 pm         Meet Your Mentors (Lunch not provided)

11:30 am - 12:00 pm         Registration

12:00 - 1:15 pm                 Menu Planning 2.0 

1:15 - 2:45 pm                   Stepping Into Leadership, Dr. Celina Peerman (Directors Under 5 year)

3:00 - 5:00 pm                   Taking Your Skills to the Next Level, Dr. Celina Peerman (All Directors/Staff)


Tuesday, March 26

7:00 - 7:30 am                  Registration

7:30 - 8:45 am                  The Power of a Change Ready Mindset, Dr. Celina Peerman

8:45 - 9:30 am                  Breakfast & Table Discussions

9:30 - 11:30 am                Getting Your Ideas Adopted, LEAD to Succeed

11:30 - 11:45 am              SNA Iowa Updates

12:00 - 1:00 pm                Iowa Department of Education Updates & USDA Commodity Food Show Instructions

1:00  3:00 pm                   USDA Commodity Food Show


Register today!

Online Registration
 Paper Registration

 ** Registration is non-refundable, but is transferable for same event. **



Dr. Celina Peerman is passionate about engaging our human resources in new ways to achieve even better organizational results. Celina is a strategist with a sense of humor and a love for building capacity in organizations. Celina’s work in Southeast Asia, Canada, and Central America gave her additional operations experience, further developing her desire to listen, learn, and lead conversations while walking alongside different types of companies, exploring challenges, and pursuing opportunities to drive performance. Celina holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, a master’s degree in business, with undergraduate degrees in psychology and international studies. She is a 2-time TEDx presenter, podcaster, and writer. She usually presents at over 250 events a year, including large and small groups with many one-on-ones.  Her content is aimed at helping teams maximize potential for an even more positive impact on those around them.  




Meet Your Mentors
Bring your questions and get advice and ideas from SNA Iowa board members during this informal session.

Meal Planning 2.1 (1 CEU)
Do you struggle with menu planning? Have you thought about starting a cycle menu but it feels overwhelming? Or are you looking to revitalize your current menus? Come join us as we start with menu planning basics and then take them up a notch.

Stepping Into Leadership, Dr. Celina Peerman (1.5 CEU)
Congratulations! Now what? Designed for our newest directors, we’ll look at your best actions for a new role, larger team, or bigger challenges, especially if you have moved from peer to director. This session is packed with tools to take back and apply on the job.

Taking Your Skills to the Next Level, Dr. Celina Peerman (2.0 CEU)
Growing as a leader takes intention, focus, and resources...which is hard when you have a full to-do list of 1000’s of other things to accomplish. Come renew your commitment while learning more about leadership competencies, mentor/mentee best practices, and steps to take (even when you are very busy) to learn, grow, and make an even bigger impact!

The Power of a Change Ready Mindset, Dr. Celina Peerman (2.0 CEU)
Change is going to happen, being change-ready is a choice. What will it take to navigate a shifting landscape in school nutrition? Examine critical steps to build a change ready team and programs that lead the way in your district and beyond. You’ll leave inspired, with practical insights and strategies, accompanied with a good sense of humor to start our day in laughter - together.

Getting Your Ideas Adopted, LEAD to Succeed (2.0 CEU)
There are many steps between the initial proposal of an idea and getting organizational buy-in. This training will guide participants through the “diffusion of innovations” framework, designed to help participants learn how to effectively give and receive ideas and feedback from their network, and to show how and whom participants should communicate with to get their ideas adopted.


 Please register with Sarah White [email protected] or through the link below if you are attending the food show. 

USDA Food Show Registration

Hotel Information

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Gateway Center in Ames at a rate of $109/night + tax for Monday evening March 25.  To make a reservation, please call 1-800-FOR-AMES and tell them you are with School Nutrition Association Iowa or click on the link below to make a reservation online.