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SALT LAKE CITY, UT — During its 69th Annual National Conference, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) installed Jean Ronnei, SNS, as its 68th president for the 2015-2016 school year. Ronnei, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in Minnesota, will represent SNA’s 55,000 school nutrition professional members nationwide.
Ronnei oversees Transportation, Facilities, Technology Services, Nutrition Services and Security and Emergency Management for SPPS. Prior to her October 2013 appointment as COO, Ronnei served as Director of Nutrition Services. During her 24 years at the helm, Ronnei transformed the department into a nationally renowned school meal program, earning her the 2007 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year Award, among other recognitions.
The urban school district serves 39,000 students, speaking over 125 languages and dialects, and SPPS menus reflect the diversity of the student body. Under Ronnei’s leadership, the district has been recognized for innovation in menu development and marketing, Farm-to-School, Breakfast-to-Go programs and financial management systems. The district is a School Food FOCUS partner and member of the Council of Great City Schools.
With 72 percent of SPPS students eligible for free or reduced price meals, the district has taken great strides to increase access to healthy school meals throughout the year. This summer, SPPS is expanding the reach of its summer meal program with a new mobile food truck, delivering free meals to children throughout the community. In the 2015-16 school year, the district will also increase the number of schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, allowing all students in 39 schools to receive free meals without an application.
Ronnei rose through the ranks of SNA, serving extensively in Minnesota SNA, including as President in 2008-2009. At SNA national, Ronnei notably served as Education Committee Chair and co-chair of the 2010 Child Nutrition Industry Conference. She was elected Vice President for the national organization for the 2013-2014 school year and served as President-Elect in 2014-2015.
Ronnei earned her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Iowa State University and also has extensive experience in restaurant, corporate and hospital foodservices.