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FM Profile: Sandra Ford

FM Profile: Sandra Ford

President, 2012-2013 School Nutrition Associations (SNA)

When I complete my term in office, I will feel I have been successful if I have helped our members exceed their own expectations for preparing students for learning.

My strongest personality trait is being a tough leader.  I have high expectations for myself and others.

Our members would like to see SNA be the voice of child nutrition programs.

When I ran for president, I promised I would be a servant leader who would be our members’ voice.
My strongest professional role model was was Rita Hamman, retired state director of school nutrition programs in Kansas.

My first job in foodservice  was as the food service director at Avila College in Kansas City, MO.

The best way to improve the image of school foodservice is for each of us to be an advocate for what we do. We do good things—we just don’t always toot our own horns.

The most important career decision I ever made was to enter the school nutrition profession.

The professional accomplishment I am proudest of is taking over a program in Florida that needed mending and making a difference in that program.  

I think I have a real talent for setting goals and helping others achieve those goals.

The best professional advice anyone ever gave me was to listen to others.

The reason more young people don’t enter school foodservice is that they don’t really understand what we do.  Also, as a service-type job, it often does not easily fit the goals of the young.

My most prized personal possession is my wedding ring.

If I weren’t in foodservice I’d probably be teaching school. I started out my career teaching high school.    

The most most important book I’ve read recently is Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, by William Bridges

The famous person I’d most like to meet is Barack Obama.

The most challenging aspect of my job is personnel management.

If I could pass one piece of legislation, it would be for school foodservice to eliminate the ‘reduced price’ meal category.

I cope with job stress by exercising and cooking.

Away from my job, I most like to walk on the beach and watch the sun set.

My favorite comfort food is a perfectly prepared martini.

People are often surprised to find out I’m 100% Scot. My mother was born in Scotland and my father was first generation.

If I could write my own epitaph, it would be: “Sandra Ford was a great leader who was not afraid to take on the tough challenges.  She was a mentor and a friend to many.”

At a Glance

ASSOCIATION:  School Nutrition Association(SNA)

No. of Members: 55,000

HQ Address: SNA, 120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745.

Acting Chief Executive Officer: Patricia Montague, CAE

Phone: (800) 877-8822


Mission: Educating and empowering members to provide healthy meals to foster an environment where children achieve overall wellness and lifelong success.


Job:  Director, Food & Nutrition Services, Manatee County Schools (FL)

Earlier Career: Director, Food & Nutrition, Blue Valley School District

Education: B.S., M.S., Home Economics, Kansas State University


• YWCA Women in Leadership Honoree  
• Thelma Flanagan Gold Award (SNA)
• FAME Silver Spirit Award
• Florida Outstanding Director of the Year
• USDA Best Practice Award

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