Welcome to the American Commodity Distribution Association's 42nd Annual National Conference in Denver, Colorado. Being the only major U.S. city at exactly one mile above sea level, the Mile High City has museums, breweries, professional sports teams, and outdoor recreation. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Denver the best place to live in the USA. We hope you took advantage of one of our many brewery tours, ghost tours, or Colorado Rockies tickets that we had available for sign-up before conference opening. Even if you didn't, there are still plenty of opportunities for fun on your own. I know you will find Denver an exciting and vibrant city!
A highlight of our conference this year will be the opening reception Monday evening at the Denver Art Museum, just blocks from the hotel. Please join us for free admission to art displays and hors d'oeuvres. Our second reception will be held at the Hyatt on Tuesday evening with music, hors d'oeuvres and a photo booth to take pictures with your colleagues! Both of these receptions are complimentary for ACDA attendees. We encourage you to attend these great networking opportunities. This year's theme, Mile High Heroes, United We Stand in Support of Nutrition Programs, highlights ACDA's partnership with USDA, Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN), Industry, recipient Agencies, and State Agencies and our work together to improve USDA Foods Programs for all participants. A focus of this year's conference will be on the USDA Business Management Improvement (BMI) process. USDA has been working on this process for the last few years, using feedback from numerous stakeholders to improve and streamline USDA Foods Programs. We will have an entire track devoted to this effort, with breakouts for the various stakeholder groups.
Many efforts were undertaken the past year to promote ACDA. Please check out our new website (www.commodityfoods.org) and like our new Facebook page. Don't forget that this year's conference is being managed by an electronic mobile app, Guidebook. You can download this app to your smartphone or tablet. Through this app you will find session and speaker information, room layouts, session evaluations, and so much more. It even lets you set-up your conference schedule so that you don't miss anything! Do you want to know if someone is here at the conference? Check out the app to browse for attendees. Complimentary internet has been made available in all hotel meeting rooms for the entire conference. ACDA's strength as an organization comes from its diverse membership and a structure that welcomes the opportunity to work together and learn from one another. ACDA depends on volunteers; whether you run for board positions or want to be appointed to a sub-committee, you play an integral role in shaping ACDA's focus and strategic course. If you are interested in becoming more involved in ACDA, I encourage you to approach any Board or Committee member for more information. Thank you to the Planning and Membership Committees for your efforts in preparing for the Annual National Conference. It is through your tireless work that we are able to provide meaningful content and opportunities for growth.
Please participate in ACDA Gives Back, where we raise funds for donation to area food banks. You can donate online or in-person at the registration desk or during Zumba. Don't forget our annual Zumba event which benefits ACDA Gives Back. This year you will see many mile high superheroes Zumba their capes off! On behalf of Lena Wilson, ACDA President, ACDA Vice President, Kara Kearce, and the entire ACDA board, I welcome you to Denver for the 42nd Annual National Conference. I look forward to serving the ACDA membership during the 2017-18 school year as we stand united in support of nutrition programs!
Chris Facha, Oregon Department of Education