Dear Member,

The Minnesota School Nutrition Association is pleased to announce the outcome of the 2024 Board Member Election. Thank you, members, for your participation in the election which occurred May 1 through May 15. MSNA also thanks those who put their names forward to be considered for a Board position.

Meet Your New Board Members

Vice President

Ashley Schneider, Moorhead Area Public Schools 


Jess Peña, Red Wing Schools 

Leadership Development Committee (LDC)

Kristi Frank, Forest Lake Schools

These positions will begin their terms in August 2024. Board Members will be installed on Wednesday, August 7th at the Annual Conference in St. Cloud. Learn more about Ashley, Jess, and Kristi below!

Ashley Schneider
Food and Nutrition Services Director

Moorhead Area Public Schools

Positions Served

  • Annual Conference, Chair (2023-2024)
  • Ad Hoc Committee, Nutrition Lead (2022-2023)
  • Annual Conference Co-Chair (2022-2023)
  • Annual Conference Workshop Chair (2021-2022)
  • Annual Conference Workshop Co-Chair (2019-2020)


Speaking Experience/Attendance

  • MSNA Annual Conference, Attendee (5+ years)
  • SNA Annual National Conference, Attendee (2022)
  • MSNA Annual Conference, Speaker (2016)


"Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to pursue a common goal. It also means supporting the team and giving them the tools to reach their goals and to inspire each other. One of MSNA's goals is to not only provide support and advocate for School Nutrition professionals. The work that we do is so important, as it ensures that students have access to nutritious and delicious meals while at school.

In order to provide these things to our students, it is important to recognize the needs of our members and look for ways to help support them. This is a fantastic organization with so much knowledge, and it is our duty to facilitate that and help to meet members where they are. No two districts are alike, and the needs of the students are changing. Having worked in all types of roles in School Nutrition for the last 12 years, my experience helps me to understand the needs at every level. During my time working with Minneapolis Public Schools, I was told by a program manager that I have GRIT, which is a personality trait characterized by perseverance and passion. School nutrition and teaching/helping others is my passion. This has helped me to lead a successful (and amazing team) of 65 employees for the last 3 years. My experience in both large and small districts helps me to understand that we are not a one-size-fits-all organization.

I am so excited to assume the role as Vice President with MSNA. I have been involved in the Annual Conference planning for the last 5 years and am so proud of the growth and changes that I have seen as a member. I am excited to be a part of the leadership that will ensure MSNA remains a thriving organization that supports the growth and success of our members."

  1. Establish pathways for school nutrition professionals who want to advance in school nutrition.
  2. Diversify professional development to meet all members’ needs.
  3. Provide hands-on experiences for members to be able to successfully execute at their district.


Jess Peña

Director of Child Nutrition

Red Wing Public Schools


Positions Served

  • MSNA Nutrition Chair (2021-2023)
  • Annual Conference Volunteer (2017-Present)
  • SNA Annual National Conference, Delegate Assembly Participant (2018)
  • MSNA Annual Conference, Delegate Assembly Participant (2018)
  • MSNA Public Policy Committee, Member (2018-2020)
  • Nutrition Conference Committee, Member (2018)

Speaking Experience/Attendance

  • SNA Legislative Action Conference, Speaker (2024)
  • MSNA Annual Conference, Speaker (2022-2023)
  • MSNA SNIP Conference, Speaker (2022)
  • Attendee: MSNA SNIP Conference (2023, 2024), MN Legislative Action Day (2019, 2023, 2024), Chapter Leadership Conference (Various), MSNA Annual Conference (2015 to 2023),and Nutrition Conference (2018)

"My ability to communicate well with others and build a rapport with many personalities allows me to be an effective leader. My goal-setting and self-setting timelines help me persevere and reach goals within a reasonable time and inch my way to completing the total picture and hit my target. My dedication, and unwavering commitment to MSNA and all things School Nutrition will help me excel in this position.

I have the ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues and have strong interpersonal and communication skills, which are invaluable in fostering a collaborative and cohesive work environment. My belief is to keep this organization running strong, and I show my commitment to MSNA and SNA by volunteering in any way necessary to continue strengthening our organization."

  1. Continued promotion the Association's Strategic Plan of Action.
  2. Support members in any way necessary including attending Chapter Meetings when asked to attend.
  3. Effectively communicate and present reports to MSNA members about our financial standings.

Kristi Frank

Assistant Supervisor

Forest Lake Schools


Positions Served

  • MSNA Public Policy Committee, Member (2022-2024)


Speaking Experience/Attendance

  • MSNA Annual Conference, Speaker (2023)
  • MSNA Annual Conference, Attendee (3 years)
  • MSNA SNIP Conference, Attendee (2 years)



"Training and professional development has always been a passion of mine with any job/role that I have held previously. In my role as Assistant Supervisor at the Forest Lake Schools, I'm involved with the training of new managers, long and short hour staff. I have implemented and improved training for new hires. I modernized our new hire orientation packet to include specific details on training courses that are required and made the packet more concise and informative. I created a new hire checklist that site managers can utilize on the first day the new hire works. That has helped with consistency and ensured all important details are covered.


Professional development is important for all roles in school nutrition. I would make a priority to ensure the best educational opportunities are selected for the annual state conference. I have received feedback from my direct staff that the options for site managers is limited. I would make that a goal to ensure more opportunities are available for site managers and site staff."


  1. Gain an understanding of all MSNA members and recognize who would be a good fit for open positions in MSNA.
  2. Build new networks and relationships with committee members.
  3. Build and create new relationships with all SNA members.

Thank you to those who voted in the MSNA Election. Voting is not just a right, but a responsibility that shapes the future of this association.

If you have any questions, please contact MSNA at [email protected] at 320-251-2344.



Minnesota School Nutrition Association
1400 Van Buren St. NE #200-239
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Phone: 320-251-2344  

[email protected]

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