Letter from the President
Dear SHFM Community,

First, a belated happy new year to all!

During this, my first Presidents Quarterly, I’d like to thank you for entrusting the leadership of our great organization to me. I take this role very seriously and in partnership with Holly Von Seggern, an amazing slate of committee leaders, our board of directors, and of course the FSA team, we have plotted an exciting year ahead.

2016 initiatives, based on your feedback, include introduction of our SHFM association app, scheduled for mid-March, along with training on this and other social media platforms, a refresh of our e-library and links and Crisis Toolkit, and the long awaited Conference Center Benchmark Study.

On the Local front, we have a California Local scheduled for February 25 at Stanford, and a Chicago Local scheduled for April 20 at the Rational headquarters.  Check the SHFM website for future Locals in Boston, Washington DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Chicago.

We are also gearing up for two engaging conferences in the first half of the year: Solutions 3 is scheduled for March 3 at Microsoft in Seattle, featuring "The Faces Behind the Food" and the Critical Issues Conference for April 12 at the Time Warner Center in New York City. We have an exciting theme this year and the conference is entitled "Harnessing the Hashtag: Communication Strategies for a Digital Age." Watch for the launch of the Critical Issues Conference website in the near future.

As I reflect on the corporate sector of our industry, which makes up a large part of our membership, I wonder what we can learn from our retail and higher education counterparts when it comes to technology as a whole. As a result, much of what we do this year will have a technology undertone, to help all of us grow, adapt and better prepare for the future.

Finally, as we consider the long-term growth of SHFM, we have proposed a few Bylaw changes, most importantly, adding two board members, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, to better position multiple leaders to take the helm of SHFM. Please attend the special Webex on April 10, or remember to vote by proxy. Your input counts!

Again, my warmest wishes for a happy new year!

Until next quarter,

Bernadette Ventura | SHFM President