National WIC Association

2024 NWA Annual Business Meeting for Voting Members

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The National WIC Association will hold its Annual Business Meeting virtually on Thursday, April 25, 2024 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET. This meeting will be held virtually. NWA invites voting members* to register for and attend the meeting and help set the course for NWA’s activities in the coming year, including elections for Chair-Elect, consider Bylaws changes and members resolutions, as well as to hear updates on NWA’s work from the Chair of the Board, Kate Franken, as well as Georgia Machell, NWA's Interim President & CEO.

*As outlined in the NWA Bylaws, Voting Members are State Directors, State Nutrition Coordinators, State Breastfeeding Coordinators, State Vendor Managers, and four designated Local Agency representatives for each State Agency.

Agenda

The meeting agenda is available here.

During the business meeting, NWA voting members will be asked to approve the DRAFT minutes from the 2023 Annual Business Meeting. You can view these here.

Standing Committee Reports

Voting

At the end of the Annual Business Meeting, all NWA voting members in good standing will receive an email giving them access to the ballot which will be available until 11:59 PM ET Sunday, April 28, 2024.

 

Voting Members will:

  • Elect a Chair-Elect of the Board
  • Vote on Bylaws Changes Proposals (individually)
  • Vote on resolutions* brought forth by the membership

Bylaws Changes Proposals

Please see the proposed Bylaws changes here. Voting members will vote on whether to approve these changes.

Votes will be cast separately by category of proposed changes:

  • Voting Membership changes
    • The Board appointed the NWA Voting Membership Task Force for the following purpose
      Recommend a solution to the problem of small states losing votes at the state agency and local agency levels. This may include bylaw revisions to define “local agency” or to permit state agency staff to cast more than one vote. Or it may include a recommendation to do nothing if the problem is not considered critical. See the Task Force's Report here.
       
  • Consistent and Inclusive Language
    • The NWA Member Services team along with the NWA Board Executive Committee reviewed the bylaws to identify areas that we still needed to change for consistent use of terminology
      • Consistently use section standing committee
      • Consistently refer to Indigenous agencies rather than ITOs
    • These individuals also identified areas that we needed to change to make the bylaws gender neutral for better inclusivity
      • Change he/she to they/their or refer to the specific position rather than he/she
         
  • Add Authorization for Board Executive Session Meetings
    • Executive sessions are closed or special meetings-within-a-meeting that provide an opportunity for the board to convene privately to handle sensitive and confidential issues, foster robust discourse, and strengthen trust and communication
    • The NWA bylaws do not include language authorizing executive Session meetings
    • The NWA board has proposed language to add to our bylaws for this purpose
    • This proposed language has also been reviewed by NWA’s legal counsel for appropriateness

Candidates for Chair-Elect:

Samar McGregor, MPH, BS, RD
Deputy Director
PHFE WIC
City of Industry, CA

Watch Samar's Video

Jennifer Nicklas, MS-MPH, RDN, LDN
Nutrition Services Director
Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Watch Jennifer's Video

Statement and Bio: 

First of all: YAY for WIC securing $1 B in additional funding and double YAY for continued enhanced F/V benefits!

I am SO honored to be nominated for the position of the NWA Board Chair-Elect.  As someone who has been around WIC for over 35 years and NWA for at least the last two decades I feel I know SO MANY of you and I appreciate this time to share a bit of myself with those who are wondering : “who the heck is that woman?”

I grew up in Lebanon during a time of incredible uncertainty, went to school in the US getting my Masters from Loma Linda University And very soon after that I was hired as a WIC dietitian….and I fell in love. And wow, all these years later I am still here. Currently I am a Deputy Director at the PHFE WIC Program, a very large local agency in Southern California.  Like so many of you my journey at WIC has included working with WIC families at a WIC center, moving on to supervision and then managing various aspects of the program including some very exciting  special projects in nutrition education, obesity prevention and early literacy.  As the Deputy Director of Operations I oversee hiring, facilities (we have more than 30 sites on LA, Orange and San Bernardino counties, and also a VERY LARGE warehouse and a not so large HQ location!) and purchasing for the entire agency! The great news is that I have stellar staff that need minimum supervision which gives me the ability to serve you and NWA.

Advocating for WIC is my strong suit! The NWA’s policy conference was always a highlight and I enjoyed visiting our representatives and senators and talking about WIC. From 2016-2017 I served as President of the California WIC Association Board of Directors and have continued to serve on the CWA Board since in one capacity or another. I was most honored to have received the CWA Phyllis A. Bramson Advocacy Award in April 2017. 

Some of you may recognize me from sessions on Advocacy at various conferences, the most recent one just a few months ago at the NPC where I shared the platform with Theresa Landau, a WIC legend! 

I have worked closely with the NWA Board of Directors; in 2017 I served as the Local Agency Section Co-Chair and in 2022 I was elected to be the Secretary on the NWA Board of Directors.  I enjoy a very collegial relationship with not only the entire NWA staff but with state and local WIC staff throughout the country.  

I am eager to bring my passion for WIC, my organizational and well-honed advocacy skills to the national stage and help lead NWA into the next decade as we face a future that may be fraught with unknowns with both WIC appropriations and Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We are at the cusp of an exciting time with WIC given the eminent release of the Food Pkg rule, a very supportive FNS leadership blazing modernization of WIC moving forward finalizing efforts to implementing on-line shopping while keeping WIC accessible and heralding a brand new national Outreach campaign!  To keep pace with the surge in the demand for WIC, as a Local Agency person I am well aware of the issue of NSA and funding to keep up with hiring and retaining staff. As you know The National WIC Association has been pivotal in helping and advocating to move the program forward in all directions.  I am optimistic about the future and growth of the organization with so many exciting opportunities such as the work to promote Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB), increasing the diversity of our workforce, expanding partnerships and so much more. 

As I promise you my commitment, I hope you see my long and varied experience, consummate advocacy record and experience with the NWA Board, as  a much-needed asset for the WIC community. I represent a tested WIC service record, deep passion for the work we do every day and incredible networking and relationship building skills combined with….you see it don’t you….a graceful charm!! I lead by example and would give it my ALL to be an exceptional Chair Elect on the NWA Board. I hope you share my confidence that I am the best candidate for the Chair Elect position.  

So now I am going to ask you to help me, help NWA and help the WIC program! Please cast your vote in support of my candidacy and share this email widely with colleagues, friends and voting members of NWA.

I would love to hear from you should you have any questions, suggestions or concerns at samar@phfewic.org

Gratefully,

Samar

Statement and Bio: 

I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered for the position of Chair-Elect for the NWA Board. I have served as the Director of Nutrition Services/Louisiana WIC since November 2018 and I have been a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for more than 15 years. I grew up in south Louisiana, received my bachelor’s degree at LSU, and master’s degrees in public health nutrition and public health administration at the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining LDH, I worked in USDA Child Nutrition Programs in Louisiana, WIC, community nutrition, and health promotions at a local public health department in Colorado, and nutrition research and clinical pediatric nutrition in Tennessee. My love of WIC began in grad school and I have worn many different hats during my 8+ years in this meaningful program: local breastfeeding coordinator, high risk counselor, CPA, local director, state nutrition coordinator, vendor manager, and state director. I am passionate about advocating for and elevating the tremendous impact of the WIC Program, being a good steward of our federal funds, providing safety nets to our most vulnerable people, and supporting and leading staff to strengthen the public health and WIC workforce.

Since June 2022, it has been my privilege to serve as the Southwest Region Representative and Chair of the State Director Standing Committee Section of the NWA Board. Through this NWA Board experience, I have had the joy of making connections with state and local staff throughout the country, gaining invaluable knowledge related to advocacy and WIC Program challenges, and developing a deeper understanding of the importance of our connections with our federal partners and political representatives. Having worked at both the local and state levels and across all areas of our program, the best interest of our families and babies as well as the staff who provide our critical services is at the heart of everything I do.

Serving on the NWA Board allows me to use my voice to advocate for our NWA members as well as our program and participants. I would be honored to continue to use that voice to protect, promote, and strengthen public health nutrition and WIC if selected as the next Chair-Elect.

 

Voting Member Orientation

  • Virtual Voting Member Orientation - March 22, 2024 - 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET. Watch the Recording here. See the PowerPoint presentation here.

Register for the Annual Business Meeting

If you are a voting member, please register for the meeting here no later than April 19, 2024, EOD.

The Annual Business Meeting is a virtual meeting for NWA Voting Members. As outlined in the Bylaws, Voting Members are State Directors, State Nutrition Coordinators, State Breastfeeding Coordinators, State Vendor Managers, four designated Local Agency representatives for each USDA WIC State, and NWA Board Members. Voting Members must ensure that their member agency is current in its dues before being allowed to vote on matters discussed at the Annual Business Meeting.

How to Ensure NWA Has Your Contact Information as a Voting Member

All voting members, please review this read-only spreadsheet, which contains the NWA’s list of voting members as of January 2024. If there are any changes, we ask that you complete this form by April 11, 2024.  All changes will be made internally by April 24, 2024 to ensure that voting members receive ballots for voting after the April 25 Annual Business Meeting. 

Designated Proxy - Designated proxies must vote peer to peer.

Designated Proxy - Designated proxies must vote peer to peer.

A. A State Director or Deputy Director can serve as the proxy for a State Director;

B. A State Nutrition Coordinator or State Nutritionist can serve as the proxy for a State Nutrition Coordinator or designated State Nutritionist;

C. A State Agency’s Breastfeeding Coordinator can serve as a proxy, with the Breastfeeding Coordinator holding the power to cast such vote;

D. A Local Agency Director or Deputy Local Agency Director can serve as the proxy for a Local Agency Director;

E. A State Agency Vendor Manager can serve as the proxy for a State Vendor Manager;

F. A Board Member not otherwise eligible to vote as an otherwise designated voting member can serve as the proxy for a fellow Board Member;

G. Any proxies received that do not meet the proxy peer-to-peer requirements as stated in A, B, C, D, E, F, or G will not be given access to the business meeting or to the voting platform.

In order to designate a proxy, please click on the form located here.  

Membership Status for Voting Members and Proxies

All designated proxies must be current in their membership dues before the business meeting to be held April 25, 2024 at 12 pm ET. Designated proxies are encouraged to speak with the voting member they are representing prior to the Annual Business Meeting to assure that the voting member they are representing has met the voting eligibility requirements.

Please direct all questions in writing to Jennifer Vanderhoff, Special Administrator to the Interim President & CEO, at jvanderhoff@nwica.org.

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This page was last updated on 4/23/2024 at 9:25 am ET