Arctic School Food Service Innovation Competition – Guidelines and Competition Rules

AKSNA Arctic Food Service Innovation Competition

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Eligibility and Judging

The nominee must be actively employed in a school nutrition profession. While attendance at the AKSNA Annual Conference is encouraged, the nominee need not be present to win.

Up to three nominees will be presented to the attendees of the AKSNA Annual Conference; all persons attending the conference shall be eligible to cast one (1) vote. The winner will be determined by popular vote. AKSNA members in good standing on the day of the vote shall receive a bonus count equal to ten percent of total number of votes cast, rounded to the next lowest whole number.

If there are more than three qualified nominees, the AKSNA Board will convene a committee to review the nominations. At minimum, the top rated AKSNA member who is in good standing as of the first day of January preceding the award date shall be presented for consideration; two additional nominees will be selected based on merit without regard to AKSNA membership status.

Tie breaking: In the unlikely event of a tie, then these tie-breaking procedures will occur sequentially until the tie is resolved.  1) If there is a tie between an AKSNA member in good standing and a non-member, the member shall be declared the winner.  2) The nominee whose complete application was received first shall be declared the winner.  3) The nominee shall be selected based upon the flip of a fair coin or other random/pseudo-random number generator of the Board’s choosing. The winning nominee will be announced at the AKSNA After Dark event.

Award Details

The winner will attend the 2025 SNA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 13 – 15 July 2025.
This includes:

  • Conference registration including up to one preconference session *
  • Airfare from the winner’s home city in Alaska to San Antonio, Texas (round-trip, economy class, traveling the most direct and economic route for business purpose)
  • Lodging at one of SNA’s partner hotels
  • A $300 cash allowance for meals and ground transportation †
  • A cash allowance of 28.2% to offset anticipated Federal income taxes ‡

* The award shall be up to the cost of attendance at the applicable member rate, if the winner is not an SNA member, they must become a member prior to registering or pay the difference in fee.
† If reimbursement is paid to the winner’s employer, the amount shall be capped at the lesser of $300 or employer-paid reimbursement for meals and incidentals and ground transportation.
‡ See “”Federal Income Tax” for limitations.

Registration and Travel Procedures

The winner shall be responsible for booking their own travel, lodging, and registering to attend the conference. The winner shall submit to AKSNA, at one time, the following documents for payment:

  • Receipt for airfare including the total cost, traveler’s name, itinerary, e-Ticket, and airline confirmation code (unredacted).
    • If the winner selects routing that is not the most direct, economical route or purchases an upgrade to premium or first class, the winner shall provide evidence of the most direct, economical route, the traveler will be reimbursed actual cost up to the cost of the most direct, economical route.
    • Failure to do so will result in AKSNA reimbursing travel best on the best available data, if such data cannot be obtained, AKSNA shall reimburse the winner $200 for the round-trip airfare.
  • Receipt for conference registration, including pre-conference registration.
  • Confirmation from the SNA Housing Bureau (or it’s hotel booking partner if other than the Housing Bureau) including the traveler’s name, hotel name, the dates of lodging, and confirmation number.
    • The hotel need not be prepaid, AKSNA will reimburse the full cost of the hotel upfront without a folio.
    • If the winner books a hotel outside of the SNA hotel block, the traveler will be reimbursed the actual cost of lodging up to the median cost of hotels available from the SNA hotel block.

Federal Income Tax

To comply with U.S. Internal Revenue Code, the winner must submit an IRS Form W-9 before any prize may be disbursed; the value of the award will be reported as 2024 income to the Internal Revenue Service via Form 1099-MISC.

If the winner elects to receive the reimbursement personally, an additional cash allowance equal to 28.2% of the total cash value of the prize shall be paid to the winner; the amount is intended, but not guaranteed, to offset the winner’s Federal Income Tax liability.