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Dawn M. Botensten serves as Food Service Director at Kankakee School District 111. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with a bachelor's degree in Dietetics. Her most recent professional achievement was researching, purchasing and getting wheels on the ground with District 111's food truck. Her personal goal is to change lives one vegetable at a time and her favorite hobbies are painting watercolors and cooking.
Christine is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist (RDN/LDN) and Certified LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) Therapist. In her 17+ year career, she has worked in a variety of settings ranging from clinical to pediatric therapy with special needs children to community nutrition to university and school foodservice management. Her area of expertise lies mainly in community and school nutrition education, which encompasses multiple areas of food, nutrition and wellness. Christine joined the U-46 team as District Dietitian in February 2020, three weeks before the COVID shutdown. In her current role, she works cohesively with the School Nutrition Director and management team at U-46 to ensure menus are compliant with USDA guidelines, seasonal, budget-friendly and nutritious.
Laun Dunn is the Executive Director of the United Way of Knox County. She is a graduate of Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Laun strives to “earn her oxygen” each day which has led her from rural Pennsylvania farm life to leading a nonprofit that is dedicated to serving the community. Laun has a can-do attitude and life experiences ranging from construction work, to costume design, to spending 10 years as a professional alpaca and llama shearer. Her experience as a volunteer and passion for helping people guided her into her career at United Way. The United Way of Knox County Child Nutrition Program started in 2018 and served over 200,000 meals to area children in 2020.
Kevin has been involved in school food service for more than 30 years. Over those 30 years, he has managed different accounts ranging from less than 400 students to being a District Manager of 12 separate school Districts. Kevin earned his Master’s degree in 2016 and is currently in the process of obtaining his Doctorate Degree from Northern Illinois University. Kevin has also been very involved in the school food service industry as he is a member of his purchasing cooperative’s advisory board and has been an Executive Board member of ILSNA for the last 5 years and is currently the President Elect.
Clare has over 21 years of experience in the school foodservice industry through various positions in foodservice management, operations, manufacturing and state agency compliance. Currently she is a consultant with school food and wellness group and the Foodservice Director of Chicago International Charter School. Dedicated to child nutrition, she is passionate about assisting schools in running an efficient and financially sound meal program.
Clare received her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Northern Illinois University and her M.B.A. from Lewis University. She is a member of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials and the School Nutrition Association, receiving the designation of School Nutrition Specialist.
Kate Kloet is Assistant Director of Nutrition Services at Valley View School District. Kate is a Registered Dietitian and School Nutrition Specialist with a M.S degree in Nutrition & Dietetics. By day she is a professional chicken nugget taste tester, expert menu planner, and leader to the greatest team of lunch ladies. When Kate is not in the office, you can find her trying to perfect her granola and scone recipes, daydreaming of hiking at National Parks, being the best Dog Mom, or listening to a true crime podcast.
Reginald Ross is the School Nutrition Consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Charlotte, North Carolina. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the School Nutrition Association as the SNA President. Reginald has attended and has been a presenter at numerous national conferences and webinars through SNA. He served as the President of the North Carolina SNA from 2013-14. Reginald has received many professional honors including the SNA Thelma Flanagan Gold Achievement Award in 2014 and the Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Silver Spirit Award in 2014. Outside of SNA, he serves as the Choir Director for the St. Paul Baptist Church Men’s Choir. He attended The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and is a member of the The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.