Speaker Bio
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John Bennett owns and operates his own school food service marketing firm, but he got his start at age 16 as a crab steamer in a Maryland crab house. John worked for eight years as a busboy, cook, and waiter while he earned his B.A. in English from Towson University in Baltimore and his M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. (He still loves to cook, and has inflicted a lot of new recipes on his family during the pandemic!)


John has written extensively for journals, newspapers, and marketing firms nationwide, specializing since 1991 in child nutrition marketing. John served as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Maryland Department of Education's Nutrition Office from 1992 - 1995, and ever since then he has worked exclusively with child nutrition professionals across the U.S. as a marketing, public relations, customer service, and community outreach consultant. He has spoken at nine national SNA conferences and in more than 40 states. His "School Meals: We Serve Education Every Day" public service advertising campaign has been used by states and districts from Alaska to the Florida Keys, and his "Wellness is a Way of Life" campaign is used in nearly 500 child nutrition programs nationwide. Recently, John created highly successful campaigns for the introduction and on-going implementation of the New Lunch and Breakfast Regs, and he's spent this entire year helping his Menu Magic subscribers get effective and powerful messages out about the incredible services you all are providing during the Covid-19 pandemic. John also wrote three marketing case studies for the first two editions of the book Managing Child Nutrition Programs, edited by Josephine Martin.


John's considerable persuasive powers won him several regional ADDY awards for his advertising work, and for the last 30 years he's brought that expertise to bear exclusively in the service of improving the image of School Meals and increasing kids' participation in our programs.