2024 ACDA Board Candidates



Jaclyn Cantu is the current Director for USDA Foods with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Food and Nutrition Division.  Jackie has been with the agency for 15 years holding various positions such as monitoring the National School Lunch/School Breakfast Programs and overseeing 6 Cents Certification.  Today, Jackie oversees the operations of USDA Foods for the National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Service Program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and Disaster Assistance. She received her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Bowling Green State University and is a native of Ohio.  Jackie moved to central Texas in 2003 to complete her Dietetic Internship at Texas State University and now lives in Austin Texas.


I have worked and managed the Child Nutrition Programs and Food Distribution Programs for the past 17 years in a large state that has provided me the skills to assist in overseeing a national association, such as ACDA. Prior to that, I worked in industry as a food broker giving me a diverse background to use in the Vice President position. I have served as the Secretary for ACDA over the past 2 years which has provided me insight into the needs and challenges of the various membership groups. Additionally, I bring experience in working with USDA on various initiatives and policy that would be beneficial to this role.

With my experience, I hope to help ACDA to achieve its goals through the strategic plan and assist members with getting the resources and support they need to successfully operate the Food Distribution Programs. I am excited and honored to be considered for the Vice President position with ACDA.



Cliff is the current President of ClearVu School Services, a Procurement Services Provider to K-12 school districts.  Before launching ClearVu in 2019, he was a part owner of K12 Services where he spent fifteen years working within the further processing program. He is the current Associate Representative on the ACDA Board of Directors and has been an active member of the association for over twenty years. He holds degrees in hospitality from Florida International University, the Culinary Institute of America, and Brookdale Community College.  He lives with his wife of 30 years in Frederick, Maryland.


My name is Cliff Meyers, and I am the President of ClearVu School Services. I have been an ACDA member for over twenty years, focusing on USDA further processing, procurement, and program improvement. I have been an active participant in numerous committees, currently serving as the co-chair of the Further Processing Modernization Committee. I also served as your board representative from 2014 to 2018.

I am running for re-election to the ACDA Board of Directors to continue to serve the Associate members. I believe my longevity and knowledge of donated food programs provide me with the experience necessary to serve the needs of the Associate members. I have been able to initiate and support many of the advancements ACDA has made. ACDA Gives Back is one of those that I am particularly thankful for.

I support ACDA strongly because it is the primary organization that connects private industry with publicly administered programs for the benefit of recipients. I am committed to the continued improvement of these programs, and I would like your support to continue this work.



I have been with Leon County Schools since 2000 in various roles. I have been with Dining Services for the past 21 years doing everything from managing, procurement, commodities, software implementation and everything in between. I am currently the Culinary Coordinator/Executive Chef for the district. I have a Culinary background, attending Johnson & Wales University out of high school. I received my Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Flagler College in 2022. I am currently in my last year on the Florida School Nutrition Association board but plan to continue being an involved member.


I am the Culinary Coordinator/Executive Chef for Leon County Schools (LCS) in Tallahassee, Florida. I have worked for LCS Dining Services for over 23 years as a Secretary, Kitchen Manager, Supervisor and Project Manager. I came to School Nutrition from the restaurant industry and have never looked back. I attended culinary school in South Carolina and received my bachelors in Business Administration in 2022. I am active with the Florida School Nutrition Association, currently on the Board as the Admin/Supervisory Chair.

I have been a member of ACDA for several years and have volunteered on the Education Committee. I have met many great people from across the country while attending ACDA conferences and have learned so much from them. I hope to continue to serve the School Nutrition community as the RA Representative.


Craig Hempel, Assistant Director of Nutrition and Menu Operations, works for Garland ISD in Garland, TX.  Craig has been with Garland ISD since January 2022 and holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. Craig has been working for K-12 school districts for the past 10 years of his career with job responsibilities ranging from Menu Planner to Director.


I have been the Assistant Director of Nutrition and Menu Operations for Garland ISD since January 2022. I formerly worked for a K12 foodservice management company for the first 8 years of my career working in various school districts across Texas. I became a member of ACDA in 2022 to learn more about commodity processing, procurement, and for the networking opportunities. Networking among the talented ACDA members has been a key to my district’s success during the challenging years since Covid-19 started.

As a candidate for School District Recipient Agency Representative, I will strive to be a voice for school districts and will do my best to communicate information to members.


Ken Simcox is an accomplished Assistant Supervisor of Food & Nutrition Services at Washington County Public Schools, leveraging his extensive background in the private sector after earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Shepherd University. With a career spanning since 1996, Ken oversees operations for 12 schools, managing POS software, leading free and reduced outreach initiatives, and spearheading recipe development district wide. Currently, he holds the pivotal role of co-chair for the education subcommittee within the processing committee for ACDA; building on his prior contributions as a member of both the Convention and Education committees. Ken is a seasoned speaker and moderator at the ACDA conferences, sharing his expertise as an Recipient Agency in the field.

On a personal front, Ken finds joy in his family, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His commitment to excellence extends beyond the workplace, as he takes pride in spoiling his grandchildren and sending them home with cherished memories for their parents. Ken's dedication to his profession and community involvement underscores his passion for well-fed children across the country.

You can view Ken Simcox's candidate video HERE


Shannon Solomon is a passionate, innovative leader in the Restaurant Business and K-12 Industry. She is also a proud mother of five amazing adult children and grandmother of three. Shannon lives in Colorado, has a robust portfolio varying from Restaurant Operations, Efficiency Engineering, Corporate Training, and Organization Leadership. Shannon holds a master's degree in Business and is a Credentialed School Nutrition Professional. Shannon has also competed on the Food Network’s show “Chopped” Chef competition as a School Chef, and has received several local and national awards for her relentless leadership regarding customer service, innovation and positivity. Shannon’s deep passion is rooted at the heart of feeding her customers delicious, nutritious quality food with excellent customer service so that they may always be the best versions of themselves!  

You can view Shannon Solomon's candidate video HERE


My Passion is feeding people! I tell people all the time, I have been a lunch lady all my life, but didn't actually find my career in school food service until 16 years ago when I was hired as a high school kitchen manager. I have worked for Aurora Public Schools for 16 years. I have been active with ACDA for the past 10 years. I continue to be an active member in ACDA for two main reasons, I love to learn and share my learnings with all that are eager to learn as well. I sit on committees, collaborate on panels, participate in webinars, and teach whenever the opportunity is available. I also love to collaborate and bring voices and ideas together. If you vote for me, I promise to listen and elevate all RA voices in a passionate, professional, and purposeful manner throughout my term.

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