My first time at Connect

Posted by Melissa Colopietro on May 3, 2023 11:42:26 AM

Connect 2023 Recap - Blog Header

Our Connect conference is our largest training event of the year! This year, we gathered together in-person in Nashville for the first time since 2019. As a Marketing Specialist here at Heartland, I had the opportunity to participate in the conference for the first time. I am thrilled to be sharing my experience at Connect 2023. 

Here are a few of my favorite moments from Connect 2023:

Finding inspiration

Connect began with a live Keynote presentation by Jeremy Loch and other Heartland leaders. They discussed our ongoing efforts to support schools and updated attendees on exciting new product developments. We also heard from the Client Services team and how they are preparing for the new school year. Altogether, the keynote was a great way to kick off the event and set the tone for the rest of the conference. If you weren't able to see it live (or you just want to see it again!) check out the recording below.

Making new connections

The best part of this experience is getting to meet so many people. We had almost 200 nutrition professionals in attendance in Nashville, and I tried my best to chat with as many attendees as possible. There was such positive and fun energy in the room - everyone was sharing ideas, learning, and connecting. 

But the party didn't stop in Nashville - we also hosted a virtual Connect the following week! With an additional 200 nutritional professionals joining us virtually, this was by far our biggest Connect conference yet. Our online event platform allowed attendees to chat and schedule 1:1 time with other attendees and our product experts. It was a great way to get to know your teams and reconnect with our own team!




Understanding our impact

As a member of the Heartland team, I can attest that one of the most rewarding parts of our job is discovering how our solutions are being utilized. We value your input and take it to heart. It's the best way for us to understand how our products are being used and where we can make improvements. With so many changes within our industry over the last few years, your feedback helps us serve you better and create products that meet your needs.


Before moving to the Marketing team, I started my time at Heartland on the MySchoolBucks Implementation team. I likely even helped a few of our readers get started with School Store in the past! Even with my background on the MySchoolBucks team, I learned a ton about new features and best practices from our trainers and MySchoolBucks districts in attendance. There was so much idea sharing across all the classes and products. Here are a few of my favorite classes I was able to attend:

  • Mosaic POS: Between School Years - What Needs To Happen
    Learn valuable insights to better prepare your operation for closing a school year and beginning a new one. We'll walk you through some simple tips to ensure meal eligibilities, product information, and other essential program data are up-to-date so you can focus on making sure the first day of school is a positive and memorable experience for everyone.

  • Mosaic BOH: Menu Planning Basics
    We'll start with ingredients, build recipes, create menus, and generate reports. Gain an understanding of how your software makes building menus easy.

  • MySchoolBucks Anywhere 101
    Learn the basics of MySchoolBucks Anywhere. We'll go over the different functionality, hardware, and recommended practices so you can begin using MSB Anywhere with confidence!

  • See What's Coming in 2023 for MySchoolBucks
    Get a sneak peek at our product roadmap! During this session, you will be the first to hear about the new features and enhancements coming to MySchoolBucks in 2023.

Prioritizing Healthy Habits

Healthy habits are crucial for our physical and mental well-being. At Heartland, we prioritize our team members' health to make sure that they are the best versions of themselves. That's why our guest speaker this year was Derek Opperman, owner of LifeUp.  Derek works with a variety of audiences, talking about the importance of healthy habits and setting up realistic plans to achieve your goals. When we take care of our bodies by eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, we feel energized and focused, which allows us to be more productive and efficient at work. 

Overall, my time at Connect - in-person & online - was inspiring. I had the opportunity to learn so much from our classes and from you, meet new people, and reconnect with colleagues I haven't seen in a long time.  Thank you to everyone who made this event possible. I can't wait to see you all again next year!