National WIC Association Conference


Michael Bonner


Last week I had the opportunity attend the National WIC Association (NWA) Annual Conference. The conference brings together Local WIC Agencies, State and Federal Partners, and the vendor community: which includes companies ranging from grocery stores, such as Safeway, to Global Solution Integrators, like Ciber. The conference provides an opportunity for the people who “make WIC happen” to meet once a year to exchange information of all kinds.

Attending events such as the NWA Conference is one of the highlights of my role. It’s so exciting to learn about a new marketplace – discover what makes it tick, who makes it work, and ultimately, if there’s an opportunity for InRule to help make it more efficient.

According to a recent Suntiva report commissioned by the USDA, “Often SAs have specific rules applicable to their SA. Putting these rules in a business rules engine makes a more dynamics and flexible system. Each SA can have its own rules, which can easily be incorporated into the system without affecting the rules of other SAs.” I’ll concede that I read this report before visiting the conference, so I had a pretty good idea that the operational aspects of WIC may benefit by a rule engine – but I learned so much more.

The break-out sessions covered a wide range of topics but my key takeaway from NWA was that the WIC community doesn’t get bogged down by technology. In other words, when industry experts get together to talk WIC, the focus is on the business’s needs – which is where InRule excels.

Overall the conference was a success. I greatly enjoyed interacting with the close-knit the WIC community and am already looking forward to next year’s NWA.