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Month: May 2020

All About Earning Your CPCE from Lauren Twichell

A CPCE designation signifies your mastery and knowledge of 8 core competencies as a professional in the catering and events industry. CPCE stands for Certified Professional in Catering and Events. It is a nationally recognized program and you receive the certification through NACE. It truly is the mark of excellence for catering and event professionals!

The 8 CPCE Core Competencies are:

  1. Accounting
  2. Beverage Management
  3. Catering Services
  4. Contracts and Agreements
  5. Food Production
  6. Event Management
  7. Human Resources
  8. Sales and Marketing

I believe that your education doesn’t end after school. Continuing to further your education as a professional is what sets you apart from all the other event professionals out there. The CPCE program allows you to become a trusted events and catering vendor partner and gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.

For me, earning my CPCE is about more than JUST my years of experience and my job title. Having earned my CPCE, I am not only demonstrating my expertise in these 8 subjects of the event industry and food and beverage, but I am also proving to myself, my employers, and my clients that I am an essential and versatile resource when planning and managing an event.

Preparing and studying for the CPCE is definitely something you want to make time in your schedule for. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, so I have had a thorough education in food and beverage safety, policies, and guidelines. But this was over a decade ago! Guidelines and protocols for the catering and events industry have evolved over time. So, I decided to take a Fast Track Course that NACE offers to freshen up my knowledge and I also used the CPCE handbook as a study guide.

On the morning of the test, like anyone else might feel, I was equally calm and nervous at the same time. I knew I was well-prepared, but I was anxious and ready to take the test! I was able to take the test during the NACE Evolve Conference earlier this year that was hosted in Dallas. And sweet Kevin Brant was my proctor.

If you’re interested in receiving your CPCE or you want to learn more, reach out to myself or another board member. As a chapter, we can set up a study group, and plan our own test date in DFW with a local proctor. It’s an incredibly easy process to set this up for our members, and the DFW NACE Board is always happy to facilitate the planning! Also, I want to note, that it was incredibly helpful to have a supportive group of friends and colleagues to study with and to be able to cheer each other on through it all. We were also able to quiz one another!

You can reach me at

Lauren Twichell, CPCE
Director of Business Development, CN Catering
Vice President of DFW NACE

Meet the Board: Lauren Twichell, CPCE – Vice President

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

I work for CN Catering as the Director of Business Development 

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board?

NACE Member about 7 years and on the board about 3 🙂 

What is your personal motto?

What goes around comes around, treat everyone the way you’d expect to be treated in return. 

What is your guilty pleasure?

I love the spa, like a really nice and unfortunately expensive spa day! 

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life?

Hmm, what a fun question! I WISH it was Tina Fey, but it would probably be Melissa Joan Hart! 

What does true leadership mean to you?

I love trying to ensure all of my friends and peers feel like they know I am always behaving or acting for the greater good. I am always wanting them to succeed and for all of us as an industry to rise together! I think that I do this with my own actions every day and hope my peers feel the same. 

What is in the trunk of your car right now?

Oh, a foldable wagon of course! You never know when you’ll need that bad boy!

Legends of NACE: Leigh Tidwell

Tell us about your business or the work that you do.

I’m the Regional Sales Manager for AFR Furniture Rental – We provide soft seating solutions for conferences, events, and sporting events.

What year did you join NACE? 


How do you define success.

I define success as being a benefit to your community and the world around you.  Setting goals that make the world a better place then utilizing your skills and network to achieve them. 

What would the title of your autobiography be? 

One day at a Time

Tell us your favorite NACE moment or memory.

My favorite NACE moment was when we raised over 2,500.00 for Cafe Momentum to support them – it was amazing! The membership really rallied to the cause. 

Advice for newer members of NACE

Get involved!  You definitely get back what you put into it.  Join a committee – any time spent is well worth it.  

Over the years what is the most important thing you have gained through NACE? 

Leadership skills and friendships that last a life time.