“A Night with the Stars” our Annual Awards Gala is on Wednesday, March 3rd. Click here to register

All About 2021 Award Submissions

***DEADLINE EXTENDED to Monday, February 22nd***

Due to the power outages that so many in our community are experiencing, AWARDS DEADLINE IS EXTENDED to Monday, February 22nd.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited to usher in a new year – one full of hope, possibility, and Covid vaccines! But before we completely leave 2020 behind, we want to celebrate the wins that we did have. Your DFW NACE Board of Directors knows that there are still some things worth celebrating about 2020, and we couldn’t think of a better time to come together for our first in-person meeting of the year than our annual Awards Gala. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 3rd! 

This year, instead of focusing primarily on our in-person meetings for awards, we want to focus on YOU – the people in the event industry who continued to make things happen in 2020, even when faced with the greatest challenges. As such, we’ve expanded the self-nominated awards to provide more opportunities for our event community to be recognized amongst their peers. We’ve also tailored the awards to be in alignment with the challenges we’ve all faced and to better showcase the ways that many of you have persevered. 

Here are some of the changes you’ll see to the self-nominated awards this year:

  1. Separate categories for Wedding of the Year based on budget (below $50,000 and over $50,000) so that micro weddings aren’t competing with larger weddings – Wedding of the Year Submission Guidelines
  2. Separate categories for Event Production of the Year based on budget (below $25,000 and over $25,000) so that Covid-impacted events aren’t competing with larger events – Event Production of the Year Submission Guidelines
  3. Separate categories for Catered Event of the Year based on budget (below $5,000 and over $5,000) so that small catered events can be recognized in addition to larger ones – Catered Event of the Year Submission Guidelines
  4. A NEW award for Virtual Event of the Year to recognize those that made the move to virtual in 2020 – Virtual Event of the Year Submission Guidelines
  5. A NEW Philanthropic Award to showcase individuals and companies who used 2020 to give back to the community – Philanthropic Award Submission Guidelines
  6. Award submissions will ask the applicant to describe how the event was adapted for guest and vendor safety if the event was impacted by Covid-19. 

**Don’t miss your chance to be recognized for your 2020 efforts! Click here to review the criteria for all award submission guidelines including Event Photography of the Year. 📸 

DFW NACE Members can submit awards for free. Non-member submissions are $50 per award nomination. 

Submission Form: You can submit your award online HERE 

We can’t wait to showcase you!

Kimberly Rhodes
Owner & Event Planner at Hitched Events
DFW NACE Immediate Past President

How to Create Your DFW Member Listing

Follow the 5 steps below to create your DFW NACE Member Listing. We promise it will be quick and easy and should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. Be sure to have your headshot ready to upload! You can also upload up to 2 additional images.

One of the benefits of being a DFW NACE member is to be listed in our member directory. You can use our directory to connect with other members directly. And NACE members from other chapters around the country have been known to search for local vendors when they are traveling, and our directory is a great resource for that.

**Note about changes & updates: If you make a mistake, or need to update your job information, contact information, or photos uploaded at any time in the future, please email those changes and updates to communications@dfwnace.com

Please do not spam your fellow NACE members. It is illegal to use our directory to add anyone’s email to your newsletter list if they have not subscribed on their own.

***If you push PLAY on this video, it will walk you through how to create your vendor listing. OR you can follow the 5 steps below.***


Go to http://www.dfwnace.com/member-directory


Click “Create A Listing”

Step 3:

Select your Vendor Category from the drop-down, then fill in your information.

*Important: If you serve more than one category (OR) if you do not see your category listed, email the Communications Director at communications@dfwnace.com. We can add it or create your category on the backend!

Step 4:

You have the option to upload 3 photos to share your work. One of those photos should be your lovely headshot!

Drag and drop your photos into the square box, OR click “select images from your hard drive” to upload.

Step 5:

Click “Complete” and wait until you see “Submission Received.”

*Important: After you submit your listing, the Communications Committee will review your submission, confirm your membership, and your listing will be live within one to two weeks.

You did it! We’ll be seeing you on the Member Directory.

Cooking with Kids, Our 2020 Community Service Project

Chris Harmon, Director of Community Service, set out to help kids and teens with Project 16 learn how to make a meal for themselves with our DFW NACE 2020 Community Service Project, “Cooking with Kids”.

Harmland Visions streamed the live Cooking Demonstration which was led by Chef Enjolik and Chef Kevin at Low Country Quisine in Addison.

This all wouldn’t have been possible without the many donations from our DFW NACE members that allowed us to buy groceries for the kids ensuring that they each had the ingredients to make the Italian Chicken Bake Pasta recipe. After a trip to the market, DFW NACE members gathered safely (with masks) at Truluck’s to pack each grocery bag for the kids and then delivered them to their homes all over the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

Later that week, the cooking demonstration was streamed and there were many proud kids and happy bellies after they prepared their own dinners!

Photos & Video by Harmland Visions

Dana Blaugrund Shares All About the Foundation of NACE


I would not be where I am in my career had it not been for NACE. Supporting NACE and serving in the various roles I have taken on, is how I give back to this great organization and our NACE community. After serving for 10 years on our DFW Board of Directors, I had the privilege of serving on the National Board as the CLC Chair (Chapter Leader Council), which I LOVED. That role allowed me to share all of the great work that we were doing in the DFW area with other local chapters around the country. 

And now as a Board of Trustee for the Foundation of NACE, I have helped to integrate the needs of our local chapters with our fundraising efforts, and the main project I worked on this year, along with Timothy Lam CHT, CGSP was the “Speaker Series.” 

The Foundation’s Mission

The mission of the Foundation of NACE is to support the catering and events industry with education and investments that support local NACE chapters. We do this through innovative, transformative programs that elevate our collective community. Incorporated in 1985, the Foundation of NACE is a 501©3 charitable organization. So in other words … the Foundation was created to provide a vehicle for tax-deductible contributions to support catering and events related solely to education, scholarships, research, and philanthropy.

The Foundation serves NACE in multiple ways

The Foundation provides education for the speakers at our two National Conferences and also this year we started an amazing program called the “Signature Speaker Series” which provides education to NACE members through a variety of delivery formats to benefit members and chapters across the country. 

The “Signature Speaker Series” program helps chapters offer high-quality education through a vetted list of speakers and specially negotiated rates. HELLO … some speakers are offered at no cost to chapters! Local Chapters also receive a REBATE for booking the speakers through this program.

The Foundation also supports the NACE Community through grant-based investments. Our “Community Education Grants” help chapters provide high-quality programs at the local level. This year a total of 9 Chapters received community grants totaling over $12,000.00.

The Foundation provides support for current and future professionals through merit-based education scholarships. We have three scholarships which include: Vince DeFinis Scholarship, The Foundation of NACE Scholarship, and The Patti J. Shock Scholarship (in partnership with The International School of Hospitality TISOH). Together, these three scholarships award over $16,000.00 to 4 individuals. These scholarships provide aid that supports tuition, travel, leadership training, and professional development. You can find more information about the scholarships here: http://www.nace.net/give/educatingtoday/

Of course, this year was a special year, so the Foundation pivoted to offer additional programs for members and Chapters. With one of those programs, The Foundation paid the rebates back to the Chapter for all members that signed up during the membership campaign. And the Foundation also launched the “Chapter Grant / Loan Program” which provides funding to be used toward education programming, program development, membership development or general operations. 50% of the financial support is in the form of a “forgivable grant” and the remaining 50% is treated as an interest-free loan. 9 Chapters applied for this grant and a total of $15,000.00 was awarded.

Serving with the Foundation of NACE

The term of each Foundation member is a one-year term with a maximum of eight years. I am coming up on the end of my first term as a Board of Trustee on the Foundation, and looking forward to continuing my service with the Foundation next year. Also, next year, our very own DFW NACE member Terry Shields, CPCE, CSEP will be Foundation President taking office in January 2021!

An ideal candidate for the Foundation of NACE Board of Trustees has an interest in NACE, was active in their local chapter, and has good connections in the community so that they can fundraise. Remember, the Foundation is the fundraising arm of NACE. Each member is also encouraged to give a monetary donation as well.

Nominations are made by the current Foundation Board of Directors and Trustees. The Immediate Past President vets each candidate and the board reviews the applications. The number of available seats determines how many we are able to invite to join the Foundation. 

What the future looks like for Foundation of NACE

My hope is that through my role with the Foundation, I am able to build more awareness within the NACE community, for our local chapters and all of NACE, about what it is exactly that the Foundation does. We do so much more than pay for the speaker at Conference. We believe so strongly in the catering and events industry and we are here to support you.

We’re on a really tough road in our industry. I want to be part of the solution. 2020 was hard. The next two to three years will be even harder, but we have the opportunity to forge a new path and write a new story. My goal is to help lead the Foundation in writing a new story with some of the most amazing men and women I have ever had the opportunity to stand next to and say “how can we, as the Foundation of NACE, help you, our members?” Honestly, every single person on the Foundation is a good person. I am proud to be a member of this amazing group. They lift me up and I learn how to be a more diligent business person from them on a daily basis. Our connections go far beyond NACE.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and see how you can benefit from any of our Foundation programs. Whether you are working towards your CPCE, interested in a scholarship, community grants, or our speaker series, we are here to help you and push our industry forward.

Dana Blaugrund, CPCE
Board of Trustee for Foundation of NACE

DFW NACE’s Got Talent, Our 2020 Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who participated and brought our 2020 Fundraiser to life in the middle of a pandemic! It was a pretty big deal to see all of you come together VIRTUALLY to raise money for Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Congrats to our talent show winners!

1st Place: Sarabeth Yeli Marshall, Egyptian Belly Dance
2nd Place: Beth Albright & Adam Wright, “The Quarantine Binge Mix Tape”
3rd Place (Tie): Alan Paoletti, Magician and Mollie & Kate Nelson, DJ Duo
People’s Choice: Molly Rassmussen, Baton Twirling


Damany Daniel, The Event Nerd
Jordan Kahn, Jordan Kahn Orchestra
John Martin, On the Levee
Kimberly Rhodes, Hitched Events

DFW NACE 2020 Co-Directors of Fundraiser

Cammie Petty Palmer, Render Events
Nate Nelson, LeForce Entertainment

Title Sponsor

Jordan Kahn Orchestra


Venue: On the Levee
Photography: Lightly Photography
Live Feed Production: LeForce Entertainment
Decor & Event Rentals: Render Events
Snack Trays: Vestals Catering
Online Auction Site: AES

A list of our performers for the night and each of their talents

(Listed in order of appearance.)

And here are all of the behind the scenes photos from the Live event captured by Lightly Photography.

All About the Member Support Program

The NACE Board, with support from the Foundation of NACE, is immediately instituting a Membership Dues Support Program for those members who have lost their jobs, have been furloughed or otherwise impacted by the pandemic. All current members will be able to renew their membership at a lower dues amount. In order to obtain this membership rate, please call (410-290-5410), chat at http://www.NACE.net, or email membeship@nace.net. These membership dues rates are additionally eligible for the payment plans.

This program is available to renewing members only.

  • Members who want to use the support plan are eligible for payment plans.  
  • Members must request the discount code by contacting NACE by phone (410-290-5410), chat (www.nace.net), or at membership@nace.net.
  • Members who have already renewed and paid are not eligible for a refund however they can renew ahead of time and receive a full year of additional time at the support program dues level.
  • Members still have a 120 day grace period. Their membership will remain active for 4 months following their expiration date. When they renew, their anniversary remains the same, so a 3/31/2020 expiring member will renew to 3/31/2021.  
  • Members currently on payment plans can retroactively add the dues support.
  • The dues relief program will run until further notice.

NACE Virtual Town Hall

All NACE members are invited to attend the virtual Town Hall on August 20, 2020, at 5:00 PM Eastern. 

This annual event will provide an update from the NACE National Board and Foundation of NACE on the state of NACE including strategic initiatives, operating metrics, the ongoing response to Covid-19 and other topics of interest to members. Results from the 2020 NACE National Elections will also be announced. 

This event is free to attend.

Register here: https://www.nace.net/events/

Meet the Board: Audrey Dixon – Co-Director of Membership

Tell us about your business or the work you do.  I have worked in Catering for the last 6 years. Due to COVID, I am switching it up and officially following my dream of opening a bakery. J.Rae’s Dallas will open until the fall of 2020.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I have been a NACE member for 3 years and this is my first year on the board.

What is your personal motto?
Expect Nothing. Appreciate Everything

What is your guilty pleasure?  Popcorn!!

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

What does true leadership mean to you?  Speaking up when times are hard, thinking of others and overall just kindness to everyone.

What is in the trunk of your car right now?  Absolutely nothing, I like my car to be really clean 🙂

Meet the Board: Don Mamone, Immediate Past President

Tell us about your business or the work you do. I am one half of The Mamones, a Dallas based event photography studio as well as a business strategist, relationship marketer, speaker and educator.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board?
10 year member and 8 years on the board.

What is your personal motto?
People First Then Profit

What is your guilty pleasure?
Rice Krispy Treats

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life?
Ralph Macchio (UGH)

What does true leadership mean to you?
Taking responsibility for the failures and giving others credit for the successes! 

What is in the trunk of your car right now? I drive a Ford F-150 so I do not have a trunk but the bed of the truck is often filled with project materials for my honey-do chores 🙂 

Your Guide to the NACE National Board Elections

It’s that time of year when we elect our NACE National Board for the next year! Each year our National Board elections are held in the Summer months at the Annual Meeting during the National Experience Conference which is historically in July or August. The elected board serves a one year term from January to December.

Members should have received an email announcement from NACE National announcing the 2021 candidates, however, you can also find the information here: https://www.nace.net/elections2020/

The NACE National Board is the governing body of the association to regulate networking opportunities, showcasing for companies, and job opportunities for the community. They set the strategic direction of the association, help monitor progress on initiatives for each chapter, and work to strengthen and help grow our NACE community. The National Board will also give support to newer chapters in how to set up their boards, how to conduct a meeting, etc. And, let’s not forget the awards program! They have provided a platform for all NACE Chapters to showcase their achievements!  

The National Board also searches for resources that would benefit individual members that they normally would not qualify for on their own such as rental car rates, shipping, etc. They also focus on certification access, speakers and education, and a central community for our industry. Some of the member resources can be found on the NACE website here: https://www.nace.net/connect/memberbenefits/

Our NACE National Election board is elected by delegates. Each chapter is allotted 1 voting delegate for every 25 Professional Members in good standing. The voting delegates must be NACE Professional members in good standing and not subject to suspension at the time of election and at the time of the meeting. Our DFW NACE Chapter delegates are chosen by the President and are suggested to be a mixture of active members who are attending the National Conference (where the elections are held annually) and board members attending. It’s nice to have a mix of perspectives on the incoming leadership. The delegates will vote on behalf of their chapter and will vote with one voice, meaning they must be in agreement with their voting (per chapter).

This year our DFW NACE chapter delegates are: 

  • Don Mamone (Immediate Past President)
  • Kimberly Rhodes (President)
  • Angie Moors (President-Elect)
  • Lauren Twichell (Vice President)
  • Jennifer Burns (Treasurer)
  • Christopher Harmon (Director of Community Service)
  • Amber Knowles (Director of Communications)
  • Rebecca Wright (Awards Chair)

Here is a breakdown of the election process:
Once the Voting Delegates have been selected, each Voting Delegate is certified and authenticated by the Executive Director (Lawrence Leonard, CAE, CMP) that they meet the qualifications of membership. The ED will then notify each Voting Delegate of their approval as a certified delegate. A printed list of the certified delegates signed by the Executive Director is forwarded to the Governance Committee. 

The Governance Committee coordinates election efforts, reviews all potential candidates for elections to ensure they meet the minimum criteria required for each position, and they conduct the election process at Experience Conference where elections take place every year. 

The Chair of the Governance committee will appoint inspectors: a Judge and two Tellers – these inspectors cannot be a candidate for office, a certified voting delegate, or assigned as a certified proxy. The Judge and Tellers are responsible for processing & certifying the elections by determining the voting power of the certified voting delegates, the existence of a quorum, the validity and effect of proxies with fairness to all members. The Judge and Teller must be professional members in good standing and appointed (15) days prior to the election.

The Tellers, after collecting and counting the ballots, will determine the result of the election. The judge and tellers will certify and report the results of the election to the chair of the Governance Committee, who will be responsible for announcing the results to the membership. You can find the Governance Committee information on the NACE National website, along with other National Committee information (http://www.nace.net > “About NACE” > “National Standing Committees”). 

This year, due to COVID & the postponement of the National Conference, the ballots were mailed to the delegates and a virtual Q&A was set on July 19th. Each delegate is responsible for mailing, faxing, or emailing their ballots to the NACE National office no later than August 17th. The Governance Committee will meet on August 18th to count ballots, and there’s a virtual Town Hall meeting on August 20th at 4:00pm CST where the 2021 Board will be announced.

An email invitation for the Town Hall has been sent to all members, so if you are available to join, please do! You will also hear from our 2020 National Board & Foundation of NACE on the state of NACE including strategic initiatives, operating metrics, and the ongoing response to COVID-19. Log in to your NACE account here to register for the Town Hall.

Angie Moors
Owner, Funkytown Donuts
DFW NACE President-Elect