Introducing "NACE News": Visit weekly to stay up-to-date with all things DFW NACE

Meet the Board: Co-Director of Programs Indya Willis

Tell us about your business or the work you do. Events by Indya is a full service wedding and event planning company where we focus on providing unique services that assist clients with different event needs.  We also focus on month-of and day-of coordination services, this service is not only offered to our brides/clients but to our industry friends, also.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? 2022 will be my sixth year with NACE, Newbie!!  First year on the board.

What is your personal motto? “Always stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready!”

What is your guilty pleasure? I like falling asleep watching Baby Mama (a movie) at least 3-4 times a week.  The movie is sooo very funny to me! 

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life? Halle Berry, need I say more! 

What does true leadership mean to you? True leadership is displayed when you are able to create more leaders.

What is in the trunk of your car right now? I always keep items in my trunk for a picnic.  Yes, I have a blanket, plasticware, etc.   

Meet the Board: Director of Communications Kathryn Marie Krieger (AKA Mystic Kathryn)

Tell us about your business or the work you do. I am the owner and creator of Mystic Kathryn’s Event Services and Pucker Up Impressions – The Official Lip Print Reading. We provide unique event experiences both virtual & in-person including Beer & Wine Yoga, Succulent Terrarium Workshops, Burlesque Classes, Jugglers, Fortune Tellers and more!

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I’ve been involved with NACE on and off since 2008 & this is my first year to serve on the board after 3 years on the communications committee.

What is your personal motto? If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. 🙂

What is your guilty pleasure? Too many to name but right now my favorite is my Oculus Quest 2, wanna beat saber anyone?

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life? hmmm, people used to say I looked like Jennifer Aniston but these days I have no idea.

What does true leadership mean to you? Leading without a title as Robin Sharma puts it. Doing that which you believe is correct whether or not it is the popular thing to do and not asking others to do things you are unwilling to do.

What is in the trunk of your car right now? Still boxes that need to be recycled from my children’s Christmas presents! :p

All About 2022 Award Submissions

So SORRY YOU HAVE MISSED THE 2021 awards deadline, but we hope to see you at the Gala on 2.2.22!

Who’s ready to celebrate all of the wins in 2021?!  I cannot wait to see everyone in February at the Annual Awards Gala to celebrate YOU! But before we completely leave 2021 behind, we want to celebrate the wins that we did have so mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022! 

This year, we are still focusing on you AND because we were able to bring back in-person meetings in 2021, we are bringing back the awards to celebrate all of our amazing meeting sponsors!  Remember all of those surveys we ask you to complete at the end of each meeting?  Those surveys really do matter!  And, because we still had many Covid-related challenges in 2021, we are keeping a lot of the same structure for the self-nominated awards.

Here are the categories you’ll see for 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 $10,000 and over $10,000) so that small catered events can be recognized in addition to larger ones – Catered Event of the Year Submission Guidelines
  4. Because we have still seen virtual events in 2021, we are keeping the Virtual Event of the Year to recognize those that continue to shake things up, virtually – Virtual Event of the Year Submission Guidelines
  5. And, don’t forget about Event Photography of the Year!  This will recognize outstanding photography and the photographer’s artistic talents – Event Photography of the Year.

**DEADLINE TO SUBMIT:  Tuesday January 25th, 2022! ALL ENTRIES DUE BY NOON.  Don’t miss your chance to be recognized for your 2021 efforts! Click here to review the criteria for all award submission guidelines 

DFW NACE Members can submit awards for free. Non-member submissions are $50 per award nomination.  There will be ONE award given to the person who actually submits for the award.  Additional trophies can be requested for a fee. 

Submission Form: You can submit your award online HERE 

Questions?  Email: 

We can’t wait to showcase you!

Angie Moors
Angie Moors
Owner of Funky Town Donuts & Event Coordinator @ TX Whiskey Ranch
DFW NACE Immediate Past President

NACE National Experience Conference: Expectations vs. Actual Experience

When I first found out I was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2021 NACE Experience Annual Conference, I was over the moon excited and then the anxiety set it. I had only been to one event industry conference before and I found it to be extremely overwhelming. I was excited and overwhelmed but ready to travel to Vegas for my first NACE Experience.

Attending the 2021 NACE Experience turned out to be a game-changing experience for me and for my business. I want to share with you 5 expectations I had heading to the conference and what the actual experience was like in hopes of encouraging more members to attend next year.

  1. Expectation: There would be a lot of attendees and I would just be one in the many and not able to make true connections.
    • Actual Experience: This expectation could not have been farther from the truth. While there were several hundred attendees, I did not feel like I was on an island all alone. Not only was the entire DFW NACE Board super accommodating and helpful they made sure to introduce me to members from other chapters and helped me to expand my network. Everyone at the conference was very friendly and looking to meet new people and make genuine connections. This experience felt more like a family reconnecting, excited to see one another again and eager to welcome newcomers into the fold. The board hosted a chapter dinner making sure we had intimate time together as a chapter to fellowship and really connect with each other on a more personal level.
  2. Expectation:  The number of sessions to choose from would be overwhelming and I would not get to attend all the sessions that would best benefit my experience.
    • Actual Experience: The conference had a plethora of sessions to choose from with a robust choice of topics ranging from events trends and business, event design, inclusiveness, catering trends, effective marketing and so much more. No topic was left untouched. The session descriptions were concise and very accurate in describing what the attendee would learn in each session. This allowed attendees to select the sessions that they would truly benefit from and not have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) feeling like they were missing out on important content because they choose the wrong session based on the description.
  3. Expectation: The information presented would be all fluff without much substance.
    • Actual Experience: The presenters were all well rounded and they presented helpful strategies and provided actionable steps that attendees could implement into their businesses immediately upon returning from the conference. The question and answer sessions were very beneficial and allowed the presenters and attendees to dig deeper and get tips and suggestions that could truly make an impact on their businesses and the industry as a whole.
  4. Expectation: After the education sessions were complete for the day everyone would retreat to their rooms and call it a night.
    • Actual Experience: After making some true and genuine connections during the day it didn’t stop there. Everyone wanted to feed and nurture those relationships even more. There were several hosted events, and the entertainment, food, and experience did not disappoint. The hosted events were a true representation of what our industry is all about and the amazing amount of talent and creativity we all have within us.
  5. Expectation: I would leave the conference the same way I came.
    • Actual Experience:  This is the biggest misconception I had. I left the conference inspired and ready to take my business to a whole new level. Attending the NACE ONE Awards Gala left me wanting more and desiring more for myself and my business. It was exciting to celebrate and cheer on our DFW chapter members as they were awarded for their work and contribution to our amazing industry. I left with a sense of pride, feeling proud to be a small representation of our amazing chapter.

So, as a first-time conference attendee, I encourage you to take the leap and attend the 2022 NACE Experience Conference. Other conferences do not measure the level of education, fellowship, and community you will experience. It’s the conference where no one walks alone and there is always a hand extended to help you learn, grow, and thrive. See you next year at NACE Experience 2022… Orlando here we come!!

Shamica Sweat
Owner/Lead Planner and  Designer, Shamica & Co.
DFW NACE Committee Member

Making The Most Of Your NACE Membership

Being a member of the DFW Chapter of NACE is an investment in both time and money. But man, I can tell you, it is well worth both! The more invested you are with the organization, the more you will get out of it. Here are a few tips on how you can get the most out of your membership. 

  1. Join A Committee
    • This is by far the number one way to get the most of your membership. This gets you one-on-one interaction with other industry leaders that you simply can not get anywhere else. There is something about being on a team and seeing your work come to fruition for the industry that we all love that is incomparable. With sooo many different opportunities on the committees to do so many different things, I promise you will be able to find something that you will enjoy. From doing something you love to learning something new, to expressing your talents – the committees have it all. The relationships you build and the personal growth you will experience are all amazing!
  2. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
    • For extroverts, the thought of networking is exciting, but for people like me that tend to be more introverted, meeting strangers can be daunting, to say the least. Getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people during the cocktail hours of our meetings, sitting at a table next to people you don’t know are two very good ways to not only get to know other professionals but for them to get to know you too. 
  3. Show Up
    • So, this one may be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway – simply show up. Every time you show up to a NACE meeting or event you will get to know more people, build stronger industry relationships, and have an opportunity to express what makes you and your business unique. We are a really fun group, we love to support each other, we love to get to know others in our industry. We want you to attend our events because we love seeing you and want to be part of your success!

I joined NACE almost 10 years ago – I was nervous, I was shy, it was hard for me to meet new people. As uncomfortable as it was, I showed up, got out of my comfort zone, and joined different committees. This all led to me finding the most success I have had in my ‘long’ career. These three suggestions are all things that any member can do and I promise that you will get more out of your membership than you ever thought possible. 

Adam Wilmore
Treasurer of DFW NACE

Member Spotlight: Marlene Faulkner

Knife & Faulk

Tell us about your business or the work you do

My company, Knife & Faulk provides boutique-style catering for weddings, private parties, social and corporate events as well as cooking workshops for individuals and groups led by Chef Marlene Faulkner.  Specializing in Modern American cuisine, Knife and Faulk showcases the art of combining fresh ingredients with culinary excellence by creating customized menus that highlight any event.  This attention to detail helps to create some of the most memorable experiences for clients.

What do you love most about the work you do?

I thoroughly enjoy creating food experiences and connecting with people.  Entertaining is a lifestyle and being able to share my passion for food and entertaining is what I love most. 

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I am a part of the Communications Committee specifically with Social Media. 

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?


When you’re not working, what are you doing?

I enjoy spending lots of time with my husband and daughters, volunteering in the community and at my local church, and entertaining friends and family.  I also enjoy learning and reading.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list

To travel throughout Europe. 

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

Not really.  The songs that are played at events create pretty specific memories for others and help me to reflect on how much things have changed.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

It’s so important to disconnect sometimes and find ways to just be.  I’d find a way to do just that.

Lauren’s Top 5 Tips for Networking

Let’s be honest….networking is hard work. It is especially hard work since we spent the last year with the least amount of human interaction we have had in our lives.  Knowing how to effectively network is key to building professional relationships and in today’s crowded job market, the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, could not be more true. NACE Experience is next week, so here are some tips to help guide you through effective business networking and dipping your toes into the people pond again! 

  1. Understand your goal
    • What are you wanting to accomplish with networking and your relationships? Is it building your client database? Honing in on a future job or career path? Maybe it’s just for casual talk and conversation. Whatever it is, try to keep in mind the WHY behind what you are doing. It can help guide your conversation and determine your follow up afterwards as well.  
  2. Relax and keep in mind, we are all a little uncomfortable. 
    • Networking and meeting new people can be scary and intimidating. Remember, it is not just you that feels that way. The people you are meeting and speaking to are ALSO a little nervous. So, take a deep breathe and try to be as cool, calm and collected as possible. 
  3. Keep it relatable! 
    • Keep your conversation relatable and interesting to the person you are meeting.  This way it not only makes the conversation more fun and engaging for you both, but it makes it easier to remember who you have met and what they do and how it relates to you as well! How can you help them? Make sure the conversation is not just about you, your job, your career, but about them, how you can help and work with them as well. 
  4. Document your connections
    • After meeting a few people, take the time to document who they are, where they work or what they do and their contact information. At NACE Experience, you will be on system overload, so do not rely on yourself to remember it all. Have a system in place to take notes or document your valuable information. 
  5. Follow up! 
    • This tip seems the easiest, but it is the most forgotten. Follow up with your new friends! Touch base with them, send a quick note, email, text or call soon after arriving home from conference. And make it a point to keep in touch with them.  Again, our relationships have incredible influence in our careers and this is a great way to strengthen opportunities for yourself and others.  

I am so excited to see everyone at the NACE National Conference in Vegas, and at our monthly DFW NACE meetings. And I hope these tips & tricks can help with your business and professional relationships. Please realize that you might be a little rusty and it might feel more uncomfortable than you remember, but don’t let that stop you! Meet some new people and squeeze the ones you already know (safely). Our event industry is dependent on strong, healthy relationships, so let’s do it! 

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye 


Lauren Twichell
Owner of Painting with a Twist Rockwall
President-Elect of DFW NACE

Member Spotlight: Shamica Sweat

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

My name is Shamica Sweat and I am the owner and lead planner at Shamica & Co. Event Planning and Design. We specialize in planning and designing curated wedding experiences.

What do you love most about the work you do?

What I love most about what I do is helping clients bring their wedding day visions to life while creating an event experience for the client and their guests.  

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I currently serve on both the Communication and Fundraising Committees.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

I am an Apple girl all the way, iPhone and Mac.

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

When I am not working I am enjoying time with my husband and kiddos, hanging out, and exploring new things. 

Tell us one thing on your bucket list.

One of the things on my bucket list is to go on a dune buggy tour in the deserts of Dubai.

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

I love all types of music and don’t really have a song I wish they would stop playing at weddings. A song I wish they would play at every wedding is Tennessee Whiskey. I love the beat and cadence of the song. 

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

If I had an extra hour in the day I would spend it shopping. 

Member Spotlight: Chris Horace

Tell us about your business or the work you do:

My name is Chris Horace and I am the Director of Events and DJ for Inkredible Sounds. We are a full service entertainment production company for weddings, proms, and corporate events. 

What do you love most about the work you do?

I love seeing everyone smiling and have a great time on the dance floor. 

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I am currently apart of the communications committee and my main duties at the time is update the DFW NACE website, approving members to the online directory, and uploading the events to the facebook page. 

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

All of my personal devices are Apple! 

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

Enjoying a cookies and cream shake or talking on the phone.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list

I would love to travel out the country to Japan. 

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

If I had to choose one song if would be the Macarena, I believe its one of top 5 most played songs at any event. 

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

Netflix and Chill 

Member Spotlight: Robin Benson Linek

Tell us about your business or the work you do:

I’m the special events manager at the Meadows Museum, SMU. The museum’s vision is to be the leading center in the United States for exhibition, research and education in the arts and culture of Spain.  I plan museum events, create video content through my weekly web series, Culture Corner, and handle the museum’s facility rental business. 

What do you love most about the work you do?

I love to tell stories through events.  I love the creative aspect of my work and making engaging experiences (both virtually and in-person) to delight museum stakeholders.

What Committee are you on for NACE and what do you do?

I’ve just joined the communications committee.  I help to manage DFW-NACE’s presence on social media.

Which best describes you? Iphone/Mac, Iphone/PC, Android/Mac, Android/PC?

iPhone,  Mac for home/PC for work

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

I’m usually running (while listening to an audio book) or at barre class. My husband and I love to go to theater, watch movies, and spend time with our dogs and cat. 

Tell us one thing on your bucket list

A trip to India. 

Is there a song you wish they would stop playing at events?

We see a lot of Spanish guitar at my venue. Unfortunately, some guitarists choose to play “Rainbow Connection” over and over again.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

I’d spend it exploring my neighborhood and trying new places.