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

Meet the Board: Cam Petty Palmer – Co-Director of Fundraising

Tell us about your business or the work you do. I am Cam, the CEO of Beautiful Event Rentals. I am a leader to an incredible team of people and a speaker and course creator for Event Rental Business owners here in the US and around the world.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I have been a member since 2018 and on the board since 2019 

What is your personal motto? My personal motto is “A limiting belief only has power over you if you give it authority to.” 

What is your guilty pleasure? I love a good relaxing bath with no distractions

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life? Hmm, an actress playing me, I have no clue! I don’t watch a ton of movies or TV.

What does true leadership mean to you? True leadership is servant leadership. Having deep care and intention for the people around you. It isn’t about having the leader at the top and all others under you, it’s about lifting others up and the leader being the foundation.

What is in the trunk of your car right now? In my trunk is nothing. I keep my car pretty darn clean and tidy. I get a car wash once a week and love a clean space! Only thing back there is a charger for my electric car! 

Meet the Board: Amber Knowles – Director of Communications

Tell us about your business or the work you do. I am the Owner and Lead Photographer for The Amber Studio based in Dallas. Through our wedding photography, we have a mission to empower our community and to tell the true stories of the diverse couples we work with. We want our couples to be able to look back on their images and remember how each of the moments felt instead of wondering why we were so obsessed with those Instagram filters. 

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I joined NACE in the fall of 2018. And took the fast track to leadership when I joined the board in January 2020. 

What is your personal motto? My personal motto usually shifts with my circumstances. There was a point in my life where I would tell myself “if someone tells you NO or something doesn’t work out, the worse thing that could happen, is that you end up right where you started, which is not a terrible place to be.” And there was another point in my life, where my favorite quote that I used to push myself was “Life begins outside of your comfort zone.” Now, I’m learning not to be afraid of failure, and that it’s necessary for success. I’ve recently been really inspired by what Sara Blakely shares around learning to get comfortable with failure.

What is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream! I have a sweet tooth and can’t get enough.

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life? Zazie Beetz! I loved her in Atlanta but I relate to her personal style even more. 

What does true leadership mean to you? To me, true leadership often means speaking up and doing the hard and uncomfortable work when no one else wants to.

What is in the trunk of your car right now?  In the trunk of my car, I ride around with my light stands and a step ladder. I hate hauling those things back and forth to my car each time I go out to a photography job so they basically just live in my trunk. 

Meet the Board: Angie Moors- President Elect

Tell us about your business or the work you do. My husband and I own FunkyTown Donuts and FunkyTown Donuts & Drafts in Fort Worth. As of March, I accepted a position as the Events & Hospitality Manager at TX Whiskey Ranch, also in Fort Worth.

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? I have been a NACE member for 8 years, and on the board for 7 years.

What is your personal motto? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. 

What is your guilty pleasure?   Soooo, I have a few!  An extra dirty martini with Tito’s & blue cheese stuffed olives (no vermouth), TX Bourbon Pecan Old Fashioned, a glass of wine, charcuterie board (I could have this as my meal every day)….and, probably binge watching a Netflix series or documentary.

Which actor or actress would play you in the movie about your life?  Oh, gosh – I have no idea!  Maybe Jennifer Lawrence? She’s been in a lot of great movies and seems to have a funny personality – she also grew up with two brothers who made her tough which got her into sports.  That’s how I grew up and it made me a strong and independent woman. 

What does true leadership mean to you?   When thinking about being a true leader, I think about a past boss I had – she wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and jump in with her team. She was always there to help, to listen and provided great advice. She was never too busy to listen to her staff and answered every question/concern with confidence. She respected her team and in return, they respected her. I learned a lot from her and strive to be the best that I can be, as a leader to my team.   

What is in the trunk of your car right now?  An Easter Bunny costume. Haha!!  I was the Easter Bunny this year to help create some-sort of normalcy for the kiddos and their families that came by FunkyTown Donuts for a special treat that day.  This just reminded me that I need to give that back to its owner.  🙂  

Meet the Board: Chris Harmon – Director of Community Service

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

I am a Videographer and I also own a Production and Entertainment company with Harmland Visions and High School Hype!

How long have you been a NACE member? On the board? 5 years a member, 4 years 

What is your personal motto? I am the kind of person you can only truly love when I’m dead and gone… Meaning that I have to raise the bar so high and leave an impact so heavy on this earth, that generations after me will mimic the Chris Harmon model.

What is your guilty pleasure? Popping Bottles in the club…. always making bad financial decisions 

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

What does true leadership mean to you? Leadership is being able to lead a team and not having anyone do anything that you wouldn’t do. Constantly demanding greatness and nothing less.  Realizing that you don’t have to be a leader because someone said so, but you do it because that’s just who you are.  

What is in the trunk of your car right now? A whole bunch of bull…. naw just kidding… but it’s a lot of trash and broken pieces of something.  I don’t even think the spare tire is screwed in right.

Meet the Board: Jennifer Burns – Treasurer

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

I am currently President of Illumination Fireworks, a fireworks, pyro and special effects company based in Carrollton.  We provide services for sports organizations, socia, weddings and cities.  We also have Ultimate under our umbrella, an  ecommerce retail site that sales confetti to national and international clients.

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

I have been a NACE member for, I believe 14/15 years.

What is your personal motto?

 It always works out. 

What is your guilty pleasure?

An afternoon glass of wine and then a nap. 

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

I am not sure who would play me, but I would love to be Jennifer Gardner (Sydney) in Alias.  

What does true leadership mean to you?

True leadership is inspires me to be a better leader to my own team. 

What is in the trunk of your car right now?

1 case of bottled water and 2 cases of Diet Cokes. 

Meet the Board: Rebecca Wright, CPCE – Awards Chair

Tell us about your business or the work you do.

I am the regional Director of Private Dining for the Truluck’s Restaurant Group. I plan and execute private events that range in size from 8-300 people at our Dallas area locations and am proud to have been happily employed at Truluck’s since 1999. It truly is a dream job. I keep showing up to do work that I love and they keep paying me (which I also love) – what more could I ask? I do not own Truluck’s but they treat me like I do!

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

I have been a member of NACE for 10 years (since 2010) and have served on the board in various capacities for 6 years. I served as the Treasurer and most recently as the Awards Chair where my duties are to submit our chapter’s body of work for national award recognition.I am proud that our chapter has won “Chapter of the Year” while I have served in this role. 

What is your personal motto?

Two-Twelve It! That is a quick way to remind me to give it my all. This comes from a concept book by Sam Parker called 212 Degrees. It essentially says that at 211 degrees water is very hot but at 212 degrees water boils. With boiling water you get steam. With steam you can power an engine and with an engine you can move mountains. The difference between 211 and 212 is only 1 degree. However, 1 single degree makes ALL of the difference. Can I commit to giving it 212 degrees? You bet I can!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Macaroni and cheese from EatZi’s and sleeping late.

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

Because she is one of my all-time favorites, I pick Meryl Streep! If it has to be someone a little closer to my actual age, I pick Debra Messing.

What does true leadership mean to you?

True leadership is leading by example and having an ego-less approach. A true leader cultivates and develops future leaders by providing the appropriate support to allow each to learn and succeed in their own way.

What is in the trunk of your car right now?

A set of Tiffany champagne flutes and my nephew’s stroller. Yeah, I’m that kind of aunt!

A Message from the DFW NACE President

Dear DFW NACE Family,

At some point in my DFW NACE presidency, I’m going to have the opportunity to send out the traditional and, dare I say, fluffy message that you’re used to seeing from past presidents. It definitely wasn’t my last newsletter, where I focused on Covid-19 and the effects it was having on our event industry. And it certainly isn’t going to be this one either.

There’s no denying that 2020 has been tough. For all of us. And for some members of our community, it hasn’t just been a rough year. It’s simply a life that has been made more difficult because of the color of their skin. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, I think (or dare I say, hope) that we can all agree that our country has a long way to go when it comes to racial equality, fairness, and sometimes just plain decency. It’s a shame that there has to be another trending hashtag in order for the world at large to see what those of us in the black community have known for a long time. Things aren’t equal.

But here’s what I do know…

The Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of NACE can be a safe space. A place where we can avoid naively saying things like, “I don’t see color” as a way to show solidarity and togetherness, but instead can embrace and celebrate our differences, including race. While it may be well intentioned to think that being blind to color is a good thing, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking our backgrounds and experiences are the same. Our chapter is more diverse than it’s ever been. Ever. And the only way we keep it that way is by fostering a welcoming, inclusive environment. Not just with Instagram messages and Facebook posts.

I want to encourage you to take a look around you. At your friend group. At your children’s friend group. At your network. At your workplace. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t look like you, who don’t worship where you worship, and maybe don’t even love who you love makes us all better. And pretending like we’re all the same, well… that’s so 2019.

I’ll be attending this webinar tomorrow to continue the conversation, “Healing Wounds & Bridging Gaps: An Honest Conversation About Race & Allyship in the Wedding Industry.” I hope you’ll join me.

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

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.