NACE Austin Newsletter September 2017 Print

President's Report

Hello NACE Austin Chapter Members,

I’m still coming off the high of my first national NACE conference in Houston. If you haven’t attended Experience! yet, you are missing out. One of my favorite breakouts at the NACE Experience! Conference was about volunteers. As you probably know, the NACE Austin Board is purely volunteer-based. I am so honored that our team dedicates their time to make our chapter and our industry better. We all have our reasons to volunteer our time. One of the best things I’ve personally gotten out of NACE is the relationships. With our board members, we all work hand in hand to bring you amazing programs and educational content. By doing this, we get to know each other throughout the year (or 2 years for our Executive Board). To me, these relationships have become priceless because I know I can call anyone of them for advice, collaboration and even more importantly, a friend. These relationships have become a big part of my why – why I volunteer my time to the NACE Austin Chapter. I encourage you to get involved with our chapter, whether that be getting on a committee or sponsoring a meeting, to really get the most out of your membership. By volunteering, you can earn points on your scholarship application for next year’s national conference, which will be held in Palm Springs, California!

Also at the conference, the NACE ONE Awards were announced. We have continued our reign as the winner of the Community Service Award. I am so proud of our community service committee for snagging this yet again. Between our causes of the quarter and the annual service project in December, we are representing Austin well in the philanthropic area. We were also nominated for Chapter of the Year and Educational Program of the Year.

Over the summer, we also hosted our annual fundraiser, A Taste of NACE: Austin Bites. Between all the delicious bites & sips to the awesome silent auction and the fun entertainment, I know I personally had a blast. A huge THANK YOU to all of our corporate sponsors: Premiere Events, Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Wedding Guide, FUN Auctions, The Modern Jewish Wedding, Beautiful Moments Weddings & Events, Visit Austin, Eclipse Event Co.Big Dog Pyro and Alfred’s Catering.

As we look ahead, we only have two official meetings left in October and November. Keep an eye on the Events page for more details! This month, NACE National kicked off a Membership Drive offering some astronomical savings: $100 off a membership package! Please join us at our membership happy hour September 28th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Main Event to network and learn more about these savings before they disappear!


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On the Calendar

September 28th: HAPPY HOUR!

Complimentary appetizers and happy hour bar pricing.
Come see us and hear about our NEW Membership Savings!


October 10th, Monthly Meeting

All That not Gold!

Can your business live up to the Gold Standard of Customer Service?

Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Location: Westin Austin at the Domain

Tickets: $30 members | $60 future members

Register Now!


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Membership Offer!

New Member Offer
For $295 (that’s right, a $100 savings!) prospective members can enjoy the many benefits NACE has to offer. The offer is for new members that join at the Professional member rate of $395 only. Professional members that have lapsed on their membership for one year or more can also receive the discount.

Renewing Member Offer
Do you love NACE and all that is has to offer? Do you wish there was a way to save on your renewal fee? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then we have a special offer just for you. Renew your professional membership, which is normally $395, on time or before your expiration date and pay only $295. You save $100 off your renewal. And yes, we will add 12 months to your expiration date if you renew early!

Student Membership Drive
Got students? As we say farewell to summer, students are saying hello to books, homework and NACE! Now is the perfect time to recruit student members to your chapter. All across the country, colleges and universities hold organizational fairs in the fall to introduce students to organizations on and off campus. The chapters who recruit the most student members (new and renewals) will receive a prize for one lucky student member.

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Event Professional Spotlight

Event Professional Spotlight:

Kristi DePew, CWEP and Co-Owner, Eclipse Event Co.

Photo by Rachael Hall Photography

What is your favorite Austin establishment?"

I am a native Austinite, so it's hard to choose just one! I love Austin originals because I have so many fond memories from my childhood of places like Zilker park and Amy's Ice Cream. Those might sound cliche, but they didn't used to be as popular as they are today! I am also partial to Alamo Drafthouse because it was such a big deal when I was finally allowed to go there, but I would say The Driskill Hotel has a special place in my heart for many reasons. It has a fascinating history, it's absolutely breathtaking, and I was also engaged and married there in 2012!"

What is your favorite hobby?"

I wish I had more time for my hobbies! I really enjoy crafting of any kind; I used to spend my Friday nights going to Michael's or Hobby Lobby to find something to make (cool, right?). On the rare occasion I actually have the time nowadays, I will still go there and get something toddler-friendly so my son and I can do arts and crafts projects together."

What made you join NACE?"

When I started in the industry back in 2008, NACE was one of the first industry-events I attended. I didn't even realize Event-Industry Organizations were a thing! I found the meetings super informative and everyone was so friendly and outgoing, I knew furthering my relationships here would be fun, easy, and beneficial in the long run. It's true what they say, you get out of it what you put into it!"

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Cause of the Quarter

Our Cause of the Quarter is Austin Empty Bowl Project

In an effort to help out with the local food drive they threw, decorated and fired 120 bowls. The school’s staff was invited to the cafeteria to select a bowl and enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread. John and his wife, Lisa Blackburn, talked to the staff about hunger in their community, thanked them for their cash donations and then asked them to take their bowls home with them as a reminder of those with empty bowls. There are now “Empty Bowls” projects all over the world.

The Austin Empty Bowl Project (AEBP) was the first of its kind in Texas, founded in 1997 by Kit Adams, the owner of ClayWays Pottery Studio & Gallery. Each year, AEBP has grown in participation by both donors and attendees and, with the help of our generous community, they have raised more than $900,000.

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Experience Conference

NACE Experience Recaps from Houston!

Michele Schwartz, Chapter Vice President:

Experience is always one of my favorite conferences to attend.  The people, the trends and the Experience (pun intended) is awesome!  I got called out at the Industry Summit.   The event started with an Industry Summit panel, moderated by BizBash's David Adler, with panelists Anirban Basu, a leading national economist, and Joyce Inderbitzin, of Hilton Hotels and Dennis Reynolds, Dean of the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management.  I was literally the only one, out of an audience of 600 people, who fears a downturn in the economy in the next two years.  Anirban Basu told me I was crazy.  I hope he’s right and I am wrong.  My favorite keynote was the Design Experience.  The keynote presentation of the Design Experience was an inspirational talk led by artist Phil Hansen, who spoke about how his artistic career nearly ended when his hand started uncontrollably shaking. But he returned to art, with a style all his own, and learned to “embraced the shake.”  It was inspirational!

On Foundation Night our chapter had a chance to bond together over a fabulous meal at a local Houston establishment, Pappas’ Brothers steakhouse.  We got a great pic of all of us dressed up to the nines ready for the Foundation Night Event:  Inferno! Lighting the Fire.  The Foundation event supports money for scholarships for to students studying hospitality and culinary arts as well as the community grant programs.  Austin donated $500 to the Foundation this year.
The last night was the NACE One Awards.  We wrapped up an amazing I’m on a conference call with the NACE One Awards where we recognize the best of the best in the industry and our chapters.  Austin won for Community Service of the Year.  We were one of the finalists for Chapter of the Year.  So, get ready for Experience next year in Palm Springs because we’re going to win it next year.  
Want to join us for Experience in 2018?  Become a member between now and October 31 and save $100 on your membership fee, you’ll also save money on your I’m on a conference call registration fee and you’ll be eligible for a scholarship to attend.  Start accumulating your points TODAY by attending a meeting, joining a committee or applying to be on the board.  Like anything else, you’ll get out of your NACE Experience what you put into it.

Cerda, Chapter Treasurer:

NACE Experience was held in Houston Texas this year and the beautiful Marriott Marquis. As always, the conference was everything.  Starting with the opening reception at the Ballroom at Bayou Palace, with hand painted people welcoming you in the staircase. As you enter the rooms you are mesmerized by the bright colors of reds, pink, yellows.  The theme of Art of Events was brought to life with interactive food stations, like build your own donuts and Mexican “paletas” in the patio.  The final piece that glued the event together was the band!  They played from top 40 to oldies… kept everyone moving and shaking until almost midnight

 The educational programs this year were as always refreshing and interactive. From finding ways to better Brand your company, some Customer Focus Solutions for Financial Success, and for the foodies out there some Rioja Wine tasting and whiskey tasting. Learning more about beverage has always been my favorite because I like to keep up with the trends.  

 Lastly, what a better way to finalize the conference by winning Community Service of the Year as chapter. To get recognize on a national level the hard work the Austin Chapter does on a local level was the icing on the cake. A lot of members take time out of their busy schedule to come together and find ways to support the city of Austin and that makes me proud to work alongside some of the best in the industry. Next year Conference is headed to Palm Springs and it would be amazing to see everyone out there.


Jyll Vertuno, Immediate Past President:

“Imagine, Create, Inspire”  The 2017 NACE Experience (National Conference) in Houston Texas lived up to the hype!

 The quick paced conference left me wanting more!  Attendees had time to be wowed by the food and beverage, entertainment, themes, and speakers.

  The off sight opening event had hand painted live statues, artfully created cocktails, and fun action stations that involved donuts!

  The speakers this year were top notch and no subject matter was off limits. There was something for someone in any aspect of the industry. 

A few high points were the catering trends luncheon with wine pairings presented by Monique Studak, CSS and Chefs Edwards, CPCE and Chef Gaughan.  Trend alert, Arepas!

 The next memorable panel I attended was the NACE Diversity panel, featuring our own Board member Michele Schwartz. Then off to “Managing Millennial catering and event pros” which was very enlightening as well. Kate Patay educated us with ” Design in Color”.

 No conference would be complete without a few nights of dancing, time to catch up with ole friends and make new ones. There was plenty of time to squeeze all that in too.

 We ended on a lovely note, giving back to the city of Houston with an onsite project that benefited Emancipet, Kids Meals Houston, and Dress for Success.

  All was jammed into just 3.5 days – it left me motivated to get back to Austin and share my inspirations with the teams at work, and at NACE Austin.

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