September 2013  


BOARD ELECTIONS are coming in November

Call to Action: Help wanted Do you seek a rewarding experience served with a side of friendship and laughter? Can you spare 1 -10 hours a month building relationships and continuing an Austin legacy? Do we have the volunteer job for you!! Join the Austin NACE Board of Directors or a committee and help us grow our award winning chapter. Elections take place November 5, 2013 during our monthly meeting. Email Jyll to receive the form with positions available and let us know of your interest by our October 1st meeting. If you have questions please reach out to any current board members. Are you ready to accept the challenge of your professional life? We know you are! Email Jyll Vertuno,CPCE at


Monthly Special: Back to School!

Did you know that students can join NACE for only $50 a year?

Student members receive incredible benefits – continuing education, networking with industry professionals, career development, and tools and resources that will help them prepare for a career in catering and events! As a bonus, any professional chapter, without a formal student chapter, that gains the most new student members in September will win a FREE professional membership!

Join online using a credit card and promo code NEW13 here, use this special application if you'd like to pay via check or contact Laura Page at for more information.

October 2013 specials coming soon!


Check out the upcoming NACE National webinars and sign up now,

October 8th: Idea Swap Webinar for Photography and Videography (Members Only Event)   (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET)

October 16th: Business Academies Certificate Program – Catering Services* Orientation:    (4:00 pm - 5:00 pm ET)

November 12th: Idea Swap Webinar for Off-Premise Catering(Members Only Event)             (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET)

December 10th: Idea Swap Webinar for Event Décor and Lighting (Members Only Event)             (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET)

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CPCE (Certified Professional Catering Executive)

The CPCE is now the Certified Professional in Catering and Events designation!

The CPCE designation is the catering and events industry’s most prestigious professional certification. NACE is continuously developing the certification to meet the needs of our dynamic industry.

We are proud to announce that the Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) designation is now the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) designation!

Congratulations to our newest Austin Chapter CPCE: Julie Diaz, CPCE

To get more information and sign up:


Online - you pick the date! Your boss, a current CPCE or another qualified professional may serve as the proctor.  The date, time and location is your choice! More info.

January 10, 2014 –  Nashville, TN (Gaylord Opryland Hotel, in conjunction with The Special Event)

July 13, 2014 –  Baltimore, MD (Marriott Waterfront Hotel, in conjunction with the NACE Experience! 2014 Conference and Expo)

Please submit your application, documentation and payment 30 days prior to the exam date.

If you would like to come to NACE Headquarters to take the paper version of the exam or are interested in having a CPCE proctor the paper exam in your area, please email

If you are interested in a local CPCE Study Group please contact Deborah Ayala at for more information.

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Event Professional Spotlight

Meet Kevin Paladino with Complete Music : Video : Photo

Distinguished leader with over 13 years of progressively increasing leadership influence as a Life Coach, relationship builder, Professional Endurance Sports Coach and most recently as President / Owner of Complete : Music : Video : Photo. Change agent inspiring people to reach for success in their personal lives, professional careers and physical fitness. Help people reach for distant goals. Trained, encouraged and inspired, dozens of amateur and elite athletes in multiple endurance sports disciplines globally from ultra distance triathlons to 5k runs. Consistently selected as an expert combining spirit, heart, and physical fitness. Combined leadership, relational acumen, and articulate communication skills to develop and successfully complete an action plan for a non-profit ministry support campaign in which $140,000 in financial support was raised over a period of 12 months. Selected representative to the Department of Defense Joint Civilian Orientation Conference and to serve as an ambassador to the private sector. 

Focus – continuously set goals, which serve as a compass and help determine priorities. Regularly evaluating goals and progress toward them to maximize productivity.

Inclusive – Believe everyone has an important contribution to make and strive to involve people and help them feel part of the team.

Responsible – Take ownership of commitments and follow them through to completion.

Significant Accomplishments : • 14-time Ironman Triathlon competitor • Boston Marathon qualifier and finisher • 50k Ultra Trail Marathon winner • 2-time USA Triathlon Athlete of the Year • Finisher of a 26 hour - 75 mile Ultra Marathon

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On the Calendar

September Customer Service Panel

We had a great time hearing from our panelist while enjoying dinner and wanted to thank our sponsors one more time!

Renaissnace Austin Hotel, Illusions Rentals and Floral Renaissance

Panelist: Cindy Lo of Red Velvent Events, Delores Crum, CERP of Premier Party Central, Ashley Sansalone, CMP of Four Seasons Hotel of Austin and Rebecca Wright of Truluck's Seasfood, Steak and Crab House in Dallas

October Meeting: Composting 101 - Let's Talk Trash

When: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6:30pm

Where: County Line on the Lake

How to prepare your business to be compliant with the

Universal Recycling Ordinance

Presented by Skeeter Miller

Owner of County Line Restaurants

and President of The Greater Austin Restaurant Association

Please RSVP by 9/30 at noon to secure your spot!

Complimentary self-parking is available.

$30 Member Ticket

$50 Non-Members


November Meeting: NACE/GARA Joint November Meeting!

When: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 6:00pm

Where: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (Downtown Austin)

Best Practices in FOH & BOH Communications!


6:00pm Registration & Networking

6:30pm Welcome & Announcements, Dinner Service Begins

7:00pm Program Begins

8:00 Raffle & Closing Remarks

Please RSVP by 11/04 at noon to secure your spot!

Valet Parking is $8 per car

$30 Member Ticket

$50 Non-Members






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Experience! 2013

Experience! 2013 Conference by Laura Page, CERP

There are always ways to improve upon, enhance or re recognize the importance of good customer service skills.  I learned that, me, being better organized = a better experience for my clients.  It’s all about relationship building (vs. using the word “Vendor” use the word “Business Partner”), good time management and effective communication.  Get to know your client and be timely responding to customer inquiries.  Find out what is intrinsic to your client and don’t be afraid to propose the “dream”  to them, don’t ever assume your client can’t afford it.  Your challenge may be how to make it happen within their budget because you can’t give it away.

There were also good tips on PR and promoting your company.  Your website is the 1st face of you.  It’s good to have FAQ’s on there (answers to frequently asked questions such as what the process is to book you, any minimums, what territory you service, deposits required , etc. – address anything that gets asked over and over again) or possibly even feature a live chat section.  Testimonials can be helpful, your website should be emotional to relay the experience of doing business with you.  Which strikes an interesting question as you review your own company’s information , “Would you do Business with You”?  This was actually a session title and topic at conference - really gets you thinking doesn’t it…

Experience! 2013 Conference by Brianne Mouton, CPCE

Attending my fifth conference, it is always exciting to see what the host city has planned, hear and see what new trends are emerging and collaborate with industry partners across our sister chapters and Chicago did not let me down! Any party is not hot without some theme intertwined throughout the event: from our opening reception "The Devil in a White City" to walking into the Emerald City for opening breakfast and keynote one could find all sorts of ideas to bring home (check out our chapter facebook page for some great pictures of the event).

One breakout in particular that I want to highlight was called "Setting the Table to Better Serve Same-Sex Couples" presented by Kathryn Hamm of It was interesting to listen to the speaker and that by working and being open to new traditions and options that couples are adopting/doing that it will actually help us all be better at planning weddings for all types of couples,  not just same sex marriages. Below are a few of my take-a-ways.

1. Education Yourself: follow experts, watch headlines, attend conferences. Couples are looking for professionals, they want someone to help them bring their dream/vision to light, yet couples are lot more savvy these days. Be knowledgeable about the rights in the state you work in and the legal side of things (or at least know someone you can send couples too).

2. Should you choose to work with same-sex couples, update your website and marketing to include words such as "couples", "fiance" or "partners" and not specifically "bride" or "groom". All about first impression and your image/brand.

3. Expand Your Network: Make sure you talk with your business partners as well to see how they feel about working with same-sex couples. It is not about being right or wrong but having a team that is willing to serve the couple on their special day. Another item that was pointed out was to even take it a step further and talk to your employees about the event you are planning to work on (can't control peoples opinions and don't want your staff walking out minutes before an event starts).

4. Couples these days are straying from the traditions of our parents and grandparents and are even creating new ones. We are seeing a lot of "brides-men" and "groom-women" in bridal parties and one can't always assume that in a picture with a bride, her bridesmaids and then a man in a tux , that the man is the groom, rather a part of the bridal party or that a group of men with a women in a tux jacket and black shirt is a same sex marriage. Sometimes it is not even about the couple that is getting married but rather about a family member or close friend that will be attending with their partner and it is imporant to the couple that they feel welcomed.

5. Don't Assume, Ask and Innovate, be knowledgeable about military weddings traditions, be mindful of the CHOSEN & BILOGICAL family members of your couple, be a leader!

The LGBT community is a group that still ranges from those who have lived closested lives to those who have not, those who have supportive family members and those who do what if thinking differently about reaching and serving same-sex couples hels you better serve ALL couples?


NACE Experience! 2014 Conference and Expo

Save the Date!

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel   July 13 - 16 in Baltimore, MD

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Eat the Heat 2013

What can we say?  Our 13th annual fundraiser, Eat the Heat, has proved itself a huge success once again!  With the help of many talented, dedicated and creative Austin event professionals, we are proud to say that we had another stellar year.  The money we raised, over $18,000, will help so many people, many of whom we may never even know.  Our fabulous charity partner, The Smile Never Fades, was a great support in the preparation and execution of this Progressive Cocktail Party.   The event started off with falling snow at the Buffalo Billiards Ski Lodge.   The fun time continued in the Jazz Lounge at Maggie Maes where we enjoyed some great music from Diane Bray with hand rolled cigars from Bobalu, if that’s your fancy.  And then everyone chilled at the Hilton Garden Inn as we shopped amongst the silent auction, danced a little to the amazing sounds of The Rocket Brothers Band and enjoyed fabulous tastes from some of Austin’s finest culinary artists. 

As your 2013 Eat the Heat co-chairs, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person and organization that helped make this event so memorable.  The money raised will help the breast cancer survivor families that The Smile Never Fades supports, the NACE Foundation, and fellow NACE Austin Chapter members that benefit from the annual scholarships given to help get them to the National Experience! Conference and Expo.  We appreciate the multiple corporate sponsors that helped us financially, the venues that provided space to help us execute our vision, and all the companies that donated product and time for our Chef’s Showcase and Silent Auction.  But above all of that, we want to humbly thank each and every one of you that volunteered your time, your ideas, your staff and your contagious passion that kept us going and excited to produce an evening to remember.

Many thanks,

Michele Edison and Michelle Morris-Cuellar


Thank you to our sponsors:


Jalapeno Level

Alfred’s Catering

Austin Wedding Guide & Bridal Extravaganza

Full Spectrum Ice Sculptures

Mission Restaurant Supplies

Red Velvet Events


WHIM Hospitality


Poblano Level

Hilton Austin Airport

The Flower Studio

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