The Foundation of NACE Board consists of: President, Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and (3) Trustees along with the Executive Director of NACE, and the Immediate Past-President. The Board sets broad strategic direction and delegates the implementation of strategy to the management team of NACE, who run the office day-to-day. Every quarter the Board meets to ensure that The Foundation of NACE continues to operate well and is achieving our objectives.
Gary McCreary, CMP, CPCE, CSEP
Vice President Catering & Events
Venetian and Palazzo Hotels
Las Vegas, Nevada
Gary McCreary serves as the VP of Catering & Convention Operations for The Venetian | The Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gary, was on the opening team of The Venetian and has since opened every major property for Las Vegas Sands Corp. in Macau, Singapore, and Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Gary oversees Banquet Operations which generates over $100M annually in Banquet revenue.
Gary has worked for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) as an International Meeting Planner based out of Dallas, Texas, and the legendary Loews Anatole Hotel, where he was Director of Catering and then Assistant Director of Conference Management. Gary is a cum laude graduate from The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, with a B.A. in Hotel & Restaurant Management.
Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE
Director of Catering & Events
Conrad New York
New York City, New York
Zena Phillips currently serves as the Director of Catering & Events for Conrad New York. Zena has worked for Hilton Worldwide for over a decade, starting at Hilton Toronto, and moving on to Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Waldorf Astoria New York and Conrad Miami. Zena was the recipient of the 2014 Hilton Worldwide Circle of Excellence award for Catering Director of the Year, Luxury Brands. Prior to joining Hilton, Zena worked for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, coordinating events for professional sports teams and performing artists.
Zena earned a degree in International Development from the University of Toronto and a hospitality management certificate from e-Cornell. She also holds the designations of CMP and CPCE.
Vice President of Operations and Event Services
Las Vegas, Nevada
As the Vice President of Operations & Event Technology at NATPE he oversees all logistical aspects of NATPE, the premier multi-platform content market and conference for over five decades. In his role, he works directly with over 300 exhibiting companies which have included iconic brands such as Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, Telemundo, Univision and NBC Universal in delivering services to highlight their companies and their work. He also manages and coordinates NATPE Budapest, an International television market held annually in Hungary.
As a former catering & conference manager at the Venetian, and a National Sales Manager and Convention Services Manager at Mandalay Bay - he uses his experience of doing over 500 events at these hotels and bring the best of what he has seen to NATPE.
His mission is to always deliver exceptional, cutting edge experiences in a world of ever increasing paradigm shifts.
Walter Nemeth, CPCE
Known by many as the Guru. Walter’s NACE involvement spans some 30 years, active in the Pittsburgh, Boston, Greater Philadelphia and Greater Atlanta Chapters. For the past 6 years has served on the board as Treasurer of Foundation of NACE. Walter has over 30 years in the hospitality and event industries a Colorado native working from Maui to Martha’s Vineyard.
Walter has filled positions as Banquet and Restaurant Manager to Director of Catering and Director of Food & Beverage, working for Sheraton, Westin, Hyatt and several independent hotel companies. Currently owner of Event Exclusives an event planning and venue management service.
Josette Murai, CMP, CPCE
Convention Services Manager
Hawaii Convention Visitors Bureau
Josette Murai serves as the convention services manager for the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and Meet Hawaii. Prior to joining HVCB in 2008, Josette worked for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa as catering sales manager, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa as event manager, and the Mauna Kea Resort as sales manager.
Josette earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Regional Sales Manager
AFR Event Furnishings
Greater Philadelphia Area
Dave Buckley, CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) joined the AFR Event Furnishings team as their Northeast Regional Sales Manager for the Special Events Division in September 2010 and quickly became their National Business Development Manager. In the past 2 years he has assumed the role of Regional Sales Manager overseeing several of AFR’s Locations, including: Las Vegas, Chicago, Maryland, DC, Virginia and the Carolinas!
Dave has won many Industry awards during his Rental Career including Event Professional of the year from NACE (National Association of Catering Executives), Member of the Year and Best Rental Support from ILEA and an ILEA Esprit Award for best Team Effort in 2012. Although all of these are special to him, he is most proud of the 2 Special Event Magazine’s Gala Awards he won in 2003 and 2006. Dave also sits on the Special Events Magazine’s Advisory Board.
Dave is looking forward to a long career with AFR Event Furnishings and their continued success. He loves being part of the industry’s premier event furniture rental company!
Harvey Stern, CMP, CPCE
Executive Director of Catering and Banquets
Past - President
Timothy Lam, CHT, CGSP
The International School of Hospitality
Las Vegas, Nevada
Timothy Lam is executive director and a founder of TISOH: The International School of Hospitality, a Las Vegas-based accredited continuing education school now celebrating its 11th year.
Tim has won numerous awards from NACE, including the 2013 Legacy Spotlight Member. He was on the 2011 President List. Tim also won the 2008 and 2011 Spirit of NACE Award, Las Vegas Chapter and the 2011 and 2012 Volunteer Excellence Award.
Tim holds a master’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a master of international business management degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of science from Wake Forest University.
NACE Executive Director
Bonnie Fedchock, MS, CAE
National Association for Catering and Events