National Standing Committees

NACE national committees are representative groups of NACE members working together to offer the national board guidance on programs and policies pertaining to strategic initiatives. Committee members serve at the discretion of the board and may review and suggest policies and programs if they are aligned with the organization’s strategic direction. National committee efforts are led by committee chairs who bring the committees’ suggestions to the board for review and approval. Committees meet at least once a month as well as at Experience Conference. The time and commitment volunteers spend on national endeavors creates an invaluable network of knowledge and expertise to help cultivate an environment of learning and growth for our members and organization as a whole.

Interested in serving on a NACE national committee? Be on the lookout for our call for volunteers this fall. Contact if you have any additional questions.

The Awards Committee is responsible for setting awards criteria for chapter and industry awards. The annual NACE One Awards program is held each year in July.

  • The Awards committee will work to identify and standardize the methods in which the organization recognizes professional and chapter work.
  • The committee will continually work to review and improve on the NACE awards program.
  • The committee will review and judge all awards to ensure award program integrity.

Committee Chair: Jill Vidal-Raines, CPCE, EB Inc
Board Liaison: Doug Quattrini, CPCE, Event Producer, Sensational Host

Committee Members:

Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, Wolfgang Puck Catering
Jodi Harris, Sight & Sound Events
Timothy Hill, iDesignMeetings
Nate Nelson, Leforce Entertainment
Kelly Ann Peck, Something Fabulous
Sonia Rivera, DFW Airport Marriott South
Kendra Smith Houghton, Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation
Richard Portney, CPCE, Trenton Country Club
Ryan Pflumm, CPCE, CSEP, SPIN
Katie Mcnulty, K.P. Mcnulty LLC

This committee meets once a month or as needed.

The Business Development committee works to develop a solid plan for the overall success of the future business partnerships in our industry and beyond.

  • Come up with a strategic plan for past, present, and future Business Partners and recommend a streamlined approach to secure future partnerships
  • Committee to discuss the pros and cons of custom-tailored vs. specific level of partners with add-ons as a bonus option.
  • Recommendations to the board should include ideas for the various levels of partner sponsorship, what potential additions partners may like to see, possible costs structure and the future of tradeshows and where the NACE one should strive to be by 2018.

Chair: Karen Gordon, Goodshuffle Pro
Board Liaison: James Filtz, CPCE, Director of Meetings and Special Events, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC

Committee Members:

Kay Kolbo, Director of Special Events, Alicart Restaurant Group
Caitlin Miner, Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Sydonie Neysmith, Black Swan Events Inc.
Michael Owens, Coyote Ridge Golf Club
Michele Schwartz, Modern Jewish Wedding
Harvey Stern, Foundation Board Liaison

This committee meets once a month or as needed.

The Certification committee works to continue the advancement of the CPCE certification by recommending standards and creating new programs based on NACE’s strategic plan that assist candidates in attaining the certification.

  • Approval policies and training of CPCE trainers along with the approved CPCE training materials.
  • CPCE policy issues including guidelines, procedures, recognition, and outreach.
  • CPCE exam writing including analyzing current exam questions and the creation of new questions.
  • CPCE competencies and body of knowledge to rewrite the CPCE Professional Reference Guide on a 3-year schedule.

Chair: Michael Testagrossa, CPCE, Caesars Palace
Board Liaison: Morgan Montgomery, CPCE, CMP, Co-Owner, Paisley & Jade

Committee Members:

Christina Alvarado-Morales, CPCE, Great Events
Michelle Dunnick, CPCE, United Way of Southeast Louisiana
Emily Evanoff, CPCE, The Georgian Terrace Hotel
Lexi Herman, CPCE, Timuquana Country Club
Cindy Marshall, CPCE, University of Alaska Anchorage
Stephanie Olivares, CPCE, True Flavors
Rachel Panczenko, CPCE, Piney Branch Golf Club
Joshua Riggs, CPCE, Denver Botanic Gardens
Valerie Ward, CPCE, Blackwell Street Management Company

This committee will meet once a month or as needed.

The Chapter Leaders’ Council (CLC) is comprised of all of chapter leaders. It plays an integral role in creating training programs and offer support to help chapters operate appropriately and efficiently.
The council collaborates with the organization by providing support and input on national strategic initiatives that affect members at the local level. The council is represented by a Chair that sits on the National Board as a voting member, a Vice Chair, and a committee of members who mentor current leaders as well as scan the health and welfare of all NACE chapters to recommend appropriate training, tools, and resources to help NACE achieve its mission and goals.


  • CLC Chair will sit on the NACE National Board as a voting member.
  • Work with the NACE staff to organize and lead committee members to evaluate tools and resources that are currently available as well as what might be needed.
  • Provide input on chapter leader education, including the NACE Evolve conferences for chapter leaders.
  • Encourage a culture of mentorship and support within the chapter leadership.
  • Carry out the duties of this position as decided by the president with the advice and consent of the board of directors.

Council Chair: Lisa Curruth, CPCE, BraeBurn Country Club
Vice Chair: Karen Tucker, CPCE, Relish Catering Co.

Committee Members:

Dawn Peterson
Gil Hall, GT & H Hospitality Consultants
Justen Hix, Sheraton Charlotte Hotel/ Le Meridien Charlotte
Nicole Benvenutti
Sarah James, Omni La Mansion/Mokara

This committee will meet once a month or as needed.

The Education committee works to continue the advancement of NACE’s education programs by identifying new market segments, recommending speakers and education topics, reviewing speaker presentations and developing and reviewing original content.

Chair: Trish Simitakos, Owner, Trish Star Events,
Board Liaison: Morgan Montgomery, CPCE, CMP, Co-Owner, Paisley & Jade

Committee Members:

Brittany Bowens, iBee Events, LLC
Kevin Dennis, Fantasy Sound Event Services
Julie Ellis, The Chef’s Table
Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
Erin Giroux, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Overlooking Boston
Jennifer Jones, SMG/SAVOR… Reno – Sparks
Ginia Lucas, Y-Knot Party Rentals & Floral Design
Carla Petrulli, CircusWerks LLC
Kimberly Rhodes, Hitched Events
Michelle Stansfield, CPCE, Chic Productions
Leah Welch, Atlantic Limo and Transportation
Iris Oliveira, One Upon an Iris

This committee meets once a month or as needed.

The Conference Advisory Committee consults and provides feedback for future planning, themes, trends and goals for the Experience Conference.

Overall Role and Purpose
The NACE Experience Conference Advisory Committee consults and provides feedback for the future planning, themes, trends and goals for the Experience Conference and makes recommendations to the Board, staff and other committees, including the Education Committee regarding the overall development and advancement of the Experience Conference. This is a committee that consults and advises only.

The Experience Conference Advisory Committee will monitor and identify industry trends, business development opportunities and partnership opportunities in order to provide recommendations for a framework for current and future planning of the Experience Conference.

Chair: Sid Stoper, Account Executive, J&S Audio Visual, Inc.
Board Liaison: Amber Allen, CPCE, Director of Catering and Conference Services, Hotel Valley Ho

Committee Members:
Dawn Peterson, CPCE
Margery Reinheardt, CPCE, Director of Catering, Hilton Houston Post Oak
Adam Rineer, CPCE, CMP, Director of Convention Services, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Michelle Stansfield, CPCE, Planner, Chic Productions
Tony Leggio, CPCE

The Finance committee develops and monitors NACE’s annual budget, income and expenditures. It is comprised of the president,  vice president, and secretary-treasurer.

Committee Chair: James Filtz, CPCE, CHE, CMP

Committee Members:
Amber Allen, CPCE
Morgan Montgomery, CPCE

The Investment committee reviews NACE’s financial situation and works on a regular basis with the investment advisor to monitor the association’s financial standing and current investment accounts.

Committee Chair: James Filtz, CPCE, CHE, CMP

Committee Members:
Donnell Bayot, Ph.D., CPCE, CHE, CFBD
Lisa Carruth, CPCE

The Governance committee upholds the standards and integrity of NACE’s national election process. It coordinates election efforts, reviews all potential candidates for elections to ensure they meet the minimum criteria required for each position and conducts the election process at Experience Conference, where elections take place every year.

This Committee provides for the board’s effectiveness and continuing development, particularly in succession planning, preparation of candidates for approval by the membership, annual reviews of national and chapter bylaws, the association’s code of ethics, and NACE’s standard operations procedures and policies for both the national board and chapters.

Board Liaison: Donnell Bayot Ph.D., CPCE, CHE, CFBE, The International School of Hospitality
Chair: Joe Mahoney, CPCE, Senior Partner, HospitalityStaff


Brett Ihde, Magnificent Events
Lyn Gleasure, Bedrock Detroit,
Larry Moore, Ohio State University
Gil Hall, GT & H Hospitality Consultants
Domenick Savino, Drexelbrook Catering & Special Events Center


The committee will meet a minimum of four times annually, (and when necessary at the call of the committee chair, with 24-hours business day notice, Monday – Friday) including one face to face meeting in conjunction with the annual Experience Conference.

The Marketing and Technology committee shall advise and work with staff on encouraging engagement in the NACE community and improving and expanding the delivery of NACE messaging, programs, resources and technology.

Chair: Aaron Shook, CPCE, General Manager, Ocean5
Board Liaison: James Filtz, CPCE, CHE, CMP, Director of Meetings and Special Events, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC​

Committee Members:
Ameena Chaudhry, Travelling Bean
Lorry Chestnutt, Cosmo Cool Concepts
Jennifer Gilman, Flourish & Co.
Jorge Tovar, J&S Audio/Visual
Katrina Roesselet, Valentine Coffee Company
Lea Marie Sullivan
Rachel Sheerin

This committee will meet once a month or as needed.

NACE will be an engaged membership organization for the catering and events industry.
• The Membership Committee will look at ways to implement potential changes to bring up the retention rate 3 percentage points a year within the association
• The committee will discuss methods to improve retention within the association; decide if the benefits currently being offered are in the best interest to drive membership, and what we can do to give members what they are looking for with their NACE Membership
• The Board would like recommendations from the committee on what is needed to improve our retention rates, which will, in turn, drive new membership

Chair: Erin Oeser Goodell, CHE, Instructional Assistant Professor, Hilton College at University of Houston
Board Liaison: Doug Quattrini, CPCE, Event Producer, Sensational Host Caterers​

Committee Members:

Lyndsey Bunn, Catering Manager, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
Katie Enciso, Director of Catering Operations, Ohio State University
Kay Kolbo, Director of Special Events, Alicart Restaurant Group
Caitlin Mell, CPCE, Event Coordinator, Field Club of Omaha
Julie Brown Pflueger CPCE, Weddings and Special Events, Check it Done Events
Scott Johnson CPCE, CMP, CDS, Global Account Executive, ConferenceDirect


This committee will meet once a month or as needed.

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