Welcome from 2023 NACE National President Amber Allen, CPCE
My Fellow NACE Members,
NACE has been my professional “family” since 2009. I vividly remember walking into my first NACE event and being so nervous to meet new people. I had no clue how to network. Two of my mentors Jessica Sprouse and Kristina Celik welcomed me with open arms. And more than that, for more than 13 years, NACE has helped me develop as a catering and event professional and as a business leader. The knowledge, skills, and connections I gained through NACE have helped me accomplish professional goals and advance my career in ways I never would have imagined when I was a brand-new shy catering manager. Every job that I have ever started can be attributed to the connections that I made or the knowledge that I gained with NACE.
Fast-forward from 2009 to today, and I am honored and humbled to begin my term as President of this great organization. I would not be where I am today without the support of my NACE “ride or die” Dawn Peterson and the entire Phoenix chapter. Jessica Barry “Bizzle” taught me how to expand my creativity and have passion for our industry. Whenever I thought a meeting or event wouldn’t work or might be a challenge, she showed me how to be fearless. Past leaders of this association have shown me how to be a strong leader and respect our history so we can continue to move forward.
As we look ahead to 2023, the NACE National Board remains committed to representing and advancing catering and event professionals, and the vital community we share in NACE. In 2023 NACE will continue to rebuild as an organization, and to help the individual professionals who are our members continue to rebuild and grow. We will continue to help our chapters regain momentum as essential networks and gathering points for the local event industry.
Even as we focus on our internal rebuilding and regrowth, we have to stay engaged with other event industry organizations, especially those that are members of the Events Industry Council, so we can move forward global initiatives to quantify and communicate the value of face-to-face; to work on diversity, equity and inclusion; to keep the catering and events profession attractive to future generations; and to protect the industry.
The year ahead holds macro-economic uncertainty, may not match our hopes and aspirations, and will require focus and tough decisions. But what is certain is that the need for human connections that are deeper and more meaningful than “screen time” will continue, and life moments, business events, celebrations and gatherings of all types will continue to be an essential part of the fabric that holds us together. And NACE will continue to be the essential community for catering and event professionals.
I am honored and humbled to be your NACE National President during such a crucial year for our industry. I look forward to working with our National Board, the Foundation of NACE, our national volunteers, and the staff in serving our strong, vibrant community as we move forward fearlessly together.
Amber Allen, CPCE
2023 NACE National President