Jill Vidal-Raines, CPCE
Candidate for Secretary/Treasurer
From your own perspective, what are two key emerging opportunities/challenges that our association faces and how can NACE best be prepared to address them?
NACE has a beautiful opportunity to advance the industry by utilizing our talent pool to its fullest extent. I was awe-struck by the brilliant marketing research and branding toolkit that two of our NACE members spearheaded. One of our members is an innovator of advocacy to preserve the industry during the global pandemic and protect its future. The membership team launched a comprehensive campaign to recruit new blood and incentivize members to attend Experience! NACE members are the heart and soul of creative solutions, and their unique talents clearly define the ways and means of a healthy association. As volunteers, we face the greatest challenge of only having 24 hours in a day, meaning time is a precious commodity we cannot be waste. Your leadership team must be responsive and proactive to help members and chapters succeed.
What specific talents do you possess that would affect the association on advancing our mission?
As a Business Owner for 21 years and with over a decade of experience on the Houston Chapter Board and National Committees, I am confident in my abilities to continue offering strong leadership and business skills to NACE. As your current National Secretary, my commitment to restoring our industry and furthering the Mission of NACE is clear and present. I know no other way than to be open and probably to a fault. I truly value every member’s unique perspective regarding NACE business and am proud to be part of a leadership team that encourages and supports healthy discussions surrounding our beloved association.
How can NACE best support its members and the catering and events industry?
It is important to continue recognizing those who remain engaged at the member and chapter level—acknowledging that members and chapter leaders need support differently. The one-size membership model does not fit all in our beautifully diverse community. Many of our long-time members have embarked on new careers or have recently returned to their pre-COVID positions. Many students and young professionals are graduating into a market of event chaos. Instead of the occasional full peak-season weeks, many are putting in over 80 hours per week for weeks at a time. Valuable human resources are in demand, and NACE can be the solution and magnet for prosperity. As the industry settles back into place, it will be crucial to further enhance Student & Young Professional Leadership Pathways. NACE has been a supportive and inspiring professional home to me, and I am grateful to be able to continue to give back.