Michelle Stansfield, CPCE
La Quinta, California
Candidate for Vice President
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?
I feel our biggest opportunity is membership and continuing to regrow NACE. We have seen our membership drop significantly due to the pandemic, and as we continue to recover from the pandemic, we need to focus on re-engaging our past members and those that are about to expire. Just as important, we need those new to a job or the industry to join and this needs to happen on the local and national level. The local chapters need to continue to offer meetings and programs that are relevant and valuable to their local industry professionals. Working with other chapters and utilizing Foundation of NACE Speaker Series for resources is a great way to bring this to your chapter. Applying for the Foundation of NACE’s Community Education Grant is another great way to help attract members, by bringing in a speaker that is more widely known within the industry. Now, more than ever we need to show the value of a NACE membership. I have always found the best way to do this is through NACE referrals. Letting industry peers know that your first referrals will always be to fellow NACE members. Local chapters can promote this and show how beneficial it is by having a thermometer or some indicate at each meeting reflecting how much revenue has been referred between members within the chapter. Having this visual at each meeting, will show non-members that we really do stand by the NACE referral and don’t just say it. We need to focus on our members-at-large and how to keep them engaged and a part of our family. I know when I was a member at large, there was no outreach or engagement. With Glue-Up, I feel there is now better opportunities for our at-large community to engage with each other and feel like they are a part of NACE. I am excited to see how this platform can further engage these members possibly by creating quarterly “zooms” (yes we are all tired of zoom) to talk and bounce ideas off each other. Creating their own “chapter” without forming a chapter.
NACE needs to create and cultivate relationships with large corporations within the industry and continuously remind them why having their team members involved in NACE can benefit them as a company. This leads into what I feel is our other opportunity. When I first joined NACE, I remember the corporations that were a part of the association, not just members that worked for them. I remember one of the restaurant groups required all of their catering managers to be members and earn their CPCE. We need to work towards this again. Engaging our Corporate Community will help us in so many ways. The first one is increasing our membership. Second by cultivating these relationships, we can use our leverage to gain National Partnerships with these corporations. This helps the association financially through partnership dollars, but also through in-kind donations for Evolve and Experience. Every donated product saves us money on the bottom line! Third is that by having global corporations as a national partner, it boosts positioning and reputation among our fellow industry associations and helps us achieve our mission of being the premier resource and community for catering and event professionals. It will help increase the visibility and value of the CPCE designation as well. And lastly, we can pass more value down to our members hopefully, through discounts that our partners are willing to offer them.
What specific talents do you possess that would affect the association on advancing our mission?
My experience as the chartering president of a small chapter as well as my long-time membership in different size chapters as well as a member at large give me the knowledge and ability to understand all parts of the association. I can use my experience to engage with the members at large and work with them on how we can bring more value to their membership. My experience of being a part of the creation of a chapter from the ground up, in an area where few knew what NACE was is my biggest advantage.
How can NACE best support its members and the catering and events industry?
We need to continue to provide relevant education both on a National level and on a Local level, that will help our members thrive both professionally and personally as well as continue to show our members the value of their membership.