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CPCE Spotlight: Amy Riggle, CPCE

Our CPCE Spotlight is where professionals share their motivation behind earning the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE). This month we are featuring Amy Riggle, CPCE, Assistant Director of Catering for San Antonio Country Club.

If you are interested in being featured, please contact cpce@nace.net.

Q. Please provide some background on your current position and company. 

A. Since 2013, I have been the Assistant Director of Catering at the San Antonio Country Club. SACC is a member owned club and is over 115 years old. I book and plan all of the members’ private events. From intimate dinners to elaborate debutante parties and weddings, I am proud to help create special memories for our members and their family and friends.

Q. Do you believe CPCE certification helped you grow in your current position?

A. Since earning my CPCE certification in 2019, I have definitely grown in my position at SACC. I earned respect from my boss and coworkers who confidently send bigger events and projects my way. The CPCE certification has opened up new opportunities for me to expand my knowledge of the events and catering industry.

Q: Do you have professional goals you’d like to share with readers?

A. I am honored to serve on the board of the NACE Alamo Chapter. I hope to continue to grow in my role on the board and better serve our members. I look forward to more years at SACC. Numerous employees have worked at the club for 40 plus years! I know I have some big shoes to fill.

Q. How and when did you first learn about CPCE?

A. I learned about the CPCE certification at the first NACE Experience Conference I attended in Scottsdale Arizona in 2015. I decided then to challenge myself and start building up my experience and knowledge in order to sit for the exam.

Q. Who or what encouraged you to apply?

A. I knew I wanted to take my CPCE exam, but I kept putting it off. My boss, Wesley Dowdy, the Director of Catering at SACC, encouraged me to apply. He even told me that I could not attend the 2019 NACE Experience Conference unless I took and passed my CPCE exam. The thought of missing my favorite conference of the year really inspired me to kick my studying into high gear!

Q. Is there a reason you chose CPCE as opposed to other industry certifications? If you have other certifications also, do you feel they complement each other?

A. I wanted to earn my CPCE first because I am an active member of the NACE Alamo Chapter. Since I enjoy attending so many NACE events, CPCE felt like a natural fit. I do not have any other industry certifications yet, but I hope to begin the process for earning my CCM certification – Certified Club Manager.

Q. Any tips for future applicants of CPCE?

A. Do not procrastinate! Start the application process as soon as you can. Just taking the first steps helps everything fall into place. Ask your colleagues who have already earned their CPCEs for help. We are here to encourage and support you in this journey. We are eager to cheer you on so do not be surprised if you receive an avalanche of study tips!

Q. How do the CPCE letters behind your name help express to colleagues, clients, employers, or others your knowledge and experience in the industry?

A. I am proud to have the CPCE letters behind my name because it immediately shows my commitment to this industry. Colleagues, clients, and employers know that I am dedicated to learning and expanding my catering and events knowledge. They can trust that I will bring that dedication to every event.

Q. Do you have a favorite CPCE memory?

A. I had the privilege to attend the NACE CPCEs Only Breakfast at the 2019 NACE Experience Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. My favorite memory was connecting with other CPCEs from across the country. There was such a great feeling of camaraderie among everyone!

Q. Do you have a funny or surprising story about CPCE or working in the catering and events industry?

A. After earning my CPCE, my coworkers all congratulated me the next day. One of my coworkers did not know that I sat for the exam and thought the reason everyone was congratulating me was because I must be pregnant (which I definitely was not!). It took a few days for me to squash that rumor.

Q. What is your favorite part of working in the catering and events industry?

A. No two days are ever the same! I love constantly having the opportunity to work on new events. I am so thankful to work with a great team of coworkers at SACC who are passionate about bringing our members’ visions to life. I am also grateful for our members who trust me to handle their important life milestones and help create lasting memories.

Q. Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share in the CPCE Spotlight?

A. I hope to meet a great number of new CPCEs at Experience next year in Las Vegas! To anyone preparing to take the exam – you got this!

Get to know Amy a bit more:

Amy Riggle, CPCE, worked as a waitress while pursuing her Bachelors of Arts in Art History from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Upon graduation, she realized that she had fallen in love with the hospitality industry and set out on a new career path. Amy is the Assistant Director of Catering at the San Antonio Country Club. When she is not at work, Amy enjoys playing right center outfield for her champion winning co-ed adult kickball team.

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