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CPCE Spotlight: Sam Riseborough, 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 Sam Riseborough, CPCE, Event Specialist for Jordan Kahn Music Company.

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

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

A. I’ve been in a Sales position with the Jordan Kahn Music Company since January 1st of 2020. I’m a JKMC baby! I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth events industry for three years before JKMC though.

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

A. Without a doubt. When I started in the events industry three years ago, I didn’t know a single person. Through networking, I met some lifelong friends during the process. Personally speaking, all of my closest friends are event industry professionals, so our house parties are like a networking event, with one exception – I don’t have to wear a suit!

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

A. I’m working up the courage to speak at events like NACE Experience and Engage, etc….. I would also like to continue to develop my national network and explore this amazing country. I moved to the US in 2014 with the hope of one day traveling to every state and I’m slowly ticking each one off the list. I had never been to NYC until I worked for JKMC. In early 2020, I was there 3 times in 3 months thanks to the Manhattan apartment that Jordan owns. Such an amazing city.

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

A. Welllll, this is a funny story actually. I originally enrolled in our local CPCE study group to have an excuse to talk to Sarabeth Quattlebaum! Sarabethwas the DFW NACE board member in charge of the CPCE Study Group, so I approached her to discuss enrolling. At the time, I had no idea what CPCE meant! Fast forward a few years, we’re both CPCE’s and we just bought a house together. CPCE = true love, y’all! ………………………………………………………………………>>>>>>

Q. Who or what encouraged you to apply?

A. Ha! Sarabeth Quattlebaum’s natural soft good looks. 😉

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. NACE was the first industry organization that I joined and I fell in love with the true family-vibe of the chapter. The DFW NACE chapter is amazing and I didn’t realize that I hit the jackpot joining, (what I later learned), such a powerhouse chapter.

Q. Any tips for future applicants of CPCE?

A. Study your butt off! If I can pass the test, anyone can! I’m not in catering or event planning, I’m used to the metric system – not imperial – so all this talk of fluid ounces and pints was brutal! I bought the Professional Reference Guide and highlighted the parts that I didn’t know, and then recorded voice memos on my phone for the highlighted sections. I then listened back to those recordings for two months straight! Oh, also the CPCE Fast Track course is a must-do. Take detailed notes and memorize as much as you can. Find a study-buddy and quiz each other.

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. Being a musician and traveling to different cities to network for the first time, the CPCE designation lets everyone know that I take my career seriously and that I can count past four! It also gave me more confidence to approach other industry people and introduce myself. I’d say that it’s been invaluable for me.

Q. Do you have a favorite CPCE memory?

A. Oh, that’s easy! When the computer screen said that I had passed my exam! SUCH a relief! Dana Carroll Blaugrund, CPCE was my proctor and I was stoked to share that moment with her!

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

A. Well, besides meeting the love of my life directly through CPCE, ummmmmm, that’s kind of a hard one to beat! The runner-up would have to be when you move to the other side of the world and you leave behind your lifelong friends and support network. It can be super-scary rebuilding that. The events industry has led me to new lifelong friends and I feel eternally grateful for having stumbled into it.

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

A. When the other vendors on an event are all your closest buds. We pull off some epic events and it’s so great when the other vendors rock up and we get to say hello at an event or chime-in to help each other. I love lighting candles, helping with floral, and setting up amazing moments on stage for our photographer and videographer friends. Clients love it too when they can see that we all work as a super-tight team.

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

A. If you see me at an event or conference, please come and say hi! I love meeting new industry friends and making connections in different cities.

Get to know Sam a bit more:

Sam is a Drummer and Sales Professional with The Jordan Kahn Music Company. Originally from Australia, Sam relocated to the States in 2014 and had to start from scratch. He didn’t know a single person in the events industry, in fact, he didn’t even have one single friend or connection when he moved here.

In his mid-twenties, Sam became the store manager for Australia’s largest musical instrument retailer, Billy Hyde Music and played in bands around town.

The Jordan Kahn Music Company has become the fastest-rising entertainment house in the world, establishing themselves as the go-to party band for every kind of celebration.  Jordan Kahn’s bands have performed for George W. Bush and the First Family, the founder of Yelp Jeremy Stoppelman, “Bachelor in Paradise” stars Jared Haibon and Ashley Iaconetti, Mark Cuban, and Jerry Jones in the last year alone.

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Crystal Irwin


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