Exploring the Future of Catering & Events Together

Thank you for joining us this week. We gathered NACE leaders and members to discuss the question on everyone’s mind, what’s the future landscape going to look like when events come back? During this week-long content and discussion series, we looked at different perspectives on the future of catering and events in a post-pandemic world.

Stay tuned for future discussions.


All registrants will receive a link to the recordings, and NACE members can access the recordings in the resource library. If you are not a NACE member, now more than ever, staying connected with your catering & events community is crucial. NACE membership gives your access to essential resources, and a community of event professionals to help you find solutions to the challenges we’re all facing.

Lessons Learned: Evaluating Business Strategies for the Future
Event and wedding professionals share their perspectives on what they have learned so far from the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 Educational Contact Hour

  • David Egan, Chase Court
  • Dana Kadwell, C & D Events
  • Sydonie Neysmith, Black Swan Events
  • Moderated by: Morgan Montgomery, CPCE, CMP, Paisley & Jade

Safety and Security for Future Events
The idea of events in the future sounds so nice, but how do we get there?  Now there is help.  This session will explore the new Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide with its editor, ESA Vice President, Steve Adelman. Before the webinar, please download your own copy.
1 Educational Contact Hour

  • Steve Adelman, Adelman Law Group and Event Security Alliance

Catering Events in the Future
NACE leaders discuss the future of catering from their experiences in off-premise, on-premise, and Las Vegas catering.
1 Educational Contact Hour

  • James Filtz, CPCE, CMP, The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
  • Karen Tucker, CPCE, Relish Catering
  • Michele Polci, CPCE, CMP, Caesars Entertainment
  • Moderated by: Doug Quattrini, CPCE

The Power of Being Proactive and Prepared for Events in the Future
Industry leader, Steve Kemble, leads a session on how catering and event professionals can demonstrate that you are prepared to produce and manage events safely in the future.
1 Educational Contact Hour

  • Steve Kemble, Steve Kemble Event Design

Speaker Bios:

Sports and entertainment lawyer Steven A. Adelman is the head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC in Scottsdale, Arizona and Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance.  His national law practice focuses on risk management and safety at live events, and he serves as an expert witness in crowd-related lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada.  Steve Adelman edited the new Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, and he is principal author of the upcoming ANSI standard for Crowd Management.  He is on the faculty of Arizona State University’s Sports Law and Business Program, and he writes the “Adelman on Venues” newsletter on current issues in the live event and venue industry.  Steve Adelman graduated from Boston College Law School in 1994.  He can be reached at sadelman@adelmanlawgroup.com.

David Egan has lived and breathed weddings for 18 years as Proprietor and Steward of the Castle at Chase Court, the wedding venue he owns in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2018, David received a National Association for Catering and Events NACE One Award for Wedding of the Year for a Harry Potter-themed wedding at Chase Court. David writes a column on weddings for Baltimore OUTloud, Maryland’s LGBTQ newspaper, and writes a regular guest blog on weddings for partyspacebaltimore.com. This year he is launching a new business called Getting The Wedding You Want to address the needs of engaged couples before they start to plan their weddings and to guide them through the planning process. David is an 18-year member of the Baltimore Chapter of NACE.

James Filtz is the Vice President of The National Association for Catering and Events. In his role with NACE James oversees programming and strategy for the education and certification programs at NACE. James has previously completed terms as Secretary and Treasurer of the association and has been a member of the association since 2005. James works at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans Hotel as Director of Meetings and Special Events. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is one of the largest and most dynamic hotel in the Ritz-Carlton portfolio. Prior to working at The Ritz-Carlton, Jams has held executive and leadership roles with Loews Hotels, Yale University, Starwood Hotels, The Venetian-Palazzo Las Vegas and Hyatt Hotels. James began his love for catering and events in the kitchen and is a proud graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park.

Dana Kadwell is part of a sales-focused, wedding planning powerhouse sister duo hailing from Raleigh, NC. She is a proud co- owner of C and D Events, an award-winning wedding planning company, The Bradford – a custom luxury wedding venue and mansion – and Bushel and Peck, a floral design firm. Leading a team of 11 and bringing over a dozen years wedding and business ownership experience. Dana is passionate about watching other businesses succeed and talking about balancing the crazy life of being an entrepreneur. SOP’s are her jam and you can find her creating a new one for anything including how her kids should come home from school. Her sister might call her crazy she would describe herself as efficient. When she is not killing the industry game, you can find her cozied up on her front porch with a good book and a mezcal drink.

Steve Kemble, recently profiled in The New York Times, is a known commodity. The world-renowned fashion and life-style expert, named one of the “Top 10 in the World” by Departures Magazine, has thrown bashes for the likes of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, the Dallas Cowboys, Oprah Winfrey and many names one would recognize from the Forbes list. He’s built himself into a brand as “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru” with a number of TV appearances on shows ranging from “Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition” to CBS’s “Early Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show.”

Kemble has garnered more than twenty-five event and meeting industry awards, and has been inducted into the Event Industry Hall of Fame, and he received the Special Event GALA Lifetime Achievement Award. Kemble founded the ILEA Dallas Chapter and served as its president for two years, going on to serve as the ILEA International president. Kemble also served as the president of the Dallas Meeting Professionals International Chapter and received the MPI International Planner of the Year award. Additionally, Kemble is active in the National Association of Catering and Events and served on its national board of directors. Kemble was a founding member of the SEARCH Foundation and went on to serve as the chairman of the organization. Kemble has also been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of Texas State University.

Sydonie Neysmith is the founder & CEO of Black Swan Events Inc, a Real Estate Broker, and a Financial Planning professional. She holds 20+ years of combined industry experience and has worked with a wide range of Fortune 1000 companies, offering business strategy, financial planning, and organizing events. Sydonie holds a Bachelors degree from Concordia College and an MBA from the Huizenga School of Business, NSU Florida. She is a strong advocate of health awareness, wealth management, community service and mentoring. Sydonie is a planner in all aspects of her life and maintains a positive optimistic spirit. Through her work, you will discover passion, purpose and productivity.

In her position as director of citywide catering sales for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, Michele Polci oversees the sales effort for all catered events across two million square feet of banquet and event space across nine Las Vegas properties: Bally’s Las Vegas, Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, LINQ, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, and Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Polci leads a team of 11 salespeople who specialize in corporate, convention affiliate, and social catering events business.

Polci is actively involved in the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE), and has held a string of positions on the local board, including treasurer, vice president, and president, immediate past president. In July 2007 she was honored by NACE as National Caterer of the Year for her endless enthusiasm, dedication, and extraordinary commitment to the industry. In July 2011 Polci was awarded the coveted National spirit of NACE award. Polci holds the title of the most awards winning caterer in NACE history. Michele currently serves on the Board of Directors with the SEARCH Foundation as an event director. SEARCH is a 501(c)3 which assists industry individuals in crisis.

Karen Tucker, CPCE has been in the catering and hospitality industry for over 20 years.  Karen along with her husband, Brett Tucker, are the owners of Relish Catering & Events. After working for the company for a combined 20 years, they purchased it together in 2012 and have been able to grow it into one of Denver’s Top Catering Companies.

Prior to moving to Colorado in 2015, Karen was born and raised in Dallas, Texas then moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em) where she started her career in hospitality.  Working with full event production companies, country clubs, and caterers she grew a vast knowledge of the events industry and found her true passion in the food and beverage sector of the industry.  Through years of hard work and determination, Karen grew as a leader of her team, continued to learn from her peers and mentors, to then be promoted to Director of Sales for the company.

In addition to owning Relish Catering & Events, Karen serves as the 2020 CLC Chair on the NACE National board and served on the board for the Greater Denver NACE Chapter from 2009 until 2019. She has also been a member of ILEA since 2001.  Karen was named the 2017 NACE National Member of the Year.

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