Foundation Leadership

The Foundation of NACE Board consists of: President, Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and Trustees along with the Executive Director of NACE, and the Immediate Past-President. The Board sets broad strategic direction and delegates the implementation of strategy to volunteers and staff.

Contact the Foundation of NACE Board at



Harvey Stern, CMP, CPCE
Executive Director of Catering and Banquets
Las Vegas, Nevada

Harvey Stern, CMP, CPCE, is the Executive Director of Catering and Banquets for Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this role, he is responsible for a team of 500 in the areas of Catering, Sales and Banquet Services for Bellagio’s more than 200,000 square feet of meeting and convention facilities.

Stern began his career with Bellagio as Director of Catering and Banquets in November 2002 and was promoted to Executive Director in November 2011. Prior to joining Bellagio, he was Director of Catering and Food and Beverage at the Standard Club in Chicago, the Senior Catering Manager and opening team member of Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and assistant to the Director of Catering of The Pierre, a Four Seasons Hotel in New York.

He is currently a member of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE), Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) and Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE). Stern serves on the Boards of One Night for One Drop as the Culinary Chair and the Foundation of NACE as President.

Vice President

Terry Shields

Terry Shields, CPCE, CSEP
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Terry Shields CPCE, CSEP experience includes that of managing restaurants, private and country clubs, off-premise catering, event design and hotel events where he has directed the catering and events departments.  Some additional notable positions in Dallas have been managing the Belo Mansion, World Trade Center, Food Glorious Food and Terry Shields Event Design.

Terry has served on many boards that includes many positions on the NACE DFW Chapter and the ILEA Dallas Chapter as well as on the NACE National Board and the ILEA International Board of Governors.  Terry has been recognized for numerous awards with NACE, including twice being awarded the NACE Chapter Caterer of the Year as well as the NACE National Caterer of the Year.


Gary L McCreary

Gary McCreary, CMP, CPCE, CSEP
Vice President Catering & Events
Venetian and Palazzo Hotels
Las Vegas, Nevada

Gary McCreary is the Vice President of Catering & Convention Operations for The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas, overseeing conference management and banquet operations. He was on the opening team of the The Venetian and has since participated in the opening of every major property for Las Vegas Sands Corp. in Macau, Singapore, and Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Prior, Gary worked for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) as an International Meeting Planner out of Dallas, Texas. Gary also worked for Loews Anatole Hotel, where he was Director of Catering and then Assistant Director of Conference Management. A native Texan, Gary graduated cum laude from The University of North Texas, Denten, Texas, with a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management.

Past President

zena phillips

Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE
Senior Director Catering & Events Luxury – Americas
Miami, Florida

Zena began her career as a meeting planner for a non-profit organization in Seattle, WA over 20 years ago, transitioning to catering sales & operations in the sports & entertainment industry, before joining Hilton 13 years ago. Prior to her current position at Hilton, Zena worked her way up through Catering & Events at several of Hilton’s luxury hotels, including Waldorf Astoria New York and Conrad Miami. Zena is a Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE), a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development from University of Toronto.

Zena is actively involved in catering & events through industry and association participation. She is the 2018 recipient of the Events Industry Council Pacesetter award for Leadership and Innovation.


Tracey Amernick
Tracey Amernick, CPCE
Vice President of Event Sales
Cohn Restaurant Group
San Diego, California


Tracey Amernick is a food and beverage professional with a passion for customer service and a successful track record of building winning teams and maximizing sales. Tracey develops strategic vision and drives growth for more than 27 restaurants and several premium venues with a special events division. Her talents in creative design, special events, décor trends and catering are matched with a deep knowledge of the corporate, social, and incentive markets.

Tracey attributes much of her success to her involvement with NACE over the last 25 years, not only for keeping her knowledge current, but also in leadership roles that continued to develop her professional skills. In addition, the relationships and friendships she has made through NACE are lifetime strong.


Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, CWE
Director of Catering
Wolfgang Puck Catering – The Arts District
Dallas, Texas

Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, CWC is currently the Director of Catering for Wolfgang Puck Catering in Dallas, TX. Prior to joining the team at Wolfgang Puck Catering in 2012, Dana held several positions in the catering and events industry that have gotten her to where she is today.  Some of those include Catering Sales Manager for the Stoneleigh Hotel, Owner of Social by Dana Carroll and Senior Sales Manager for BBJ Linen.  Dana was awarded her CWC (Certified Wedding Consultant) certification in 2004 and earned her CPCE (Certified Professional Catering Executive) designation in 2013.

Dana served on the NACE Dallas Fort Worth local board for ten years. On the DFW NACE Board she has also served as President, Vice President, Director of Programs and Director of Membership. She has served on numerous NACE National committees including Ethics and Bylaws and Awards.


Dave Buckley

Dave Buckley,CSEP
Northeast Regional Account Executive
Marbella Event Furniture & Decor Rental
Greater Philadelphia Area

Dave has won many Industry awards during his Rental Career including Event Professional of the year from NACE (National Association of Catering Executives), Member of the Year and Best Rental Support from ILEA and an ILEA Esprit Award for best Team Effort in 2012.  Although all of these are special to him, he is most proud of the 2 Special Event Magazine’s Gala Awards he won in 2003 and 2006. Dave also sits on the Special Events Magazine’s Advisory Board.


Timothy Lam, CHT, CGSP
Executive Director
The International School of Hospitality
Las Vegas, Nevada

Timothy Lam is executive director and a founder of TISOH: The International School of Hospitality, a Las Vegas-based accredited continuing education school now celebrating its 11th year.

Tim has won numerous awards from NACE, including the 2013 Legacy Spotlight Member. He was on the 2011 President List. Tim also won the 2008 and 2011 Spirit of NACE Award, Las Vegas Chapter and the 2011 and 2012 Volunteer Excellence Award.

Tim holds a master’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a master of international business management degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of science from Wake Forest University.

Executive Director

Lawrence Leonard, CAE, CMP
Executive Director
National Association for Catering and Events
Columbia, Maryland

An experienced and credentialed association professional with a passion for bringing entrepreneurial spirit and forward-thinking approaches to not-for-profit organizations.

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