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


Terry Shields

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

Terry Shields recently completed a fifteen year term of service as the Director of Catering and Events at the world renowned Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas. 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 Dallas Chapter Caterer of the Year as well as the NACE National Caterer of the Year.

Terry holds both the CPCE Emeritus, Certified Professional in Catering and Events and the CSEP Emeritus, Certified Special Event Professional designations.

Vice President

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.


Gary L McCreary

Gary McCreary, CMP, CPCE, CSEP
Vice President Catering & Convention Operations
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


Harvey Stern, CPCE, CMP
Destinations By Design
Las Vegas, Nevada

Harvey Stern is Chief Executive Officer of Destinations by Design, a creative operator of Destination Management, Event Production and Wedding Curation located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Prior to joining DBD, Stern held positions with Bellagio Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, The Standard Club of Chicago and Four Seasons Hotels in Chicago and The Pierre in New York City. He is currently a member of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE), Certified Meeting Professional (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 the immediate past president.


Christina Alvarado, MBA, CPCE
Consultant and Producer
San Antonio, Texas

With over 15 years of special event experience, Christina prides herself on her outside-the-box thinking and client relationship skills. She currently produces and consults on both large and small events for government, private, and non-profit clients in San Antonio and South Texas. Previously she was the Director of Venue Sales and Service for the Historic Pearl located north of downtown San Antonio, a unique site offering an experience as a top culinary and cultural destination. Before her new tenure at Pearl, she worked at Great Events, a full-service rental company in San Antonio. Since joining Great Events in 2011 at the time of its infancy, she worked to grow the company to be the 4th largest rental company in the area.

Christina is an avid believer in the industry and currently serves as Immediate Past President of the NACE Alamo Chapter. She has received recognition including local and national awards for her contribution to NACE and the Special Events Industry. She is a Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) and a current Trustee for the Foundation of NACE.


Dana Blaugrund, CPCE

Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, CWC
Social by Dana
Dallas, Texas

Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, CWC is the owner of Social by Dana in Dallas, Texas. Prior to launching her company, Dana held several positions in the catering and events industry that have gotten her to where she is today.  Some of those include Director of Catering for Wolfgang Puck Catering, Catering Sales Manager for the Stoneleigh Hotel 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. Dana has been awarded the George Zell Spirit of NACE Award and was named NACE Caterer of the Year in 2012 and Affiliate of the year in 2008.


Dave Buckley

Dave Buckley,CSEP
Financial Services Professional
New York Life Insurance Company
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Dave has won many Industry awards during his events industry 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.


Kevin Dennis, CPCE
Fantasy Sound Event Services
Livermore, California

As an event industry veteran and owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, Kevin takes pride in his leadership of and involvement in industry associations. He is a past chapter president of the Silicon Valley NACE as well as the national president for WIPA. Recognizing a need for networking in his own region, Kevin founded the Tri Valley Wedding Professionals in 2010 and the association has now grown to a membership of nearly 700 pros.

A respected thought leader and national speaker, Kevin was recently ranked as one of the top 3 speakers at NACE Experience. He is an ongoing contributor to Catersource and and has been featured in BRIDES, Martha Stewart Weddings and the Travel Channel, among others. He recently received the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) designation from NACE.



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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