Foundation Leadership

2022 Board of Trustees

The Foundation of NACE Board of Trustees 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


Tracey Amernick

Tracey Amernick, CPCE
Exclusive Events by Tracey
San Diego, California

Tracey Amernick is a catering and event professional with a passion for creating exceptional events for corporate and social clients. Her talents in creative design, décor trends, special events, and catering are matched with a deep knowledge of the corporate, social, and incentive markets.

As the incoming President, and a member of NACE for over 25 years, she brings to the table a unique perspective about the importance of the support the Foundation can provide.

She is looking forward to working with the Board and Trustees on creating innovative programs to support the future growth of NACE.  These initiatives involve corporate sponsorships and donations, community and educational grants, scholarships and general membership programs. 

Tracey attributes much of her success to her involvement with NACE, 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. 

After many years in the hospitality industry, she recently launched Exclusive Events by Tracey, an upscale boutique planning company.

Vice President

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.


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

Terry Shields

Terry Shields, CPCE, CSEP
Terry Shields Event Design
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.


Christina Alvarado, MBA, CPCE
President & Chief Experience Officer
Juve LLC
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 tenure at Pearl, she worked at Great Events, a full-service rental company in San Antonio that she grew 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.


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.


Delores Crum, CERP
Premiere Events and Premiere Select
Austin, Texas

Delores Crum owns the Premiere family of party and event rental companies: Premiere Events and Premiere Select in Austin, and Party Time Rentals in Bryan-College Station. Founded in November, 2000, by Delores and her husband Richard, Premiere has become a leading party and event rental provider. Nationally recognized and frequently honored for its work, the Premiere group of companies provides full-service rental and related support to Event Professionals and Individual Event Holders throughout Central Texas. Delores describes her organizational role as providing overall leadership, helping chart the Premiere course and setting Premiere’s general direction. As President and Chief Culture Officer, Delores is the “glue” that holds the Premiere family together.


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.


Virginia Santa Ines, CPCE, CWC
Senior Catering Sales Executive
San Jose Marriott
San Jose, California

Virginia “Gigi” Santa Ines is originally from New York where her Italian family were all in the restaurant, catering and hospitality industry. This is where her passion and love for the industry started. Gigi has been in the hospitality and hotel industry for 35 years. She was previously Director of Catering for Hilton Hotels and is currently a Senior Catering Sales Executive for the San Jose Marriott.

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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