Foundation News

Foundation of NACE Announces 2020 Board of Trustees

The Foundation of NACE has announced its 2020 board of trustees. The Foundation of NACE will continue its mission to support the catering and events industry through education and investments that support the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE) chapters. They do this through innovative, transformative programs that elevate the collective NACE community.

The 2020 Foundation of NACE Officers:

  • President, Harvey Stern, CPCE, CMP
    Harvey Stern is the Executive Director of Catering and Banquets for Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the home of the 2020 NACE Experience Conference taking place August 2-5, 2020.
  • President-Elect, Terry Shields, CPCE, CSEP, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Gary McCreary, CPCE, CMP, CSEP, Venetian and Palazzo Hotels, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Past-President, Zena Phillips, CPCE, CMP, Hilton, Miami, Florida

The Foundation Trustees include:

  • Trustee, Timothy Lam, CHT, CGSP, The International School of Hospitality, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Trustee, Michael Dwork, VerTerra, New York, New York
  • Trustee, Tracey Amernick, CPCE, CSEP, Cohn Restaurant Group, San Diego, California
  • Dana Blaugrund, CPCE, CWE, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Dallas, Texas
  • Dave Buckley, CSEP, Marbella Event Furniture & Decor Rental, Greater Philadelphia Area

“I am honored and excited to work with the Foundation trustees, the NACE National Board, our Partners and our NACE chapters and leadership to continue to our deliver our goals and your philanthropic support, back to all NACE members. Thank you for your continuous support.” Said Harvey Stern, CPCE, CMP, CPCE, Foundation of NACE President.

Foundation of NACE President Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE, recognized at IMEX America

The Events Industry Council (EIC) recently recognized Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE, Hilton Worldwide and Foundation of NACE President as a 2018 Pacesetter Award recipient at the 2018 Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards Celebration on October 16, in Las Vegas during IMEX America. The Pacesetter award was started in 2012 and is aimed at “emerging industry leaders who exhibit individual excellence based on innovation, impact, vision, leadership, influence, collaboration, courage, perseverance, and other achievements,” according to the EIC. Zena’s nomination specifically honored her in the field of Innovation. This was an amazing honor considering the EIC’s 30-plus member organizations represent over 103,500 individuals involved in the events industry. This recognition is a testament to the outstanding work, dedication, and contributions Zena has made to the events industry. The Foundation of NACE is honored to have Zena at the helm this year and looks forward to working together, under her leadership, to continue it’s mission of educating NACE members and investing in our communities.

Foundation of NACE President Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE, awarded the Pacesetter Award in Innovation from the Events Industry Council.

The Pacesetter Award recognizes the valuable contributions individuals are making to impact the events industry today, as well as charting the course for a thriving future. Those bestowed this honor are recognized for individual excellence based on innovation, impact, vision, leadership, influence, collaboration, courage, perseverance and other achievements.

In her 20-plus years of experience, Zena has worked her way up through the industry after beginning her career as a meeting planner for a non-profit organization in Seattle, WA. She then transitioned into catering sales and operations in the sports and entertainment industry before starting her career at Hilton 13 years ago. In each facet of her career, Zena has left a lasting impact and is definitely one to watch moving forward.

Zena is actively involved in catering and events through industry and association participation. She has served on the national board of the Foundation of NACE for three years, as well as serving on NACE national committees for three years. Zena currently serves as President on the board of the Foundation of NACE after being named President this past July during the 2018 NACE Experience conference in Palm Springs, California. She has also contributed to the Professional Reference Guide, the primary manual accompanying the CPCE designation. In addition to national involvement, Zena served on a local level as a board member for the South Florida chapter of NACE.

Zena is recognized as a leader and is well-respected by those in the industry. “Zena embodies excellence and dedication! Her dedication to the Foundation of NACE, and her commitment to our mission of supporting the catering and events industry by educating our members and investing in our community has been exceptional,” said Dave Buckley, CSEP, Foundation of NACE Past-President. “She’s an innovative leader, a supporter of NACE and a great friend.”

The EIC will honor Zena and other award recipients at its 2018 Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards Celebration on October 16, 2018, in Las Vegas, during IMEX America.

The Foundation of NACE, in conjunction with The International School of Hospitality (TISOH), is excited to present The Patti J. Shock Scholarship educational scholarship.

This educational scholarship provides funding for the Meeting and Event Catering Certificate program in class in Las Vegas or online.

Patti J. Shock has long been a highly regarded member of not only the TISOH academic team but also a highly respected member of the catering and events industry as a whole, viewed as one of the best industry educators. Her experience speaks for itself, with co-authoring five books on catering, being a frequent speaker at industry meetings, and winning numerous awards and accolades over the years for her tireless and motivating pursuit of teaching others, Patti has truly inspired many to continue their pursuit of excellence in the catering and events industry through education as she knows that it takes much more than exceptional skill to succeed, but also a broad range of knowledge that only education can provide.

The Meeting and Event Catering Certificate program strives to teach participants to deliver maximum value to their meeting and event clients, no matter the budget. The curriculum gives a well-rounded view of not only catering and menu writing, but also the essential processes and procedures, including but not limited to safety, staffing, and negotiation techniques.

Participants will complete this program with the knowledge and skill set needed for even the pickiest and cost-conscious clients. This program is worth 45 CPCE (Certified Professional in Catering and Events) contact hours toward the initial certification or recertification application for the CPCE designation. The National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) offers the CPCE designation.

This course is suitable for both catering career newcomers and those transitioning within the field. Meeting and event professionals seeking to build on or fill gaps in their knowledge base may also want to apply. No prior experience or education in this field is required.

Scholarship applications will be accepted from September 17, 2018 – November 16, 2018.

For more information on the program visit:

Each year the board of the Foundation of NACE attends the CLC Meeting at Experience, and each year we are blown away by the generosity of our NACE chapters during the Parade of Checks. Your constant and heartfelt donations have allowed the Foundation to offer scholarships so our members can excel in the fields of catering and events and community grants to aid the local communities of our membership. We feel proud and excited to be able to provide such awards to our NACE community and to be able to give back to those who have given us so much. We would like to especially thank the following chapters for their generous donations at the Parade of Checks:

Alamo, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Capital Area of Wisconsin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas / Ft. Worth, Greater Denver, Greater Omaha, Greater Palm Springs, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Pacific NW, Phoenix, Reno / Tahoe, Richmond, San Diego, Silicon Valley, South Florida, Southern Milwaukee, Tacoma, Tampa Bay, Triangle and the University of Houston.

This year, in particular, we were able to honor three student NACE members with scholarships. These three individuals demonstrated the drive, academic achievement, and love for the catering and events industry that we’re sure will lead them to do great things in the future. We look forward to watching these young professionals as they ascend in their careers, as we are sure they will add much benefit to their respective chapters, Houston Student Chapter, Charlotte, and Orlando.

We also were thrilled to extend Community Grants to ten NACE chapters. These chapters demonstrated a keen interest in being involved in their communities and actively working towards supporting local organizations as they made positive changes in the lives of those in their communities. These organizations worked towards such varied support as ensuring the sustainability of farmlands, providing financial aid to families of first responders, fulfilling wishes of children suffering from cancer and offering low-income students the opportunity to explore career paths in hospitality through inspirational travel experiences and educational opportunities. It is exciting and heartwarming to be able to make such an impact upon these communities.

Moving forward into 2018, the Foundation plans to further its mission of supporting the NACE community. Exciting things are coming and we can’t wait to unveil them in due course. In the meantime, please accept our thanks and gratitude for all that you have given and accomplished. We would not be able to have accomplished all that we have without your continued support.

Conrad N. Hilton College students are making waves at NACE

Congratulations to Caitlin Fuller for taking home the Student Member of the Year Award and to Olivia Fagerman for winning the Foundation of NACE Vince DeFinis Scholarship. These young professionals certainly have bright futures ahead! #eventprofs

Olivia Fagerman is a woman on the move – and the Foundation of NACE is helping her with that.

Winning the 2018 Foundation of NACE Vince DeFinis Scholarship has given Olivia Fagerman the opportunity to really get a feel for what NACE has to offer to someone looking to enter the catering and events industry. As part of winning the scholarship, Olivia was awarded free registration and a travel allowance to attend #NACEEXP18 in Palm Springs. This allowed her to sit in on wonderful education sessions, attend amazing evening events, and meet many seasoned catering and event professionals.

Olivia is very excited to begin a new semester at The University of Houston, taking back all that she learned at Experience. She is especially eager to implement new ideas from breakout sessions regarding networking and how to better utilize social media. Olivia feels fortunate to have made new contacts from all over the nation. The tuition reimbursement portion of the scholarship helps immensely with her ability to focus time and efforts on schooling.

Currently, Olivia is the president of the NACE Houston Student Chapter. After graduation, she plans to become a young professional member of NACE, continuing her journey with the association. In the future, she would love to open her own venue, and to help host monthly Houston chapter meetings, to give back to those who have given so much to her.

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