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Membership and Community

The NACE organization truly has a great sense of community. What I have enjoyed the most are the friendships I have experienced since becoming a member of NACE.

I joined NACE when I moved to Orlando in 2003. I felt I needed a membership to get to know my competitors here, in this major Events marketplace. My goal for NACE membership was to be able to experience other venues and their services, including both on and off-premise catering.

I did accomplish that goal through Orlando NACE. It helped me speak more intelligently about the Orlando market and the services offered by my resort, also how they compared to those of my competitors.

There are other NACE benefits that I did not expect. I have developed friendships, both professional and personal, with fellow caterers in the Orlando market. I have learned where to refer a customer for a given service not available in my venues. I have met photographers, DMCs, florists, and professionals from all segments of our industry. I am a member of a vital network, with peers I can reach out to in a pinch for problem-solving, and with friends that I can socialize with on weekends. The Orlando NACE community is all this and more for me.

My thoughts on our community have changed as I have become more seasoned in the Orlando metro market as well as our NACE community. From my position of President-Elect, NACE National, I see that NACE provides benefits according to the varied needs of members, from the seasoned catering professionals to our newest members, and including students who can look forward to a future career continually enhanced by their NACE memberships.

Our most important task, in maintaining and enhancing our status as the preeminent organization for Caterers and Event Professionals, is to increase the quality and diversity of NACE offerings and certifications for everyone in our community. We also need to be able to deliver NACE messages and services in formats accessible by all members.

The NACE National Board retreat we held earlier this year involved brainstorming with a facilitator, in order to consider and incorporate valuable feedback received from our membership. As a result, we created a strategic plan and made changes to our bylaws to reinforce our organization’s common goals. These efforts will ensure NACE’s – and our chapter’s – continuing momentum and growth within the industry.

NACE’s transparency is evident in our programs, bylaw changes, election policies, and the efforts of National Staff, Board and member activity on committees, from Amber’s follow up with the Leaders, to Evolve, where our strategic plan was shared with all attendees. Please feel free to ask local members who attended Evolve about those initiatives. Also, the Strategic Plan and all updated policies can be viewed on the NACE national website.

The National Board recently overhauled our voting policies to reflect the expressed needs of members while maintaining consistency in NACE’s operation. Our intention is that through future transitions from one Board to the next, the same strategic plan will continue in force, until such time that the staff, board, and memberships see a need for a change in course and through transparent efforts to explain the change. Why this change will continue to enhance and move our organization forward.

The Board this year has also built a stronger alliance with the Foundation of NACE. NACE and the Foundation of NACE need each other. The Foundation offers multiple benefits to NACE membership, and are working to increase the visibility of benefits. They offer scholarships, grants and they are looking at new educational offerings. These are things that enhance our members and enrich our organization.

The board and the staff appreciate our member’s feedback striving to make us a better organization. The comments and feedback we were given in 2017 led us into our current direction.

The feedback at Evolve 2018 from the chapter leaders was truly positive concerning the changes.

The staff and board understand that NACE is a community driven by our members. The needs of our membership must be fulfilled to keep the community strong. #THISisNACE

Ed DiAntonio, CPCE, CMP
Complex Director of Catering and Event Management
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
NACE President 

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Ed DiAntonio, CPCE, CMP, is the Director of Catering and Convention Services for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Ed Serves as the NACE National president is a past president of the NACE Orlando chapter.

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