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NACE Members Share Stories of Resilience During COVID-19

NACE is here to witness the survival and thriving of our vibrant community as we wade through the unchartered waters of a global pandemic. We interviewed three NACE members, and are honored to share their stories. #HospitalityStrong

Aisha Malik-Rodriguez

Account Executive

Capital Party Rentals

Dulles, VA

https://www.capitalpartyrentals.com/

 Aisha Malik-Rodriguez has worked for Capital Party Rentals in the Washington, DC area for over a decade. The company provides rentals to all types and sizes of events, and there is nothing too big or too small for Capital Party Rentals to handle. Aisha shares that emergency response is not new for the company. They have worked in disaster relief previously; however, not on the global scale of the current pandemic.

Aisha and the other sales executives are ready and on call to help with tenting wherever they may be needed. In addition to being prepared to respond on demand, they are working closely with clients to reschedule events. Aisha notes that this time is especially tough for brides, grooms, and their families due to the extreme emotions tied weddings. Be that as it may, she also states that many people are grateful for their good health, and they realize that rescheduling safely is much more important than committing the event to a specific date on the calendar.

Aisha expresses the importance of keeping in touch with people currently, because we are not alone. She is utilizing her relationship with other NACE members to find comfort and connection in a virtual setting.

 

Doug Quattrini, CPCE

Event Producer

Sensational Host Caterers

Maple Shade, New Jersey

https://sensationalhostcaterers.com/ 

In the COVID-19 crisis, NACE members are taking action to help in any way they can. NACE National President Doug Quattrini, CPCE, met with NACE to tell us about Sensational Host’s new at home and Health Heroes programs.

As soon as the event cancellation policies came out, Sensational Host lost nearly all their corporate business, and social events are now postponed to later dates. To keep business moving, we created an at home program, providing contactless delivery and pick up options for family meals. There is also the option for customers to purchase an individual meal to be provided to a health hero at a local hospital. In addition, Sensational Host is donating one meal to our local health heroes for every 10 family meals that ordered. While this is certainly not the same as booking weddings, it is keeping employees working and helping maintain our connection to customers.

To maintain business continuity, this family owned business is working hard to manage cashflow and diversify their offerings. Sensational Host Caterers have been in business for more than 40 years and are working to put a plan in place for when the crisis ends. The fall of 2020 is shaping up to be a very busy season with many rescheduled events.

 

Jill Vidal-Raines, CPCE

Owner

EB Inc

Humble, TX

https://www.ebincevents.com/

 Jill Vidal-Raines, CPCE, was not sure how her business could continue operating during the COVID-19 crisis. Jill shares that her initial thought was to shut the business down and discontinue operations. EB Inc is a rental company, and without any events in need of linens and chairs, she was faced with numerous instances of canceling and rescheduling.

In addition to rentals, EB Inc also manufactures and launders linens. This gave one employee an idea:  that they should manufacture masks as personal protective equipment (PPE) to help keep people safe during this crisis. They began sorting through fabrics and were able to find 100% cotton. This was the perfect fabric for mask liners, and the team went to work from there! EB Inc has been able to keep many of their staff employed, working, and providing a critically important item to those in need. Most importantly, this provides hope – of employment and also a brighter future ahead.

Jill recognizes that alternating plans and business operations is nothing out of the ordinary for people in the event industry. #eventprofs are adaptable, flexible, and resilient. This makes shifting to a new line of work simply instinct, just as shifting back to events will be. We all find hope and determination in these words from Jill – the world should be ready to party, because the events industry will be coming back stronger than ever.

Check out the video below that includes parts of the interviews with Doug, Aisha, and Doug.

Do you have a story to tell? How have you or how has your organization chosen to pivot and advance through 2020? We’d love to hear from you. marketing@nace.net

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Crystal Irwin

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