NACE Announces Lawrence Leonard, CAE, CMP as new Executive Director

Columbia, MD – JUNE 19, 2018 -- The National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) has appointed Lawrence Leonard, CAE, CMP as Executive Director of the organization. The selection was made by the NACE Board of Directors after a comprehensive search facilitated by Bloch and Reed Association Advisors.
“The NACE National Board and Executive Director Search Task Force took this process very seriously.  With the aid of Bloch and Reed, we took a very strategic and thorough approach and looked at more than160 candidates. We are excited to bring an association management professional of Lawrence’s caliber to NACE.” Donnell Bayot, Ph.D., CPCE, CHE, CFBE, national board President commented. “For 60 years, NACE has been the essential resource and community for catering and event professionals. Our new strategic direction reaffirms our commitment to serving our vibrant community and being the catalyst for exceptionalism in the profession and the industry.  Lawrence’s background in the broader meetings and events industry and extensive experience as an association executive will position us well on both of these fronts."
Lawrence brings nearly 25 years of experience to NACE, most recently as Executive Director of Quality Service Contractors, an enhanced service group of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors National Association, where he led strategy and operations for programs that helped business owners develop their skills and knowledge, expand their professional networks, share resources and improve their business operations.
Additionally, Lawrence has an extensive background in the events industry.  He was previously the Chief Operating Officer for the Events Industry Council, an umbrella group of more than 30 trade and professional organizations in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry, including NACE.  In this role, he had oversight of operations and programs that promoted professionalism, collaboration, education, and best practices.    
“I’m thrilled to be joining NACE.  It’s an organization with a rich history and an exciting future ahead of it.” Lawrence said. “The NACE community is filled with passionate, creative professionals who are vital to the growth and success of the entire events industry.  I look forward to serving them.”
Lawrence joined the organization on June 18, 2018.

With 3,500 members, the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), is the oldest and largest professional association dedicated to all aspects of the catering and events industry. Committed to building a vibrant community and providing essential resources to its members, NACE offers educational programs, professional certification (CPCE), national and local networking opportunities, recognition, a job bank, community service projects and the industry’s most prestigious annual conference. Learn more at