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August 2022

President's Message:

Happy August Friends! Six of our own members just returned home from Sunny Orlando, Florida to learn and network at the national conference, NACE Experience. It was great to make new connections and reconnect with old friends from other chapters. 


I am so proud of our local chapter. We took home TWO awards for the 2020/2021 NACEYs. We received the award for Chapter Program of the Year AND Best Hybrid Event. Jamie Adams, CPCE, also won the award for emerging member of the year. Carter Sutton Aines was honored on the President’s List. Morgan Montgomery, CPCE, CMP, wrapped up 5 years serving on the National Board and shared her final words during the conference. Her dedication to the National organization and our local chapter certainly has not gone unnoticed and I know we are all so proud of her. 


It was such a great night for our chapter and I am so glad that I was able to celebrate alongside members Carter Sutton Aines, Hannah Spurlock, Jamie Adams, CPCE, Meghan Ely, and Morgan Montgomery, CPCE, CMP. We could not have received these awards and recognition without the time, dedication, and support of our members. Congratulations to all!

Your 2022 Chapter President, 

Alli Prato-Carney, CPCE








Upcoming Meeting

When: Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Where: Courtyard Marriott Downtown | 6pm - 8:30pm

Topic: The Future is Fluid 

There are numerous ways to describe it, Gender Fluid, Non-Binary, Gender Queer and yet no possible way to adequately cover what it means with just a few words. How a person experiences and expresses their gender identity is varied and exactly as unique as that individual. Sounds great, right? WRONG! Living authentically and unapologetically YOU is truly amazing but achieving that can be exceptionally difficult in our current society. Before these individuals were courageously living their lives outside the gender binary they were likely confused, frustrated and filled with feelings of guilt, shame and fear. It is time for everyone to learn, accept and create an inclusive safe space for any and all gender identities and expressions.


Learning Objectives:

- What gender identity is, what it is not and how it is experienced.

- What the journey is like for those exploring a life outside of the gender binary.

- The importance of recognizing, representing and including gender identity in our industry and association.

- How to work towards and create a safe space for individuals living courageously outside the gender binary.


Relevance to the Industry:

This topic is exceptionally important to catering & event professionals because we have consistently proven that we are trail blazers in social equality and justice. We need to be educated about gender identity and expression so we can ensure equality and inclusion for our team members, professional partners and clients.






Don Mamone’s decade-long career in hospitality culminated with their role as the Director of Events at the prestigious Beverly Hilton. Determined to embrace their creativity and pursue the dream of entrepreneurship, Don and their wife Emily opened a photography studio and have exceeded the expectations of their loyal clients from Dallas to Destinations around the world for
over fifteen years.
As a speaker and coach Don teaches audiences and clients how to reach their maximum potential and impact by discovering and embracing their true identity. Having recently come out as non-binary, Don is a committed advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and consults with
companies and organizations dedicated to diversity, inclusivity and representation as well as creating safe spaces that support and encourage unapologetic authenticity.
When they are not traveling the world for creative projects and speeches, Don lives happily outside the gender binary in Dallas with their talented spouse Emily and their creative child Frankie.


From NACE National

Black Caucus CPCE Scholarship

In October 2021, the NACE Black Caucus Committee and The Foundation of NACE announced a partnership to raise funds for a Black CPCE scholarship program. The path to NACE leadership starts with the CPCE.  To effectively cultivate Black board members at both the local and national levels, our community needs to broaden the opportunities for Black members to have access to earning their CPCE. You can donate to the program here or apply for the scholarship here

Diversity Initiative:

  • Board Statement

    • The board released a statement on June 11th regarding the ongoing injustice and racism in our country. We realize that our statement was late. We, as a board, wanted to take the time to educate ourselves, listen to webinars and podcasts, and become well informed before making a formal statement to our members. We recognize that there is a current issue and need for change within our local catering & event industry and our chapter. We WILL do better.

  • Diversity Committee

    • We have added a diversity committee which will be overseen by the Director of Membership. This group of racially diverse members will work to recruit new black members and retain the involvement of current members of color. This committee will curate black speakers to educate members on topics like racism and inequality within the event industry, promote black owned businesses and members through #unitythroughcommunity, and facilitate meaningful connections and conversations between our members.

  • Re-allocating Funds

    • Quarterly donations to organizations both locally and nationally to support BLM

      • A donation has already been made in honor of Aleya Harris to the Equal Justice Initiative. Thank you Aleya for having a candid conversation with our members about racism and allyship within the wedding and events industry. You can watch the replay here.

    • Sponsor a student member from a local HBCU, Virginia State University or Virginia Union University.

    • Updating our current and future monthly programs to include Black speakers & education as well as partnering with local Black catering & event professionals to showcase their work


We're Here For You!

When the first impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the catering and events industry, NACE moved quickly to support members The National Board has enacted several resources and measures to maintain our strong, vibrant community. We have expanded the membership grace period to 120 days, introduced flexible installment plans, expanded online education, and more. 

Alli Prato-Carney Headshot.jpg

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