With barely enough time to throw out our Christmas trees and pop off those leftover fireworks, we find ourselves here again eating king cake for breakfast (for some delivered by Uber), brainstorming and bedazzling our costumes, and planning for the parades, whether to attend or to avoid.

Our chapter’s many successes of 2015 pave a promising path for this year.  With the first meeting of the year proving to be a second time favorite, we thank those of you who were able to attend, considering how close to our returning from the holidays, and we especially thank Tulane University School of Medicine and Leah R. Sarris for hosting us.  We are excited to release our 2016 meeting and event calendar which is posted and being finalized at www.neworleansnace.com.  Emily Reimer of Deanie’s is our Director of Education/Programs, please reach out to Emily@deanies.com if you have any ideas for content, or if you would like to join her committee and get involved in planning the meetings.  We welcome Michael Raborn to the board as our Special Events Chair, if you are interested in hosting one of our monthly meetings or join his committee, you can contact him at Michael.Raborn@sodexo.com. Hosting a meeting or offering your services is not only a great way to market yourself, it really aids the overall success of the monthly meetings.  We have devoted more funds to support planning impactful meetings, so please don’t be discouraged thinking we are only looking for donations, we value your time and talents!

I write this message to you from the plane departing from Orlando where our NACE Evolve Leadership conference was held.  In reflection of this opportunity to learn and connect, I ask myself when and how did NACE become so valuable in my own life.  I ask you to do the same.  While we all have different goals and results that we would like to achieve from our NACE experience, it is truly when you give that you start to receive.  My own immeasurable rewards that have come with my professional evolution began after I signed up for one little committee.  Suddenly, the horizons in which I was able to utilize NACE personally and professionally expanded beyond I could imagine.  NACE is more than an event education association; it really is a life association.  I think if you ask some of our “life-timers” or past and current board members you will find a common response.  In that regard, for 2016, we aim to set clearly defined committee opportunities because we want you to share your brilliance with our network.  These will be titled positions with realistic and manageable plans.  We also intend on widening our scope of membership base to include a vaster variety of event professionals and talent, by doing this we widen our overall level of opportunity for collaboration. 

We hope you will start warming up to your bosses now so that they will be apt to send you to Experience in July.  It will be held in Fort Lauderdale on July 17-20 (www.nace.net/experience2016). The local board will host a team building dinner experience at the conference for all New Orleans Chapter members who attend, so please let us know if you plan on attending.

Your ongoing participation, membership renewal, and meeting attendance is paramount to the Chapter’s success.  The important work of advancing our industry and its professionals cannot be done without you!

–Chloe T. Henderson