Happy New Year Members!

A new year brings everyone new beginnings and new opportunities. With each new beginning, we are given an opportunity to thank those who have helped us in the past, embrace new challenges and of course, the chance to improve ourselves, whether it is personally or professionally.

I am writing you as your chapter’s President-elect and feel very honored to write this letter to the 78 members. For the past nine years, I have had to opportunity to become friends, a client or a partner with many of you. For those who are new to the industry, chapter or city, I would like to welcome you to your new NACE family and give you a little background on myself.

My NACE career began in 2008, when I was hired as an event coordinator for Tales of the Cocktail. The founder of the festival was the publicity chair so naturally; I assisted with the newsletters, the monthly invites and Facebook. Though I was not a NACE member, a board member or a committee member, I saw the value in NACE and chose to continue to my involvement. Eventually, I served as the official Publicity Chair, Director of Programs and most recently Vice President. I did step down from Publicity Chair while attending graduate school, but jumped right back on as Director of Programs as soon as possible.

I have seen the chapter experience great growth and evolvement over the past five years and want to continue that trend. For the next two years, I am setting goals for the new Board of Directors and myself to increase member engagement, improve member retention, and create a path for future chapter leaders.

Increase Member Engagement: Through creating strong relationships and encouraging involvement, we can increase our chapter’s membership engagement. We’ll be kicking off the new committees structure in February 2017 and we encourage every member, whether you’re a new or tenured member, to join a committee. With new committee members’ fresh ideas, we can bring in the best speakers and plan the award-winning programs and fundraisers.

Our first initiative will be creating a committee for our reception during Catersource (March 12-15, 2017). The first committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17th @ 6:15 PM in the French Quarter. ALL MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND! 

Improve Membership Retention: Through recognition and identifying a tangible way to measure ROI, we can improve our chapter’s membership retention. We’ll be reinstating the member spotlight in the quarterly newsletter with the goals to improve communication and increase the recognition of our members and their achievements. We want you to be able to justify your membership dues. We have a few ideas, but we want and need your input.

Our first initiative to improve membership retention is the Official Partner Program. This program has been created with the goals of recognizing our members and their companies. We are proud to announce our first official partner is Chris Burke with the Insight Events. If you would like more details on this program, please email one of your board members or myself.

Create Future Chapter Leaders: Through the revised committee structure, we’ll be creating new opportunities for future board members.   Committee members will have the chance to learn more about that specific board position and set of responsibilities.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • Tuesday, January 10th @ 11:30 AM: Doug Sandler, “Nice Guys Finish First” at the Troubadour with Board of Directors Installation. Tickets are still available at com.
  • Tuesday, January 17th @ 6:15 PM in the French Quarter: First committee meeting for our chapter’s event during Catersource. (Deanie’s Seafood). – ALL MEMBERS WELCOMED!!!
  • Saturday – Monday, January 28th-30th: Five board members will attend the annual leadership conference, Evolve, in Philadelphia.
  • Wednesday, February 1st @ 11:30 AM: Rebecca Miller will review best practices when entering contracts at the Double Tree Hotel.
  • Sunday, February 12, 2017: The Board of Directors will attend a retreat to brainstorm and plan for the chapter’s future.
  • Tuesday, February 28th: Mardi Gras!
  • Wednesday, March 8th @ 5:15 PM: Final Catersource Committee Meeting @ the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • Tuesday, March 14th @ 5;30 PM to 8:00 PM – Catersource will be in New Orleans. NACE New Orleans will host an event with the theme of Taste the South at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.  A post event Happy Hour will be at Toups South (next door) with a cash bar.
  • Thursday, April 20th @ 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM: NACE, MPI and ILEA will have a joint reception at Audubon Zoo’s Swamp Exhibit.

If you have made it to the end of this message, you might be calling it an essay or a dissertation.   I am more than excited to serve you and our chapter as your new President and hopefully, together, we can accomplish these goals over the next two years (if not sooner).

Michelle Dunnick