Be Inspired to Create Your Best Work

This year’s NACE Experience conference theme is Imagine. Create. Inspire. it promises to be a comprehensive networking and educational experience. It is where you can expand your skill set, learn how the industry works, and uncover new trends and ideas that successful professionals are using today.

Featured Speakers 
Design Experience Speaker

We are excited to announce that multimedia artist Phil Hansen will be the keynote speaker during the Design Experience at the 2017 NACE Experience Conference.
Hansen, who rose to prominence from a TED talk, is most widely known for his meta art; videos that document the creative process, often with non traditional materials, electronic media and interactive experiences. Hansen moved to new forms of expression when a tremor developed in his drawing hand. He has been featured globally on the Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, BBC and CCTV.

Learn more about Hansen and see his art.


Industry Summit Speakers

Are You Ready for What's Coming? Workforce Preparedness for the Future 
How are you preparing for the impending challenges and opportunities in this competitive industry of catering and events? This expert panel will bring together industry leaders to help you successfully navigate your career and stay ahead of the game. 

David Adler
BizBash Media

Anirban Basu,
Sage Policy Group, Inc. 

Joyce Inderbitzin,
Hilton Hotels Corporation

Dennis Reynolds,
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management

Zena Phillips, CMP, CPCE

Culinary Experience Speakers

This experiential general session will engage, educate, and enliven all five senses as you learn about the latest Culinary and Catering Trends. You’ll taste innovative ingredients and delectable beverage pairings, savor the aroma of sweet dessert trends, see fashionable food plating and presentation trends, and get in touch with gastronomic education! #NACECulinary2017 

Monique Studak, CSS, CSW (moderator)
Pernod Ricard 

Jerry Edwards, CPCE
Chef’s Expressions 

Chef Patrick Gaughan
Marriott Marquis Houston


Educational Session Speakers

Be inspired by our awesome line-up of creative and inspiring thought leaders who are changing the game in the catering and events industry. Check out who’s addressing your most pressing topics:

•    Event Design and Production
•    Catering Services and Cuisine
•    Beverage Trends
•    Sales and Marketing
•    Personal Development
•    Business and Technology

Event Design and Production

Debbie Meyers-Shock, CSEP, CTEP, President/CEO, BRAVO! Entertainment
Event Staging For Maximum Impact

Jacqueline Hill, Owner, Jacqueline Events & Design
Event Trends for All: Top Trends Adapted for All Budgets

Karen Tucker, CPCE, Owner/Business Development, Relish Catering & Events
Don't Always Be the Inventor: Find it, Reinvent it and Own it

Brett Tucker, Owner/Executive Chef, Relish Catering & Events
Don't Always Be the Inventor: Find it, Reinvent it and Own it

David Caruso, President and Creative Director, Dynamic Events by David Caruso
You're Going To Make It After All!

Kate Patay CPCE, Speaker/Consultant
Design in Color

Alicia Crosby CPCE, Rental and Program Planning Manager, The Baltimore Museum of Art
Battle of the All-Stars: Event Planner vs. Venue Manager

Catering Services and Cuisine

Naomi Raiselle, Creative Director, GENERATIONS cinemastories
Feeding our Neighbors: The Law, the Practice of Leftover Event Food Donation

Nick Waller CPCE, Instructor and Dining Manager, University of Delaware
Afternoon Tea: The Elegant Way to Wow your Guests

Ellen Karlin RD, LN, Nutritionist, Nutrition Consultant
I'm Allergic: Catering to Guests with Special Needs  

Michael Stavros, Director of Business Development, M Culinary Concepts
Feeding the Community Feeds the Bottom Line: Maximizing In-Kind Donations

Michael Testagrossa CPCE, CHE, Catering and Convention Services Manager, Caesars Palace
Planning for Dietary Restrictions and Cultural Cuisine

Beverage Trends

Carol Dekkers, President, Quality Plus Technologies
Riding the Wild Spaghetti: Truths about Craft Beverage Trends and Events

Russ Kempton CSS, Owner, Speaking of Grapes and Grains
Catering to the Millennial Generation, Understanding their Whisk(e)y Obsession

James Filtz CPCE, CHE, CMP, Managing Director of Catering, Yale University
The Wine Lab: Learn How to Sell, Describe and Experience Wines Like A Sommelier

Paula Fenner CPCE, Director of Catering and Conference Services, The Adolphus
Elevating Your Food and Beverage Experience

Zach Byther, WSETIII, Republic National Distributing Company, National Account Manager, Hotels, and Catering
Elevating Your Food and Beverage Experience

Monique Studak, Manager, National Chains, On-Premise, Pernod Ricard USA
The Heart of Spain: How Rioja is Bringing the Old World to the New World

Sales and Marketing

Mike Ganino, Speaker,

Culture Kitchen: Recipes for Building a Great Brand

Meryl Snow, President, SnowStorm Solutions
Cha Ching: There is No Money in Sales for Second Place

Morgan Montgomery CPCE, Co-Captain, Paisley & Jade
Cultivating a Cohesive Social Media Presence for your Event Business

Rachel de Bernardo Sheerin, Owner & Strategist, She Sells
Superpowers for Selling: Behavior Profiling that ROCK$

Christie Osborne, Owner/Founder, Mountainside Media
Are You Wasting Half of Your Marketing and Advertising Dollars?

Lisa Carruth, CPCE, Director of Catering and Member Events, BraeBurn Country Club
Maximizing Revenues for Repeat Events

Personal Development

Janet Zaretsky, Owner, Business Success Coach, The Zenith Business
Unleash Your Inner Powerhouse: 3 Keys to Get Noticed, Get Heard and Get Ahead

Cindy Novotny CHSE, Managing Partner, Master Connection Associates
Dream It... Dare It... and Do It!

Lynne Wellish CMP, CHSE, CHO, SVP of Business Development, Triage Meetings and Events
Do You Need to Re-energize Your Volunteers?

Anne Nolen, Training and Communications Manager, The Houstonian Hotel
Managing Millenial Catering and Event Planning Pros

Lisa Hopkins Barry CPCE, CMP, Director of Catering, The Houstonian Hotel
Managing Millenial Catering and Event Planning Pros

Andrea Eppolito, Wedding Planner, Andrea Eppolito Events
Resilience by the Numbers

Kevin Molesworth CSEP, President, Brass Tacks Events
Don't Just Tap Into Your Creativity, UNLEASH IT!

Business and Technology

Don Mamone, Owner, The Mamones, LLC
People First, Then Profit: Customer Focused Solutions for Financial Success

Kevin Dennis JWIC, President, Fantasy Sound Event Services
Let's Get Technical: Top Apps for Streamlining Your Company in 2017

Matthew Villmer, Attorney, Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A.
Drafting Your Own Client Contracts: Everything You Need to Know    

Jim Clapes, Conference and Events Manager, Drug Policy Alliance
Including the Rainbow: Planning the LGBT-Friendly Event

Meghan Ely, Principal, OFD Consulting
The Art of "Surprise and Delight" and Implementing it into your Event Career 

Bethel Nathan, Business Elevation Coach + Speaker, Elevate by Bethel
Customer Journey: Their Path to Your Success