In this issue

Recipe of the Month

STEP ONE:  To suspend flowers in the cubes, work in layers: Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so the ice will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. Fill to the top, and freeze again.

STEP TWO: For ice that's especially clear, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This limits impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.

STEP THREE: Use only edible flowers, such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons, that have been grown to be eaten (to ensure they haven't been treated with chemicals).

STEP FOUR: WOW your guests! 


Quote of the Month

Work Hard in Silence
Let your success
Be your noise


April 2015  

President's Report

Spring has officially sprung and all is bright and sunny this month at Charlotte NACE.  Our Tri Chapter Retreat at The Ballantyne Hotel last month was an incredible success and so much fun!!  Together with our friends from the Triangle and Appalachian Chapters, we indulged in a complete Glamping themed experience at The Lodge.   We participated in a culinary challenge and scavenger hunt, indulged in exquisite cuisine and festive after party and were inspired by an engaging speaker.   A personal highlight for me was being able to give back to Bright Blessings USA, an organization dedicated to helping homeless children feel special on their birthdays.   We stuffed care packages and hygiene kits and, thanks to the Foundation of NACE, were able to give them a check for $1,200.  

Special thanks to these awesome vendors for making it all happen: The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, On Event Services, Split Second Sound, Tap Snap, Light & Lovely Photography, Kristin Byrum Photography, Party Reflections, AFR, Sterling by Design, Sterling Event Group, Scott Brown Media Group  and our speaker, Mr. Nice Guy himself, Doug Sandler. 

Are you ready to get inspired this April?? 

We are thrilled to welcome Mark Eggerding, the Vice President of Product Sales and Culinary Education at US Foods, as our keynote speaker at the Hilton Charlotte Center City on April 20th.   Mark has lead tremendous business growth throughout the country for US Foods, has been influential in training young chefs, and is a passionate advocate for customer service which has helped foster customer loyalty.

 ** 2015 NACE Experience! Conference**

Conference this year will be held in Scottsdale, AZ July 12 – 15.  What exactly is conference?  Check out this awesome video recap from last year’s conference in Baltimore:


Scholarship Opportunities:

The Charlotte Chapter of NACE is thrilled to be sending three individuals to conference on educational scholarships this year.  Vinny Esposito has won the Mary Margaret Traxler Award and we are now accepting applications for the remaining two opportunities.  All applications are due by May 1st to Justen Hix at


Member-Guest Rate:

In other existing news, you spoke and NACE heard you!  We will now be offering a member guest rate.  If a member brings two or more guests from their organization to a meeting, those guests are eligible for a reduced guest rate of $50 per person.   Please contact Monica Robinson or Patty Pressley to register these guests.


See, I told you all is bright and sunny at NACE this month.  Looking forward to seeing everyone on April 20th at the Hilton! 

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Welcome New Members

Let's give a warm welcome to our newest NACE Members! 

Kayla Lyons  |  Hilton University Place |  Catering Sales Manager  
Danielle Barnes |  Red Star Catering & Mac's Speed Shop  |  Catering Manager
Tracy Fisher  |  Hilton Charlotte Executive Park  
Destiny Marina |  Student


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Member Spotlight

Name: Sarah Wishon
Company:  Embassy Suites Charlotte/Concord Golf Resort & Spa
Web Address:

What does your company do?

In addition to overnight accommodations for the busy traveler and leisure guest, the Embassy Suites is connected to the Concord Convention Center and our sales staff specializes in venue and event management.  With over 50,000 sq. ft. of flexible function space, our conference center is ideal for your business meeting, conference, wedding or event and includes a spacious ballroom, which accommodates up to 2,800 guests.

 What trends do you see for events this year?  With the economy on the rise, I’ve noticed that many groups, especially in the corporate market segment, are focusing more so on branding.  Many are funneling their money towards marketing their businesses, a luxury that they have not had in the past couple of years.  Recognition events also appear to be on the rise such as scholarship events and events geared towards awarding retirees and top performers.

Share something unique/different about the services you offer.

 Our unique and versatile space, combined with our dedicated staff members, attract a very diverse clientele.  The many amenities we offer, including a championship golf course, a full-service spa, indoor swimming pool, and fitness center make us an ideal location for guests attending meetings and conferences and also a popular site for weddings, family reunions, and many other social events. 



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Awards & Recognition

Dear the Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals Board,

It is a great honor to nominate Kimberly Werner for the Young Professional Business Leader of the Year.  As a member of the Charlotte Hospitality industry, I feel as though it is my responsibility to ensure that other incredible young professionals in my sector are recognized as potential candidates in a traditional banking or corporate category.

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is a client of Party Reflections and one of which multiple members of my team have had to opportunity to work with since the hotel opened in 2010.  Kimberly Werner is known to my team as not only a go to for what we need to do our job once onsite but also the liaison between the clients holding events at the hotel and in need of our products.  This may seem like normal business practice and not as noteworthy as it truly is in the special event industry.  This relationship generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for Party Reflections each year. 

When Kimberly’s sales goal for 2014 is $1.2 million dollars and she exceeds that goal by 126% that is being a business leader.  I also want to remind the committee that she does not trade stocks or manage a hedge fund; she sells beautiful space to corporate and social clients.  That means that she understands the hotels capabilities, what her clients need for their events and how to close the business for hundreds of events each year. 

I have had the privilege of working alongside Kimberly as a member of the NACE (National Association for Catering & Event Professionals) for the last two and a half years.  She is the current Charlotte Chapter President and is an exceptional leader.  She is gracious, accessible, open to suggestions of how to do things better and leads from behind.  When you lead a group of volunteers with strong personalities, it is vital to function from that place.  Our chapter has seen a growth in membership and extended collaboration with other NACE chapters from around the state beginning last year with the coordination of the NC Tri-Chapter NACE Retreat held in Asheville.  This year the Charlotte chapter is hosting the retreat at the Ballantyne Lodge with the focus of bringing hospitality professionals together to learn, collaborate and network.

I hope that you will consider Kimberly’s nomination amidst a very strong pool of candidates and that if I can provide any additional information, I am happy to do so!



Cristin Lee

Party Reflections, Inc
Marketing Communications Coordinator     

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Meet your board member

Name: Jenna Yates Morrow
Company:  NASCAR Hall of Fame
Web Address:

How did you become involved in the industry?  After graduating from college, I was a general manager of a movie theater in Alabama.  Honestly, I really was tired of working the crazy movie theater hours and had been doing it all throughout college so I wanted a change.  I ended up walking into a Marriott in Auburn, Alabama and telling them I was interested in hospitality and wanted to get my foot in the door.  I took a position with them as a sales assistant.  I put in a lot of hours to learn and within a year was a catering sales manager there.

 How many years have you and/or your company been in the event industry?  I started in hotels in 2006.  I worked for a Marriott in Alabama for 4 years and worked here in Charlotte at the Hilton University for 4 years before starting at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  It has been a fun transition to event sales for the museum.  Selling private events for the NASCAR Hall of Fame offered a new and exciting challenge and has proved to be a great addition to my experience in hospitality and events.

 How many years have you been a NACE member?  I have been a member of the Charlotte chapter of NACE since 2011!

 Why are you a member of NACE?  I am a member of NACE because it helps you build connections and grow in your industry.  Through NACE I have not only made great business relationships but friends.  I have grown my career by continuously learning through the educational component of NACE and from my peers.  It is a supportive environment that I would suggest to anybody that wants to grow in their profession and make lasting relationships.


What have you learned, what would you like to learn through NACE?  Through NACE I am able to constantly learn more about the industry and push myself and therefore my company to new and exciting limits.  NACE encourages me to grow and I look forward to that continued growth.  Through NACE, I have learned that nothing can be accomplished by one person; that it does take an army.  What better army to be a part of than that of your peers that are all striving for the same goal?


Do you have a career or industry tip that you would like to share? 

Smile.  Every event isn’t easy. Even though it might seem like a bad situation, think of the great story you will have to tell when you overcome it!! J

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Happy NACE Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to these three amazing individuals! 

ShutterBooth  | Art Zelenak  | Owner
NeuWave Medical   |  Lyn Gleasure  |  Global Events Manager
VerTerra Dinnerware  | Jodi Brown  |  Area Sales Manager 

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Classified Ads


Exciting opportunity for an experienced Catering Sales Manager to sell catering services to corporate clients for the Hilton Charlotte University Place. The catering sales manager will work closely with our clients and will nurture and develop the client-hotel relationship. The catering sales manager will work with various hotel departments to ensure client expectations are met and exceeded.


This position requires attention to detail and excellent organizational skills. The drive to exceed client expectations and personal sales goals is required. Our ideal candidate will have previous hotel catering sales experience and good communication (verbal & written) skills. A bachelor's degree is a plus. Excel and Word skills are required.

Hilton Charlotte University Place is a lakeside hotel ideal for business and leisure travelers. Located only 15 miles from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, this Charlotte hotel is near UNC Charlotte and next to the Shoppes at University Place, which offers multiple dining and shopping venues in a tranquil lake setting. The Charlotte Motor Speedway, where you can enjoy a variety of racing attractions, is only 5.8 miles from this hotel.

Enjoy complimentary access to the fitness center or swim in the seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Other amenities at this Charlotte, NC hotel include casual dining at Lakefront Restaurant, 20,000 sq. ft. of event space for groups of up to 800, and complimentary local shuttle transportation within a 5-mile radius Monday through Friday. Stay connected to the office, family and friends using complimentary standard WiFi access.


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