August Newsletter Print

President's Report

 Whenever I send an e-mail these days I try to avoid the normal clichés of “hope you are safe and healthy” or “Crazy times isn’t it?” My personal favorite is “Can you believe we are still here?” Try as I might, I don’t have any other words to describe the dumpster fire of this year. It is freaking crazy times, I cannot believe we are still here, and I do hope this person is safe and above all healthy. Every time I type, I just sit there looking at the computer and will myself to be positive. Maybe I should put an exclamation point here, or maybe I should delete that line that says I am struggling. They didn’t reach out to talk about how hard it all is, they were just asking a question. So, I keep it generic and somewhat positive. Normally, these so called “boundaries” would give me a sense of calmness, but in this season, it has just left me feeling empty.

 I want to e-mail my fellow peers and just say- “hey – I haven’t replied because I can’t seem to get myself motivated” or “Dude- I am just having a really hard day. I had a Dad yell at me for an hour, and I am not positive how I am going to make payroll next month, and as much as I want to talk about this menu – I just can’t.” I write these responses out and then I immediately feel shame and delete the line. They didn’t e-mail me to hear my struggles. They are probably having just as hard of a time, yet they seem to have it together. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few close vendor friends who will get my unfiltered thoughts – but for the most part, I reply with my exclamation points, say I am so looking forward to xyz, I use my canned reply of “we are muddling through,” and I send the e-mail.

 And it was kind of working – until July. The month of July was brutal. It was probably the lowest I have felt in what I term "the seaon of covid." I could not seem to pull myself out of it. I could tell I was spiraling but didn’t know how to stop it. One day, I was trying to work through my inbox and I got an e-mail from a vendor that was following up about a reschedule and at the end said “how are you – like truly – how are you??” I sat there for a minute and I typed out what I wanted to say, how I was really feeling. And I didn’t delete it. I sent it. Within 5 minutes, she had texted me and said “I feel that deeply and here to talk if you need it!”

 It wasn’t that I needed to have a pity party, or even that I needed to vent to someone (I have a partner who is great at that). It was just this feeling of being completely fake and not ever real was exhausting. The facade that we are all ok and everything is fine is mentally taxing. And I needed to just be real for a moment. I needed to tell this person that I don’t have it together, I am not ok, and I am feeling hopeless. It was a breakthrough for me and my mental health. A few weeks later I was having a really hard time with a past client and I just wanted to crawl into a hole and pretend it wasn’t there. Instead I texted two planner friends and asked for advice. I told them where my state of mind was and how fragile I was feeling. They didn’t serve me empty platitudes of “you are great!” or “who cares what that person thinks?” They provided such great feedback, and advice on what they would do. It was a light-bulb moment. I realized that I can get through this season – but I can’t do it alone. I decided then and there that I would stop trying to set these “boundaries” with my colleagues. I was going to be transparent and truthful.

 What I have found is that when I can be real and honest, it doesn’t just help me, but it helps the person I am interacting with as well. Because maybe they feel the same way and are afraid to talk about it. Maybe they are struggling but have no one to relate to. We are not meant to walk this season alone. We will not survive it. So, let’s plan to be real and honest this month. Let’s support and encourage one another. We still have a long road ahead –  and I know that I would much rather walk it with one of you by my side.

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2020 Fundraiser and Gala

We all know that 2020 has been a hard, and disspointing year for our industry. We still want to celebrate the achievements we have all made even it those achievements are not directly related to events. 

We want to celebrate us all for making it through this year, forging new paths, being a light to others, and still finding time to encourage one another. 

This year or gala will be focused not on the achievement of events, but on the achievements of each and every one of us. We want to celebrate the person that had the best COVID memes, or the person that helped get you through a really rough patch. We want to recognize those that continually gave back to their community, and those that created ingenious ideas for our industry to move forward.

We have decided to join the Fundraiser and Gala for 2020 and host it in December of this year. We are considering the idea of "party sites" for up to 10 people (or whatever the current indoor mandate is) and virtually connect all the sites to create one big event. In addition, we will also offer an online link for that who do not wish to attend a party site, but who still want to partcipate virtually. 

We would love your feddback on your interest and willingness to participate in this kind of event. Please help us by filling out this survey:

Member Poll 

Thank you for your time and input! 


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Membership Information

Important Membership Information

The NACE Board, with support from the Foundation of NACE is immediately instituting a Membership Dues Support Program for those members who have lost their jobs, have been furloughed or otherwise impacted by the pandemic.

All current members will be able to renew their membership at the below rates. Eligibility requirements are below. In order to obtain this membership rate, please call (410-290-5410), chat at, or email [email protected]. These membership dues rates are additionally eligible for the payment plans.

Chapters will continue to receive rebates on members with reduced dues through an equivalent grant from the Foundation of NACE.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Renewing members are eligible for the support program.
  • If someone has already renewed, they may renew for another 12 months through the support program, however they will not be eligible for a refund.
  • Those in the support program are also eligible for payment plans.



The NACE National Board has enacted several measures to assist members during Covid-19 and maintain our strong, vibrant community.

  • Extended grace period – The membership renewal grace period has been extended from 30 days to 120 days. This means your membership will continue for approximately 4 months after your renewal date without any dues payment.
  • Payment plans – Members may request a payment plan for dues renewal. This payment plan can be combined with the extended grace period.
  • Expanded online education – Through our Explore 2020 webinar series, NACE National is expanding the amount of online education we are offering to members. This education focus on vital topics during the pandemic helps catering and event professional weather the storm and prepare for recovery. This education is offered free, with a pay-what-you-can option.
  • Membership transfer policy – Members who lose their employer-paid membership due to loss of employment will retain their NACE membership for the remainder of their membership term or 90 days, whichever is longer.
  • Career Center – The NACE Career Center provides nationwide job listings and career resources.
  • Covid-19 Resource Center  NACE’s Covid-19 Resource Center provides a comprehensive clearinghouse of resources and information related to Covid-19, protocols, government support programs (PPP, EIDL) and more.

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Community Service

Want to give back?

Rocky Top needs volunteers to help with meal and produce box distribution.

Rocky Top Catering and their non profit partner Overflowing Hands continue to provide support for our community every Monday through Saturday. This is meaningful work and big kids can participate. Please click the link to volunteer.

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It's that time of year again - Board elections and appointments for our 2021 Board!

Joining the board is the best way to make the most out of your chapter membership. If you are considering running, please go here to complete the Intent to Run form for both elected and appointed positions.
Not sure where your skills would fit best? Contact Lyn Graves or Dana Kadwell to hear more about the positions


  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Membership Director
  • Programs Director 
  • Fundraising Director
  • Marketing and Communcations Director



Note these are non-voting positions. All qualified candidates will be considered for appointment in these roles by the elected 2021 President

  • Gala Chair 
  • Fundraiser Chair
  • VP Registration (works with treasurer)
  • VP New Members (works with membership)
  • VP Sponsorship (works with programs)
  • VP Venue Selection (works with prorgrams)
  • VP Door Prizes (works with Fundraising)
  • VP Marketing and Communication


All interested parties must be a CURRENT NACE member in GOOD STANDING with both the national office and the local chapter.

If you decide that you would like to take an active part on the board, but not necessarily as an officer, there are a number of opportunities for committee members and co-chair positions. Contact Dana Kadwell or Lyn Graves to learn more.

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Thank You!

Thank You!

We wanted to give a big shout out to our sponsors and panelists for last month's meeting! Thank you to all of you who tuned in and were patient as we worked out the kinks for our first live feed! 

Thank you to our Panelists:

Katie Elder with the Overlook Barn

Erin McLean with McLean Events 

Dean Ogan with Rocky Top Catering 

Joe Bunn with Bunn DJ Company 

Thank you to our Moderator:

Jenna Parks with Heart of NC Weddings 

Shout out to our Sponsors! 


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Future Event

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