May 2015  

President's Report

Dear NACE,

I want to congratulate everyone on your ingenuity, poise, and calming influence that you exhibited over the last week and a half as you guided your clients through the unexpected and unprecedented circumstances that recently arose. I'm so proud of the Event community, and the way everyone helped each other out. Whether you helped someone find an alternative venue, assisted in overhauling a timeline in order to meet curfew, or you provided moral support for people dealing with the situation -- I saw a lot of you step up and go the extra mile (or two) to make some real magic happen! The best part, however, came later when we all celebrated each others' victories on social media. I loved seeing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts of all the successful events that took place in the wake of the chaos. Some couples got a once-in a lifetime shot of a kiss in front of the National Guard. Others were able to celebrate with no sign of a modified wedding landscape, and could continue as planned, thanks to their team of fabulous vendors. Either way, I'm sure you all know that the extra effort you made last week is greatly appreciated by your clients and the rest of the community.

Now that the curfew is lifted, I encourage you to go out on Baltimore, support your local bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Go to the baseball game on Monday (the Orioles are having a "Re-Opening Day") and help get Baltimore back to being the Charm City we know and love.

On a separate note, I want to remind you that there are some wonderful, fun things in the hopper for our chapter in the coming months. Please join the Fundraising Committee to be included in the planning efforts for this year's annual fundraiser event, held in September. Also, look out for details from Carl about our flagship community service project, the St. Vincent's Annual Picnic. Your donations and time are greatly appreciated! Lastly, please consider attending the NACE Experience this summer in Scotsdale. Scholarship funds are available for current members, which can help to afford you the ability to attend the conference and gain some new insight, design ideas, and business strategies.

Wishing everyone a happy May, and I hope to see you all at the next meeting!


Rachel Hoffberger
President - Baltimore Chapter of NACE
Co-Owner, Event Specialist - Plan It Perfect

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Community Service

Baltimore Reads! We Need Books...  We want to help the effort to promote childhood reading which leads to confidence, imagination and self-worth.  Perfectly timed for our meeting featuring an industry colleague and local author, we are asking our members and guests to please bring new and gently used children’s books to the May meeting to supply our local heroes, The Maryland Book Bank. The MD Book Bank is a nonprofit organization committed to cultivating literacy in children from low income families. The Maryland Book Bank distributes over 100,000 free books to children, teachers, schools and organizations each year.

P.S. If you'd like to help out with the community service programs, please feel free to email Carl to discuss your involvement.

Carl Jr.
Director of Community Service

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Marketing & Communications Update

Millenial Marketing

Okay, this is intended for all you "cool kids" out there that want to help get the message across!

Please join Katie Walny and I as we look for ways to market the chapter in new ways "thinking outside the box".

Please contact Katie Walny [] or myself if you'd like to be part of this fun committee!

Also, I would love to help you market yourself ... so if you have any cool events (especially if they include other NACE members) feel free to give me a "shout out!"

John Paul Berry, Director of Marketing & Communications

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Membership Specials & Welcome New Members

Welcome New Members

John Blum, Martin's Inc

Leni Kern, Classic Collective DJs

Rachel Clinton, Patuxent Greens Country Club & National Golf Course

Member Benefits

Did you know that if you are a member of NACE, you receive discounts on Hertz Rental Cars? Think of all the places you can go! Join today so you can start saving.

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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Melissa Benson, Eleven Courses Catering

Melisa Benson is the Co-Owner and Director of Events at Eleven Courses Catering along with her husband, Jim Benson, Executive Chef.  Melissa and Jim met in college and shared a love for great food, “details” and travel.  The duo began throwing dinner parties for friends and family regularly and after an elaborate eleven course dinner party they launched Eleven Courses.  Melissa runs the companies operations and logistics and Jim makes the magic happen in the kitchen.  They are featured regularly on NBC 4, ABC 8, WUSA 9, Fox 45, Fox 5 and WBAL 11 as industry experts and continue to scour the globe for latest in culinary trends and menu design inspiration.

-Eleven courses has a private chef approach to catering.  Can you explain this a little?  Each event/client has their own chef that is in charge of menu design and execution - he/she is there for their tasting, manages the culinary prep and runs the kitchen on their event day.  Clients have the opportunity to discuss their menu(s) extensively with their chef and really have the chance to explore all possibilities and nuances of their menu design.  The result is a collaborative menu that comes full circle and uniquely reflects the clients vision.

 -Whats is it like being married to a chef?  Does he cook you a five-course meal every evening?

Ha!  Well my husband does a lot of things wrong (forgets to pick up milk, dresses our two little girls is mismatched socks, his idea of "I will be there in 10 minutes" - always means 40, etc..), but everything he cooks, he knocks out of the park.  Being married to a chef is pretty awesome, I can't stay mad about the little things, because if puts a bit of food in front of me - I smile and I am happy :)  He doesn't cook me a 5 course meal every evening, but he DOES cook at home all of the time.  I know a lot of chefs in the industry are done with cooking by the time they get home (and that makes sense!) but Jim just doesn't tire of it!

 -Did you always see yourself being an entrepreneur?  I am not sure I always saw myself being an entrepreneur, but I always really wanted flexibility - especially being able to go somewhere warm in the winter months!  My parents owned their own business and I loved how they never missed a soccer game or piano recital, we could travel alot and set our own schedule first.  Owning my own business lets me run it remotely during the slower months - which I love!

 -What is your favorite part of working in the event industry?   I love being a part of something that turns into real memories.  A wedding day, a gala - unforgettable days of peoples lives.  The energy that goes with that is huge. I'm addicted to it!

Ashley Sullivan, Ashley Michelle Photography


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Program Recap

Ooh la la! Our April 2015 Chapter meeting took place at the Lord Baltimore Hotel (featuring catering by the in-house restaurant, the French Kitchen), and captured the very essence of a spring garden in France.

Built in 1928 and having been one of the original grand hotels of the city, the Lord Baltimore underwent a series of different brands and owners before being purchased by the Rubell family in 2013. NACE members were excited to experience the newly renovated property and admire the facelift the hotel had received.

As attendees arrived to the Calvert Ballroom, they were presented with name cards adorned by pieces of paper identifying them the ingredient of a dish. The task was to find complementing ingredients throughout the cocktail hour and eventually form a group that could create a dish with the collective ingredients.

During that time, guests were treated to the sounds of Pop Culture Strings of Andy Kushner Entertainment. Tulips and bright seasonal blossoms by Flowers and Fancies; and French statues, an Eiffel Tower, and Parisian street carts offering artisanal cheeses provided by Feats, inc and Select Event Group transported the group to a different country. Passed hors d’oeuvres of Porcini Cappuccino, Soft Farm Devil Eggs, Mousseline of Chicken Piperade, and Mini Tartlets had members and non-members alike saying “Oi, oi!”

The evening’s educational program was entitled “A Network of Ingredients is the Recipe for Successful Round Tables,” and brought back one of the chapter’s favorite types of meetings by popular request. Attendees sat with their “recipe-mates” from cocktail hour and engaged in discussions about a variety of issues affecting the event industry. Afterwards, representatives from each table reported their hot topics and conclusions to the entire group.

At that point guests moved to the French Kitchen for a station-style dinner. Featured were a Salad Bar with crispy romaine lettuce, spinach, mesclun mix, crispy brioche croutons with Caesar, balsamic and honey mustard dressings;Beef Bourguignon with

slow-cooked honey-saffron baby carrots, mushrooms, pommes puree; Jumbo Lump Crab Soufflé with green asparagus risotto, old bay seasoning and lemon; and a Dessert Station featuring Vanilla cream brulèe with caramelized sugar, Mousse au Chocolate with crispy chocolate pearls, Rice pudding with cinnamon and marinated rum raisins, and seasonal fruit platter with chocolate dip.

Many thanks to our sponsor vendors: Lee Johnson-Lowe (Lord Baltimore Hotel & The French Kitchen); Rebecca Steel (Andy Kushner Entertainment); Eric Stocklin (Eric Stocklin Photography); Petra Compel and Andrew Zill (Feats, Inc., décor); April Lichtenberg (Flowers & Fancies); Renee West (Nik’s Nak Events & Stationery, invitations); John Paul Berry and Ken Rochon (Absolute Entertainment, pa amplification); Debra Woodward and Kelly Andres (Select Event Group, linens); and Nicholas LaForest (Technicracy Event Production, PA).


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Fundraising & Raffle Recap

Fundraising News
We are very excited about our mini-fundraiser which will be held at the Power Plant Live on Monday, September 21, 2015 in place of our monthly meeting.  We hope to have a nice attendance.  More information to come out soon. 

We need NACE members to join our fundraising committee!  Would you like to meet new people at the meetings?  Help sell raffle tickets and have an easy way to approach members. Also, be part of our team to help with planning for our mini-fundraiser which helps to support Moveable Feast and our Educational fund.  Please send your information to Ken Stern or Janet Caslow  It takes a team to create the dream.
We need your raffle Items.  Raffle items are used to help fund our monthly educational programs with talented speakers and exciting programs.  They also help market your business! 

Thank you,
Ken Stern and Janet Caslow

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Classified Ads




Catering/ Events Manager Position



The Annapolis Yacht Club is a full service, year-round premier private yacht club that provides high-quality programs for its members. These include sailboat racing, cruising for sailors and power boaters, a vigorous junior sailing program, fun and educational winter activities, social events, and first class dining and banquet facilities.


Annapolis Yacht Club is accepting resumes for the Catering/Events Manager who will oversee the catering department. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, enthusiastic, possess a strong background in catering sales and marketing, culinary knowledge, creative menu and party planning, and an eye for detail. Leadership skills that provide direction, supervision and guidance to ensure the highest level of service and standards in the banquet department. The ability to oversee and coordinate multiple events including large and small, formal and casual banquets. In addition, you will be expected to maintain high visibility with the membership, have strong communication skills, both verbal and written. Must be committed to a team approach and work well with all departments. Knowledge of F&B software, excel, and word are required. Formal education with a minimum of three- five years successful experience in a club or in the hospitality industry.

Compensation commensurate with experience and qualifications, health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, vacation and other benefits as defined in the employee manual, free parking and meals.


Interested Candidates should please e-mail or send their cover letter and resumes to:


Nadine D. Rockwell, CCM

Assistant General Manager

Annapolis Yacht Club

2 Compromise Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

No phone calls please.


Candidates interviewing for position will be kept in strict confidence.


Zeffert and Gold Catering & Event Planning is seeking to hire full time and part time pantry chefs and event chefs for our growing company. Ideal candidates are experienced and creative chefs with good work ethics and high standards who are able to join our hardworking team. Experience in off premise catering is preferred but not required. Reliable transportation, the ability to work well on a team, and availability to work nights and weekends is a must. Many benefits are available to qualified candidates. Competitive pay is based on experience and ability.

To be considered for this position please email a complete resume to  We will respond to those with the resumes that we feel will best fit the position.


Sales and Event Manager
Howl at the Moon – Baltimore, MD

Howl at the Moon Baltimore is looking for a Sales and Event Manager (SEM). The Sales and Event Manager is responsible for generating, coordinating, and executing all event sales for Howl at the Moon.

The Sales and Event Manager job duties include, but are not limited to:

Soliciting new clients and follow up with previous ones to generate sales through a proactive sales approach which includes making warm/cold calls?Cultivate and maintain relationships with local convention visitor’s bureau (CVB), destination management companies (DMCs), travel agencies, hotel staffs, other restaurant/entertainment venues, and catering companies?Maintain master client database to be used for future bookings?Manage and coordinate on-site events and staff?Coordinate the accounting/budgets of all events

Required Skills

1-2 years minimum sales background – preferably in the Restaurant, Hotel, or Entertainment Industry in the Baltimore market.?Excellent communication and organization skills?Ability to learn new computer software quickly?Must be able to attend networking events/trade shows outside of normal office hours?Current list of clients and vendors a huge plus?Education

Bachelor degree – preferably in the Hospitality Management/Marketing/Business field

Paul Mann- Senior General Manager
Howl at the Moon- Baltimore

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