March Newsletter Print

President's Report

Hello NACE Community,

March is a special month for us as we host our annual fundraiser.  I happened by a great article on "The Importance of Giving Back to the Community".   This quote really stood out to me:

"Giving back is among the most important and valuable things an entrepreneur can do. Period."
author unknown
see full article:

Giving back is not really about receiving something.  It is just about doing the right thing, creating that wonderful energy that can comes back to shine a light on you and make you feel all warm inside.  We are very blessed in our NACE Community to have wonderful members who are so giving and be surrounded by others in the Industry.  It is that time to give back and support our chosen beneficiary, Moveable Feast (  Our fundraising committee has done an excellent job of putting together an exciting event boasting culinary and beverage trends.  Of course, there are other fun elements as we do know how to throw a great party!

Hope to see everyone there!

Sherri Griffis, CPCE, CMP, President
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Director of Catering Sales


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Community Service

We are looking forward to seeing you all at our fundraiser event on 3/21 and so we will be taking a short break this month for Community Service. We are interested in hearing from you… what community service projects/charities would you like to see us involved with? Looking forward to your suggestions. Please email me directly with your ideas at


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Membership Specials & Welcome New Members

Please welcome!

Lauren Williams, NACE

Katie Conley, Catering Sales Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore

Kristin Wienold, Vice President of Operations

Emily Williams, Catering Manager at Maryland Club

Martha Olney, Senior Catering Sales Manager at Restaurant Associates

Starvel Drake, Pop Bliss

Member Benefits:

Did you know that if you are a member of NACE, Creative Coverings offers a 10% discount off speciality linen orders? Go here to check to view more member benefits.


New Member Orientation

If you are a new member, thinking about joining, or just want to learn more about NACE, join us on Monday, May 16th at 5:30pm right before the NACE meeting. We will be going over the benefits of being a member and how you can become more involved to get the most out of your membership. If you have any questions, please contact me at

 Meeting Price Changes 

One of our goals as chapter leaders of NACE is to improve member benefits so more Baltimore catering and event professionals will join our chapter to move their careers and businesses forward. Because of this goal, our pricing structure for non members has changed slightly. If you decide to become or already are a Baltimore NACE member, you will now save $20 per meeting if you sign up during the early bird special. That is a 33% savings just for being a member! This savings was previously only $10 per meeting. Early bird member pricing remains the same for members, but the differential for non-members has increased. These prices will go into effect for the April meeting.



Early Bird


At Door


(current price)




Member (new price)





(current price)





(new price)




 Because of this change, now is an even better time to join NACE if you are not already a member! If you would like to join our chapter and take advantage of these savings, go here. If you are still not ready to take that next step, we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting as a non member. If you have any questions about this pricing change, please feel free to contact Baltimore NACE Chapter President, Sherri Griffis at If you have any questions about membership and all of the amazing benefits you will gain from joining our chapter, please feel free to contact me directly at

 Day-of Meeting Payments

 If you are typically a walk in for meetings or pre-register, but pay at the door, please note that we will no longer accept credit cards. You must pay with cash/check. If you must pay with a credit card, you will need to do so online before the deadline. This policy will go into effect at the April meeting.

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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Vickie Preston, Director of Sales-Baltimore at Entertainment Exchange 


Vickie started her business, Sounds Perfect Entertainment, in 1997 and immediately joined the Baltimore Chapter of NACE.  Then seven years later merged her company 

with the Entertainment Exchange giving her more time to do what she loved working on events and not the administrative end.  Prior to that she worked for CSX Intermodal for five years working for the VP of Sales coordinating all of their client functions for their various regions which included handling all of the catering, entertainment, hotel accommodations, golf tournaments, etc. and became hooked on the hospitality industry.  Her favorite part about the industry is being able to work with top notch professionals with the same goal in mind and that is to make someone happy.

 Having been a member of NACE for now for 19 years and serving 17 years on the Baltimore Board she still believes joining and staying active in NACE was the best decision she made and attributes her success over the years to the continued education it offered and to the opportunity to make so many strong relationships in the industry.  She also was honored to received the National Affiliate Member of the Year as well as the George Zell Award and locally was honored with the Noble Award. 

In her spare time she enjoys sailing and gardening, but mostly spending time with her husband, Walter, of 27 years and her daughter, son and mother along with fun times with their close friends sharing wonderful meals and great laughs.

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Program Recap

One of the most highly anticipated meetings of the year is the annual spin on “What’s Hot and What’s Not” presented by Petra Compel and Andrew Zill. The 2016 version did not disappoint!

The Baltimore Marriott at Camden Yards was this month’s host, and despite a President’s Day snow shower we were able to meet a day late … although Petra became a one-woman show as Andrew was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.

Hors d’oeuvres included Goat Cheese on Fig Crostini; Macaroni & Cheese Bites; Chesapeake Crab Cake with Citrus Remoulade; and Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Pickled Red Onions.

The Program featured Event Designer Petra Compel’s “What’s Hot, What’s Not” predictions for 2016. The 45 minute presentation touched on design and décor, food … even venues. Sadly, the big barn wedding trend is on the decline. The overall message for the millenials … choices! Food mashups are on the rise, and many great cuisine ideas include combinations you would never expect, such as mixing Chinese and Italian in the same dish. How about ice cream sundae bars? Yummy. Bloody Mary bars with many ingredients.

The 2016 colors … pretty much baby blue and pink, which looks awesome at a baby shower, but could potentially be challenging in social events. Petra suggested “amping” up the colors into bolder Cobalts and Fuschias, and even suggesting that lighting could really help to create this as well. Another interesting color trend is in flatware, as rose gold is making a splash. Some others trends included signature drinks being on the way out, including Vodka Mules, but Whiskey and Bourbon drinks on the rise. Petra really did captivate the audience and I am sure she only barely touched everything that might happen in 2016!

The meal portion following the program was really off the charts! Dinner stations included Butternut Squash-Apple-Crab Bisque Shooters; Chef Crafted Grilled Cheese; Winter Greens and Pear Maple Croutons; Roasted Atlantic Cod, Brussel Sprouts, Citrus Cream; Braised Veal Cheeks, Port Wine, Cauliflower Puree; and Chef’s Indulgent Sweets .

Many thanks to all of our sponsor vendors: Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards (Cindy Baucom); Washington Talent Agency (Brian Morse; The Dynasty DJs, Zack Higgins); Ashley Michelle Photography (Ashley Sullivan); Innovative Party Planners (Heidi Hiller); Party Plus Tents & Events (Lauri Dixon); Millennium Marketing Solutions (Debra May).

We look forward to seeing you at our Fundraiser on March 21, 2016 at The Grand … it’s “Four Chefs and A Pairing!”


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Fundraising & Raffle Recap


The Baltimore NACE Annual Fundraiser benefitting Moveable Feast is quickly approaching. The night will include local celebrity chef cooking demos, paired cocktails, live entertainment, the largest raffle of the year and much more! For more information, tickets and raffle prize information please visit the event webpage or Facebook page.

 Website -

Video -

Facebook -

Tickets -


Food & Beverage

Chef Egg, Miss Shirley’s, Schola, The Pantry Catering, La Cakerie, The Classic Catering People, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Eleven Courses, Manor Tavern, The Grand, Barr Hill Gin, Breakthru Beverage Group, Full Tilt Brewing, The Wine Bin, Innovative Gourmet

 Décor & Entertainment

AFR Event Furnishings, Select Event Group, Vanlandingham Design Studios, Rutland Beard Florist, Flowers & Fancies, Entertainment Exchange, Maryland Productions, Washington Talent Agency

 Graphic Design & Printing

AOL Designs, Formost Events & Productions

 Photography & Videography

Jennifer McMenamin Photography, Michael Temchine Photography, Washington Executive Photographic Services, Zinnia Films

 Please also extend your thanks to the committee that put this event together…

April Lichtenberg, Brian Morse, David Egan, Drew Vanlandingham, Jodi Radebaugh, John Paul Berry, ken Stern, Lauri Dixon, Lexi Schaffer, Mark Henry, MaryKaye DiUbaldo, Petra Compel, Rachel Clinton, Rachel Hoffberger, Samantha Flottemesch, Sherri Griffis

 See you on the 21st,


Mary Carballo                                       Terry Lombardi

Fundraising Co-Chair                            Fundraising Co-Chair

AFR Event Furnishings                             Manor Tavern


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Classified Ads


Chef’s Expressions, a top tier off-premise catering company in the Baltimore/Washington region, is looking for an experienced Catering Sales Representative.  We have won numerous awards in our 34 year history to include National Caterer of the Year (two times) and Maryland Best Caterer. 

Applicants must have at least three years of experience in selling and servicing off-premise catered events.  They must be highly energetic, self driven, and have a track record of success. 

We are searching for the best candidate for this position from inside our region but would entertain relocation expenses for the right candidate. 

Our team earns an excellent salary plus very high commissions, making them the highest paid in our area.

Quality of life is also a benefit as our sales team only sells and has a team that produces the events. 

Please email resume and cover letter to Heather Bonic, Director of HR, if you feel you are a good fit for our team. 


Primary Location

 USA-MD-Baltimore-Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards

Job Number


Job Category

 Sales & Marketing 


 Marriott Hotels Resorts 


 Full-time Relocation? Yes 
Position Type Management 
Marriott International portfolio of brands includes both JW Marriott and Marriott Hotels.

Marriott Hotels, Marriott International’s flagship brand with more than 500 global locations, is advancing the art of hosting so that our guests can travel brilliantly. As a host with Marriott Hotels, you will help keep this promise by delivering premium choices, sophisticated style, and well-crafted details. With your skills and imagination, together we will innovate and reinvent the future of travel.

JW Marriott is part of Marriott International's luxury portfolio and consists of more than 70 beautiful properties in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world. Our associates deliver sophisticated and warmly authentic service in a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere that cultivates fulfilling experiences for both our associates and our guests.


Handles more complex social and local corporate catering opportunities that are above sales office parameters (e.g.,, 150 covers). Provides day to day supervision to catering sales associates that are on-property. Contracts and closes local catering and social business and verifies that business is turned over properly and in a timely fashion for quality service delivery. Achieves catering revenue goals by actively up-selling each business opportunity to maximize revenue. Implements the brand’s service strategy and applicable brand initiatives in all aspects of the sales process and drives customer loyalty by delivering service excellence throughout each customer experience.



Education and Experience


• High school diploma or GED; 2 years experience in the sales and marketing, guest services, front desk, or related professional.


• 2-year degree from an accredited university in Business Administration, Marketing, Hotel and Restaurant Management, or related major; no work experience required.


• 2 years of catering sales experience.



Managing Sales Activities

• Manages the sales efforts for the property including local corporate and social catering.

• Responds to incoming catering opportunities for the property.

• Identifies, qualifies and solicits new catering business to achieve personal and property revenue goals.

• Solicits affiliate business associated with citywide events from approved affiliate list provided by Citywide Sales Executive.

• Understands the overall market - competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, economic trends, supply and demand etc. and knows how to sell against them.

• Closes the best opportunities for the property based on market conditions and property needs.

• Uses negotiating skills and creative selling abilities to close on business and negotiate contracts.

• Works with the management team to create and implement a catering sales plan addressing revenue, customers and market.

• Designs, develops and sells creative catered events.

• Maximizes revenue by up-selling packages and creative food and beverage.

• Develops and manages catering sales revenue and operation budgets, and provides forecasting reports.

• Develops menus that drive sales.

• Assists with selling, implementation and follow-through of catering promotions.

• Executes and supports Marriott’s Customer Service Standards and hotel’s Brand Standards.

• Executes and supports the operational aspects of business booked (e.g., generating proposal, writing contract, customer correspondence).

• Participates in and practices daily service basics of the brand (e.g.,, Marriott Hotels and Resorts (MHR) Spirit to Serve Daily Basics, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts (RHR) Savvy Service Basics, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn Basics of the Day, Residence Inn Daily Huddle, or TownePlace Suites Morning Meeting).

• Establishes that the property implements a seamless turnover from sales to operations and back to sales while consistently delivering high level of service.

• Monitors the effective resolution of guest issues that arise as a result of the sales process by creating mechanisms to channel issues to property leadership and/or other appropriate stakeholders.

• Maintains successful performance by increasing revenues, controlling expenses and providing a return on investment for the owner and Marriott International.

• Handles more complex social and local corporate catering opportunities that are above sales office parameters (e.g., 150 covers).

• Provides day to day supervision to catering sales associates that are on-property.

• Contracts and closes local catering and social business and confirms that business is turned over properly and in a timely fashion for quality service delivery.

• Achieves catering revenue goals by actively up-selling each business opportunity to maximize revenue.

• Implements the brand’s service strategy and applicable brand initiatives in all aspects of the sales process and drives customer loyalty by delivering service excellence throughout each customer experience.

• Performs other duties, as assigned, to meet business needs.

Building Successful Relationships

• Works collaboratively with off-property sales channels (e.g., Sales Office, Area Sales,Enterprise Sales Team (EST)) to establish coordinated sales efforts that are complementary and not duplicative.

• Interacts effectively with sales, kitchen, vendors, competitors, local community, catering associations and other hotel departments in order to monitor guest satisfaction.

• Executes exemplary customer service to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty by assisting the customer and monitoring their satisfaction before and during their program/event.

• Serves the customer by understanding their needs and recommending the appropriate features and services that best meet their needs and exceed their expectations, while building a relationship and loyalty to Marriott.

• Gains understanding of the property’s primary target customer and service expectations; serves the customer by understanding their business, business issues and concerns, to offer better business solution both prior to, and during the program/event.

• Develops a close working relationship with operations to execute strategies at the property level.

Click Here to Apply! 

Marriott International is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. Marriott International does not discriminate on the basis of disability, veteran status or any other basis protected under federal, state or local laws.


Flowers & Fancies is hiring for sales and administrative roles in their Owings Mills office.  Please see the attachment with details about applying, today! 

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