Phoenix NACE November Newsletter Print

President's Report

A Letter From the President:

On behalf of our Phoenix NACE board, we sincerely hope that each and every one of you are doing well and staying positive for the last quarter of this incredibly historic year! One of my positive go to thoughts lately is that the fall is upon us! It could not have come any sooner with the never ending 2020 AZ heat! I have been enjoying long walks, bike rides and lunch outdoors in my backyard! It makes me smile!

The past few months have been honestly, really amazing, in terms of what we have accomplished! I am so extremely proud of our community and our Phoenix NACE Chapter including our Board of Directors!

Our shift to virtual events has provided the opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, learn and grow! Over the last six months, we have successfully planned and executed 12 virtual events! Wow! Who would have thought that this would end up being our future back in February at our last in person meeting? We certainly had NO idea what we were in for!

In addition to the standard 1x monthly virtual educational events, our two Director of Programs, Deborah Beggs and Cristina Depoy, created a special event called “Conversations and Cocktails” in which we added an extra hour of education including a cocktail experience. They were awesome! We also added a community give back event along with an open discussion on diversity and unification in our event industry. All of our virtual events were complimentary, which I consider to be one of the wonderful silver linings that has come out of the pandemic! Along with being able to provide more focused education to anyone in the event community.  We hope you enjoyed all of the topics and continued networking.

We even turned the page and moved on to in person meetings, as we have been so ready to put into practice all that we have learned regarding executing “Safe Events.” Our October 20th, 2020 event was a fantastic experience! It was held at The View at 55th Place in Mesa, AZ. We limited the event to 50 people, moved the cocktail hour to the end of the evening, socially distanced, added door attendants, hand sanitizer, amongst several other new safeguards. We had a fantastic local event planner, Jennifer Thye with Imoni Events talk about “Now What? – What to do when things are not going well….” It was refreshing to hear her story along with ideas on how to move forward.

Although we had every intention on holding our November event in the same safe fashion, we made the very difficult decision to cancel it. As much as we love and look forward to our annual wine dinner especially this year as it was set to take place at the Phoenix Zoo! Fabulous Foods planned a delicious meal and we coordinated wine education with Chateau Ste. Michelle wines. However, the NACE board decided that it would be more responsible of us to cancel the event as our community's health and safety is most important. We shall see how December plays out as are hoping for at the very least a casual gathering to end our year and say goodbye to 2020!

Always know that your entire Phoenix NACE Board is here for you! We want to continue supporting you and the entire community in every way that we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us, even if you just want to say hello and check in!


Your Phoenix NACE Chapter President

Kellie Mendoza, CPCE

[email protected]

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Thank you to our renewing members:

  • Dawn Petersen, CPCE - XO Dawn Designs 
  • Darwin Mann - NAU Faculty
  • Nikki Jorgensen - Events by NJ
  • Tony Medlock - PJs Flowers and Events
  • Julie Brown Pflueger, CPCE - Check It DONE Events
  • David Cronin - Starwood Hotels and Resorts
  • Sandra Bohn - Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
  • Noelle Salinas - Fresh From The Kitchen
  • Barbara Grace - Ray the DJ
  • Michael Stavros - M Culinary Concepts
  • Karen Gordon - Goodshuffle Pro
  • Mallory Mullen - Goodshuffle Pro
  • Amber Allen CPCE - Hotel Valley Ho
  • Kellie Mendoza CPCE - Amoroma Productions
  • Marisa Asdurian - The Helm by Beth Helmestetter
  • Francine Kades - The Balloon People
  • Sandra Campbell - Fable Photo and Video
  • Delores Row - DePoy Studios
  • Jasmine Schowalter - NAU
  • Bailey Michaels - NAU
  • Jaci Maggio - NAU
  • Josh Ranker - NAU

MEmber anniversaries:

  • Krystol Villarreal - Residence Inn/Courtyard by Mariott - 1 Year
  • Laurie Southwick - Southwick Linens - 3 Years
  • Nyasha Chikwekwete - M Culinary Concepts - 3 Years
  • Marisa Asadurian - The Helm by Beth Helmstetter - 5 Years
  • Allison Chapin, CPCE - Hotel Valley Ho - 8 Years
  • Ken Miller - Munkeeboe Party Linens - 12 Years
  • Julie Brown Pflueger, CPCE - Check It DONE Events - 27 Years


When the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the catering and events industry, NACE moved quickly to support members. The National Board has enacted several resources and measures to maintain our strong, vibrant community. We expanded the membership grace period to 120 days, introduced flexible installment plans, expanded online education, and more.

And now, in partnership with the Foundation of NACE, the National Board is pleased to introduce a Membership Support Program. This program helps members experiencing financial hardship stay connected to the NACE community and all the resources and support NACE offers. NACE is your community and we are stronger together.

Who Can Enroll - Members in a qualifying category with a renewal date of February 2020 or beyond who are experiencing financial hardship are eligible to enroll. Those who enroll in this program are also eligible for payment plans. If you have already renewed, you can still take advantage of this program and add an additional 12 months to your membership.

And, thanks to the Foundation of NACE, this program will also provide financial support to our chapters by ensuring the dues rebate program stays intact. This generous investment by the Foundation will help provide support to our vibrant chapter network.

How to Enroll - If you would like to enroll in the membership support program, please contact the national office at , via chat at  or by phone at 410-290-5410.

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Spirit of NACE

Spirit of NACE is a very special recognition that our Chapter Immediate Past President, Allison Chapin, CPCE, gives each month. It is an opportunity to recognize a Member who lives and breaths what it means to be a spirited NACE Member. Someone who is always thinking, talking and exemplifing that NACE Spirit! This nomination leads to the possibility of the Annual Spirit of NACE Award presented out our awards gala and voted on by the entire membership. 

Spirit of nace nominees:

  • November 2019 - Jerry Topete - Arizona's DJ Entertainment
  • January 2020 - Jessie Whitfield - Miss Gif
  • February 2020 - Eric Chazin - Instawork
  • April 2020 - Sandi Campbell - Fable Photo & Video
  • May 2020 - Cristina Depoy - Depoy Studios & Deborah Beggs - Bright Event Rentals
  • June 2020 - Emily Quail - M Culinary Concepts
  • July 2020 - Dustin Jones - Quick
  • August 2020 - Lindsey Hoyle
  • September 2020 - Francine Kades - The Balloon People

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Member Highlight

Being a “Spotlight Member” is a wonderful member benefit in which the chosen member is given a the microphone to speak about their business at our NACE meetings highlighting to the community what they do! It’s a great marketing opportunity!

2020 monthly Spotlight members:

  • January - Amy Howard - Epic Party Rentals
  • February - Jaime Figuroa - Divinity Productions
  • May - Leslie Ann Lejcar - Pink Pineapple Photography
  • June - Heidi Maxwell - Merestone
  • July - Alicia Martorano - Karma Event Lighting
  • August - Niole Jorgenson - Events With NJ
  • September - Noelle Salinas - Fresh From The Kitchen
  • October - Jerry Topete - Arizona's DJ Entertainment

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October Meeting Recap

Our October meeting was a rarity for 2020, but it was wonderful!Jennifer Thye, owner of Imoni Events, spoke about "Now What.... What to do when things are not going well." It was extremely refreshing to hear her story on Covid, how she was personally and professionally affected and how to move forward from it all. A look at how businesses can be affected by economic, personal, and pandemic situations. She spoke about how we can use those situations to learn, grow and continue. Channeling our strength, knowledge, and network as effective tools to get things back on track. 

The event took place at The View at 55th Place in Mesa, AZ. The venue is one of the newest event spaces and wedding venues in Arizona. Whether you’re planning a ring ceremony, rehearsal dinner, reception, bar mitzvah, fundraiser, corporate event, or holiday party, The View at 55th Place is one of the most unique event venues in the valley. They have a stunning interior design, gorgeous patio spaces, dimmable lighting, and affordable event packages. 

The space was decorated beautifully with linens and centerpieces provided by Festive Events and Rentals! 

Fresh From The Kitchen created a fabulous meal for us which was plated and served safely! Here is the menu: 
Salad: Baby Greens, Red Wine Vinaigrette, Orange Segments, Shaved Fennel & Parmesan. Entrée choice one: Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Sherry Mushroom Cream Sauce + Maple Glazed Butternut Squash & Apple Casserole + Micro Greens.
Entrée Choice two: Vegan Coconut Curry over Basmati Rice (contains cashew nuts).
Dessert: Individually Wrapped Cookies. 

Vox DJ's provided the entertainment for the evening and Divinity Event LIghting and AV provided our webinar platform in order to allow our members and guests an alternate option to zoom into the meeting safely. It was awesome!

Depoy Studios provided the top notch photography for the evening as well!

It was a wonderful evening and so nice to see people in person for the first time since February! Thank you so much for all of the member vendor sponsors and non-member sponsors. We appreciate all of you so much!

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November Meeting


After conversations with the board and a lot of consideration, we have decided that we are officially going to cancel November's Wine Dinner and Zoo Lights event. Thank you to the entire board for being a part of this decision as it is always a difficult one to make. We all agree that it is more responsible of us as a chapter to cancel our event, putting the health and safety of our community first. 

Thank you as well to all of the fabulous vendors commited! We appreciate you all so much!

  • The Phoenix Zoo
  • Fabulous Foods
  • Chateau Ste Michelle Winery
  • Festive Event Rentals
  • Southwest TeePee
  • Arizona's DJ Entertainment
  • Divinity Event Lighting
  • Southwick Linens
  • Harley Bohnam Photography


And to the entire event community, thank you for your patience and for your continued support of Phoenix NACE! We are strong and mighty and we will get past this! We appreciate you all so very much!

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Exciting announcement on cpce!

We are providing another CPCE Scholarship opportunity this year! This is an incredible way for an existing NACE Member to become a CPCE over the next year. All you have to do is apply for the scholarship, a $525 value. Applications are due no later than December 4th, 2020. The scholarship form is attached. If you have any questions please dont hesitate to reach out to Vice President Jo Ann M. Grant, CPCE or President Kellie Mendoza, CPCE. Completed scholarships can be emailed to Jo Ann or Kellie as well. 

Here is the link to the NACE National website where you can learn more about CPCE:

Thank you so much!!

Kellie Mendoza, CPCE - Chapter President - [email protected]

Jo Ann M. Grant, CPCE - Chapter Vice President - [email protected]

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Community Service

Earlier this year, the Phoenix NACE Board chose the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) as our 2020-2021 Charity. We are very excited to partner with this amazing organization. 

Lastt weekend, Phoenix NACE created a walking team called NACE Friends Fur-Ever to help raise money for them. Due to Covid-19 they hosted their 1st ever virtual walk, which means our NACE team designated the Hotel Valley Ho as our start and end point and provided a safe group walk. It was awesome!

If you are interested in donating, they are accepting towels and blankets. Any of our board members would be happy to pick up these items and take them to the shelter.  

Website Information:

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From NACE National

The national website has a ton of helpful resources and additional information to check out. Flag this page for future reading!

Here are some of the topics: 

  • Understanding and Monitoring Covid - 19 News & Resources
  • Why NACE? and Becoming a Member
  • CPCE 
  • Catering and Event Trends
  • Entreprenuership
  • NACE Scholarships & Grants
  • NACE National Board & Code of Ethics
  • About Foundation

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Meet the Board

President –Kellie Mendoza, CPCE, Amoroma Productions

Vice President – Jo Ann M. Grant, CPCE, Apropos Creations

Treasurer – Sandi Campbell, Fable Photo & Video

Immediate Past President – Allison Chapin, CPCE, Hotel Valley Ho

Programs Chair – Cristina Depoy, Depoy Studios

Programs Chair – Deborah Beggs

Fundraising Chair – Deloris Rowe, Depoy Studios

Community Service Chair - Dawn Peterson, CPCE

Membership Chair– Julie Brown Pflueger, CPCE, Check It DONE Events!

Communications Chair – Nicole Jorgenson, Events With NJ

Website Committee - Nicole JOrgenson, Events With NJ

Job Bank Committee - Dustin Jones, Quick

Social Media Committee - Joyceln Edwards, Northern Arizona University

Hospitality Chair – Tony Medlock, AIFD, PFCI, PJs Flowers & Events

NAU Student Chapter Liaison – Darwin Mann, Northern Arizona University

Your Phoenix NACE Board is here to connect! Please dont hesitate to reach out to any of us to assist with any questions about NACE or just to say hello and check in!

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Social Media

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information, updates, and  posts on Phoenix NACE!



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Thank You!

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and enjoy this newsletter! We appreciate you all so very much! 


Your Phoenix NACE Chapter President

Kellie Mendoza, CPCE

[email protected]

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