January 2015  


Dear Alamo Chapter of NACE,

Happy New Year! As we embark on another exciting year for Catering and Events, I am sure you have taken a moment to sit back and carefully reflect on your goals for 2015. We on the Alamo Chapter Board have been doing the same. As we welcome aboard several new members to the Alamo NACE Board, we have challenged ourselves to “Break the Mold” this year. It can become so easy to repeat our actions and to fall into repetitive habits. It is time to shake things up and to garner a fresh perspective for our members and Chapter. As our industry evolves, so must we.

As your 2015-2016 Chapter President, I personally welcome your thoughts, feedback and suggestions on how we can better serve you. Send me an email, pick up the phone or let’s schedule a lunch meeting. I want to know what we can do to help you succeed in your business. As we realign our continued education initiative over the next few months, we would love feedback on what topics, speakers or issues you would like to hear as we plan our calendar for the next two years.

I also encourage you to get more involved with the Alamo NACE Chapter. This is your industry, your time, and your marketing dollars at work. One of the best pieces of advice that I can give to you is that you will get out of your NACE Membership what you put into it. Serve on a committee this year. I challenge you to connect in new ways with your colleagues. We are a lot of fun! I guarantee it.

It is going to be a great year! I look forward to getting to know each of you better.



Michelle Moon, CPCE
Alamo NACE Chapter President
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Chapter Board

Get to know your 2015-2016 Board!

President: Michelle Moon, CPCE, CTA, has 15 years of experience in planning and executing non-profit fundraising and social events. She currently serves as the Director of Facility Sales and Service for one of the premiere Performing Arts venues in the country, The Tobin Center. Michelle mentors college level event management students across the country who are seeking careers in hospitality and tourism, serves on the board and committees for several local and national professional organizations and has received numerous awards for her dedication and advancement of the events industry. She was recently selected as a member of the Leadership San Antonio 40th Class. Michelle is married to an amazing and supportive husband and together they are blessed with two beautiful little girls and two feisty Chihuahua-Dachshund puppies. In her spare time Michelle enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, and cooking; especially grilling in the warm South Texas weather.


Vice President: Published author and Catering Rock Star, Sarah James, CPCE, CTA has served on the Alamo Chapter Board since 2012, and currently serves with NACE National on the CPCE Committee. She has worked in the hotel and event industry for over 10 years at conference centers, venues and hotels.


Treasurer: Nicole has been an Alamo NACE member since 2006 when she first began her event career at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. After a year with the garden and a regular attendee of NACE meetings, she was offered a position as Catering Manager for the Hilton Palacio del Rio. There, she was encouraged to join a committee and get involved with the local chapter. She did, and has been owed many of her professional and personal successes to NACE. She has been on the board of Directors for 4 years, first as Director of Programs and currently as the Chapter Treasurer. Nicole currently is an Event Sales Manager for Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.


Shelly Koch

Secretary: Shelly Koch has been an Alamo NACE Member for 6 years, and has begun serving her 2nd term as Chapter Secretary. Shelly has carried the Catering Director position for the downtown concepts of The Paesanos Restaurant Group, to include Paesanos Riverwalk, Rio Rio Cantina and Charlie Wants A Burger Sports Bar for the last 5 years. Shelly has had a wealth of experience at just about every aspect of the food and beverage industry spanning over the last 19 years. In hopes of broadening her horizons with the San Antonio Convention industry, she has recently acquired the CTA honor.


Christina Alvarado-Morales Event Professional: Christina Alvarado-Morales, CPCE, serves as the Event Professional for the Alamo Chapter of NACE. She was originally elected to serve in this position in 2013. Christina is currently the Sr. Account Executive for Great Events, a full service special event rental company in San Antonio. She brings almost 10 years of experience from large scale production to rentals. In 2013 she was awarded Alamo NACE Event Professional of the year and in 2014 she won Best Corporate Event Production with a budget under $100K at NACE Experience 2014. She adores her clients and her industry. She is a lifelong resident of San Antonio with a BBA and MBA both from UTSA and OLLU. She enjoys spending time with her family and beloved Doberman Juve while embracing the local spots of San Antonio.


Director of Membership: Traci Maricle has been a NACE member for 6 years and has served on the Board in the capacity of Director of Membership for the last 3 years. Traci is the Customer Relations Manager for Ace Mart Restaurant Supply for the San Antonio and Austin Stores. Even through Traci approaches our industry from a slightly different angle this does not make her any less passionate. Having owned her own Personal Chef business as well as a gastro pub, Traci brings industry knowledge to her customers and members. Traci is a past recipient of the Alamo Chapter's Rising Star award and was on NACE National President's List. Traci successfully grew our Alamo NACE Chapter Membership by 30% from when she started and is looking forward to continuing on the Board for the next 2 years. Traci is happily married and just celebrated 25 years! 


Director of Programs: Kelly Palubiak has been with Saltgrass Steak House for two years as the first Sales and Marketing Manager for the company. In her tenure, she has proven the value of the event business and is now building the Saltgrass Sales and Catering division to be rolled out to more than 50 locations across 5 states. Kelly is very grateful to NACE for the educational and networking opportunities to which she has been privy. She served on the 2014 NACE President's Gala committee and is very excited to be the Director of Programs. Away from work, Kelly is engaged to a wonderful and supportive man who helps her tame their yellow lab, two cats and her soon-to-be, three step children.


Jamie Turnage Co-Director of Marketing: Jamie Turnage is owner of Bokeh Photography. Although the company was started almost 6 years ago Jamie has been photographing events professionally since 2003. Since joining NACE over 3 years ago she has been a recipient of a NACE Experience scholarship, served on the President’s Gala Committee, received the Rising Star award for 2014 and has had a huge growth in business opportunities. She is excited to be on the 2015 Board of Directors as a way of giving back to this wonderful organization.


  Co-Director of Marketing: Karen Bippert, CTA has been employed in the hospitality and tourism industry for 19 years. She began her career at SeaWorld San Antonio working in the Park Operations and Marketing departments. During her tenure at the park, Karen attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, graduating with a degree in Marketing. She has also worked at The Alamo IMAX Theatre at Rivercenter Mall and Advantage Rent-A-Car. Karen has proudly served on the Alamo NACE President's Gala Committee for the past two years and won the “Rising Star” award in 2013. She is looking forward to serving on the Alamo NACE Board this year as Co-Marketing Chair. 


Director of Fundraising: Stephanie Olivares is a Sales Manager for Rosemary’s Catering at Historic Sunset Station and The RK Group. She has been an active member of the Alamo NACE Chapter since 2013 and has served as a member of the Programs Committee. Stephanie is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she received her degree in Sport Management in 2010. After working with various sports teams and programs, Stephanie found a passion for planning and executing special events, leading her to a career in the events industry. Stephanie strives for customer satisfaction in every aspect of the special events industry and takes pride in her relationships with clients and fellow industry members. When she is not working, Stephanie enjoys spending her free time traveling, exercising, discovering new restaurants and attending music festivals and sporting events.


Micki Moore Director of Community Service: National Sales Manager, Micki Moore has been in the hospitality business for over 21 years. She began her career as a Concierge at the first resort in San Antonio and, understanding the true value of a servant’s heart, the opportunity led her to follow her path to explore several hospitality positions, including membership development, catering management and event production, as well as the a variety of management roles in the restaurant industry. Further positions in marketing and sales have equipped her well in the role of destination management as she loves to showcase the best of San Antonio to her clients while diving deep into the growth potential in her role with AlliedPRA.


Immediate Past President: Nikki Jarzombek, CPCE. CTA, DMCP, started her hotel career in Austin over 11 years ago and quickly found her passion for the hospitality industry. She has been a NACE Member since 2005. Nikki has held many board positions including: Programs, Treasurer, Vice President and President. She has enjoyed watching the Alamo NACE Chapter grow and attributes most of her success to the knowledge and relationships that she has found through NACE. Nikki is currently the Director of Catering for Tobin Center Catering. She has two beautiful children with her loving husband, as well as pet dogs, rabbits, chickens, and a horse. Nikki enjoys spending time enjoying the outdoors with her family and pets in her free time.


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Alamo NACE Chapter President’s Gala News


Gala 2014 Recap

On November 11, 2014, the Alamo Chapter of NACE held one of the largest and most successful Chapter Galas to date! The Chapter raised just over $14,000 net profit to support our continued education opportunities and conference scholarships for Alamo Chapter Members. This was a record breaking year for us!

Thank you to our phenomenal sponsors!

 Presenting Sponsor:


             Entertainment Sponsor:


Table Sponsor Table Sponsor Table Sponsor
Ace Mart Logo San Antonio Weddings Logo  True Flavors Logo 


Design & Decor Sponsor

Raffle Sponsor
 Events by Reese Logo Wedding Guide & Bridal Extravaganza Logo


2014 Award Recipients included:

Todd Kabes, President’s Award

Nicole Garza, Caterer of the Year

Dona Liston, Event Professional of the Year

Jamie Turnage, Rising Star

Congratulations to this year’s Chapter superstars!

This annual event has grown more stunning every year.  We can not wait to see what the Gala Committee does in honor of our 10th Annual event this upcoming November.  Committee Members are needed, please contact Sarah James if you are interested in helping plan this year's event.

To see photos from the gala click here.  Photos courtesy of Laurie Rush; Goen South Photography.



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Monthly Meeting Recap

We want to thank everyone who attended the first monthly meeting of the year!  It was a fun and festive evening filled with great conversations and delicious food!  John Melleky, CEO of the Fiesta Commission, also presented on Fiesta San Antonio and spoke about how our industry plays a key role for those 150+ parties that occur in just two short weeks.  John enlightened us with an overview of the history, the impact the festival has on our city and that Fiesta raises over five million dollars annually that go directly to support various local non-profit organizations.  Did you know that every 30 seconds a keg is drained during NIOSA?  That is astonishing! 

Thank you to our January Partners:

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Calendar of Events

Upcoming Meetings - Save the Date!

February Meeting 2/10/15 - at The Veranda- 2nd Annual Tasty Bites Competition


Are you up for the challenge? We are seeking the tastiest hors d’oeuvres, the most delicious desserts, the smoothest specialty drink and of course the best presentation for the evening.

We encourage you to team up with your favorite décor company to create your overall presentation of your food station. At the end of the evening awards will be presented for the following categories:

Tastiest Hors d’oeuvres | Most Delicious Dessert

Smoothest Specialty Drink | Best Presentation

Up for grabs will be the elusive and coveted Tasty Bites Trophy for each category. Yes! You could walk away with 4 trophies if you compete and win in all four categories. You may already be a winner and don’t even know it (well you need to cook something first).

For competition information please visit: Tasty Bites Challenge.

Hosted By:

March Meeting 3/10/15 - at Lodge at Bridal Veil Falls - 3rd Annual NACE Hunger Games

           The Lodge at Bridal Veil Falls

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10 Tips to Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

Click the link to get great tips to attaining your goals for 2015: How to Keep Your Resolutions all Year Long!

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Recipe Corner


Antipasto Sausage Skewers

This month’s new recipe to try is recommended by Michelle Moon, Chapter President. Michelle loves appetizers and savory bites. She highly recommends you try this festive skewer for your Super Bowl party or neighborhood potluck! Recipe: Antipasto Sausage Skewers

Photograph by Lara Robby/Studio D

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