NAU NACE chapter’s journey culminates at SHRM’s golf tournament fundraiser

Posted: Sunday, May 17th 2015 at 10:27 AM

By Robinli Uber, Student Writer

Members of NAU’s National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) chapter came together to facilitate this year’s 16th annual School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (SHRM) golf tournament on April 13. The event was held at the JW Marriot Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix. 

NACE is a nationwide organization that teaches members about catering and event planning through hands-on experiential education in hopes of establishing a network of qualified, reliable professionals. After being unanimously approved by the Phoenix NACE chapter’s executive board on November 18, 2014, the NAU chapter of NACE is the first student chapter in Arizona.

“[The tournament] was such an important event during our first semester as an established club on campus because it was one of our first times working in the eye of the public, not only representing ourselves as individuals, but representing NACE, The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management program, and NAU,” said NAU NACE Founding President Amanda Tillman. 

NACE students comprised the majority of the volunteers at the event. Students were in charge of various tasks ranging from greeting guests to facilitating the silent auction.

“The students must fulfill certain requirements to be in ‘good standing’ and by attending this event off campus, they received points,” said NAU NACE Founding Vice President Nicole Pesek. “Since we are a new club here on campus, this event was great for all of our students to work with each other and get to know everyone better.”

Proceeds from the SHRM Golf Tournament are utilized for student scholarships and student experiential travel.

“I think NACE played a huge role in the success of the event; the golfers were more willing to donate their money to the scholarships when they connected with the volunteer students,” said NAU NACE Fundraising Chair Melissa Redfern.

The event also allowed the students to be directly involved with the attendees while gaining experience in their desired field. This is something the national organization prides itself on.

“NACE is beneficial for students in so many ways. The networking opportunities are immeasurable, alongside the friendships made within the club. I have been a part [of NACE]for only a few months and have seen my potential as a professional and as a leader grow so much,” Tillman said.

Although many hotel and restaurant management majors are specifically drawn to NACE, the club is open to students from any degree program and has proved beneficial to any line of work.

“I got involved because I have worked in the hospitality industry and was always curious about SHRM programs,” said junior strategic communication advertising major Adam Jimenez. “It was really interesting to see this different field of work that I can apply my major to in ways I’ve never thought of.”

Current members want to eliminate the misconception that NACE is only for students who are interested in event planning.

“A lot of people hear ‘Catering and Events’ in the title and immediately associate members with event planners, etc. NACE is so much more than that. It’s a melting pot of everyone that make events happen. Interior designers, chefs, photographers, accountants, planners, florists, safety personnel – everything,” Tillman said. “I encourage anyone and everyone to stop by a meeting next semester and then decide if NACE is something they would like to join.”

With 45 current members, NAU NACE is looking to increase membership next year. Now that the club has been involved in an official event as big as the golf tournament in addition to previous local fundraising efforts, participants believe the club has finally established itself. 

“To say we learned a lot this past semester would be an understatement. It’ll be a big step for us to enter the fall term as a recognized club, with a name not only within SHRM but with the campus and the City,” Tillman said.

SHRM Golf Tournament 2015 story HERE; Golf Tournament event page HERE

Categories: fbn nbn flagstaff business news nau business news fbn may issue 2015 nau nace chapter’s journey culminates at shrm’s golf tournament fundraiser spring 2015 2015 students golf tournament robinli uber national association for catering and events nau nace nace jw marriot desert ridge resort - phoenix amanda tillman nicole pesek melissa redfern adam jimenez