August 2016 Print

President's Report

We're bringing the 2016 NACE Experience

home to you!

Your Ventura Chapter Leaders traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

in July to bring back some of the latest and greatest from the

2016 NACE Experience Conference.

Join us at California Lutheran University on

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 5:30pm
160 Overton Dr

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

CLU will be serving up a conference inspired menu featuring some

of the latest culinary trends.

Cocktail Hour Music provided by the amazing Vonette

Our Member Panel will be bringing you some of the best takeways from
the 4 day conference including event and lighting trends, food trends,
guest service recovery, and top catering and beverage innovations.

Our Panel of Speakers:
Jason Collis-Plated Events, Ventura Chapter President
Nicole Peters-The Pierpont Inn, Ventura Chapter 1st VP
Jeff Miller, CMP, CPCE-CLU, Ventura Chapter Member
Tania Trombetta-Moorpark Country Club, Ventura Chapter Member

Additional Sponsor Information to come

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Featured Spotlight Member

Host Location Member Profile:  California Lutheran University

Your name and title:  Jeff Miller, University Event Planner, CPCE.

Years of experience (optional): 40 + years

Types of events that your location specializes in?  What is unique about your location/services?  As a major University we do a variety of events, everything from regional, national and international conferences and symposia, groundbreaking and dedications of new buildings on campus, donor recognition receptions and dinners, Homecoming events, concerts, multiple day festivals that recognize the University’s Scandinavian heritage and of course Commencement ceremonies.  We also provide outreach to the community and sponsor many non-University events such as the Thousand Oaks State of the City and the Greater Conejo Chamber Business Mixer.

Maximum number of guests (or an overview of have many rooms your have available, do you have a ceremony site, etc…)?   We have a variety of locations and venues on our campus, William Rolland Stadium, Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center and multiple mixed media spaces and of course classrooms.  We also have two art galleries on campus with exhibits that change several times throughout the year. What you may not know is there are multiple satellite CLU campuses, there is one in Oxnard, Westlake Village, Woodland Hills and the Pacific Lutheran Seminary in Berkeley.

How or why did you get into the catering/special events industry?  I didn’t exactly choose it as a career path, it would be more accurate to say that it chose me.  In junior high I worked in friend’s parents restaurants and found that it was an easy way to make some spending money, I seemed to be pretty good at it and there was always great food to enjoy. 

My first experience working in higher education was at the University of California Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead.  The campus was situated on 40 acres right on the shore of Lake Arrowhead.  It was a dream job and I found that I enjoyed being around folks in higher education and was able to share my experience and mentor students interested in getting in to the hospitality industry.

What do you love about your job?  I love the many challenges of what I do and the autonomy to make decisions that can have a major impact on the University.  Being able to work with students of every background, culture and ethnicity and to openly share ideas.  I believe that working in this environment is what has kept me young at heart and spirit.  I also enjoy working with a University community that is equally diverse and are open to try new things and not be stuck with what has always been done before.

I am constantly being faced with new challenges and the work is never, ever boring.  In one year I can go from hosting a major international four day art conference at a major Ventura hotel with 450 guests from all over the world to a luncheon of 30 faculty. 

Some events are more daunting than others, such as our Commencement Ceremonies with 10,000 guests in attendance and it is my responsibility that all the pieces fit and that everything goes smoothly and the University is represented in a positive manner.  I fortunately have an amazing team and support of every department on campus. 

Any funny stories that you would like to share?  (PG-13 rated, please!):  There have been so many funny stories in my career so it is difficult to pick one and of course, some weren’t so funny at the time, this being one of them.  When I was the Conference Director at San Francisco State University. 

We hosted a significant number of international conferences and events being that San Francisco is considered a destination city for the European and Asian traveler.  In this case we were one of the cities hosts to a huge International Polish Folk Dance Festival that took over not only the University’s facilities but many downtown hotels and venues as well. It was an event that was attended by many thousands of folks and we had about 1000 of them staying on campus in our residence halls. 

On the last night of the festival the group that was staying on campus had a banquet and after hours reception and polish folk dancing which I was invited to attend.  I am often invited to attend events and sometimes I will if I think it’s necessary but more often pass. 

I had decided that I was not going to attend this after hour’s party but it was made clear to me by the festival organizers that they would be offended if I didn’t make an appearance since they wanted to publicly thank me.  What I didn’t realize was that part of the “public thank you” was to do shooters of special Polish vodka (which is really strong) with all of the festival organizers and then to polka with as many of the women at the event as possible. 

Needless to say that between the Polka dancing and more vodka shooters than I care to remember, I was shall we say, a bit under the weather.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but one of my student staff took me to their room where I found myself the next morning laying in a bunkbed still in my suit and tie, ugh! 

Not a pretty sight and probably not the most favorable impression for my student staff.  Some of them were at the event and saw what was happening and thought it was hilarious.  My only defense was that I didn’t want to create a major international incident for the University with the Polish community.

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Upcoming Events



Join us at #NACEEXP17

Join for the 2017 NACE Experience Conference July 16-19, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston, Texas. The Experience Conference is the only major industry conference that serves everyone in the catering and events industry. Experience includes:
  • Design Experience, a one of a kind interactive demonstration of the latest trends and design tips.
  • Culinary Experience, is a multi-sensory experience that lets participants enjoy culinary treasures at their seats as they are bring prepared on state.
  • Design Experience is where you'll learn insite tips, tools, and techniques that will help you avoid disasters and plan for success. 
  • National speakers from all over the industry such as personalities from the Food Network, Hard Rock International, and more.  

#NACEEXP16 was a Success!
Thank you for joining us in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for #NACEEXP16.  Also a special THANK YOU to our exhibitors, sponsors and supporters for your invaluable contribution to this year's Experience Conference.  

Conference Highlights

Relive your favorite moments on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when searching the #NACEEXP16 hashtag. Our Social Media Team did a fabulous job in capturing some amazing moments, and so did many of our attendees. 

To promote your business at the NACE Experience conference, contact [email protected].

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NACE Newsletter Submissions

Food For Thought (For Our Catering Members):

When was the last time that you (and your banquet captain, catering managers, etc....) tasted the appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts, that are on your special event menus?

My "acid test" for myself is "When was the last time I watched video footage of one of my performances?"

See you at the meetings,

Matt Graumann - Newsletter Chair

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NACE Board

Jason Collis


[email protected]

Immediate Past President
Rachel Main Holst


[email protected]


First Vice President

Nicole Peters


[email protected]


Second Vice President

Cindy Alexander


[email protected]


Event Professional Representative

Dave Burns
[email protected]


Board Member At Large

Shanon Rice

805-653-0323 x318

[email protected]



Suzzi Koenig-Brown

[email protected]

(805) 415-7625

Linda Boysiewick

[email protected]




Kristen Black


[email protected]



Jodi Wagner


[email protected]

Janis Winchester

[email protected]


Newsletter & Website

Matt Graumann

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