There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers. Industry recognition is a validation of your work and your accomplishments. I was so proud to be nominated in the company of two incredible members of the NACE Houston Chapter and absolutely shocked that I was awarded this honor.
In the hospitality industry, there a quite a few organizations. Each fills a certain role in the industry and offer it’s membership a little different take on the Houston scene. Some groups are heavily network oriented, business oriented, and educationally oriented. It is finding that blend that makes the organization fit our goals.
When I started my business in 1996 (Tables & Trimmings), the only way I knew to get business was cold calling. I had been in outside sales and at the time was a retail store manager.
Find your target audience and make contact, it’s just that simple… isn’t it?
My first cold call asked me “Are you a member of NACE?” My answer, “no, but I will be!” The quest was on. What is NACE and how do I belong? I joined, business would come… It did although I thought it would happen faster and of course I didn’t value my membership enough (that and the anxiety of not knowing anybody).
I didn’t make full use of my membership until I was invited by a friend (Lisa Carruth- a true rising star) to be part of her team on Wedding Trends. Quick plug- Wedding Trends celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year! I loved every minute, met a great group of new members, reconnected with past contacts and I was hooked.
I attended a full conference for the first time. It was incredible, from the first day when I got the “you get out of it what you put into it” speech to the awards, seeing Houston win Chapter of the Year.
It’s been an amazing three years. I haven’t done as much as I set out to do but I feel like I have made a difference. I think the three people nominated for the Industry Recognition Award were all doing as much as we could to make the organization better. I’d like to thank Jason Fajkus- DJU Productions and Scott Fontenot- Marriott West Loop for making me a better member through your dedicated and tireless efforts on behalf of NACE Houston.