b'company to hire me for an entry-levelthe local and national level has helpedGrate administrative position. In the time I workedme continue to refine and develop there, I went from being the chief bag- my leadership, communication and lunch order-taker to building their staffedcollaboration skillswhich we allmachinespecial events division and running theknow are necessary as an event pro!day-to-day operations. I would say, above all, that it is CFE: When and why did you firstNACEs strong, vibrant communityfor yourthat has had the most impact on my become involved with NACE? career. When I launched my small MONTGOMERY: In 2010, a group of eventbusiness, it was my NACE family thatoperationprofessionals founded the Richmond NACEcheered us on, referred us business, chapter. I wasnt familiar with NACE but wasand offered advice and counsel. invited to the launch party, and from theBeing a part of NACE has helped me minute I walked in the door, I was hooked.grow a network of colleagues (and I was instantly motivated and inspiredfriends!) that stretches across the by this room full of creative, talentedcountry, and Im so grateful to be a people who got itwho understood thepart of it.unique challenges event professionals face, who wanted to collaborate to createCFE: What did you foresee as the unforgettable experiences for clients, andbiggest challenge in taking on who wanted to work together to grow thethe role of NACE president during industry in our local market. this unprecedented time?During the launch event, I learned aboutMONTGOMERY: Coming into 2021, the bigger picture of NACElocal andthe biggest challenge I foresaw in national educational opportunities, thetaking on this role was ensuring I large network of chapters and memberswas listening, learning and working across the country, and all sorts of memberfor all of our members. I think the benefits. I signed up to be a member on thepandemic has taught all of us, as spot and havent looked back! people, that while we are all affected by COVID-19, we are experiencing CFE: How has NACE helped you this time very differently, personally in your career? and professionally. We have some MONTGOMERY: NACE exposed me tomembers that havent done an event the value of certification, and I utilized thesince March of 2020, and we havePOUNDSresources available to obtain my CPCEother members who have been (Certified Professional in Catering andexecuting events (albeit on a differentOF CHEESEEvents). Being an engaged volunteer onscale than expected) all along. IN THREEMINUTESYou can also slice, Dice & JulienneRobot Coupe USA, Inc.264 South PerkinsRidgeland, MS 391571-800-824-1646www.robot-coupe.comCATERING, FOODSERVICE & EVENTS cfe-news.com17'