Dana Carroll, CPCE, CWC, may have gotten her start in the event industry by chance, but her involvement in National Association of Catering and Events (NACE) shows that hard work goes a long way. Currently the senior catering sales manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering, Carroll’s accolades include DFW NACE President (2010 2011), NACE National Caterer of the Year (2012) and NACE National Board Member Chapter Presidents Council Chair (2014–2015).
TXM+E: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
DC: “I have been unbelievably fortunate to work for Wolfgang Puck Catering the last two and a half years. Through Wolfgang Puck, I had the incredible opportunity to open the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in December 2012.
TXM+E: How did you get your start in the industry?
DC: “It was a force of nature. I graduated from SMU in May 2001. Then, Sept. 11 happened and most agencies were cutting back. I reached out to a longtime family friend, Larry Goldstein, who owns Catering by Larry. He took me to my first NACE meeting. I met some pretty incredible people that night and had a job in the next few days.”
TXM+E: How has your involvement in NACE enhanced your career?
DC: “NACE has opened more doors for me than I ever thought possible. I can honestly say that I have received each job due to my NACE connections, not just in Dallas, but around the country.
“I have worked hard for NACE and treated it as a second job. I had the opportunity to sit on the local DFW board for 10 years in positions ranging from director of programs to president. It was not only the best experience for me, but taught me many life lessons. During my presidency, we had the pleasure of being named Chapter of the Year both years. It was all due to the leadership and determination of my team. “After I completed my time as immediate past president, I knew I wanted to move to the national scene. I was elected to the Chapter Presidents Council as Secretary and the following year I was elected as Chapter Presidents Council Chair. I was honored to be named National Caterer of the Year in 2012. I received my CPCE (Certified Professional in Catering and Events) designation through NACE in 2013.”
TXM+E: What are your interests outside of work?
DC: “I spend time with my family and friends. My mom, sister and I lost my dad a little over two years ago and learned never to take a day for granted. My dog, Stoli, the cutest basset hound ever, is literally like a child to me. I also volunteer for the Junior League of Dallas. Lastly, I am a die-hard Cowboys fan. Always hoping this will be the year.”