Rotary Pig Pickin’ & Joining the AENC

Last Saturday, June 3rd 2017, was my Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club’s 31st Annual Pig Pickin’ in the Park!  It was a HUGE success, with perfect weather, over 800 people fed delicious BBQ, a record number of sponsorships and the MOST we have ever made on our major fundraising event!  Our final numbers are still pending, but it looks like we are pushing close to $50,000!!!!  This fundraiser supports our college student scholarships as well as our local & global humanitarian projects.  Many thanks to ALL of our great sponsors, especially the ones who sponsored on my behalf: Sharon Lewis Homes, Gilliam & Associates Realty, Second Empire Restaurant, Chick-fil-A Waverly Place, Nirvelli Day Spa, Fit & Able, David Hellinger LPL Financial, Dennis Sargent Law, Randy Walker of Walker Design Build, Elizabeth Asbill of Edward Jones, Jerry Kozel of JTK Mediation, 5Star Awards, Riccobene Family Dentistry, Swift Creek Animal Hospital, Owen Robinson of Keller Williams Realty, Smith Family Dental Solutions, Rally Point Bar & Grill and the Matthews House in Cary.

AENC Membership!

AENC Affiliate Roundtable

Last week I officially joined the AENC, Association Executives of North Carolina.  I have been to several of their events in the past with Rotary and with my good friend, Christine Johnson, who is a member of AENC through her job with FirstPoint Resources.  It is a group I have been interested in for a while and I’m so excited to finally be a member!  I used the remaining funds from my WBON of Cary Scholarship to join!  This morning I attended the Affiliate Roundtable discussion with the topic: “How Do I Get in the Door?”  It was very informative, I took 4 pages of notes from the speakers: Aubie Knight, Linda Stinson and Jim Booth.  I can’t wait for the next event!

Jim Booth shares Best Practices


Blake & I are off to Atlanta for the 2017 Rotary International Convention!!  It’s our first time going, so we don’t really know what all to expect, but we know it is going to be FUN and AMAZING!  I will be sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube


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Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 phone


We are Planning a Conference…for 2015!!!!


AENC Annual Trade Show

A few weeks ago I was asked by Matthew Kane (Rotary Governor 2014-15 for District 7710) to help plan the RD 7710 Conference for 2015.  This will be my first experience with planning a conference, but I am up for the challenge!  The conference typically takes place in April and can be hosted anywhere along the South-East Coast (usually in NC, SC, Eastern TN or VA).  The planning committee has to take into consideration the driving/travel distance and the cost of lodging.  I was really excited that Matthew asked me to help participate in the planning for the 2015 conference.


Cool AENC Ice Carving

Our first duty was to attend the AENC Annual Trade Show (Association Executives of North Carolina).  This expo was held in downtown Raleigh at the Convention Center and featured over 200 Chamber of Commerce’s, Visitor Bureaus, hotels, condos, travel destination and anyone else associated with large conference planning.  This trade show was excellent for anyone/group who is in the midst of planning a conference!

Planning a conference

The AENC was open only to individuals who are employed by or volunteer with nonprofit associations/societies and meeting planners who work for corporate, educational, non-profit, health or government organizations.  We registered with Rotary International as volunteers planning a conference for 2015.


Attending this event brought back some good memories of my years as an undergraduate at East Carolina University in the Hospitality & Tourism department.  I attended the AENC event with Matthew and fellow Rotarians, Arthur Rogers and Lori Barbier.  We had a great time walking around and talking about possible conference locations.  Below is a fun picture of Matthew and Arthur at the Hickory, NC booth.

Erin and Becca

The 2012 conference was held in New Bern, NC and was a favorite location for many.  The 2013 conference will be held in Raleigh and 2014 will be held in Ashville, NC.  We talked with lots of conference centers, hotels and restaurants during the afternoon and shared with them our thoughts about planning a conference and took some of their ideas into consideration.  Our event typically draws about 250 Rotarians and requires about 100 hotel/lodging options.  It’s a 2-3 day conference and really creates a lot of new friendships among Rotary clubs in our district, as well as a good opportunity to learn about other clubs and get some ideas to take back to your club.  The afternoon went fast, we met some really great people, learned about some neat destinations and came up with some good possible locations.  I was so thrilled to see one of my ECU friends, Erin Dale!

Tonya and Becca

Erin and I were ECU Ambassadors together and were also in the same hospitality & tourism department together.  Erin’s group was doing a neat project; they were having guests build a “Furry Friend” by Teddy Bear in a Box, and were going to donate them to the Orange County Women & Child Center.  I went through the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau area and stopped to talk with Tonya Miller, Sales Manager, for Embassy Suites Hotel.  Thanks Tonya for being willing to SMILE with me for a blog picture!

Matthew & Arthur with La Quinta of Hickory, NC

We have a lot of work ahead of us towards planning a conference for 2015, but it is going to be fun and I’m excited!  Rotary is such a great opportunity to be involved in your community and our WORLD!  Thank you to My Girlfriend’s Closet, for helping me pick out this sparkly pink sweater!  It was a perfect top for the holidays and I’ve enjoyed wearing it to many events!  I really love the black pumps that were accented with a pink puffball on the toe!  Such a cute unexpected addition!


Our CPA firm in Cary is growing and we are currently welcoming new clients.  Please check out our website for more information  We are never too busy to help a small business owner with their accounting/tax needs.  We welcome referrals!


Follow my blog via email by clicking HERE  

“LIKE” us on Facebook HERE

Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE 



Director of Marketing

Smith & Smith, CPA, P.C.

1150 Executive Circle, Suite 5

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 380-0600 p

(919) 380-0919 f