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Announcing This Year's Leadership Award Winners!

Each year, we honor industry leaders who we, at Catersource + The Special Event, feel have made a significant and positive impact on our industries. 

Congratulations to this year's recipients: Warren Dietel (Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement award); Kate Patay (Richard Carbotti Gala award);  Michael Cerbelli (Special Events Gala Lifetime Achievement award); and Michael  Dominguez (our first-ever MeetingsNet Lifetime Achievement award).

Warren Dietel, Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement award

Puff ‘n Stuff Catering

Unprecedented service and superior quality are the driving principles behind Warren Dietel’s success as an entrepreneur and established business owner. Prior to owning and operating Puff ‘n Stuff Catering, Dietel made his mark in the business community both in private ventures and with recognized leaders such as Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Institute, and Scott Kay Platinum. Upon the acquisition of Puff ‘n Stuff Catering in 2003, Dietel set out to grow Central Florida’s premier catering operation into a full-service event company.  His priorities were enlarging and strengthening infrastructure and moving operations into a purpose-built production facility by 2006. With strong sales growth and business development efforts, Puff ‘n Stuff Catering joined forces with a leading Tampa competitor and launched in 2010.  A second production facility in Tampa opened in 2015 to serve clients on the west coast of the Sunshine State.  Puff ‘n Stuff Catering is recognized as a national leader in the catering and special event industries with honors including the Catersource ACE Award, ICA CATIE Award for Best Dessert, and Event Solutions Spotlight Award for Catering Company of the Year. Dietel is an active member of several industry associations including ICA, NACE, MPI, FRLA, ECEP, EPCAS, and ILEA, and previously served as a Director for the International Caterers Association. 

Michael Cerbelli, Special Events Gala Lifetime Achievement award

Cerbelli Creative 

Michael Cerbelli has been in the live events industry for over 44 years, beginning at just age 13 with some turntables and a dream. Being born and raised in Brooklyn, Cerbelli’s passion is to do more than create incredible experiences, but to also be an inspiration to the events community. In 2019,  Cerbelli was inducted into the event industry Hall of Fame by BizBash for his decades of experience working in event design and production, meetings, hospitality and sponsorships, corporate events, rentals, and more.


Kate Patay, Richard Carbotti Gala award

Terramar US, A DMC Company 

Kate Patay, CPCE, is the Chief Strategy Officer of Patay Consulting, a firm designed to help businesses and individuals identify their unique brand and voice. She is an international speaker & consultant, SEARCH Foundation Chairwoman and ambassador for Meetings Mean Business. Patay has been a recognized industry professional, brand ambassador and influencer for over 20 years in many facets of live events, and has served on the boards of numerous industry organizations. She currently speaks for and coaches some of the top leaders and companies in our industry and beyond. Her list of achievements and recognition is immense, but some highlights are: The coveted Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council, the Smart Meetings HOF, and numerous other organizational awards. In 2021 she was recognized as the NACE Icon and one of the Top 25 Women Who Run Events, as well as a Top 20 Global Professional to Follow by Cvent; 2020 brought her praise as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Global Events, Top Keynote Speaker and a Top 14 Changemaker.

Michael  Dominguez, MeetingsNet Lifetime Achievement award

CEO, Associated Luxury Hotels International 

Michael Dominguez has been advocating for the events industry for over 30 years. He has held c-level positions–currently the President and CEO of ALHI–and prior to this, the Senior Vice President and CSO for MGM Resorts International, one of the premier global hospitality companies. In addition, he takes an active role in dedicating his time to serve on several industry boards, lead keynote speaking sessions and contribute to numerous articles that provide thoughtful insight, tips and tools for the MICE industry.


Let's Celebrate

Join us in celebrating this year's recipients at our annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. on the conference Keynote Stage, prior to the Closing Night Celebration. With a kick off keynote by Michael Cerbelli and lifetime achievement and volunteerism awards added to this event, this will be an unforgettable evening.

A nominee reception will be held from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. in the Orange County Convention Center Lobby.

Congratulations to this year's winner and we look forward to celebrating with everyone this March! 


Catersource includes an annual conference, tradeshow and magazine, online presence, e-newsletters, the Art of Catering Food conference, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit. Click here for conference information. Click here to sign up for any of our free e-news products or the quarterly issue of Catersource magazine.