July 2017 Print

From The Editor

Michael Testagrossa CPCE CHE Michael Testagrossa, CPCE, CHE, Editor/Immediate Past President

This month a contingency of twenty of our local members is off to Houston for the Experience Conference.  Our Chapter is always well represented in attendance as well as submissions for National Awards.   This year promises to be better than ever with the Houston NACE Chapter as hosts and some incredible educational sessions.

Attending this year is a turning point for me and has demonstrated a progression of my involvement in the organization and in my career, as I am able to offer support in a variety of areas.  I have always been an avid believer that you get out what you put in, and your personal "Experience" is more than just being a passive attendee at the conference.  

If you don't have the opportunity to attend this year, I encourage you to check Facebook for our members' posts showcasing the food, flavor, education, and fun - which are all great reasons to attend next year when the conference comes to Palm Springs!

1. Comradery.  Not only do we get to spend some serious time with the members of the Las Vegas Chapter (sometimes until the crack of dawn!), but we visit with our friends from other chapters across the country.   This is where networking reaches it pinnacle when you have connections across throught the states for referrals, sounding board, and even potential business!

2. Education.  I might be a little biased on this one as I am excited to be presenting this year, but the education has been better each year, representing from across the country.  Yes, we do some amazing events in Las Vegas and have a plethora of industry professionals to support our craft, but this is the chance to "sharpen the saw" and take back from different perspectives and even some new ideas.

3. Participation.  While I work with conferences regularly, this is an opportunity to put those skills and knowledge to good use.  As a CPCE and being on the Certification Committee, I am honored to co-facilitate the CPCE Fast Track session with James Filtz who is a former member of our Las Vegas Chapter.  In addition, I always look forward to being a facilitator for sessions, introducing some of the amazing speakers including Las Vegas NACE member and representative on the National Board of Directors, Kate Patay, CPCE.  Another Las Vegas resident, Andrea Eppolito, will be speaking this year in the Marketplace.

4. Volunteerism.  One of the essential characteristics of the George Zell Spirit of NACE Award is volunteerism.  Our very own Kay Kolbo is up for this award this year for her compassion, dedication, and unwaivering support of our local charities through the Community Service Committee.   This year, in the spirit of giving, the Experience Conference is dedicating our closing session to a local community service event.  What better way to end the conference than giving back to the community that graciously hosts us this year.



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Chapter Meetings


You are invited to join us for Coffee Talk with Jerad Howard of Vesta Coffee Roasters.  Sample different brews while learning about specialty coffee vs commodity coffee, flavored coffee, farming and fair trade practices. 

NACE Coffee Talk

 Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chica inside the Venetian

Registration opens at 8:00 am

Parking is complimentary

Jerad Howard

Jerad Howard, Owner & Roaster for Vesta Coffee Roasters, local artisan coffee wholesaler and retailer.  Vesta sources and roasts all of their own coffees locally in downtown Las Vegas.  Jerad left an extensive tech/marketing career and dropped everything to pursue his dreams to bring the most beautiful coffees to Las Vegas.  His downtown cafe location has opened to critical acclaim, and their coffees can be found at high-end restaurants, casinos, cafes and donut shops around the southwest. 

MENU ...

Start your day off right with an amazing menu offered by the Chef's at Chica!

Chica Las Vegas


Mango Carrot Mimosas, Passionfruit Pineapple Mimosas, coffee & tea


Sweet corn pancakes, fresh berries, whipped coconut cream and agave syrup


Custard dipped Challah bread, macerated fresh berries, dulce de leche drizzle and fresh whipped cream


Award-winning lemon ricotta donuts served with wild berry compote and white chocolate dulce de leche


Housemade chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, black beans, rice, Oaxacan string cheese, Guajillo sauce, tomato jalapeno pico with chimichurri fried yuca


Crispy yuca hash, caramelized onions, porchetta and brussel sprouts, finished with two sunny-side up eggs and Chica hot sauce


Grilled beef tenderloin, scrambled eggs, Oaxacan string cheese, roasted potatoes, onions and peppers on a housemade corn tortilla with rice and beans


Sponsors ...

Event planning requires a dedicated team to produce events.  The Las Vegas Chapter of NACE would like to thank the member sponsors for the evening:

Chica Las Vegas           Sight and SoundJenna Dosch

July 13, 2016
7:30 AM PDT to 9:30 AM PDT
 Add to Calendar

Chica @ The Venetian
3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Venue Website


Complimentary self parking is conveniently offered at the Venetian and Palazzo garages.


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Members Events


We are excited to announce the first of our NACE Members events geared to exploring new venues focusing on networking and education.  NACE Members and a guest will be able to attend these events to learn more about other members and enjoy great meals at a variety of unique locations. 

The Pahrump Valley Winery and Symphony Restaurant

Who knew you could grow grapes in the desert?!  If you have not had the opportunity to visit the Pahrump Winery and restaurant, you are in store for an incredible evening of discovery and libations!

The winery has a small estate vineyard planted in the early 1990’s and in 2005 successfully harvested the first one and a half tons of Zinfandel grapes. This resulted in a release of Nevada's first ever commercial red wine, the 2005 Zinfandel which won "Gold" at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, making it Nevada's first Gold medal winner for a home grown wine. They also released the state's first commercial "inter-specific" or hybrid wine in 2009, our award-winning 2008 Frontenac. 

Pahrump Valley Winery 

Voted both Best Winery & Best Restaurant, Nevada Magazine 2015 & 2016

Our NEVADA Wines have won 99 National Wine Awards.

2 Double Gold, 18 Gold, 51 Silver and 28 Bronze.

"Bringing Gold to the Silver State"

Bill & Gretchen Loken
Owners & Winemakers

Pahrump Valley Winery  

Dinner Menu and Tasting

The evening will begin with a tasting and tour of the winery.  Sample some amazing locally produced and grown wines from their selections on site.  Upon conclusion of the tour, join us for an intimate dinner in their private dining room to include a five course meal and glass of wine from their list.

~ Appetizer ~

Chef's Appetizer Selection

~ Soup ~

Signature Lobster Bisque

~ Salad ~

House Salad with Symphony Vinaigrette

 ~ Entree Selection ~

(Selection of Entrees)

Prime Angus Filet (medium)
Roasted “French Cut” Chicken
Wild Alaskan Halibut
Portobello Mushroom Ravioli

~ Dessert ~

Signature Selection of Dessert and Coffee


Don't fret!  No need to drive when you can ride in style courtesy of ETA Las Vegas!  The shuttle will depart from the parking lot by Lazy Dogs in Downtown Summerlin at 3:15 PM.  Please be sure to be on time to utilize the shuttle services and experience the next step in luxury transportation services! 

Evening Schedule

  • 3:00 PM  Meet at Downtown Summerlin - Lazy Dogs Parking lot
  • 3:15 PM  Depart for Pahrump Valley Winery!
  • 4:30 PM Arrive for Wine Tour and Tasting
  • 5:30 PM Dinner
  • 7:30 PM Return to Las Vegas


Tickets are available for NACE Members only and one guest with a maximum seating of twenty four guests.  Register early as we are already compiling a list to attend!  Please note, please be sure to register and pay ahead as on site registration/payment is not available for this event.

July 30, 2017

3:00 PM PDT to 8:30 PM PDT
 Add to Calendar

Symphony Restaurant & Pahrump Valley Winery
3810 Winery Rd
Pahrump, NV 89048
Venue Website
 Directions (if you drive on your own)


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Membership Spotlight

Each month, we showcase members from the Las Vegas NACE Chapter as local professionals who are dedicated to the hospitality industry.


Christine Ayton Christine Ayton, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager, Yardbird & Chica Las Vegas


Edward Ortiz Edward Ortiz, Sales Manager, PSAV


Michael Testagrossa CPCE, CHEMichael Testagrossa CPCE, CHE, Catering & Convention Services Manager, Caesars Palace


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NACE Legacy


NACE started with humble beginnings in 1958 in New York City as the Banquet Managers Guild.  Over the years, the organization has expanded into over forty chapters across the country and to represent catering and events to become "One Industry, One Association."  

In recognition of their continued membership as members of NACE, we celebrate the anniversaries and legacy of the members who continue to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to the industry throughout the years, providing their continued mentorship and support for emerging leaders.  

13 Years

Victoria Papageorge Victoria Papageorge, President, Victoria's Event Productions

7 Years

Tony Shinn  Tony Shinn, CPCE, Catering Manager, Mirage Hotel and Casino

Congratulations on your many years as part of our family of NACE!


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National NACE News


The Annual Experience! Conference is not just for education.  This is the opportunity for leaders from across the country to come together to discuss the organizational goals and mission.  The Las Vegas Chapter will be represented by member of the Board of Directors to attend these events and communicate any news back to the membership.

  • The State of NACE will take place at the 2017 NACE Experience Conference and Expo on Saturday, July 15 at 1:00 pm. All are welcome to attend.

  • The Chapter Leaders' Council (CLC) meeting will take place at the 2017 NACE Experience Conference and Expo on Saturday, July 15 at 2:00 pm. A board representative from each chapter is required to attend.


During the conference, there is also an opportunity to meet the candidates for NACE National Board of Directors.  The Las Vegas Chapter elected five delegates to represent the membership in electing the next National Board.

  • An informational Meet and Greet will take place on Monday, July 17 during conference.  To view the slate of candidates, visit
  • Elections for the NACE National Board have been postponed and will take place on August 8, 2017.  

For more information concerning the process as well as the Las Vegas Chapter delegates and National Candidates, visit our webpage.


Donnell Bayot CPCE For those of you that are not aware, we are thrilled to announce that one of our very own is on the slate for the National President of NACE.  

Donnell Bayot Ph.D. CHE CPCE has been an integral part of the Las Vegas Chapter for over 10 years and has a long and distinguished record in education, philanthropy, and business, beginning as the founding President of the Las Vegas New Century Lions Club and serving on the local NACE chapter board in several capacities, including Educational Chair and Treasurer.  Donnell has been the recipient of a number of industry awards including the 2014 Pacesetter Award for Innovation by the Convention Industry Council, 2014 Young Event Pro to Watch by The Special Events, 2010 President’s List from NACE, 2009 Spirit of NACE Award from NACE Las Vegas Chapter, and the 2009 Presidential Commendation from Lions Club International.

Donnell is a dynamic leader who is deeply committed to strengthening our organization as and will be an extraordinary President.  His knowledge of the industry and commitment to smart, bold innovation make him the ideal person to lead our organization on a National level. 

Donnell is currently the Director of Academic Affairs at The International School of Hospitality (TISOH). Donnell is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) and holds a Ph.D in Education.  Donnell’s research on competency models has made an impact in academia and industry. His Ph.D. dissertation created a competency model for catering and event professionals. Operationally, he is actively involved in the conference, event, wedding and hotel industries through industry and association participation.

On behalf of the Las Vegas Board of Directors and the Las Vegas Chapter, we’d like to extend our congratulatory wishes to Donnell.


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New Members


NACE membership provides you with an instant network of more than 3,500 professional colleagues in the catering and events industry. Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced professional, the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) has the education, tools and resources you need to build and excel at your career.

Each month, we welcome our new members to the organization.  If you see them at a meeting, make sure to say hello and show them some Las Vegas hospitality!

Professional Members

Meishach Moore Meishach Moore, Las Vegas Director, Christies Photographic Solutions 


It is as easy as a few clicks of your mouse to add your name to the list and begin learning more how to enhance your career through membership in NACE.  

  • Membership is for one year from joining and includes you in the NACE National directory, as well as the Las Vegas Chapter.

  • Members attend meetings for a discounted rate, attend special "Members Only" events, and are able to earn discounts as part of member benefits.

  • A variety of membership types based on number of members and years in the industry.

Click here to join today!


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Member Benefits


Why become a member of your local NACE Chapter when you can just attend monthly events?  Joining NACE offers a variety of benefits for personal and professional growth, as well as an opportunity to become part of an incredible national organization!  Each month, we will share information about one of the great benefits of joining NACE.


Did you know that NACE offers webinars in a variety of topics?  NACE Members can access and purchase NACE webinars to add to your virtual library and enjoy topics such as business of catering, business of weddings, hot trends, social media, sales and marketing.


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Community Service

The Las Vegas NACE Chapter believes in supporting our community through outreach to local organizations.  Each month, our Community Service Committee organizes to support a variety of local charities including Candlelighters, Street Teens, and Shade Tree.  Money raised at meetings goes to a variety of items to support these charities, from bottled water to gift cards.  If you are interested in assisting with any of their efforts, please contact Kay Kolbo for more information.


Each month, members of the Las Vegas Chapter donate hot meals and desserts for the monthly dinner for Street Teens and will continue to donate throughout the year.  

  • June Donation: Chad Taylor of ETA donated 25 hot meals and birthday cake.


As temperatures rise, it is that time of year for our annual bottled water drive for Street Teens.   Help us meet our goal of 200 cases of bottled water.  Contact Kay Kolbo to arrange dropoff of your donation.

Drop off locations include:

  • Family ATA III Marial Arts, 183 Gibson, Suite 130, Henderson


In 1985, NACE created The Foundation of NACE as the charitable arm of the organization. With founding president Peter Guenther, The Foundation’s mission was to foster education and training in the fields of food, beverage and catering management. Now in its 31st year, The Foundation’s mission is to support the catering and events industry by educating our members and investing in our community.

As a part of their mission, the Foundation offers grants to local chapters to support the local communities.  We are excited to announce that the Foundation has again awarded the Las Vegas Chapter a grant for $2000 to be donated to one of our local charities, Street Teens!  In addition to the generous support of our members with hot meals each month, these funds are used for supplies for the homeless youth of Las Vegas.

A special thank you for our Community Service Committee that continues to support the Las Vegas community, as well as the continued support of our members who help us make a difference in the lives of so many people in our community! 


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 Join us at #NACEEXP17

We are excited to embark on our journey to Houston with with twenty members representing the Las Vegas Chapter.   National Conference is an opportunity to connect with colleagues and friends from across the country and learn what is new in the industry, as well as brush up on some of our skills.


Both the Las Vegas Chapter and members have submitted for awards this year to be recognized as the top in our industry.  Please cheer them on as well as check facebook for updates to learn who is an award winner!

Event Production of the Year - Corporate, Budget $50,000-$100,000

  • Kathy M. Dyke, CPCE By Dzign

Event Production of the Year - Corporate, Budget >$100,000      

  • The Venetian | The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
  • Cheryl Sgovio, CPCE, Thomas & Mack Center University of Nevada Las Vegas     

Catered Event of the Year - On-Premise, Budget >$100,000         

  • Gary McCreary, The Venetian / The Palazzo Hotel

Wedding of the Year - Less than $50,000             

  • Jodi Harris, Sight & Sound Events

Table Presentation of the Year - Greater than $200

  • Gary McCreary, The Venetian / The Palazzo Hotel

Chapter Community Service of the Year - Greater than 100

  • NACE Las Vegas Chapter

George Zell Spirit of NACE Award            

  • Kay Kolbo



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Las Vegas NACE has created a cookbook of member recipes to spice up your year.  Enjoy some member favorites, as well as samples from local celebrity chefs!

Purchase online or at an upcoming meeting. 


Gain exposure for your business by donating raffle prizes to the Las Vegas NACE Chapter, and earn points toward scholarship to attend Experience!  To provide raffle donations, please contact


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Have you considered getting your CPCE?  The Timothy S Y Lam Foundation offers scholarship to qualified candidates to help cover part of the cost for taking the exam.  This scholarship is available year round, with applications due February 15, May 15, August 15, November 15.


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Members on the Move

NACE is committed to helping our members grow in their professional careers and develop their businesses.  If you have news to share about a new job, promotion, accomplishments, or awards let us know and we will post it!  And don't forget to update your contact information with NACE National by logging into your account at


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Promote your Business



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Learn more about maximizing your membership and utilizing the Las Vegas NACE website.


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Chapter News

The NACE Las Vegas Chapter newsletter offers you the opportunity to link with other Catering and Event Professionals.  Our newsletter is published quarterly and accepts submissions for articles, calendar of events, employment opportunities, community service, business updates, and other NACE success stories.

Articles:  To submit an article or other information for inclusion for our next newsletter please submit your information by the 4th day of the month.  The Calendar of Events and Employment Opportunities will be updated weekly as we receive information.  What are you waiting for?  Be in the NEWS! 

Calendar of Events:  Share your upcoming events such as open houses, grand openings, or showcases to invite other NACE members to participate or attend.  We will update this regularly even after the newsletter is issued so check back regularly to see what is new!

Employment Opportunities:  Have you checked out the classifieds?  If you are seeking another qualified individual for your business send us information including the title of the position, qualifications, contact information, and any other pertinent information to attract other industry professionals!  And don't forget to let us know once the position is filled to welcome them!

Business Updates:  If you received a promotion, changed positions, or expanded your business we would love to hear about your success!


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Classified Ads



Colorado Springs, CO






Plan, execute, coordinate and post-event follow through for social events (non-profit, reunions, anniversaries, religious celebrations, birthdays) with a primary focus on local and destination weddings.


Respond to initial group inquiries for Resort services and facilities. Determine the scope of the event and determine the viability of the Resort as an applicable facility.

  • Develop and execute consistent and ongoing customer prospecting plan including cold calling, networking, and use of resources e.g. LinkedIn and Knowland Group Reader Boards.
  • Act as liaison between the resort and the customer. Use empathy, listening skills, negotiation, creativity and product knowledge to deliver an extraordinary customer experience and assure that Hotel Operations executes at an efficient and profitable level.
  • Provide superior service to customers and associates at all times.
  • Follow the resort’s etiquette guidelines.
  • Plan, coordinate, recommend and oversee food and beverage services, recreation activities, wellness, spa and offsite events for a diverse range of social/wedding related functions.
  • Respond to social and wedding inquiries in an expedient manner.
  • Develop professional working relationship with GGC customers.
  • Develop complete understanding of wellness, resort services and capabilities.
  • Make suggestions, use creativity, bring in experts and brainstorm with the prospective client for how to turn an event into an unforgettable experience thereby enhancing collection revenues and delivering an extraordinary price/value package.
  • Meet with prospective clients/planners to plan and confirm events. Assist with menu selection and pricing based on budget.
  • Enhance hotel revenues through banquet food and beverage upsell, spa/wellness services, DMC services, golf/tennis, audio-visual, retail and meeting room rental. SELL THE TOTAL GGC EXPERIENCE.
  • Assure that all event resumes and/or BEO’s are thoroughly completed with detailed information allowing both the customer and hotel operations to perform at a high level in a spirit of partnership and camaraderie. Be sure that customer understanding of his/her schedule matches what is being held in Delphi.
  • Understand the niche that weddings occupy within overall resort revenue equation.
  • Adhere to established guidelines for placement and booking social/wedding events.
  • Promptly and efficiently communicate social event/wedding changes in an expedient manner.
  • Oversee and monitor events as appropriate: handle special needs and resolve problems, such as extra guests, no-show employees, incorrect food or supply deliveries, security services, equipment failure, etc.
  • Monitor food and service quality, ensure proper health and safety procedures are followed.
  • Prepare post-event reporting for all assigned events.
  • Supervise banquet and set-up staff assigned to special events monitoring overall job performance and guest service.
  • Carry out various special assignments, such as preparation of floor plans, responding to state inquiries, fulfilling licensing requirements, preparing special reports, etc.
  • Confer regularly with immediate supervisor, food and beverage staff, maintenance staff, room department, group sales, resort operations and other departments to plan, coordinate and evaluate services, activities/events, exchange information and resolve issues relative to group functions.
  • Act as liaison, maintain contact with and monitor the activities of outside vendors and officials that provide group service, i.e. DJ’s, destination management companies, audio-visual partners, retail, state liquor licensing and health officials etc.
  • Participate in sales meetings
  • Participate in organizations/clubs to represent GGC and further enhance stature as being the key contact and undisputed expert in the weddings market.
  • Negotiate pricing (with client) based on the entire scope of the Catering needs. Exercise discretion and judgment to determine the best scenarios (for client and Resort) based on, size, budget, length of stay, eligible repeat business, media exposure, community relations and multiple revenue center opportunities.
  • Prepare written proposals and contracts.
  • Determine deposit and payment schedules based on Resort guidelines. Monitor deposits as scheduled.
  • Prepare and maintain financial documents and reports.
  • Compile a variety of information from both manual and computerized records and files for regular and special reports in response to specific requests by the supervisor.
  • Monitor actual events as appropriate. Assure that the event is understood and confirmed by the Resort’s operations management as set forth in the Banquet Event Order and Resume.
  • Report client feedback to the Hotel operating departments in an objective and professional manner.
  • Confer regularly with Hotel and Resort operations supervisors and managers to evaluate event planning and performance on an ongoing regular basis. Communicate improved communication and performance procedures to the Catering Services staff through the Director of Catering.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned.


  • Superior communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Highly organized with strong time management instincts.
  • Honest. High level of integrity.
  • Thorough product knowledge, communication skills, diplomacy, patience, perseverance and inter-personal skill is able to translate raw data, i.e. information from an inexperienced client, to a working format that Hotel Operations can interpret in order to fulfill customer expectations.
  • Ability to manage confidential information.
  • Professional appearance. Not only adheres to grooming guidelines, but is comfortable in discussing a lack thereof with other employees.
  • Follows established policies and procedures. Is supportive of Core Values. Sets the example for others and is above reproach. Is comfortable to challenge established policies and procedures, but once established, is supportive of those rules.
  • Is organized in tasks. Sees projects through to the finish. Has good follow-through. Understands that there is no substitute for response time. Possesses a sense of urgency.
  • Can handle fast paced high-pressure situations.
  • Is flexible with hours and days of work. Is able to work all hours of the day, any days of the week. Prioritizes and re-prioritizes personal time and work, to maintain good balance in life.
  • Exhibits a genuine internal drive that demonstrates consistent regard and dedication to guests and the organization by being engaged, interested, and productive.
  • Applies individuality to the effectiveness of the team and organization while building constructive and effective relationships; collaborates to achieve positive results.
  • Demonstrates the courage to accept responsibility and take initiative for the situation/circumstance and see it through. Can step outside one’s comfort zone and present new ideas and perspectives to create positive outcomes.
  • Exhibits respectful consideration of viewpoints, situations, ideas and others.


Supervision is received from the Director of Catering/Conference Services


  • Office situation, i.e. sitting, standing or walking in a small area for extended periods of time.
  • Repetitive keyboard action; manual dexterity required.
  • Walking.
  • Light/moderate lifting


  • Associates degree in hotel/restaurant management, business or another appropriate field
  • 2-4 years of relevant experience, or a combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills are acquired.
  • Working knowledge and skills in food service management, including menu planning, cooking/food preparation operations, dining room set up and service, wine service ordering, staffing, pricing and budgeting.
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills, financial planning and analysis skills.
  • Ability to deal effectively with a wide variety of company personnel, as well as, clients, outside organizations, firms and government agencies.

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