A trusted board member of the Atlanta Chapters of both the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the International Live Event Association (ILEA), Lundy brought forward his idea to both organizations and received their backing for the production. An awards committee was formed with Lundy as the Chair and Judy Cook as the Co-Chair. They were assisted by wonderful industry visionaries like Suzanne Stedman, Edmund Faget, Debbie Hill and Ralph Traxler.

The name “Allies” was selected to represent all “allied” event companies in Atlanta working together for a common good: to promote excellence in event design, planning and production.

The inaugural event was held in 1991 to a group of 185 event professionals in the Greater Atlanta area, during a broadcast of the Oscars, with awards presented during commercial breaks. That year there were few categories. But, each year since then, the committee has added new awards to recognize the growth and depth of our industry.


Today, 29 years later, the Atlanta Allies has grown into a huge production with 30+ awards and has also donated monies to charitable organizations in the Atlanta area. Several other ILEA Chapters in North America have modeled awards celebrations around the Allies, and following the success of these Chapter awards, the International ILEA Esprit Awards celebration now exists.

Atlanta is very proud of the longevity and success of the Allie Awards, and invites you to participate by attending, entering, sponsoring or volunteering!


ILEAThe International Live Events Association is the principal association representing the creative special events professional, globally. ILEA includes over 5,500 members active in over 50 chapters throughout the world. The solid peer network ILEA provides helps special events professionals produce outstanding results for clients while establishing positive working relationships with other event colleagues. For over 25 years ILEA has been a valued and trusted partner in the events industry. An industry that generates over $200 billion for the global economy and supports over four million jobs.

ILEA Greater Atlanta  meets at least once a month at various locations around the metro Atlanta area. Monthly events vary to include education breakfasts, networking happy hours, education panels, and much more. In addition to the monthly events, the chapter also provides several education scholarships each year so members can attend various industry conferences including ILEA Live and The Special Event Show.


NaceNACE is the oldest and largest professional association that addresses all aspects of the catering industry. Through the collective efforts of members, over 40 local chapters, committees and the Foundation of NACE, NACE is at the forefront of the issues that directly affect caterers and associated businesses.

NACE Atlanta offers monthly meetings that feature nationally renowned speakers, educational programs, idea sharing and networking. Members have the opportunity to work on community service projects and voice their opinion about issues that affect caterers locally and nationally. In a collaborative effort with ILEA Atlanta, NACE Atlanta also supports local industry members and growth of its industry by co-hosting the Allie Awards.

Association Partners