Five Rosen College students diligently worked behind the scenes to produce the delicious Festival of Chocolate, held March 5 and 6 at the Orlando Science Center.  Interning under the guidance of Aileen Mand, students Kacie Doran, Karen Kutta, Courtney Lillig, Shelby Shankin, and Beth Worman delivered the region’s premier chocolate event.

The event featured tastings and sales of gourmet chocolate delights, a “Kids-4-Chocolate” creative workshop, demonstrations by award-winning pastry chefs, an educational chocolate museum, a “Best of” Chocolate Indulgence competition and more.

Event Management senior, Beth Worman, has worked two semesters with the Festival and enjoys being involved in multiple aspects of the event.  “The Festival of Chocolate is an incredibly unique, amazing event.  It’s delicious and fun—there is never a dull moment.  Cupcakes, cookies, brownies and ice cream all come with the job.  Anyone would be crazy to turn it down,” shares Worman.

She credits her mentor and event producer, Aileen Mand, as a wealth of knowledge.  Mand, the owner of Indigo Creative Productions, has produced large-scale events including Super Bowls, X-Games and Olympics.  “I remember when I was an intern learning about the events industry,” she shares. “ It opened up a world to me that I didn’t realize existed.  Someone gave me a chance, and I tell the students ‘let me work you to the bone and learn everything you can.’  I’m creating professionals who will love what they do.”

Mand encouraged the interns to create goals, exceed expectations, and to find words and concepts that flipped their switch.  Kacie Doran, for example, discovered an initiative from an Ohio library featuring chocolate covered fairy tales.  She partnered with the UCF Film Department and produced this promo video announcing the film competition.  Mand shares, “Kacie’s name is now listed as an executive producer on a film – that’s impressive.”

Worman also credits Rosen College for her success with the project.  “The classes I have taken helped me have the knowledge necessary to go into the hospitality and event world and think to myself ‘I can do this’ or ‘I can solve this problem, this is something in learned in Professor Bunn’s class’.”

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