This issue of the Exchange features Kayla Bowen-Trendler, catering supervisor for Bolger Conference Center at Millersville.
Q: Take us through a typical day in your shoes.
A: Nothing is ever typical when it comes to catering. My day varies from setting up functions in the conference area, helping with deliveries across the campus, coordinating schedules, supervising functions with our student servers and always trying to exceed customer expectations.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: That every day is different, which can also be the most difficult.
Q: Have you always been interested in coordinating events? If not, what did you want to be when you were younger?
A: I have always been a very organized person but never really strived for this as my current career. I actually wanted to be an English teacher and travel to other countries to teach English as a foreign language. Though, I don’t believe my English skills are as proficient as they used to be.
Q: What are your favorite kinds of events to work at the University?
A: I enjoy seeing weddings here. It’s something that I didn’t even know that the catering staff did until I began working here.
Q: What were you doing before you came to Millersville?
A: I was the lead server and service trainer at The Hamilton Club of downtown Lancaster. I was there for almost eight years before I came here.
Q: Why did you come to Millersville?
A: I saw it as an opportunity for growth.
Q: We understand that you experienced your own special event recently. Could you tell us about your wedding?
A: It was amazing! My husband is also in the restaurant business so we knew a lot of what we didn’t want because of how many other weddings we have seen. We kept it very small and simple. We were married in the courtyard at El Serrano and had a tapas-style dinner reception in their upstairs area.
Q: Where did you travel for your honeymoon?
A: We went to Montego Bay in Jamaica and stayed at a beautiful resort. It was the first time that my husband and I have ever been anywhere tropical, so it was fun to see how clear the water is and to drink out of a coconut!
Q: The food provided by Catering and Conference Services is delicious; do you have a favorite meal or dessert?
A: Our pastry chef, Joanne Ingle, makes a rum cake with bruléed bananas that I love.
Q: Tell us about your work at The Ware Center.
A: We have catered everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner events, cocktail and hors d’oeuvre parties and large dessert receptions. The Ware Center will soon go under some renovations that will include a better workable kitchen area for caterers. Currently we work out of a very small kitchen and a classroom area with a large oven and warmer (not the most ideal of settings for us or our staff).
Q: What has it been like working with Millersville students on a regular basis?
A: I have had the opportunity to work with Millersville University students at my previous job so it is familiar territory for me. I definitely enjoy it and refer to them lovingly as “our kids” with our other supervisor and manager.
Q: What is the busiest time of year for Catering and Conference Services?
A: I believe the end of the spring semester gets a little hectic. With graduation, end-of-year events and larger functions like weddings being booked – our staff gets stretched a little thin.
Q: There are several banquet rooms located upstairs in Gordinier Hall that some people are not aware of. Do you have a favorite room? What is that room’s unique theme?
A: Lehr Room. This is the most recently renovated room. There is new flooring, ceiling, wallpaper and lighting. It has a very sophisticated look now. It is also the largest and most versatile of our rooms.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of Millersville?
A: I just try to spend as much time with my family as possible when I’m not working.
Q: Tell us about your son.
A: His name is Ethan and he is five and is attending kindergarten this year. He is hilarious. The other day he was playing with some kids and he told me that they were so impressed by how fast he was. I asked him if he could tell me what that meant that they were “impressed” with him. He said that, “he blew their minds.” I laughed for awhile about that one.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I was born in Hershey, Pa., but my family moved to Lancaster when I was three, and we have been here ever since.
Q. Do you have a favorite movie, book or quote?
A: Movie: The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan, I love it. They have been airing on TV lately and I always find myself watching it.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Clutter. I like to keep things neat and in order.