The Legend of Darla

Backstage at CaringBridge: Happy Birthday to Everyone!

Birthdays are a big deal at CaringBridge, and there’s one key reason why: Darla Nemec, our vice president of Finance and Administration. For each and every one of our 45+ employees, Darla bakes up a special treat to share with the organization—that’s 2,650 servings of heavenly delight a year! We had a quick conversation with her to get the scoop.

How did you start baking goodies for everyone at CaringBridge?

I baked birthday treats for everyone on my team at my last job—35 or 40 people—because it was a great way to connect with all of them. So when I first came to CaringBridge, there was only a staff of 18 people, and they only celebrated birthdays once a month. I thought it would create a closer connection between us all to celebrate and acknowledge birthdays on their big days, so I continued my tradition here.

Who picks what you bake?

I ask the birthday person what they would choose as a dessert at a restaurant, and then bake that! People feel special when they get acknowledged, and it’s fun to make new things. Now, of course, people like to make it something of a “Let’s Challenge Darla” game.

Do you bake for your family as much as you bake for work?

I’m actually known as the “Cooler Mom.” I’m the one who always brings the blue cooler filled with water and Gatorade for my son’s baseball team. Serving others gives me the energy I need to get things done, so I love doing it.

What happens on your birthday?

My favorite dessert is French Silk Pie, and so last time, people brought in a few of those pies from Baker’s Square.

Were they as good as yours?

No comment.

What’s your favorite thing to bake?

I love to bake, period, but my Crème de Menthe Cake is something different that not many people have tried, and it’s has been a favorite for many people since I started this tradition. The funny thing is how easy it is! Here’s the recipe:


1 white cake mix

1/2 c. crème de menthe

1 can fudge topping

1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip

Mix cake as directed on box. Add 1/4 cup crème de menthe to cake mixture. Bake as directed.

When cake is cooled, frost with fudge topping. Mix 1/4 cup crème de menthe with the Cool Whip; spread over fudge topping. Keep refrigerated.

Do you have a special way that you connect with the people you work with? Share it in the comments section!

Comments (2)

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Kathi Beverlin Sep 20, 2014 5:25pm
Glad to hear of Bob's progress. Hawkeyes win!!!!!!!!!
Laurie Breuklander Sep 19, 2014 11:23pm
Bless your heart! And thank you for sharing such a yummy recipe!