Need a speaker for your event?

Hire Doreen to speak at your event–large or small.

As a Distinguished Toastmaster, I have educated, entertained, and enticed audiences over the years on a number of topics, including:

The world of fine chocolate/chocolate travel, chocolate appreciation and tasting. As a chocolate researcher, writer, blogger, and author of the award-winning book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the Word’s Best Chocolate, I have travelled to nearly 20 countries (to date) to research the growing of cacao, processing of cocoa beans, and making of artisanal chocolate. I have attended many chocolate events around the world and engaged in a wide variety of choco-centric activities–including being slathered with molten chocolate at the Pure Jungle Spa and other great establishments. 

Let me lead your group through a guided chocolate tasting event, a customized or themed chocolate pairing event with the libation(s) of your choice, or help your chef orchestrate a delectable cocoa-based sweet and savoury menu to entice your attendees.


Doreen can prepare an engaging presentation to entertain, educate, and inspire your audience.


Volunteerism. As author of Before You Say Yes … A Guide to the Pleasures & Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards and a lifelong volunteer in the world of non-profits, I can speak to your audience from firsthand experience on how to hold an effective meeting, how to deal with difficult people, and how to be the very best volunteer you can be.

Public Speaking. Many people fear public speaking. I adore it! I can help your group acquire tips on how to tantalize their audience when making a work presentation, a presentation to the board, a funding pitch, a toast to the bride, or a eulogy at a funeral.

Freelance writing. Whether it’s how to be a travel writer, how to make a living as a freelance writer, how to crowdfund your creative project, how to turn your passion (for anything) into words and write about it, or how to have a dynamic and profitable blog, I can offer a customized talk for your group and provide insights into the world of a professional writer and award-winning author.


The chocolate and wine pairing we had at Aaron’s was fantastic, partly due to the warmth of the hosts and the great venue.


Here are a few endorsements I’ve received from satisfied colleagues and clients:

“Doreen hosted a one-hour virtual presentation and discussion for our group on World Chocolate Day (July 7, 2021) on how cacao is grown, how to select good quality chocolates and the health benefits of eating artisan chocolate. Our online community of U.S. seniors really enjoyed the information as well as Doreen’s ability to answer a wide range of questions. Her enthusiasm for the topic and desire to get our members involved was also much appreciated! Doreen is engaging, smart and friendly and her approach really resonated with our audience.”
Kay Dougherty
Director of Community Engagement


“Doreen co-hosted a wine and chocolate tasting event with us on October 20, 2018.  The evening was a wonderful success.  All of our guests commented on how much they learned about chocolate and that the wine pairings were perfect.  Doreen is an excellent presenter, very prepared and kept the group interested and engaged for two hours.  Doreen is passionate about chocolate which is obvious to see when you watch her in front of a crowd.  She definitely wants to share that passion with others.  It was a pleasure working with Doreen and we would highly recommend her as a presenter.”
Randy & Eleanore McMahon, Owners
Aaron’s on the Lake Bed & Breakfast
Ponemah, Manitoba
“Doreen Pendgracs has twice been our guest speaker at the Selkirk Gaynor Family Library’s Circle of Friends, a weekly presentation program for seniors in our community. Doreen speaks eloquently about her travels to different countries where cocoa is grown and harvested, explaining the planting and harvesting processes, reasons for the difference in taste, and the effects of weather. She paired her entertaining and informative oral presentation with a colourful slide presentation, keeping everyone’s rapt attention for almost two hours. This was highlighted by a large sampling of the different kinds of chocolate for tasting, to the delight of her audience. Doreen has a perfect sense of timing and pacing. Many of our group members commented afterwards on how thoroughly they had enjoyed the afternoon.”
Susan Berry, Coordinator of Friday Circle of Friends
Gaynor Family Library, Selkirk, Manitoba
“Doreen did a wonderful presentation which as a reporter on hand noted, was seen as our best volunteer appreciation event by some he spoke to. Doreen’s contacts within the chocolate industry, and negotiated discount allowed us to give an excellent chocolate gift to all who attended. Doreen’s idea to get several types of bars as gifts for our volunteers was excellent. I noted much of our attendees’ time spent looking at the various choices available to them. I noted many people stopped on the way out to see Doreen’s displays and to get specifics on the wine and chocolate she led them through in the tastings. This was a great event which met the key goal of an enjoyable Thank You for The New Horizons’ volunteers. Our challenge now will be how to match this event in future years!”
Rick Hewson, Volunteer Coordinator
New Horizons 55+ Club
Gimli, Manitoba


“We were so pleased with the reactions from our clients following Doreen Pendgracs presentation at our client appreciation event.
Doreen entertained and educated us with her stories of how chocolate is produced in different areas, along with her tales of chocolate travels. We were delighted to taste for ourselves the flavor differences from a couple of different regions. Guests commented on how they have been inspired to learn more about the world of chocolate, about chocolate artisans and of course were delighted with the new found knowledge of the many health benefits chocolate provides.” 

Juana Baldwin, CFP, CHS, RRC
Financial Planning Advisor
Assante Financial Management Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba


“Doreen Pendgracs delivered a delightful evening of Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing at a museum event for us this spring. The audience was completely captivated with Doreen’s knowledgeable–and at times hilarious–presentation of everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate. We received positive feedback from participants for days, and we can hardly wait to have her back for another event!”

Tammy Axelsson, Executive Director
New Iceland Heritage Museum
#108 94-1st Avenue, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.
Phone: 204-642-4001


“Doreen Pendgracs spoke to the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg in February, 2015. The presentation was fast paced, organized, diverse, and very interesting. Doreen used visuals, hands on material as well as a verbal approach. She was very witty and informative. We all enjoyed her presentation very much. And the chocolate was good too!”

Faye Hansen, (former) Program Chair

University Women’s Club of Winnipeg.


“I have heard Doreen speak many times on a variety of topics. She speaks clearly and with enthusiasm, drawing people into her subject and holding their interest. Doreen engages her listeners with her voice, her animated approach and her knowledge base. She is a pleasure to listen to and open to interacting with the listeners at the appropriate moments, using their contributions to add to the experience.”

Laurel Sarginson

Owner, Evergreen Gate Bed and Breakfast

Past President, Bed and Breakfast of Manitoba

Chair, Red River North Tourism.


Thanks very much to everyone for their recommendations. 

Please get in touch with me via the Contact page to let me know your needs and budget if you are seeking a professional speaker for your event.