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Epicurean Charitable Foundation - Las Vegas

Dear Friends, Supporters and Students,

On behalf of the ECF Executive Committee, we wish you a wonderful holiday season! As we prepare to ring in the new year we would like to take this opportunity to officially thank you for supporting the ECF board, students, and mission. The dreams of our deserving students are our top priority and we are continually working toward providing the best possible resource for those dreams to come true. It is thanks to the generous support from our sponsors, donors, partners, and board that our actions are possible, and for that we thank you.

ECF scholarship applications are now available! We invite you to introduce the ECF scholarship opportunity in your company’s newsblast and bulletins. ECF scholarship applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a maximum family income of $70k. More details are available in the below newsletter.

On Tuesday, Jan. 8th, we will host Mentorship Matters, an exclusive VIP appreciation dinner, at Mandalay Bay, to show gratitude to our premier M.E.N.U.S. 2015 sponsors and donors. We look forward to sharing the evening with our executive committee, board of directors and members, students and sponsors. ECF will also honor Chuck Bowling, President and COO of Mandalay Bay, for his impact on the Las Vegas hospitality industry and our surrounding community.

We’d like to congratulate our most recent graduate, Kim Zhou, who has graduated with an impressive 3.75 GPA in just 2.5 years at UNLV. Kim plans to pursue a career in gaming and is currently a shift manager at Golden Nugget and a gaming intern at Green Valley Ranch.

The ECF continues to grow and evolve. Sujoy Brahma is now director of food and beverage of Station Casinos. ECF graduate, Vildan Buric is now assistant manager-in room dining at MGM Grand. ECF senior, Karen Nava has accepted an exciting position as student assistant and events intern at the UNLV Foundation. First graduating ECF class '08 alum, Sabrina Karic, welcomed her second daughter, Ayla. We are also thrilled to welcome Dawn Rawles, vice president of special events and promotions of Caesars Entertainment, to the ECF board to join us in offering our students a wealth of hospitality experience.

Thank you for your support and generosity you have shown ECF this year. We appreciate you helping us make this one of our best years yet. As always, you can keep up to date with everything ECF at or by following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn @EpicureanLV. Once again, we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.


Sean DiCicco

Sean DiCicco
President of Epicurean Charitable Foundation
Vice President of Food and Beverage of Mandalay Bay

Dawn Rawles  

Dawn Rawles
Vice President of Special Events and Promotions at Caesars Entertainment


What about ECF are you most passionate about?
“I am most passionate about developing the next wave of leadership for the industry. I think providing mentor opportunities is invaluable to people enter and advance in the industry. To be able to ask someone, who likely at some point has experienced a situation that you may be in, and receive sound and credible guidance helps to reinforce strong leadership. I am also incredibly passionate about Las Vegas and giving back to the community that has provided me with incredible opportunities throughout career.”

What advice do you have for young men and women who want to pursue a career in the hospitality/Las Vegas industry?
“Embrace every opportunity presented and look to what you can learn from each experience. The key to very successful leaders in hospitality is the breadth and depth of their experience.”


Sujoy Brahma is now director of food and beverage of Station Casinos.


ECF graduate, Vildan Buric is now assistant manager-in room dining at MGM Grand.


ECF senior, Karen Nava has accepted an excited position as student assistant and events intern at the UNLV Foundation.


Jim Laughlin is now general manager of Las Vegas Limousine and Airport Shuttles.


Freedom Meats  

Jeff Pough
President of Freedom Meats


What do you wish someone would have told you when you were a teenager?
“Failing is not always as negative as it seems and that it can be a foundation to make you stronger.”

What has been your most valuable career lesson?
“Understanding that progression in your career is a marathon and not a sprint. Experience is an excellent teacher.”

What is one piece of advice you have for mentors?
“Always be available. Keep it simple and practice what you preach.”

Do you/did you have a mentor? If so, how has this person helped to shape your career?
“Yes, he taught me all the intangibles in life and in business. Work hard, have balance and surround yourself around people that are better than you. That’s how you grow.”

  ECF Scholarship and Mentoring  

Getting to know …

Karen Nava  

Karen Nava

High School: Valley High School
College: University of Las Vegas, Nevada – Class of 2016
Major: Hotel Administration
Mentor: Ana Marie Mormando


What does ECF mean to you?
“ECF is not only another family to me but it is also one of my greatest accomplishments. Thanks to ECF I have had so many wonderful opportunities to meet new people in the industry. The foundation changes the lives of many students and I am so grateful to be among them.”

What academically or professionally-based activities, clubs, affiliations, organizations are you involved in?
“Since the start of my college life I became involved with a professional organization in the Hotel College named National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH). During my freshman year of college, I began by serving as two executive positions for the UNLV chapter of NSMH, which were historian and secretary. Thanks to this experience I was prepared to take on the executive position of vice president as a sophomore.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?
“In the upcoming five years I see myself as a UNLV graduate, being able to have my family back in the U.S., working a full-time job, have traveled to France and Italy, and continuing to give back to the community and ECF. I would love to pay it forward by becoming a mentor for a future ECF scholarship recipient.”

  New York New York  


NYE Bridge Bash Celebration


Thursday, December 31, 2015


8 pm – 12 am


NYNY Brooklyn Bridge


$135 – Early Bird Limited Time Offer ($170.90 after fees and gratuity)
$150 – General ($187.20 after fees and gratuity)
Live Entertainment (DJ and Dancers) Open Bar

Event Code:






Thursday, December 31, 2015


8 pm – 12 am


Bar at Times Square


$135 - Seated assigned 60 tickets ($170.30 after fees and gratuity)
$100 - Standing GA for 60 tickets ($132.20 after fees and gratuity)
Dueling Piano Show, Open bar package from 8pm-12am, Party favors

Event Code:


South Point Las Vegas
South Point events
New York New York events


Upcoming ECF Events  We hope you'll join us at MENUS on Friday, Sept. 30 at M Resort.  The evening will culminate in a private concert by Lifehouse.  For sponsorship and event information please contact Elizabeth Muto at 702.932.5098 or via email at
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