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Epicurean Charitable Foundation - Las Vegas

Dear Friends, Supporters and Students,

I am honored to announce that we have selected four new students to receive scholarships and mentorships from our Foundation.

Every year, we receive a new record number of incredible applicants with compelling stories. This year, the competition was extremely tough and the selection process was difficult, but the ECF Scholarship and Mentorship Committee members were able to narrow it down to four students who we believe will be the future leaders of our industry. I am excited to announce the 2013 scholarship recipient class that was chosen: Andrea Rocca-Capano, Aily Rodriguez, Daniela Sanchez and Qin Zhou. These students hold an impressive combined average GPA of 4.19.

We are looking forward to providing educational support for these students beginning their educational careers in the hospitality and culinary industries. Our mentorship program has provided valuable support for ECF’s students throughout their collegiate years and we are happy to extend the same support to our 2013 class. Please join us in congratulating this group and know that without your support, we would not be able to grant incredible futures to each of these amazing and inspiring young people.

In addition, we would like to congratulate our largest graduating class from Epicurean Charitable Foundation: Vesna Boscovic, Jennifer Lee, Nachely Martinez, Malek Sadri, Karina Saucedo and Cindy Ureno. Through their hard work and the relationships they have built through ECF, they have each secured positions to launch their careers in the hospitality and culinary industries.


(Jason Shkorupa signature)

Jason Shkorupa
President of ECF

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Jason Shkorupa - photo  

ECF has been able to provide financial support and guidance to students for more than 12 years thanks to generous contributions from donors, which currently include Johnson Brothers, Southern Wine & Spirits, Wirtz Beverage Nevada, Fiji Water, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and more. Future donors can support ECF with a monetary or in-kind donation, by matching a gift or by becoming a scholarship or M.E.N.U.S sponsor.

ECF is not only dedicated to enriching the lives of local hospitality students, but also to positively impacting the Las Vegas community on the whole. Recently, the Foundation made generous contributions to other local philanthropic organizations including donations of $25,000 to Keep Memory Alive, $15,000 to Nevada’s Latin Chamber of Commerce and $15,000 to the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation.

For more information please contact the Epicurean Charitable Foundation's Executive Director - Elizabeth Hunterton at 702.932.5098 or visit the ECF website at

ECF selected four Clark County high school students as scholarship recipients for its 2013 class:
Andrea Rocca-Capano - photo   Aily Rodriguez  - photo   Daniela Sanchez  - photo   Qin Zhou  - photo
Andrea Rocca-Capano   Aily Rodriguez   Daniela Sanchez   Qin Zhou

Andrea Rocca-Capano is currently a student at Valley High School, where she holds a 3.8 GPA. She plans to pursue a degree in Hotel Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently, she serves as vice president of the school's magnet program for Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) Council and recently received first place in Hospitality Service Team Decision Making at the Nevada DECA state competition. Rocca-Capano is also a member of both the varsity swimming and flag football teams and is the school's German Club Ambassador.


Aily Rodriguez is another well-rounded student from Valley High School with a passion for hospitality. She plans to pursue a degree in Hotel Management at UNLV. As a senior, she serves as vice president of the Robotics Club, treasurer of the German Club and a mentor coordinator in the school's magnet program for AOHT. Rodriguez also epitomizes the role of student-athlete, competing in both track and pole vaulting while displaying her talents at state-wide events on the Sky Pure Pole Vaulting Club. She was named the school's student of the month in May and holds a 4.06 GPA..


Daniela Sanchez holds an impressive 4.66 GPA from Valley High School. She plans to pursue a degree in Hotel Management at UNLV. Sanchez serves as the Nevada DECA State President and is the student representative to the Nevada State Board of Education. On a local level, she is both the AOHT Council President and the Student Body President and was named Valley High School student of the month for student activities in 2009. Sanchez is a two-time recipient of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) academic award in leadership, has been a National Honor Society member since 2010 and recently gained hands-on industry experience as a business development intern at


Qin Zhou holds a 4.3 GPA from Durango High School. She plans to pursue a degree in Hotel Management at UNLV. A native of southwest China, she is bilingual in Mandarin and English and also participates in the Spanish club at school. She recently completed five AP courses and earned a perfect attendance record from January 2011 to January 2012.


Student Updates
A.J. Johnson - photo  

A.J. Johnson, a freshman at UNLV, is the first student to found and bring a DECA chapter to the university.

Cindy Ureno - photo  

Cindy Ureno recently accepted a management position at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.

Hanny Herrada - photo  

Hanny Herrada, a 2011 graduate has been promoted to Convention Set-up Assistant Manager at Mandalay Bay.

Jasmyn Franklin - photo  

Jasmyn Franklin, a junior at Penn State University, currently serves as the National Northeast Regional Chair for National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NMSH), where she is the liaison between the chapter presidents in the Northeast region and the national board. As chair, she is responsible for the overall success of the organization and will be responsible for Industry Alliances and Partnerships, NSMH History and Direction, Strategic Planning, Annual Report and Chair's Administrative Division. NMSH is the second largest student-run organization in the nation. Jasmyn was also recently awarded the 2013-2014 Four Seasons Scholarship for Hotel Administration.

Jasmyn Franklin and Karen Nava - photo  

Jasmyn and Karen Nava, a freshman at UNLV and also member of NSMH, recently traveled to Orlando to attend the organization's convention.

Karina Saucedo - photo  

Karina Saucedo recently accepted an assistant general manager position of quick service for nine outlets at Luxor and Excalibur Hotel and Casinos. She also received the Hilton Foundation Student Recognition Award for this year.

Malek Sadri - photo  

Malek Sadri began working as a Concierge at Wynn Las Vegas.

Vesna Boscovic - photo  

Vesna Boscovic was promoted to a Concierge position at The Mirage.

Vildan Buric - photo  

Vildan Buric recently began working at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ pool.

Board Member Updates
Anna Marie Momando - photo  

Congratulations to Ana Marie Mormando, Vice President of ECF and Vice President of Food and Beverage for Bellagio Resort & Casino, for being inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame for the Women's Chamber of Commerce of Nevada. She was also recently promoted to Vice President of Hotel Operations for Bellagio Resort & Casino.

Anna Marie Momando - photo  

Congratulations to Christina Clifton, who recently opened Fish Fork LLC. and will serve as president and CEO of the new company.

Jim Laughlin - photo  

Jim Laughlin, Director of Food and Beverage at The Palms, is opening several new projects this year at the hotel including Xishi, a restaurant offering traditional and contemporary Asian dishes in a modern vibe with a feminine twist.

Kelley Jones - photo  

Kelley Jones, founding partner of Trust3 Hospitality and LeLe Hospitality, is opening several new projects in Las Vegas this year including: Dinner in the Sky Las Vegas, Hops & Harvest by Bradley Ogden in partnership with Tony Angotti from Bradley Ogden Hospitality and more.

Kelley Jones - photo  

Luiz Oliveira, owner of Sambalatte Torrefazione, will open another Sambalatte on the plaza that is being built between New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts and hopes to open a third location in Downtown Las Vegas.

Kelley Jones - photo  

Congratulations to Marisa Scarpulla, Luxury Recruiter at Gecko Hospitality, who gave birth to her son, Hudson Cruz Martino, on Friday, May 24.

Michael Kennedy - photo  

Michael Kennedy, Director of Food Operation at South Point Casino Hotel & Spa, celebrated the opening of the new sushi restaurant, Zenshin.


ECF would like to welcome its newest board members, Tony Angotti, Partner of Bradley Ogden Hospitality and Brent Cook, Executive Director of Food and Beverage at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

ECF Media Updates

Kelley Jones and Catherine Caro appeared on the Fox 5 MORE show for National Mentorship Month to talk about the benefits of Epicurean Charitable Foundation’s mentorship program


Michael Kennedy and Vildan Buric on Channel 8 “Cool at School” segment


Karen Nava Vegas Seven “Most Intriguing People” feature


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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