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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2021 Creating Pathways to Excellence

Fire & Vine Hospitality Scholarship Supports Underrepresented Students Interested in Hospitality Careers

By Sue McMurray

Though Fire & Vine Hospitality has supported the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management for many years, a recent philanthropic agreement takes their commitment to the next level. In May, the company established the Fire & Vine Scholarship in Hospitality, awarding $10,000 each to seven students interested in hospitality careers at WSU Pullman and WSU Vancouver.

The scholarship aims to give underrepresented students a pathway to careers into an industry that lacks Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).

“Our team wanted to do something meaningful and ongoing to show our commitment to creating additional pathways to opportunity,” says Chad Mackay, Fire & Vine Hospitality CEO. “This scholarship aims directly at encouraging BIPOC students to pursue a career in hospitality and bring a more diverse group of talents and voices to the industry. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.”

“This scholarship completely changes my financial situation,” says Amir Yasir. “I want to own a hotel one day, and I intend to use this scholarship to put me one step closer to this goal. Also, getting a degree will show my three younger siblings that they could earn one too.”

“I hope to work in this field and plan on paying this scholarship forward by making a difference in people’s lives with what I will learn at WSU and my own experiences with hospitality,” says Aolani Mendoza. “This award will bring me one big step closer to getting my degree and fulfilling my dream.”

Sheridan Roberts, who is paying her own way through college, initially took a gap year to work and figure out a plan to move forward with her education and achieve her goal of working in the restaurant industry. “I cannot express enough how thankful I am to receive the scholarship,” she says. “I also started the WSU-ACFEF Culinary Certificate Program this fall, and that was just another bit of added financial stress. The scholarship will leave me as debt-free from college as I can be.”

Dedicated to Supporting Causes of Equal Opportunity

Fire & Vine Hospitality provides operational leadership and support to some of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic restaurants and lodging properties including Revelers Club locations: El Gaucho Seattle, Bellevue, Portland, Tacoma and Vancouver; AQUA by El Gaucho; Aerlume; Basel Cellars Estate; Walla Walla Steak Co.; and Crossbuck Brewing.

In 2020, Fire & Vine donated the revenues of all their establishments from Juneteenth—an annual holiday on June 19 commemorating the end of slavery in the United States—toward the scholarship. The company supports the cause of equal opportunity and is dedicated to exemplifying that in their relationships with guests, community, and one another.

“The BIPOC community is underrepresented in the hospitality industry, and we are excited to partner with Fire & Vine Hospitality to help change that,” says Bob Harrington, WSU School of Hospitality Business Management director. “As a college, we are committed to giving underrepresented students equal opportunity to achieve academic and career success, and scholarships are a critical tool in that mission.”

The 2021 Student Awardees

Landon Carter

Gabriella Deason

Luke Eiland

Alma Sarai Guerrero

Aolani Mendoza

Sheridan Roberts

Amir Yasir