Las Vegas Business Academy Offers Prestigious Scholarship Program to Build a Foundation for the Future Leaders of Las Vegas
Founded in 2011 by Rino Armeni, the Las Vegas Business Academy (LVBA) is a nonprofit organization with the goal to make a difference in the Las Vegas community through the education of its young professionals. By offering Las Vegas’ most promising students up to $75,000 in scholarship funding to earn a Master of Business Administration (MHA), Master of Hospitality Administration (MHA) or Juris Doctorate (JD) from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), the organization helps these students pursue their dreams without the financial burden that comes with higher education. By requiring the scholarship recipients to stay in Las Vegas for a minimum of five years after graduation, the organization ensures the talented individuals molded through the program dedicate their expertise to local businesses. “At the Las Vegas Business Academy, we are devoted to encouraging on-going education and motivating individuals to become their best selves,” said Rino Armeni, chairman and founder of the LVBA. “Through their graduate education at UNLV and hands-on work with our highly esteemed board, we are working to create the next generation of top-tier business professionals.” Over the past four years, the LVBA has built a leadership board structured around successful and influential members of the Las Vegas business community. The LVBA Board of Directors is made up of top executives from businesses ranging from MGM Resorts International, Hakkasan Group and Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority to Southern Wine & Spirits, Blau and Associates, Wyndham Consumer Finance and many more. By putting an emphasis on hands-on learning and offering an unparalleled mentor program with members of the Board of Directors, the LVBA allows their recipients to foster the skills necessary for success after graduation. Each month, the scholarship recipients work one-on-one with a
different board member directly in the field. By experiencing a wide variety of industries, the recipients gain an understanding of how various industries work together, even when they are not directly related. With the assistance of experienced mentors, the board has designed the mentor program to offer the students the rare opportunity to learn areas of diverse positions within their respected industry to help them personally develop their desired career path. “Each of our students offer something unique that I think will not only help them succeed but also benefits Las Vegas after their graduation,” said Max Tappeiner, LVBA president and vice president of hotel operations at Venetian / Palazzo. “Through our mentor program, I am able to pass on the knowledge I’ve gained through my experience in the hospitality industry and help these students grow as young professionals.” While the selection process is difficult and extensive, students who prove to have the talent, intelligence, dedication and motivation will be selected for the program that ensures their career thrives from the moment they graduate. Similar to the members that make up the board, the scholarship recipients have integrity, respect, determination and courage while showing great teamwork and leadership skills. Over the years, LVBA has seen two recipients graduate from UNLV and start their careers. Matt Sheahan graduated in December 2014 with his Master of Business Administration, taking a position as a hospitality analytics manager at MGM Resorts International. Tasha Schwikert graduated in May 2015 with her Juris Doctorate, accepting a position as a judicial law clerk for the Eighth Judicial District of Nevada. The LVBA currently has six scholarship recipients: Keivan Roebuck, pursuing a Master’s degree in business administration and a Juris Doctorate;
Daven Cameron, Brooke Luna, Caleb Green and Mackenzie Warren, pursing Juris Doctorates and Justin Hawkins, pursuing a Masters of Hospitality Administration. Each scholarship recipient has an impressive background, demonstrating their dedication, motivation and commitment to becoming Las Vegas’ future industry leaders. As the primary source of funding, the LVBA holds an annual fundraiser, an extravagant event where Las Vegas’ most influential leaders gather for an evening under the stars to raise money to continue funding young professional’s higher education. This year, the LVBA will host its “Rockin’ on the Strip” event at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Bamboo Pool on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Guests of the event will have the opportunity to sample delectable dishes from local Las Vegas restaurants, including lue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Buddy V, Capital Grille, China Poblano, D.O.C.G., Four Seasons, Honey Salt, Jaleo, Estiatorio Milos, Wicked Spoon, Scarpetta, Sierra Gold, Hakkasan, STRIPSTEAK and more. Select VIP guests will have the opportunity to join board members and scholarship recipients for Counting Crows at The Boulevard Pool. Each year at the fundraiser, the LVBA recognizes prominent business professionals who serve as an exceptional example for LVBA scholarship recipients to learn from. This year’s honorees include, Blau & Associates Founder and CEO Elizabeth Blau and El Cortez Hotel & Casino Executive Vice President Alex Epstein. These two individuals are being recognized for their dedication to leading and positioning Las Vegas as a premier destination through innovative and fresh business approaches. Students interested in pursuing a MBA, MHA or JD at UNLV are encouraged to apply for Las Vegas Business Academy’s scholarship program to receive up to a $75,000 scholarship. To apply, interested students should visit www.lvbanv.org or call (702) 998-2138. Applications are reviewed upon a rolling basis.
September 2015 I The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional 29