Associate Board

Amy Becker
Associate Board President

Amy Becker

Sarah Scott
Associate Board Vice President

Sarah Scott

Claudia Soler
Associate Board Secretary

Claudia Soler

Karen Giselle Nava

Karen Giselle Nava

Malek Sadri

Malek Sadri

Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez

Andrea Rocca Capano

Andrea Rocca Capano

John Mautner

Keith Oliver

Keith Oliver

Marjorie Alzquizalas

Marjorie Alzquizalas

Shaina Graham

Ivana Cvejic

Sandra Hinklebein

Vildan Buric

Vildan Buric

AJ Song

AJ Song

Alexandria Von Mohr

Ben Sison

Ben Sison

Emily Hewitt

Candace Kozell

Kim Zhou

Ciro Fodera

Maria Miranda

Corinne Burton

Anna Tymoshevska

Jordan Moore

Jordan Moore

Amy Becker

Associate Board President

Amy Becker

Senior Image Consultant, C I N T A S Corporation

Amy Becker has a passion for helping others discover the best in themselves. Growing up with an autistic brother, Amy learned patience very quickly. Raised in Chicago, she was always involved with the Midwest Special Olympics to support her brother. It was there that she discovered her love for helping others.

As an Image Consultant at Cintas, Amy knows that getting dressed for the work day sets a first impression. Her goal is to build someone up so strong that they never feel the need to question themselves. She is driven to help others discover self-confidence. She is a passionate advocate for helping mentor others to find success in their chosen field. One of Amy’s true passions is working with emerging leaders and helping them discover what drives them. She is committed in mentoring woman through the Global Gaming Woman. For the past three years Amy has provided suiting and accessories for each Epicurean Charitable Foundation scholarship recipient.

Amy will now continue to support the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, by serving as the inaugural President of Associate Board.

Sarah Scott

Associate Board Vice President

Sarah Scott

Account Executive – Foodservice, General Mills

Sarah Scott has lived in the Las Vegas area for over thirty years and has worked in the food service industry for the following companies: Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods and KeyImpact, Sales & Systems.  Currently employed at General Mills, as an Account Executive, she works with all foodservice operators and distributors in the Southern Nevada and Utah area.

She is married to Joe Scott and they reside at Red Rock Country Club and enjoy golf, fitness training and cooking with family and friends.

Claudia Soler

Associate Board Secretary

Claudia Soler

The Venetian Resort & Casino

Claudia, an ECF graduate, completed her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration, at UNLV, in 2014. During her time as an Epicurean Student, she was awarded the Food and Beverage Educational Experience hosted by Avero, New York City. She was accompanied by her Epicuren Mentor and fellow industry professionals. In addition to being a full time student at UNLV, Claudia worked at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and obtain an internship at the Ritz Carlton, ABAMA, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Upon graduating, Claudia took a short leave from the hospitality industry, as she consulted for retail management training. All came full circle for Claudia, as she connected with Mr. Kelly Jones, an Epicurean Board Member, and worked closely with Kelly, as his Executive Assistant and Project Director.

Claudia has since then returned to the hospitality industry, as she is now the Office Manager for Housekeeping Administration at The Venetian Resort. Claudia is extremely excited to continue her partnership with Epicurean Foundation and to give back to an organization that has supported her throughout the years.

Karen Giselle Nava

Karen Giselle Nava

The Venetian Resort & Casino

Karen Nava, an ECF alumnae herself, and originally from California, has used her past advertises to influence and support other young aspiring leaders. Since Freshman year of college, Karen has always been involved in organizations that support higher education and leadership. She has held multiple leadership roles such as President and Vice President of UNLV’s Chapter of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) and has been awarded various honors, including Vegas Seven Magazine’s 1 out of 25 “Most Intriguing Person” in the Vegas Valley.

In addition to dedicating her time to organizations, Karen is also a Front Desk Agent at The Venetian | Palazzo.

Malek Sadri

Malek Sadri

Wynn | Encore Concierge Manager

Malek, an ECF recipient in 2009, has held multiple roles at resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, all while servicing the community. Malek, is most excited about joining the Associate Board of ECF, to inspire the younger generation of the hospitality industry and to support the students to become more active in the community. In addition to supporting ECF, Malek, also volunteers his time by speaking against bullying, at schools across the Clark County School District.

Currently holding the title as Concierge Manager, Night Operations for Wynn | Encore, Malek, will also be expanding his knowledge and network this fall, by starting his MBA Program, at UNLV.

Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez

Wedding and Social Sales Manager at Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos

Mercedes Sanchez is a proud alumna of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, class of 2015. Mercedes obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Upon graduation, she accepted a position with Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts. Her first role was as a Food and Beverage Manager in Training at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. After completing the MIT program, she transferred into catering sales at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, which is the only 5-star hotel in the Pacific Northwest. During her time in this role, Mercedes earned Top Catering Sales Performer for the Americas, for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2019.

Mercedes is currently serving as Wedding and Social Sales Manager on the opening team for Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos, Costa Palmas, Mexico, opening in November 2019. Ms. Sanchez is honored to serve as inaugural associate board member and give back to the organization that provided her with a priceless opportunity.

Andrea Rocca Capano

Andrea Rocca Capano

The Palms

College/University: UNLV Class of 2017
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Joe Romano
Fun Fact: Andrea is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi and volunteers her time with the Ronald McDonald House charities. She placed third in a collegiate competition for DECA and made the dean’s list throughout her freshman year.

I owe a lot of my career to Epicurean Charitable Foundation and to past mentors who opened doors for me early on in my career.

John Mautner

CEO, COSi & 60 Minute Million, Leading Profit Improvement Expert, #1 Best Selling Author & Keynote Speaker

John loves starting and growing businesses. His strategies and principles have led him to build successful companies over the past 20+ years. Inc. Magazine named his first business that he started at 26 an INC. 500 winner and one of America’s fastest growing companies. John has become an in-demand speaker and coach to entrepreneurs and business owners across America and beyond because he knows what it takes to build a profitable high growth company. In 2001, John founded the Cycle of Success Institute (COSi): a business coaching program that teaches small and mid-sized companies how to grow faster by engaging and energizing people to innovate and continually improve. COSi helps grow businesses that grow communities. Companies nationwide have graduated from the COSi program, and graduates are driving profitable growth faster.

Keith Oliver

Keith Oliver

Sr. Vice President, Commercial Division Corp, Preventative Pest

Marjorie Alzquizalas

Marjorie Alzquizalas

Area Manager, EDRINGTON

Honored to have Marjorie join the ECF Associate Board of Directors – as her self proclaimed inner rebel, is an inspiration to others. Originally from the Philippines, Marjorie studied Business Management and Mastered in both Finance and Marketing – which became the stepping stone, for her very successful career in the spirits industry. After working 10 years at Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits as Director of Trade Development, she joined Edrington America, which is owned by the biggest Charitable Trust in Scotland.

Currently, Marjorie holds the title of Area Manager and is also involved in executing programs in accounts that generate funds to support local and national charities.

Shaina Graham

Assistant Director Marketing and Special Events, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits of Nevada

From creating experiences, fabricating environments and working her special brand of magic to making the unimaginable into reality, Shaina Graham makes it look easy to pull off high-end special events in the entertainment mecca of Las Vegas. A native Las Vegan, she studied Communications and Marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas

Shaina has over 15 years of experience planning and executing spectacular experiences and has been responsible for millions of dollars a year in special events. She has an incredible network of suppliers and vendors inside and outside of Las Vegas, having managed high-profile events such as the UNLVINO, The State of Nevada Governors Ball, Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d and more. In her current role as the Assistant Director of Events and Marketing for Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits, Shaina works directly with thousands of food and beverage brands each year to deliver a packed schedule of dinners, tastings, tours and entertainment experiences. In 2015, she was recognized as Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits of Nevada’s Employee of the Year.

Shaina joined the Epicurean Charitable Foundation’s Associate Board in June of 2020 to be a part of something bigger and helping people succeed and reach their goals in life. “I think ECF has a great charity for young people trying to make there way in the hospitality industry.” says Shaina.

With the constant change and evolution in the industry, Shaina is always on her toes, but finds it exciting to be in a position where she can always learn something new. Driven by her desire to be creative and a love of working with people, Shaina enjoys planning the spaces, working with the guest counts and creating ideal event flows, but freely admits her favorite parts of event planning are the décor and logistics.

When she’s not in the office or managing an event, Shaina enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, playing golf and tennis and caring for her two children, Jaiden and Brandston.

Ivana Cvejic

Co-Founder & Recruiter, Renhead

Ivana Cvejic is Co-Founder of Renhead, an end to end vendor and workforce management technology provider headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. An expert in the recruiting and staffing industry, Ivana has built her decades-long career building sales strategy while focusing on talent development for major companies like Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. Her natural ability to uncover efficiencies in businesses of all types has allowed her to follow her passion for people and business which carries into the culture that Renhead was built on.

Ivana is most passionate about joining ECF because of the people, leadership development, and being part of a great cause that gives back and helps a community flourish. She is excited to help build the program in terms of donors and help with branding within the expansion effort. Ivana believes that with proper education and employment opportunities for Nevada’s students we can help better our community overall.

Ivana is a graduate from the University of California - Riverside, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She lives with her husband primarily in Las Vegas, NV and works from their cattle ranch in NY State during the summer.

Sandra Hinklebein

President / Owner, Market Right Wines Inc.

Sandra is the Founder and President of Market Right, a sales and marketing firm in the Wine and Spirits industry. Market Right represents some of the most prestigious wine and spirit brands globally to ensure they establish great business relationships with Hotels, Restaurants, Distributors and Retailers. Sandra started her career in the Wine and Spirits Industry in 1981, starting as a junior sales representative and earning her way to becoming General Manager of the On Premise wine division at Southern Wine and Spirits. Throughout her career she’s developed a deep knowledge and passion for the wine industry and has used that experience to share with others. Sandra is a trailblazer as one of the first females in the liquor industry and is therefore passionate about paving the path for other women in business through board work with charitable foundations such as The American Cancer Society. Also serving on boards such as NAWBO (National Associate of Women Business Owners) and currently the ECF Associate board (Epicurean Charitable Foundation). She has raised funds and done mentorship with several other foundations.

Sandra has been a Nevada resident for 44 years, is a graduate of Chaparral High School and attended UNLV. She has traveled the world throughout her career and continues to enjoy traveling, fly fishing and horseback riding. She is happiest when sharing food and wine with friends and family.

Vildan Buric

Vildan Buric

Assistant Director of Food and Beverage at Green Valley Ranch Casino

As an ECF and Cum Laude Graduate from UNLV, Vildan has continuously achieved milestones, since his first ever Food and Beverage assignment. Currently, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage at Green Valley Ranch, Spa and Casino, Vildan has completed is a level one Sommelier and Cicerone Certifications. Vildan is true leader, that all of our current students can call a mentor.

Vildan is now giving back to the foundation, by serving as an Associate Alumnus Member.

AJ Song

AJ Song

Alexandria Von Mohr

Attorney at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC.

As an ECF student, Alexandria spent her undergraduate years at UNLV studying hospitality and working for established gaming companies in the Las Vegas Valley. During this time, she was exposed to the legal side of the hospitality industry, which inspired her to embark on her journey in the legal profession. After completing her hospitality degree summa cum laude, which was possible because of the support she received from ECF, she went on to attend law school at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

During law school Alexandria externed at the United States District Court and the Executive Office of Immigration Review, mediated cases in federal and family court, and volunteered at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. Graduating magna cum laude, she has since become a licensed attorney and practices in Howard & Howard Attorney PLLC’s Las Vegas office.

Alexandria currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband, a fellow hospitality graduate. They have each found that despite being in nontraditional hospitality industries, their hospitality experiences have proven to be invaluable. They have also found that they share a passion for traveling around Asia and frequenting Chinatown.

Ben Sison

Ben Sison

Food Server at Primarily Prime Rib, in the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa

Ben Sison is an ECF alumni who graduated from UNLV with a degree in Hospitality Management in 2019. Benjamin is currently working as a Food Server at Primarily Prime Rib, a restaurant located within the South South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. He has been employed by the south point for about 4 years and has worked in a variety of different restaurants around the property.

Ben joined the ECF board because of their mentorship and impact they have in all aspects of college student’s lives, whether it be personal, professional or educational. “I want to help contribute to the life change ECF promotes and executes year after year. I have felt from first-hand experience how big of a role ECF plays in aspiring student’s lives, and I want to do anything I can to help progress and continue their amazing work.”

When not working at the South Point or volunteering in the community Ben, loves being involved with sports, his family and people!

Emily Hewitt

Corporate Chef for Culinary Development and Events, Chobani Greek Yogurt

Emily Hewett is the Corporate Chef for Culinary Development and Events for Chobani Greek Yogurt.

Emily graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014 with her Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management. While attending Johnson & Wales University, she was a Culinary Teaching Assistant, Private Caterer, and had the opportunity to work at the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta.

While Chobani is based in NYC, Emily lives in Charlotte, NC and works remotely, traveling frequently to Chobani’s multiple offices, cafés, yogurt plants, and widespread events. In addition to traveling the country representing Chobani at culinary events and trade shows, she also works closely with the Chobani cafes. She has represented Chobani as a USA sponsor at the Rio Olympics developing recipes for athletes and sponsors; worked at large tradeshows such as National Restaurant Association; and works closely with Chobani’s digital platforms to develop recipes for their social media accounts, website, and brand partnerships.

Emily joined ECF to be able to donate her time in the form of mentorship, culinary demonstrations, and other sort of support for upcoming culinarians. She offers her experiences as an example of the non-traditional path of a chef and what it can offer.

In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, cooking, outdoor activities, dancing, and volunteering.

Candace Kozell

Front Desk - Rooms Coordinator - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Meet our newest Associate Board Member, Candace Kozell, Front Desk Rooms Coordinator at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. As a former ECF student, Candace completed her undergraduate degree at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. During this time, she received valuable hospitality experience through a semester internship with ECF and summer internship at a small boutique hotel in Western New York.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Candace began a position with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as a Front Desk Agent and has worked her way to become a Rooms Coordinator.

Candace currently resides in Las Vegas with her husband Derrick. She enjoys cooking, dancing, spending time with family, and travelling, especially cruising in the Caribbean. She loves being able to give back to her community and can’t wait to be a part of ECF’s Associate Board.

Kim Zhou

Owner, Ni Hao Tea

Kim is an ECF graduate. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2015. Upon graduation, she became a financial analyst at Excalibur and later Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Born and raised in Sichuan, China, Kim moved to the United States when she was 16.

Kim founded her own boba tea company Ni Hao Tea, located in Tucson, AZ.

Ciro Fodera

Chef de Cuisine, Capo Restaurant & Supper Club

Ciro attended Culinary Institute of America with the help of the ECF scholarship. He graduated as Valedictorian with his Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts Management in 2014. His mentor, ECF President Sean DiCicco he learned the importance of empathy and self-reflection.

Upon graduation from CIA, he went to work as a cook for the Taj Hotel of Boston as well as the Four Seasons. Ciro now works for Capo Restaurant and Supper Club in South Boston and was promoted at just 25 to Chef de Cuisine. Here he oversees a staff of 35 cooks. Ciro’s favorite thing to make is any pasta by hand.

Ciro joined ECF’s Associate Board in 2020 because he is passionate about mentorship and giving back to the next generation of culinary students. In his spare time, he is also an avid Dungeon and Dragons player.

Maria Miranda

Supervisor at Violette Vegan, Las Vegas

Maria is an Epicurean Charitable Foundation alumnus who graduated in 3 years from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2019 with her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. While completing her degree Maria completed a culinary internship with the former Caesars Entertainment. Her love for the hospitality industry has always been around, but it flourished when she completed an internship in high school for the Golden Nugget Las Vegas.

Maria was recently promoted to supervisor at Violette’s Vegan Las Vegas. Maria is extremely passionate about the hospitality industry and is always eager to learn and grow, she is excited to see where her career will take her. In her down time Maria enjoys exploring new coffee shops and loves to paint.

Corinne Burton

Employee and Labor Relations, City of North Las Vegas

College / University: University of Nevada Las Vegas Hotel College, class of 2019

Corinne's journey in the hospitality industry started with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as a high school Hotel Operations Intern, which she was selected for through Valley High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism program. Eager to find her passion, she has since then gained experience in: Pool Operations, Human Resources, Talent Acquisitions, and Sales and Catering Conference Services. Corinne also completed a Human Resources Internship and Mentorship Program under Casino Operations all with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. After working four years with the five star hotel, this Las Vegas native now works in Human Resources for The City of North Las Vegas, and is considering applying to law school. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion, talent management, employment law, and community engagement.

Corrine joined ECF in August of 2020 because she is passion about the mentorship opportunities for students. She recognizes the effect her amazing mentors have had on her and believes each student deserves someone to be an advocate for them. As an Associate Member, she hopes to gain a stronger network, influence others, and grow as an individual on a personal and professional level.

When not working or mentoring others, Corrine love doing Pilates, and is also a huge foodie!

Anna Tymoshevska

Anna Tymoshevska, originally from Ukraine, is an ECF graduate that completed her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management at UNLV in 2019. During her time as an Epicurean & UNLV student, she held various positions at The Venetian Resort. Anna started as a Front Desk Agent and after a year was promoted to a Group Hotel Services Ambassador. Upon completion of her BS degree, Anna joined SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand as a Hotel Operations Manager.

Anna is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Applied Economics and Data Intelligence and hopes to switch her focus to data analytics in the hospitality industry.

During her time with ECF, Anna had a number of strong, talented, and supportive mentors that guided her through her school & career paths. Anna is thrilled to continue being a part of Epicurean Charitable Foundation and to be able to influence our students’ lives just like hers was once influenced by ECF.

Jordan Moore

Jordan Moore

Assistant to the Director at City of Las Vegas Department of Youth Development and Social Innovation

Jordan Moore is an alumna graduate of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation. After spending her undergraduate years in the hospitality industry and graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2014, she received an offer to work for the city of Las Vegas which has allowed her to fulfill her passion to serve her community. In this capacity Ms. Moore would be able to coordinate events for the City while fulfilling her passion to serve the community.

Jordan serves as the Assistant to the Director of the City of Las Vegas Department of Youth Development and Social Innovation established in January 2016 to formalize efforts around educational supports and community based problem solving.  Some of her more notable efforts accomplishments include leading efforts for winning the All- America City Award- a first for the State of Nevada, coordinating the October 1 Prayer Vigil with Vice President Mike Pence, serving as a founding board member for Mission High School (one of the nation’s only public recovery high schools) and working with many companies businesses on their corporate social responsibility efforts.

Jordan holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Administration and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

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