Hospitality and tourism ranks as the Charlotte region’s fourth largest industry, representing more than 130,000 jobs. The CRVA is strongly committed to ensuring this vital industry has a bright future by training and identifying its future leaders. To show its commitment, the CRVA Educational Foundation was created to provide both educational and professional development opportunities for these standout leaders.
Scholarships in increments of up to $2,000 are awarded quarterly on an annual basis to those employed in the industry currently or to those pursuing graduate and/or undergraduate degrees in hospitality-related programs at an accredited college or university. The largest annual fundraiser for the CRVA Educational Foundation is the Annual Jerry Thornton Girl’s Day Away. Hosted by the CRVA and Visit Charlotte, it’s a day for ladies in the hospitality and tourism industry to network and enjoy a day on the links. The 12th Annual Jerry Thornton Girl's Day Away golf event was held on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 and was a true success with a sold-out field of players, entertaining sponsors and wonderful volunteers. The event raised $5,000 for the CRVA Educational Foundation.
What does the Educational Foundation fund?
The Educational Foundation normally provides support for educational-based courses or seminars that are directly related to the hospitality industry. Examples of current program priorities include:
Improving the hospitality experience: Studies show that younger workers, as well as seasoned professionals, need to be engaged in an "experience" beyond the ordinary to be influenced to change behavior. Customers will be looking for new behaviors in the new service-based economy.
Industry work force: The business model and the hospitality service model of the 21st century will be more about collaboration than one-way communication along a strict hierarchy. A multinational, ethnically and experientially diverse workforce representing a vast range of age groups will participate in delivering hospitality service.
Technology: Technologies are converging to extend the voice, the ear and the mind of the business professional to anywhere at any time. What is gained and what is lost when individually oriented technology alternatives replace more traditional forms of group communication? How will this affect the hospitality industry?
Our changing industry: As hotel companies merge, service cultures consolidate, and businesses modify the way they provide customer service, changes will also occur in the way employees and managers conduct business.
What is not funded by the Educational Foundation?
The Foundation does not make grants for general operations, for covering general non-hospitality coursework in institutions of higher learning, venture capital proposals, capital improvements, business equipment or supplies, or endowments. Additionally, applicants are only eligible for a one-time receipt of scholarship from the Foundation; however applicants who have not received a scholarship can apply multiple times.
Who is eligible?
Students and Professionals: Undergraduate or graduate student applicants must be enrolled in an accredited college or university hospitality industry-related program. Applicants who are working professionals must be employed in the hospitality industry in the Charlotte region.
CRVA Employees: Current Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority employees seeking support to continue their education are encouraged to speak first to their manager about utilizing the CRVA’s Educational Assistance program, a benefit for all full-time CRVA employees. After learning what support the Educational Assistance program may offer, CRVA employees are eligible to apply for a scholarship if they are pursuing an educational degree, certification or seminar program that is fundamental to their professional growth and development in the hospitality industry.
January - April
- Application Deadline: March 31
- Award Date: April 30
May - August
- Application Deadline: July 31
- Award Date: August 30
September - December
- Application Deadline: November 30
- Award Date: December 31
Scholarship Amounts and Funding
Scholarship amounts up to $2,000 are awarded at the discretion of the CRVA Educational Foundation Application Review Board.
How to Apply
CRVA Educational Foundation
Attn: Jenna Wilson
501 South College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202