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Black-Owned Food Service Firm Announces Million Dollar Scholarship Program

Black-Owned Food Service Firm Announces Million Dollar Scholarship Program


Virginia-based Thompson Hospitality is marking its 10-year anniversary with a pledge to provide a million dollars in scholarships over the next five years.

Initial scholarship students will be students attending those institutions where the Black-owned company provides food service. Thompson’s clients include 14 historically Black colleges and universities.

“We are delighted to celebrate this milestone in our company’s history,” says Warren Thompson, CEO of Thompson Hospitality. “We especially appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve promising students.”

The money will be distributed annually to the schools, who will then be responsible for selecting the scholarship recipients. For those schools with hospitality programs, the company encourages school officials to choose students in that program, but ultimately the decision will be up to the schools, says Benita Thompson-Byas, vice president of marketing at the company.

The scholarship program is one example of the company’s commitment to higher education. The company also offers internship opportunities to students at HBCUs, in hopes of promoting entrepreneurship.

“We want students to take away from the internship the knowledge that they can own their own business,” says Thompson-Byas.

Founded in October 1992 as a franchisee of Shoneys restaurants, Thompson Hospitality is expected to exceed $100 million in revenue in 2002. The company employs over 2,000 associates and operates in 40 states and four foreign countries. In 2001, Thompson Hospitality was named one of the top 10 growth companies by Black Enterprise Magazine.

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