Association of African American Vintners Scholarship Fund


Cleveland Area CFO Lou Garcia is also the Vice President and Treasurer of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV).   Lou is a winemaker himself and lived the life of a vineyard owner in California for several years and today maintains his own brand, Stover Oaks.


The Association of African American Vintners is a 501(C)(6) non-profit organization formed for the following purposes:


  1. a) Increase the quality of wine communications to all, and to grow awareness of the Association of African American Vintners.
    b) Fostering a spirit of cooperation among all growers, wineries and industry groups.
    c) Develop a sense of community among members of the organization through friendly and informal networking and social functions.
    d) Increase awareness of diversity in our industry to all wine consumers through public pouring events showcasing AAAV member wines.
    e) Facilitate access to relevant viticulture, enological and related information through voluntary sharing among members.


[from AAAV website,]


The AAAV has a scholarship program with which monies are given to support African American students who wish to enter the wine industry.  $1,000 scholarships will be is awarded to students looking to study Enology, Viticulture, Sommelier, Biology, Marketing, or Business with an emphasis on the wine industry.


Additionally, there is a joint partnership with Urban Connoisseurs in forming the John June Lewis, Sr. Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to African American students pursuing careers in the wine industry.


Urban Connoisseurs and AAAV are partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to maintain the fund.


More information on this at


At SharpCFO, we support causes for education and helping others toward a future they may not otherwise be able to achieve.


Through the end of 2020, SharpCFO will donate 20% of fees generated from Lou’s work to the AAAV and its efforts to provide opportunities to increase diversity in the wine industry.


To reach Lou, contact him directly at




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