New Culinary Arts and Aviation Maintenance-Avionics scholarship endowed at SGTC

Published 8:42 am Friday, March 11, 2022

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Rick Garcia, President/CEO of Gulf Coast Avionics Corporation in Lakeland, FL, is shown above (on the right) presenting a check for the new endowed scholarships at South Georgia Technical College to President Dr. John Watford (shown on left).


Gulf Coast Avionics Corporation President/CEO Rick Garcia and Lisa Garcia, owner of Daphne Lodge Restaurant at Lake Blackshear have endowed new scholarships for the South Georgia Technical College Aviation Maintenance/Avionics and the Culinary Arts programs through the South Georgia Technical College Foundation.

“On behalf of the students and faculty and staff at South Georgia Technical College, I would like to thank Rick and Lisa Garcia and their businesses for supporting South Georgia Tech and our students with these endowed scholarships,” said President Dr. John Watford. “Your willingness to partner with our college and foundation serves two very important purposes.  First, you have the opportunity to help students pursue their dreams of getting a great education in career fields that are in demand by business and industry partners and, second, you are helping provide a trained workforce for those same business and industry partners.”

South Georgia Technical College Foundation Executive Director and SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird also thanked the Garcia’s for their support of the foundation and the Culinary Arts and Aviation programs. “Your investment in an endowed scholarship will continue to give back to students indefinitely.  We are honored that you chose to provide additional assistance to deserving young people seeking an education at South Georgia Technical College. Thank you again for recognizing the value of the educational opportunities SGTC provides to students.”

Rick and his wife, Lisa, purchased Daphne Lodge Restaurant in Crisp County earlier this year.  His love of avionics combined with his and his wife’s new culinary arts business venture sparked his interest in partnering with South Georgia Technical College.

“I am very impressed with everything that South Georgia Technical College has to offer,” said Garcia.  “My wife and I are passionate about what we do.  I employ avionics technicians and my wife will be employing individuals to help manage Daphne Lodge Restaurant.  This seems like it could be a perfect partnership opportunity for us and the South Georgia Tech students.”

Gulf Coast Avionics opened in 1984.  The company successfully provides avionics, installation and repair solutions for both fixed-wing and rotary markets.  The avionics and pilot supply company is an authorized and preferred vendor of leading avionics manufacturers including Garmin, Aspen, L-3, Bendix-King and many others.   It is headquartered in a vast 29,000-square-foot-facilty at Lakeland, FL, but has expanded to include Pacific Coast Avionics, which is located near Aurora State Airport in Aurora, OR. The corporation has experienced and skilled technicians to provide avionics installations for customers across the globe.

Garcia hopes his relationship with South Georgia Technical College will inspire college students as well as high school students to explore the love of aviation related careers.  Lisa Garcia hopes her support will encourage other students to pursue their culinary arts degree and employment at Daphne Lodge Restaurant.

South Georgia Technical College offers over 200 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate of credit programs of study.  SGTC also provides the “Complete College Experience” with on-campus housing and nationally ranked intercollegiate academics, athletics, and student activities.