Sovchen Family makes Naming Gift at Savannah Technical College

SAVANNAH – Savannah Technical College Foundation has received a gift of $300,000 from Maura Sovchen and her sons Christopher and Alexander to name the Maura and David Sovchen Demonstration Kitchen at the Savannah Culinary Institute, 7 West Bay Street.

“We are deeply appreciative of this support,” said College President Dr. Kathy Love. “David was a long-time advocate for our culinary arts expansion and it was his intention to play a lead volunteer role in our fundraising efforts. I am so grateful that Maura and their sons have chosen to create this kind of enduring legacy for their family.”

The Maura and David Sovchen Demonstration Kitchen, located on the second floor, will provide space for master classes, continuing education and community-based instruction for the general public. It will feature commercial kitchen equipment and individual work stations for class participation. The 1500-sq ft space will accommodate up to 25 participants. Area hotels will be able to offer packages to their guests and local organizations will be able to arrange specialized group culinary experiences, in keeping with the hottest national trends in the hospitality industry.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the new Savannah Culinary Institute at 7 West Bay Street,” said Maura Sovchen.  “David was a committed board member for Savannah Technical College. He loved to cook and was an avid supporter of the culinary program. He felt that it was very beneficial for Savannah’s thriving vibrant culinary scene and tourism and hospitality industries. David always advocated the importance of giving back and we cannot think of a better way to honor him while making a lasting impact on the community for years to come. We hope that the new demonstration kitchen will inspire others in the way David inspired us.”

David Sovchen passed away in January of this year at the age of 72. He built a very successful career in the hospitality industry. In 1985, he joined Wendy’s International as a respected member of the senior management team, where he met Maura. Together, they ultimately acquired the local franchise and turned the Savannah Wendy’s International market into one of the most reputable and successful franchises in the Wendy’s family. The Sovchens made Savannah their home.  In addition to serving as a member of the Local Board of Directors for Savannah Technical College, David was active with the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah Book Festival, Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts of America. Maura is active in a number of community organizations including Hospice Savannah and the Savannah Book Festival. 

In addition to the Sovchen Demonstration Kitchen, the Savannah Culinary Institute downtown location (four floors; 14,456 sq ft) will include a student-run restaurant and bakery, full teaching and restaurant kitchens and three classroom/lab spaces, more than doubling the available instructional space for Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts. Senior, second-year students will take classes and work in the bakery and restaurant. Entry-level, first-year students will continue to take courses in the teaching kitchen and classrooms at the College’s campus on White Bluff Road.

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Founded in 1984, the Savannah Technical College Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that exists to raise and disburse funds to support the College’s efforts to enhance learning, workforce training and economic development in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties.        

#2004 | August 9, 2019

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (