Visitor industry leader Keith Vieira donates $1 million to Shidler College for scholarships

Vance Roley, dean, Shidler College of Business; Jo Anne and Keith Vieira; and Unyong Nakata, executive director of development.
From left: Vance Roley, dean, Shidler College of Business; Jo Anne and Keith Vieira; and Unyong Nakata, executive director of development.

Former Starwood Hotels & Resorts executive Keith Vieira has committed $1 million from his estate to an existing scholarship at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business, which was recently renamed to the Keith Vieira Endowment for Kamaaina Student Scholarships. The scholarship, which was first established by Starwood Hawaii in 2013 in honor of Vieira’s contribution to the visitor’s industry, will support undergraduate and graduate students from Hawai‘i high schools who want to pursue a degree at the Shidler College.

“If our local kids want to compete for the best jobs here or globally, a college education is a must. And you can get an excellent business degree right here at UH’s Shidler College of Business. It helped a Hilo boy like me get the career he wanted, and now, I want to help other local kids attain their dreams,” said Vieira, principal of KV & Associates, Hospitality Consulting, LLC.

“As a leader in Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, Keith has devoted much of his time and talent to serving the college and community,” said Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “We are truly grateful for his generosity and his commitment to nurturing local students. This scholarship will enable the college to continue his vision by attracting the best and brightest students in Hawaii and providing them with an excellent foundation for success.”

Vieira began his career with Starwood in 1980 working in various managerial and executive positions until rising to senior vice president and director of operations for Hawai‘i and French Polynesia of Starwood in 1998. During his leadership, Vieira was part of the company’s strategic global expansion overseeing over 1,100 properties worldwide and repositioning the company from a resort-only to the lucrative mixed-use vacation ownership business.

Vieira continues to be a strong advocate for education and community service. He serves on the boards of several local charter schools and educational organizations and has worked with KapiolaniCommunity College and Leeward Community College in an advisory capacity. Vieira currently serves on the Shidler College of Business Advisory Council and as a Shidler Executive-in-Residence providing career workshops for students. 

Vieira also serves as a board member for Catholic Charities, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Children’s Action Network and the YMCA capital campaign. 

For his leadership and dedication to his industry, Vieira was named Salesperson of the Year by Sales and Marketing Executives of Honolulu in 2003 and inducted into the Shidler Hall of Honor in 2002. He received a BBA in personnel and industrial relations from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business.

For information on establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact Unyong Nakata, executive director of development, at or (808) 286-0702.