Bronco alum Dan Landucci (BA, communication, 2013) has a longtime reputation as a community supporter. The owner of the local Paddles Up Poké restaurants, Landucci is a member of Boise State’s Lyle Smith Society and the Blue Collar Club, groups that raise donations for athletics. In 2022, after a local restaurant closed leaving its employees unpaid, Landucci covered the final paychecks for close to 20 people – all strangers to him at the time.
“My employees are important to me. We give a lot back to them and want them to grow, so this hit home,” said Landucci, a first-generation college graduate who grew up in San Jose, California, the grandson of a refugee from the Assyrian genocide.
The story of Landucci’s generosity, inspired by a conversation with his young son about the importance of helping people, earned local news coverage in the moment, but the story continued. Landucci hired two of the employees from the closed restaurant. One is a kitchen manager. One is working their way into a leadership role.
Other employees have seen his generosity first-hand.
Sawyer Dawson (BA, anthropology, 2022) grew up in Southern California and came to Idaho to attend Boise State. Starting “at the bottom” at Paddles Up Poké, she is now operations manager of Landucci’s growing collection of restaurants.
Dawson said that Landucci’s work ethic has inspired her. “He’s always in a work mindset and that’s awesome to see, for younger people especially. It’s nice to be able to brag about your boss. Not everyone gets to do that,” she said.
Remembering his own college days, Landucci said he fell in love with Boise State’s culture.
“I was there during the Kellen Moore era,” he said, referring to the years when Boise State clinched its first Fiesta Bowl win and saw its national reputation rise.
“Boise State was blowing up and it was cool to be part of something that’s big like that but also small. I bought into the blue-collar mentality of working hard and being the underdog. That’s how I’ve always been myself. If I were a school, I would be Boise State.”