How Raven White went from working at the CIA to owning a leading luxury event planning firm

Abu Mubarik April 24, 2024
Raven White. Photo: The Envision Firm

Raven White is a luxury event entrepreneur and CEO of The Envision Firm, which delivers exceptional and exclusive experiences in the form of events and lifestyle management. Prior to venturing into the luxury bespoke event and lifestyle industries, she worked with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2005 until 2015.

At the CIA, she worked as a systems engineer and moved into project management after acquiring her Project Management Professional Certification (PMP) and Masters in Technology Management from the University of Maryland.

Her interest in curating exclusive experiences was too strong for her to ignore. And it became manifest during her wedding, which she planned in 2013. She told Black Enterprise that people at the wedding were impressed with the planning.

She said, “People wanted me to share my wedding planners’ information with them but were speechless when I told them I planned it.”

People who attended the wedding then began to ask White to plan personal events. She was initially reluctant but eventually bought into the idea, starting on a part-time basis and later transitioning into a full-time gig after leaving the CIA.

White decided to turn her side gig into a full-time job in 2015 because she believed she could accelerate her business quickly. Her business’ location in the Washington, DC, area is also strategic, as the area attracts elites in government and private sector space, large groups, and tourists.

“Ironically, when I started the agency, I thought people would come because I’m based in Washington, DC, where I could help curate the lifestyles of diplomats or high-network clients who went into the area,” remarked White.

Combining her project management and creativity skills, she started getting high-end clients. Today, her company has become a multifaceted agency encompassing event planning, production, and luxury lifestyle services. “The event side was strictly event planning, and now it’s grown to event production services,” she noted.

“I began contacting clients, potential clients, partners, and financial institutions to determine the gap or need,” she said of how she became a luxury event entrepreneur. “I began to learn more about the world’s top 5% of people and how they do business.”

White has been able to build a client base that includes big names like VISA and Monumental Sports, as well as curating the lifestyles of wealthy individuals, including access to superyachts, private aviation, and global events like the F1 Grand Prix Monaco and Art Basel, Black Enterprise reported.

“The awesome thing about bespoke events is that they enable brands to get direct feedback from attendees,” White told Black Enterprise. “Attendee satisfaction is one of the biggest gauges of success!”

According to research cited by Black Enterprise, the global corporate bespoke brand activation market is projected to reach $526.1 billion by 2030, and this is good news for entrepreneurs like White.

Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, White earned her master’s degree from the University of Maryland and her bachelor’s degree from Howard University. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 24, 2024


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