We had the good fortune of connecting with Davonne Reaves and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Davonne, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My 17-month old son has changed my life and how I balance my work, life, and balance. Two years when i became an entrepreneur full-time, is definitely different than being an entrepreneur today. In this short period of time, the world has changed, and my personal world has changed. Because of my son, I’m better at time management which is crucial for entrepreneurs. To optimize my time, I delegate and outsource a lot of tasks to make the best use of my time. For example, I outsource my project management tasks for my development projects, online accounting and bookkeeping companies, graphic artists for marketing projects and I also use interns and make it a win win situation so they can learn, and they can help. Work. Life. Balance., is crucial to entrepreneurs because when you’re an entrepreneur you have to wear multiple hats and when you do everything in your company and lack time management skills, you can become less productive leaving money on the table or wasting funds.

What should our readers know about your business?
Everything is #allpineapples for me (Pineapples is the international symbol for the hospitality industry). Although I’m a serial entrepreneur everything is pretty much related to hospitality regardless if I assist clients to get them into the hotel industry or helping to increase black hotel owners through educational courses. I have two businesses, The Vonne Group and Epiq Collective. A book, Tidbits for the Pineapple Professional and an online course on hotel ownership. The Vonne Group is a hospitality consulting firm focusing on hotel acquisition, development consulting, and market research. Epiq Collective is a commercial real estate fund that focuses on hotel investing. Tidbits for the Pineapple Professional, is a guide for the aspiring hospitality professional primarily for entry level hospitality professionals or college students. Crash Course on Hotel Investing is an online course for people who would like to learn more about hotel acquisitions. This course will walk you through the entire hotel acquisition process. Recently, I became a co-host for a new webinar series The Next Generation in Lodging, which is a webinar series that provides a platform for lodging professionals under 40. My past experience of wins and failures have gotten me to this point. I’m extremely grateful for my failures, because I’ve learned so much and how to be better. Being more curious has also help me, by asking more questions, getting the specifics and challenging/questioning everything. My journey of becoming an entrepreneur was not easy. There’s no straight path to success. I still have more goals and more hurdles that I’ve yet to face. But each year my goals grow, and I continue to set goals that previously might have made me uncomfortable. I want the world to know about Davonne Reaves and The Vonne Group, with a goal of increasing hotel ownership within the Black community, and helping others create generational wealth, whether if it’s through real estate or other ventures. This can be done through education and experience. It’s all about having the right mindset. My mindset now is completely different how it was two years ago. My goals are uncomfortable and to some maybe unattainable.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a history nerd and Atlanta is home to the Civil Rights Movement. Being that I’m a hotelier and hospitality fanatic, I would take them to the Hyatt Regency Atlanta because it’s the first atrium hotel in the world and the first hotel in Atlanta to welcome blacks during the Civil Rights era, and also take them to see the fabulous architecture of Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Visit Centennial Olympic Park and walk to see the statue of former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador Andrew Young. I’m a low-key foodie and a seafood fanatic, so Six Feet Under in Midtown, walk around the Castleberry Hill District. Take a trip to my favorite place for soul food Busy Bee’s. Walk along the Beltline. Get some ice cream at Butter and Cream in Downtown Decatur. Walk around and climb Stone Mountain. Hit some Atlanta staples, such as the Original JR Crickets, visit the Sundial at the Westin Hotel. Go shopping at Phipps Plaza.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many shout outs because I’ve been so fortunate to have such a strong support group in my circle. My son Jamir is my biggest motivation who I work extra hard for him to create a legacy. My immediate family and extended family who’s loving and supportive. I lost my grandmother earlier this year, but her struggles and sacrifices will not go in vein. My sheros my Mom, Carolyn M. Young and Sharon DeBerry. My best friends Deveria Hampton and Bryana Harrington who both happens to be in real estate. My business partner and good friend Jessica Myers (the other half of Epiq Collective). My partners in crime in the hotel industry Omari Head, Christopher Henry and Kendra Plummer.

Website: www.thevonnegroup.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/epiqcollective
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davonnereaves/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/thevonnegroup
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thevonnegroup
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_QAAJaGapx0tImAM5IdISA

Image Credits
The Banker Screening Image Credits: Oluwatoyin Salami Headshot Photo: Christina Cooper