Latoya Lewis, 36, works in Washington, D.C., as founder and CEO at EnventU. As a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree, Lewis discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: EnventU is a nonprofit educational initiative for teens in the Washington, D.C., area that gives industry professionals the opportunity to help cultivate the next generation of caterers, audiovisual professionals, event producers, decor and floral designers, and more.
How I got here: Prior to founding EnventU, I produced high-end corporate, nonprofit and private events as an account manager with renowned special events firm Events by Andre Wells, based in D.C. Milestone achievements with EAW include management of the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial and its 2,400-attendee Dream Gala and a celebratory dinner for more than 250 major donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Impressive stats: We’ve connected 16 students to paid job opportunities with four students being given permanent employment, and EnventU has allowed students to participate in the production of or volunteer at more than 20 live events in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area.
What I’m working on now: EnventU is striving to implement full-time curriculum at three locations, bringing workforce-development training to an additional 100 to 150 high school students in the District. We’re excited to recruit more students to bring these partnerships to fruition, ultimately engaging and directing young people toward this vibrant career path.