How would you respond if you are enjoying the job of your dreams in an industry that you love—event planning and group travel—and your employer suddenly shutters the business? For Ja’Vonne Harley, the answer was simple.
Ja’Vonne was well aware that there was an unmet need among African Americans who not only want to see the world, they want to do it in style. More than have a great time, they want to learn about and experience other cultures, first hand. Plus, they want someone else to figure out all the details and deliver it with exceptional service.
In response, Ja’Vonne and her husband Gene, whose combined experience in event management, broadcasting, marketing and travel exceed 45 years, created a business to fulfill those needs. In 1998, they launched Advantage International.
Gene and Ja’Vonne haven’t looked back. Since then, the couple has escorted thousands of African Americans with wanderlust to the far reaches of the world: various African and European destinations, Australia, the Caribbean, China, India, Israel, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam, to name a few. Advantage International’s Culturati have even made the transatlantic crossing on the the luxurious Queen Mary.
Advantage International designs unique travel programs and has created them for groups ranging in size from 30 to more than 3,000. The company has organized events from trade missions to promotional packages for large corporations, local and federal government agencies, civic organizations, reunions and religious groups. It also has partnered with numerous network and local radio stations—ABC, CBS, Clear Channel Communications, Radio One and independents—to provide promotional trips for their audiences or incentives for their personnel.
After more than 25 years of specializing in upscale travel, Advantage International is now expanding in different ways. The company plans to become a premier player in the meeting, incentive, conferences and exhibition (MICE) industry.
For nearly a decade, Ja’Vonne co-hosted “The Traveling Eye Show” on H.U.R. Voices on Sirius XM, combining her expertise as an industry professional and millions of miles of travel to captivate radio audiences through the station’s global reach. In Spring 2016, she launched her own show, “Traveling Culturati.”