Singer-actress turned entrepreneur-CEO
Vee Escarment is what you call an enigma. A native of Miami raised by a single mother of three, Vee began singing and acting at the age of five. She performed her way through school choir, church choir and musical theatre, winning many awards in the Arts from ‘Outstanding Performance’ to ‘Music Student of the Year’ and ‘Soloist of the Year’.
She had an opportunity of a lifetime when she sang backup in an ensemble for Latin Singer Luis Fonsi at the 2004 Latin Billboard Awards where she met Gloria Estefan and Alicia Keys backstage.
After graduating from Barry University with a Bachelor’s in Music for Vocal Performance, Vee worked as a Legal Assistant in a law firm for a year. Dissatisfied with her career choice, she quit and pursued singing and acting. She worked on the Dream and Neyo music video set. And her film credits include principal roles in ‘America’s Most Wanted’, independent films such as ‘Naked’ and ‘Unguarded’, web series ‘Miami’, ‘Very Social’, and ‘Ball and Chains Wedding: Locked in Love’, which saw her become a member of SAG AFTRA, the Actors Union.
A lull in television work saw her gravitate towards the nonprofit housing sector in 2013 as a Housing Counselor helping people to save their homes through Florida’s Hardest Hit program and the Principal Reduction Program. She was able to help hundreds of clients from foreclosing on their homes as well as purchase homes as first-time buyers.
This led Vee to her biggest achievement yet – the launch of her own companies – Generational Wealth through Homeownership Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit housing counseling agency, and Generational Wealth through Real Estate LLC, a real estate development company.
What drove Vee to execute and triumph a career switch of this magnitude? She shares, “The road wasn’t smooth. I took business development workshops, read books, received advice from my mentor, and prayed to God. I started building relationships and creating partnerships. Collaboration is the key!”
At a time wherein ‘inclusion’ is finally receiving its just importance in the world, Vee reveals that according to a research by American Express, African American women are starting businesses at the fastest rate of any racial group. While minority women were being shut out when it came to capital access till recently, many workplaces are now conducting diversity and inclusion trainings.
Passionate about empowering women, how does Vee strike a balance between home and work herself? “When you begin as an entrepreneur there are long hours and sleepless nights, but establishing a team makes things easier. You can get further quicker by leading a good team,” she says.
In her free time, Vee, who calls herself an avid reader and a lifelong learner, likes to read and listen to successful leaders. Every alternate Saturday you can find her educating and empowering families in the community. She enjoys taking various workshops, courses, seminars and webinars.
An inspiration to many, Vee herself is inspired by the likes of Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Kamala Harris, Michael Jordan, Angela Bassett and Warren Buffett. “My role models have been Michelle Obama and Angela Bassett. They are women with brains, beauty, and class,” she says.
However Vee isn’t far behind, and the plethora of awards and recognition she’s received stands testimony to that. She has been awarded the Woman of Empowerment 2019 from the Professional Organization of Women of Excellence Recognized (P.O.W.E.R.). She was elected to the National Small Business Association (NSBA) Leadership Council and selected to Leadership Broward Foundation’s Class XXXIX in 2020. She was the cover girl for Formidable Woman Magazine’s ‘Power 20’ August 2020 issue and an award recipient for CEO Today USA Awards 2020. In addition, she was a cover girl and an award recipient for Legacy South Florida Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business and Industry for 2020. She was featured in VoyageMIA Magazine as one of Miami’s most inspiring women for their Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative series 2020 and featured in the Top 100 Magazine’s Top 100 People in Real Estate 2021, as well as VIP Global Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Business 2021.