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Double Minority-Owned Firm Moves White House

The abrupt closure of the largest commercial office relocation company in the D.C. area, Office Movers, has opened the doors of the White House to a small, minority, female-owned firm.

D.C.-based Proven Management LLC won the General Services Administration competition for the presidential transition when the Kane Co. affiliate closed its doors in December.

The company helps agencies across the continental U.S. understand what goes into a move and leads the physical move. And at the helm — an African-American woman.

“We have tremendous government experience,” said Proven CEO and President Denita Conway.

Proven participated in the Exelon Corp. headquarters move and the Pentagon renovation program.

“That’s [one] reason why we got this contract,” Conway said.

The contract calls for Proven to move furniture on site at the White House but will not require them to handle any personal items. The transition process involves helping the outgoing administration move out of the White House and into their new facilities, as well as working to move the new administration in.

The firm’s staff has a team of 25 readily available for the job.

“The opportunity is rare and there is no room for error,” Conway said, adding that she’ll net several hundred thousand dollars for the job. “It’s not the highest contract we’ve had, but it’s the highest profile.”

Conway said the contract equates to a real “a game-changer” for Proven.

“It’s a playing field on which very few people were invited to play,” she said.

Landing the highly-desired White House contract has helped her illustrate the value of a small business.

Conway started the firm in 2008. Today she has 45 full-time and 20 part-time employees and the firm also operates and employs people in a HUD zone.

Conway grew up in the District and was raised by her mother, a widow. She later raised two children as a single mother and then lost her mother to breast cancer. Early in her career she struggled to find a balance between being a mother and a leader in a male-dominated profession where she often found herself excluded from key strategy meetings.

She said to surpass obstacles, she had to be confident.

“My mother wanted me to be an eagle, to fly over situations. That’s how I get my job done; that’s how I get answers for my clients,” she said.

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Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

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