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Raquel Riley Thomas  

Entrepreneur, Pageant Queen & Army Veteran

Raquel Riley Thomas is an Entrepreneur, Pageant Queen, and Military-Veteran.

She is the owner of An Officer and Gentlewoman, LLC, a media and entertainment company, with locations in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA.

Thomas is a decorated military veteran, having served nine years in the U.S. Army (5-years Enlisted photojournalist; 4-years Ordnance Officer) until 2002. After hanging up her military boots, she started her first business, Photography by Raquel, LLC. She photographed actors, celebrities, swimsuit centerfolds and more. She also signed to Elite Model Management and later Ford Model NYC as a commercial model. In 2010, Thomas decided to compete in a pageant to show her daughters a princess could look like them. She won the title of Mrs. Maryland America 2010. She went to the national level and won Mrs. America 2011 (1st RU), the first African American to do so. She enjoyed pageantry so much that in September 2011, she started An Officer and Gentlewoman LLC, (AOAGWLLC). In a span of 10 years, she produced and directed pageants in DC, PA, and DE. She currently coaches through RRT Consulting, in the areas of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.

On June 5, 2020, Thomas launched her new signature Raquel Riley Thomas Beauty Line using her 3GL Concept: Glamourous Lashes, Glamourous Lids and Glamourous Lips. They are cosmetic tools formulated to help women reach their ultimate glamour look quicker.

With a flair for beauty and fashion, she has been a segment guest on ABC7, Fox5 and Reelz television. She has been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as Style Cruze, Fitness, Washingtonian, G.I. Jobs, WashingtonLife, and Military Times, to list a few. Thomas is an alumna of Hampton University. She graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Hampton. She simultaneously graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She also has a Mastery of Negotiation certification from Harvard University.

Thomas’s accomplishments have been noted in both her military and civilian career. In the Army, she was awarded the Army Commendation Medal (2x) and the Army Achievement Medal (3x). Thomas was selected as the “Veteran of the Year" 2011, by Women Veteran’s Rock. She was recently inducted into the Library of Congress under the "Veterans History Project" where her military history is now stored in video and pictures. Marquis Who's Who of America awarded Thomas their “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Thomas was also titled a “Leader of the Future,” by Ebony Magazine, Marquis “Who’s Who of America,” (5-consecutive years), and Washington Business Journal “People on the Move.” She most recently was listed as a 2022 Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) Visionary.

Thomas is involved in giving back to her community. She is on the advisory board of the non-profit, Operation Renewed Hope. She is a diamond-life member of the non-profit Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. She is a member of Veterans of Foreign War and Veteran’s in Media. A portion of her company’s proceeds have benefited non-profits such as: Luke’s Wings, Vet Sports, Operation Renewed Hope, Victoria’s Voice, Standup for Kids, and No Kids Hungry, to name a few. She also supports the American Federation of Suicide because unfortunately, her mother took her own life in 2013.

Thomas is married to West Point graduate Ron Thomas, Esq. with four children, a cat, a dog and two robots in their blended family.

Speech Topics

How to Win a Pageant

7 Techniques to Photographing a Model

How to become a Professional Photographer

How to Win a Modeling Contract

Beauty and Fashion Do/ Dont's for Business Women

7 Leadership Skills Business Women Must Have

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