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Accepting the challenge

Posted on 06.01.20 by Caylee Larkin in School of Business

Rafe Rafahi

Farshid Rafe Rafahi '09

CEO, EMH Productions and With You Foundation
Major: International Business
Los Angeles, CA

Tell us more about your job: What do you do and what do you like about it?
I own and run several companies within entertainment, but most notably I’m the CEO of EMH Productions, a LA based Talent Management and Production company primarily focused on artist management and concert tours.

In addition to that I’m the CEO of the With You Foundation (a non-profit aimed at granting wishes for ill Farsi speaking children around the world), a partner at the Talent and Brand management company CTM, and own and operate a Ticketing website.

Tell us about yourself: How did you get to where you are? What should we know about you that is not on your LinkedIn profile?
When I graduated at the height of the economic depression in 2009, my parents’ company which had until then focused on managing only one artist was on the brink of bankruptcy. As I was unable to secure the type of job I was hoping for, I reluctantly agreed to step in and help the company get back on its feet, something I’d imagined would only take a year. I was wrong. The process took close to 3 years. Along the process however, I managed to create something I would have never thought possible just few years prior. By accepting the challenge to do something which was far from my first choice, I had exposed myself to opportunities that would have otherwise never been available to me. Through hard work (60-70-hour weeks were normal) and persistence, EMH Productions is today the undisputed industry leader within our niche market representing half dozen artists as well as being the biggest concert promoter. Point of the story? Play the hand your dealt. Don’t toss it just because you don’t like what you got. Just make sure you keep pulling cards until you get the hand you want.    

How did Linfield help prepare you for your career?
I can honestly say I use the knowledge I gained at Linfield every single day. As an International Business major, my classes and professors gave me the tools I needed to understand how a business works, at least in theory. And I’m incredibly proud to say that I owe a lot of the success I’ve been fortunate enough to experience thus far to the solid base I was able to create at Linfield.

What advice would you give to a current student?
It’s all about sacrifice, so just make sure you give it your all! Doesn’t matter what you commit yourself to, whether it be a class, project, Greek Life, sports, it doesn’t matter. There is no other formula for success. Doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest, richest, or luckiest, in the end, it’s the person who was willing to sacrifice the most who will end up reaching their dreams. If it came cheap, everyone would do it.