Meet the ESC Founders

The Brand, The Speakers • August 23, 2023

Buckle up. It’s about to be a weird ride…introducing Kassie O’Driscoll & Ali Haney, the co-founders of ESC Events.

The “How We Met” Story

Kassie’s Version

Ali and I crossed paths just after I moved to Virginia. Eager to immerse myself in the wedding photography community, I joined various groups and eventually found myself in a photography business course. A sub-group formed within the course for military spouses, where Ali and I initially connected. Our first meeting over coffee, though I admit it wasn’t the greatest encounter due to circumstances outside of either of our control. The whole situation led to a bit of a misunderstanding and the coffee date was where it start and where I assumed it would end.

As time went on, fate took a more favorable turn. We both found ourselves in a business accountability group and that’s when Ali and I truly clicked! It wasn’t long before we realized that we worked best when we relied each other for accountability. Through shared military connections, entrepreneurial pursuits, and an unquenchable thirst for growth and achievement, Ali and I transitioned from being military spouses and fellow entrepreneurs to genuine friends who share a common passion for success. Our journey from an initial hiccup to forming a strong partnership underscores the importance of surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals who are committed to making their mark in the world of business and beyond.

Ali’s Version

‘Twas a beautiful, crisp winter evening when we first met. I made some white chicken chili for the group of fellow photographers I was hosting in my home. We were all taking an online class together, but decided to meet to discuss the course’s content, like the true business nerds we were/are.

This was when we discovered that we had actually been living just a few minutes from one another for literal years in another state…but didn’t meet until our husbands were both stationed in northern Virginia. At first, Kassie thought I was super weird and a little bit stuck up. Alas, we reconciled our differences and became…BFFs.

The “Who We Are” Part


Escape the smoke & mirrors.


Kassie of the personal brand Kassie Layne has evolved as an entrepreneur from photographer to a fractional Chief of Operations. She began as a wedding and portrait photographer, but realized that the transient military lifestyle was not easily conducive to the schedule of a wedding photographer. She [somehow] enjoys workflows and optimization, which makes a virtual position helping others get the back ends of their businesses whipped into shape make a whole lot of sense. Additionally, she offers VA services…and is basically the best damn cheerleader known to man.


Height: 6’2″. Yes, I was a college basketball player.
Coffee Order: I don’t drink coffee…
Kids: 2
Her Toxic Trait: Trying to turn everything into a business
Favorite Part about ESC: The gap in the entrepreneurial education market & the community we are building as a direct result of that.

[Not Very] FAQs

Favorite Business Task: Implementation & Results
Least Favorite Business Task: Client Calls
Biggest Business Win: Moving my business three times (twice across the country) & still kickin’
Favorite Personal Task: Buying gifts for people
Least Favorite Personal Task: Laundry
Biggest Personal Win: Enduring 13 years of military life


Escape the to do list.


Ali of the personal brand Ali Rae Haney has also had quite the entrepreneurial journey. From wedding and brand photographer to brand developer…well, it’s been a wild ride. Much like Kassie, the military life affected the feasibility of being a wedding photographer; however, she really found that working with other small business owners was what she loved doing most. So now she spends her days finding gaps in brands and filling them to build the businesses of others. Although not a cheerleader, she is probably one of the most organized women this side of the Mississippi.


Height: 5’7″. I’m super average.
Coffee Order: Vanilla Sweet Creme Cold Brew
Kids: 3
Her Toxic Trait: Trying to make a to do list so every person can achieve their goals
Favorite Part about ESC: The hot seats…it’s like education on steroids.

[Not Very] FAQs

Favorite Business Task: Delivering a finished product
Least Favorite Business Task: Bookkeeping
Biggest Business Win: Being resilient after some pretty significant gut punches
Favorite Personal Task: Writing our family’s weekly schedule on the refrigerator whiteboard
Least Favorite Personal Task: Laundry
Biggest Personal Win: When my middle son said he missed my daughter when we went on one single car ride without her…makes me feel like I’m doin’ something right.

How did ESC come to be?

Over a midday January text thread fraught with exasperation and goal-setting conversation. Our natural next step was to plan an entire in-person conference with knock-out educators and some quirky, one-of-a-kind twists and turns.

We sound fun, right?

I know! You should come hang out with us at ESC CONFERENCE 2024!! Get your ticket HERE!