Volunteer Story: Akiva Lewis
Akiva’s pointed out to anyone on the fence about volunteering: “we all have something to give”.
Pacific Community Ventures recognizes the invaluable work of star advisor, Akiva Lewis. The Principal Diversity Business Partner for Workday, a financial and human capital management software vendor, Akiva has a long history of fostering successful mentoring and corporate partnerships at PCV.
When he first joined the PCV Business Advising family in September of 2017, Akiva was the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Google Marketing Solutions, doing outreach to Women, Black, and Latinx business owners. We paired him with Kobi, the owner of a martial arts studio, and together the two set to work identifying marketing strategies to gain new customers. When this relationship ended, Akiva took the owner of a yoga and pilates practice under his wing, helping him to use data from his business to analyze the effectiveness of different advertising strategies and increase revenue. At the same time, Akiva encouraged his peers at Google to volunteer their expertise for underrepresented business owners, leading to an influx of knowledgeable new advisors in our volunteering pool. His enthusiasm and influence also resulted in a grant from Google.org to PCV — helping us serve more business owners in the Bay Area in need of help.
When Akiva made the move to Workday, there was no question that he would continue serving as a business advisor: this time for Eric, the owner of a Media Out Loud, a LGBT-focused media and marketing company seeking help with his hiring needs. Workday has long supported programs that create good jobs in Black and Brown communities. Given the chance to provide guidance on relevant corporate partnership opportunities, Akiva championed PCV’s efforts in these areas. And with his encouragement, Workday joined the PCV Small Business Support Circle, where now they work with us to get millions of dollars of free advice like Akiva’s into the hands of job-creating small business owners across the United States.