20 Questions with Aakash Patel

Entrepreneur Aakash Patel founded Elevate, a Tampa-based strategic business consulting firm providing public relations, community relations, targeted networking and social media, in 2012.

Elevate has served over 150 companies to date. A Florida State University graduate, before Elevate’s launch, Patel was an editorial assistant in the Tampa Bay Times’ Tallahassee bureau, the public relations coordinator for the Westin Tampa Bay Hotel and Aqua restaurant and was the founding business development director for chamber.com.

Patel has maintained a focus on leadership, community, military, lifelong learning and connecting.

Current leadership roles include the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, the University of Tampa, Seminole Torchbearers, Centre Club Tampa Board of Governors, Seacoast Bank, Gasparilla Film, Tampa Economic Development Corporation, TiE Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Rays 100 and the Leaders’ Friday Luncheon group.

1 . College alma mater? Florida State University.

2. Last book you read? Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State, by George S. LeMieux and Laura E. Mize.

3. Last place you vacationed? The Bahamas.

4 . PC or Mac? PC.

5. Guilty-pleasure food? Pizza with jalapeños.

6 . We’ll find you on the weekend doing? Attending local sporting events and enjoying Tampa.

7. Biggest fear? Heights.

8. Proudest moment? Working the green carpet for the Indian International Film Academy Awards, and starting a business.

9. Dream dinner companion? Bill Gates.

10. Any pets? No.

11. Who did you last text? My brother.

12. What is your cellphone wallpaper image? Elevate’s company logo.

13. What do you listen to in the car? Top 40.

14. What is your go-to drink order? Old-fashioned.

15. Favorite candy? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

16. Do you suffer from Primenesia (the act of ordering from Amazon and forgetting about it)? No.

17. Pool or beach? Pool.

18. Charity you support? Glazer Children’s Museum.

19. Favorite childhood memory? Watching the Phillies make it to the World Series in 1993 (fourth grade).

20. Words of advice? When you encounter an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity.

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