Home: Palm Springs, CA. Age: 58. Birthplace: Boston, MA. Organization: Akiva Consulting. Title: Founder. Pronouns: He/Him/His. Alma mater: University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Current project: Serving as a business mentor at SCORE, a non-profit organization providing one-on-one counseling to small business owners. Recent recognition: Privileged to be part of an Empowerment Panel with other business executives regarding workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During COVID, I spearheaded and launched our first ever program. Latest contribution to others: Volunteering as a student teacher in a first-grade classroom. Previously served as president of a non-profit supporting the isolated elder community in San Francisco. Recent professional development: Mindfulness. Slowing down my mind is no easy task for this east coast-er. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Returning to school full time to earn my teaching credential. Hobbies: Swimming, travel, wine country and hiking. Recent travel or adventure: South Africa. In addition to a safari exploration, I visited Bloukrans Bridge, the tallest single span bridge in the world and bungee jumped from it – 756 feet! Last book read: Shoe Dog, By Phil Knight. Recently viewed and recommended: Better Call Saul. It’s off the charts good, whether or not you loved Breaking Bad. Recent unique acquisition: My new home in Palm Springs.
Personality profile: Engaging, passionate, positive, authentic, funny, empathetic, inquisitive. Moral compass: Accept where you are in life, everything happens for a reason. What word or phrase do you use far too often? Everything happens for a reason. How do you define a perfect friendship? A foundation of trust and respect, from which vulnerability and authenticity are made possible. Oh, and humor, which can turn a friend’s frown upside down and change the way a day looks. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Just the same. What is your greatest joy? Having a dog in my life. What is your go-to workout? Swimming. In the cooler months, a three mile run. What is your guilty pleasure? No matter the size, I can and will eat the largest lobster one can put in front of me. 3 ½ pounds is my current record. What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? A fish market. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Good people and good food. What is at the top of your bucket list? Alaska, Croatia and Greece are all high on the list.
What was your first paying job? Selling shoes. What was your favorite college course? Industrial Psychology. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Operation (don’t judge me). What book have you repeatedly read? Kids These Days, by Jody Carrington, PhD. What movie(s) have you repeatedly watched? Blue Jasmine, Bridesmaids, The Godfather, The Departed. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Photos of family, friends and my adorable pooch. Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My uncle, Martin Sooper, personally and professionally. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Teachers. What’s the best advice you received in your career? If you act presidential, you will be presidential. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? The iPhone. What is your favorite app? NPR. What is your go-to source of news and information? NPR and the New York Times. What company or organization do you most admire? Apple. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? 9/11. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Coming out.
Connect large scale industries (sports, automobile, technology) with inner city communities and public schools to connect a steady flow of much needed resources and support. These industries become sponsors and would allocate millions of dollars each year to where it is most needed.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Leading by example, authentically and in the spirit of genuine service. Financial goals are best achieved by taking the time to develop, coach and mentor others. It's the secret recipe. What change would you like to see in the world? Holding people accountable for racism. What message do you want to send out into the world? Everyone is born equal. If that was instilled early in adolescence, we’d likely experience less prejudice and greater tolerance. What widely held belief do you reject? That people have the right to force their views on others. Rather, share your thoughts, listen to others, accept what is different from your own. What mega-trend most excites you? Artificial intelligence. What mega-trend most concerns you? Mass shootings and gun-related deaths.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? One Man’s Story. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? George Clooney. A stretch, perhaps, though I do have the salt and pepper hair. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Barack Obama (well in the future for both of us, I hope). As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? In business. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? A photo of my dad. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? At Fenway Park, watching the Red Sox play the Yankees, pizza and soda in hand. What advice would you give your younger self? Accept yourself. Embrace who you are. Don’t compare; look in the mirror and realize the only judgment that counts is your own. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? That day has not come yet, however, it will be the day I meet the love of my life. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My forties. They were focused on material success. Now in my fifties, my mindset is focused on acceptance, appreciation and giving back.
Personal mission: To help others, whether in the form of mentoring, coaching or consulting. Personal motto: Everything happens for a reason (did I say that before?). Favorite quote: “Good things come to those who wait.” Desired epitaph: To know Jeffrey was to love Jeffrey. Always kind, funny, loyal and caring. The very definition of a friend.