Board of Directors

Aakash Patel

Aakash Patel

Founder & President
Elevate, Inc.
Board Chair

Favorite Children's Book Growing Up

The Velveteen Rabbit

Aakash M. Patel is here to help business owners learn, connect and grow in the community.

Entrepreneur Aakash Patel founded Elevate, Inc., a Florida-based strategic business consulting firm providing public relations, community relations, targeted networking and social media, in 2012, and he has become reputed for making significant connections and achieving client results. Elevate, Inc. has served over 150 companies to date. A Florida State University graduate, master networker and community leader, prior to Elevate, Inc.’s launch, Patel was an Editorial Assistant at the Tampa BayTimes Tallahassee Bureau, the Public Relations Coordinator for the Westin Tampa Bay hotel and Aqua restaurant and was the founding Business Development Director for

With robust experiences, Aakash has maintained his focus on leadership, community, military, life-long 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, the Leaders’ Friday Luncheon group.

Previously, Aakash dedicated time and energy in formal positions for the following: Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, 6th Air Mobility Wing Director of Staff, 2014 Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, and College Football Championship Host Committee. Patel ran a community-focused, positive, well-funded race for the Hillsborough County Commissioner District 7 seat in 2018.

Additionally, Aakash completed the National Security Forum at the prestigious Air Force War College, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Tampa, FBI Citizen’s Academy, Tampa Police Citizen’s Academy, Mayor Bob Buckhorn’sNeighborhood University, Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute, James Madison Institute (JMI) Regional Fellows Program, Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) Leadership Academy, Leadership Tampa Bay, Tampa Connection, CollegeLeadership Florida, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Citizen’s Academy , and American Enterprise Institute (AEI)Leadership Network.

Aakash Patel holds degrees in English Literature and Political Science from Florida State University.


  • Florida State University Alumni Association top “Thirty Under 30”
  • Cited as one of Tampa Bay’s Up & Comers by the Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • Featured as a “Rising Star” by the Tampa Bay Times
  • Noted in The Tampa Tribune as one of “Tampa’s Networking Heavyweights”
  • Recognized in the Tampa Bay Business Journal as “Tampa’s Master Networker”
  • Called Tampa Bay Metro as the “Face of Connectivity” 5 Years in a Row
  • Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader Award, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
  • Top 10 Under 40 in South Tampa Magazine
  • Awarded the Milton S. Carothers Ethical Courage Award for his Student Government leadership


All registrations for IECP learning events and workshops are completed online. Registrations are received on a first-come, first-served basis and seating Is limited. An account to our online platform is required for all learning event registrations regardless of cost or type of payment used.


Payment, if required, can be made online at the time of registration. Cash or money order can be accepted on location 48 hours prior to the start of a learning event.


Registrants have up to 48 hours before a scheduled learning event to cancel. A refund will be made to the online account on file. Cash or money order payments will be issued a credit through the online platform If an event is cancelled 48 hours before, or if we cancel an event due to low enrollment or unexpected circumstances.


The event sponsor reserves the right to cancel a learning event due to low registration. If a session is cancelled, those registered will be contacted by email and notified of the cancellation. A credit will be applied to the cnline account on file.


You are encouraged to log on virtually or arrive in person 5-10 minutes prior to the start time of your learning event. Participants arriving more than 15 minutes late WILL NOT BE ADMITTED TO THE SESSION. Partial in-service credit may be offered, if applicable. Make up sessions WILL NOT BE OFFERED for any learning event. ANTI-


The IECP shall not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability/handicap, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation or age in any aspect of learning event, training workshop or professional development. The ELCHC also reasonably accommodates individuals with disabilities, handicaps and/or religious beliefs.


Any person with a disability/handicap requiring reasonable accommodations should call 813.515.2340 no later than seven business days prior to the scheduled learning event.


The ELCHC strives to protect the privacy of learners that attend our learning events. Because each learner must register through our online learning platform, each record Is restricted from public access. Learners can obtain a copy of their certifications as well as their own demographic/contact Information provided. For online support, learners may call 813.515.2340 for assistance accessing their records. Learners are required to verify their Identification at all learning events by showing a state or government issued ID with photograph.


Individuals who participate in ELCHCs learning events have the right to know about the proprietary interest a trainer/ Instructor may have in a product or service prior to attending. All trainers/instructors are required to disclose proprietary Interest In any produce Instrument device, service and/ or materials discussed at an event training, program, or workshop, as well as the source of any compensation related to the presentation.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may be awarded for all learning events three hours or longer in duration. Learning events less than three hours will be awarded in-service hours upon completion. CEUs will be awarded upon successful completion of the learning event. To successfully complete the learning event, learners must arrive on time, attend all required sessions, be an active participant and complete all related assignments or surveys as defined by the trainer/instructor. Online training must have an engagement score of 75% or more. For all online training – CAMERAS MUST BE ON – NO EXCEPTIONS. Participants names for online training must match the name provided at registration. Any required assignments or surveys will be outlined in the Training Description on our online platform. Learners are encouraged to contact trainers/ instructors with any questions and/or clarification needed regarding the successful completion of assignments or surveys. In-service hours will be awarded in place of CEUs if the learner does not meet the requirements of successful completion as defined by the instructor/trainer.
* Trainings may be recorded for educational purposes.


To earn an achievement bonus, you must be teaching in Hillsborough County and meet all the requirements of the course, including pre/post assessments, homework assignments, reflection, and LMS instructor evaluation (if applicable). Each individual is limited to four training achievement bonuses per training cycle, and bonuses will not be given for previously completed coursework. Additionally, a W9 form must be submitted, and the address on the form must match the address on your LMS account. If you have any questions, please contact Abbey Landa at


Upon the successful completion of a learning event/ training participants will receive a Certificate of Completion that can be retrieved from their individual online account


All learning events/training sessions are designed for adult audiences. We ask that all registrants make the necessary childcare arrangements. Childcare is not available.