Indian American Aakash Patel is running for District 1 Hillsborough County Commission seat

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The 33-year-old Tampa businessman and Republican, Aakash Patel heads Elevate, Inc., a consultancy firm that assists businesses in social media, community outreach programs, public relations and government affairs.

                                 Aakash Patel. Credit: Elevate, Inc.

Young Indian American entrepreneur Aakash Patel has entered the race for Hillsborough County Commission. Patel was the first Republican to announce his candidature in June for the 2018 election.

“My story is the American Dream,” Patel said. “And that’s one of the reasons I’m running. My parents are of Indian heritage, and came to America in the early-70’s. They instilled American ideals – such as community service – into me at an early age. And I’m running for the District 1 Commission seat because I want to give back to the city that took me in.”

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Patel studied his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English Literature at Florida State University. During this time he also worked at The Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee Bureau. He is also a graduate of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Tampa (2012), FBI Citizen’s Academy (2012), Tampa Police Citizen’s Academy (2012), Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute (2013) Leadership Tampa Bay (2011), and Tampa Connection (2010), and College Leadership Florida (2005). He is enrolled in City of Tampa’s Mayor’s Neighborhood University, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He founded Elevate, Inc., in 2012 and is the president of the consulting firm. He is also a co-founder of Leaders’ Friday Luncheon group that helps professionals to network with experts in the industry, and was recognized as co-founder by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bucs Connection Young Professional Organization in 2016.

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He was appointed as Chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) by Governor Scott in 2014. He also served as the youngest member of Florida’s Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC). His other past and present engagements include vice president, the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce; advisory board member, Gasparilla Film Festival; chair elect, Centre Club Tampa Board of Governors; and, board of directors member, The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Some of his several accolades and honors include Milton S. Carothers Ethical Courage award, Top Performer Award by The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Florida State University Alumni Association top “Thirty Under 30” (2013), Tampa Bay’s Up & Comers by the Tampa Bay Business Journal (2008), and and being featured as “Rising Star” by the Tampa Bay Times.

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An expert networker, he was recently endorsed by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. In August, Gaetz, who is the son of former lawmaker Don Gaetz, tweeted, “Proud to support my longtime friend @pateltimes in his run for the Hillsborough Commission!”