Akeem Davis: How Networking Led to the Crossroads of Entrepreneurship and Volunteering – City of Huntsville Blog | Region & Cash

Akeem Davis is passionate about serving others. As an entrepreneur, he knew that creating a strong network would be the backbone of his mission.

Davis serves vulnerable populations through Huntsville Hospital and other community organizations.

As the founder and director of the Transitional Care Coach Program, a startup created to bridge the gap between high-risk patients and the wellness resources they need, Davis set out to speak out on behalf of his new company and those it helped has to network. Little did he know that attending a Community Connections networking session at the local library in 2019 would lead him to robust volunteer opportunities that also broadened his prospects.

“I have a family, I’m a property owner and I pay taxes, so obviously I want to have the best police department possible to protect my family.” — Davis

Davis met Huntsville City Council member Jennie Robinson at this meeting, and his attendance soon became constant. Robinson invited him to serve on the Community Connections Steering Committee. Realizing that the nature of his business suited him perfectly, he was nominated to serve on the board of directors of the Madison County Department of Human Resources.

“I have dealt with this vulnerable population before [through Transitional Care Coach Program], and when she asked me for help, I said, ‘Of course I would,'” Davis said. “That was exactly my thing.”

master challenges

Through his work with the Huntsville Police Department (HPD) Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), he eventually came into contact with Councilor Frances Akridge, who asked Davis to become a member of the Huntsville Police Department (HPCAC) Citizens’ Advisory Council.

“This could really lead to something impactful because I can bring a different perspective and I want to help bridge that gap,” he said.

Part of his success as an entrepreneur stemmed in part from a willingness to take on challenges head-on, but that request stopped Davis.

“I got into trouble with the law when I was young,” he recalls. “But I had to remember that my life is very different now.”

Davis recalled going from being the teenager making questionable decisions to being married with three children and a successful business owner.

“I was hesitant at first,” Davis said. “Then when Frances asked me again, I was like, ‘You know, this could really lead to something impactful because I can bring a different perspective and I want to help bridge that gap.'”

He wanted to be a positive part of community relations with HPD while learning more about police policies and procedures.

“I have a family, I’m a property owner and I pay taxes, so obviously I want to have the best police department possible to protect my family,” Davis said.

New Perspectives

Davis believes that the qualities that make him a successful entrepreneur also make him useful as a volunteer, particularly openness, creativity and innovation that can sometimes shake the status quo.

“Sometimes it takes a person to say, ‘Hey, maybe we’ll try this instead’ to motivate others to voice their ideas as well,” he said.

Davis sees his time with HPCAC as a valuable learning resource and is very enthusiastic about the dialogues he has had with law enforcement officers through serving on the board. He has considered encouraging more black men to attend HPCAC meetings, but he believes attending from a different demographic is even more important.

“I would love to see Black women and Latino women join [the HPCAC]’ Davis said. “They are a big part of our community and it would be great to see them represented on our board.”

praise for volunteering

Akeem Davis in a blue and white striped shirt.

Davis is an avid volunteer on the boards of HPCAC and MCDHR.

Davis said people shouldn’t equate volunteering with unpaid sacrifices, but instead focus on the relationships that develop when stepping out of their comfort zone with like-minded people.

“If you don’t, who will?” — Davis

“Volunteering allows me to be a positive part of the community,” he said. “When I was 19, that wasn’t the case. But now I can look back on my personal growth, and volunteering in my community gives me reassurance that I’m doing the right thing and on the right path.”

When asked what advice he would give to anyone considering volunteering in Huntsville, Davis has a simple ethos.

“I would ask, ‘If you don’t, who will?'” he said. “If you see a problem or have a solution to that problem…what if you’re the only person with a solution?” What happens if you don’t speak up? Things would never change. If you have a belief in your heart, it is your duty to carry it out.”

Interested in volunteering? Visit the City of Huntsville’s Boards and Commissions page and click here to submit an interest form.

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