I aspire to be a purpose-driven leader whose dedication to mentoring encourages others to take personal responsibility for ushering in the next generation of innovators.
Why do you believe honoring achievement is important?
Honoring achievements is crucial as it sets a precedent for recognizing hard work, dedication and excellence. When accomplishments are celebrated, they become a tangible model for younger generations to emulate, showcasing the rewards of perseverance and commitment. This not only imparts valuable life lessons but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement.
The impact of honoring achievements has a profound impact on the business community. By acknowledging individuals or teams that have excelled, we send a message that their contributions matter, and this encourages others to strive for similar levels of success. This ripple effect fuels growth and innovation. When members witness their peers being recognized, it ignites a sense of shared purpose and responsibility, compelling them to take action and contribute positively. Ultimately, this cultivates a sense of unity and reinforces the belief that collective efforts lead to collective success.
What insights have you gained in your career that would inspire others?
The most pivotal lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t navigate the journey alone. No matter how talented or determined you may be, the road to success is best traveled with a supportive team by your side. The insight, perspectives and relationships that a diverse team brings are invaluable to illuminate blind spots and unveil opportunities that you can’t generate on your own.
As a solopreneur, I initially believed I could single-handedly steer my path. However, as I gradually built a team of colleagues, consultants and mentors, my impact on both the industry and community soared. Collaborative efforts led to innovative solutions, enhanced creativity and a richer network.
The concept of a “team” transcends the traditional sense of employees, partners and vendors — it encompasses friends, loved ones and coaches who provide invaluable encouragement and guidance. I’ve witnessed how these collective efforts amplify success.
What can we do — now — to make a difference for young people/women in Arizona?
To make a tangible difference for young people and women in Arizona, a strategic focus on developing critical thinking skills is essential. It begins with integrating critical thinking into the educational framework to equip youth with the tools to analyze, question and innovate.
As well, mentorship opportunities hold great potential for cultivating critical thinking. Seasoned leaders can play a pivotal role by guiding and empowering young minds to think critically through engaging conversations and real-world problem-solving challenges.
Additionally, promoting equal opportunities across Arizona’s various sectors is pivotal. For women, this includes actively encouraging participation in fields historically dominated by men. It allows us to break down barriers and demonstrate that critical thinking isn’t defined by gender and serves as powerful inspiration.
In A Few Words
- What was the last course, certification or training you took to improve yourself professionally? Active member of Vistage, an executive coaching organization with peer advisory board
- What would you say is a single characteristic OTHERS might attribute to you that defines your success? Tenacious
- What is the one thing you feel you could work on professionally to be a greater success? Active listening
- What is the one professional skill you have that has gotten you where you are today? Writing
- What is the single greatest issue facing Arizona today? Economic and political collaboration is vital for Arizona’s progress, and embracing diverse perspectives can help us find common ground.
As founder and CEO of Aker Ink PR & Marketing, Andrea Aker is known for her perseverance, honesty and results-driven approach. Lauded for her mastery of messaging and knack for resolving complex communication challenges, she helps companies of all sizes break into new markets and achieve exponential growth. A community mainstay, Aker currently serves on the board of directors of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and the Arizona Innovation Marketing Association. She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Arizona and an MMC from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
Andrea Aker is founder and CEO at Aker Ink PR & Marketing.