Aakash father son

Aakash Patel, an Indian American entrepreneur based in Tampa, Florida, was named Businessman of the Year by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. (photo provided)

For the first time in the history of the Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Tampa, Florida, a father-son duo is leading the organization.

Aakash Patel, founder and president of Elevate Inc., accepted a board position on the chamber effective Jan. 1, where he will serve alongside his father, Minesh Patel, who has been a board member since 2006, a news release said.

“It is an honor to serve on the Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board, especially with my dad by my side. Both my father and I have experienced being entrepreneurs at different times in Tampa Bay’s history,” the younger Patel said in a statement. “As a millennial, I have a unique perspective, but one thing remains the same. Both my father and I agree there’s nothing more rewarding than helping to grow our collective business community.”

After emigrating from Uganda, Patel’s father, Minesh, has been a resident of Tampa Bay for more than 25 years.

He is the CEO of PBP International Inc, an international business development consultancy. He is also an investor in several start-ups, established ventures and real estate development companies in Florida and globally, the release notes.

Aakash Patel was just 27 years old when he followed in his father’s footsteps and founded Elevate in 2012. His company provides strategic business and target networking consulting to help entrepreneurs learn, connect and grow in the community. To date, Elevate, Inc. has coached more than 150 companies in the Tampa Bay area.

Last year, Aakash Patel was named Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Businessman of the Year” for his contributions as a millennial entrepreneur.

In addition to the Patel father-son duo, the chamber has named Tampa attorney Dipa Shah as chair of its board. Shah, an attorney and in-house counsel for Coastal Dental, is the first woman in history to serve in that role.

“Becoming the first woman to chair the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Board is humbling and a true privilege. As more and more businesses continue to move to Tampa Bay, we have an exciting opportunity to boost our local economy and improve our community at the same time,” Shah said.

The chamber was founded in 1999. The organization connects Asian American professionals and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and improve their businesses through education and community involvement.

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