Akene Advisors is a team of doers. We have spent our careers in the C-suite and consulting in various industries, but the common thread is that we all thrive at getting things done. We are great at building financial, IT, HR and marketing strategies, but we are even better at bringing those strategies to life.
During her career as a Chief Financial Officer and Manager at a public accounting firm, Dawn worked with many “consultants” helping to improve organizations through technology, training and development pertaining to all areas of those businesses. After the consultants left the buildings and the businesses, she was keenly aware of how the organizations went back to their comfort zones and what they had done before. Dawn saw that most CEO’s and founders of businesses already had the right idea, but just had trouble implementing their vision on a long-term basis.
Today, most businesses demand different skill sets be applied at increasingly random intervals, not the full-time vocational business traditionally required in the past. Dawn founded Akene Advisors to save companies the large one-time unsustainable expense associated with those traditional vocational positions. She approaches staffing the “back office” in a flexible and sustainable manner to solve the business challenges now and into the future.
Dawn received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce from DePaul University in Chicago and is a Certified Public Accountant. She lives in Chicago with her husband Troy, 3 children and a few pets. Her passion for problem solving extends to her personal life where she volunteers in various capacities at her children’s schools and local community organizations.
Russell has spent his career in the constantly-changing world of IT. He began his IT journey by creating his own digital program that made printing more efficient. This sparked his love for technology and efficiency making programs. He took his inquisitive nature to sales, and designed a point-of-sale program that increased his client’s customer satisfaction scores and made them more effective.
His technology acumen and ability to improve customer service led him to the automotive industry. This is where he learned about the business of call centers and how they can increase customer satisfaction and lead to more sales. During that time, he also developed software that allowed the parent company and the sales team to communicate more effectively.
Russell’s talents eventually led him away from the automotive industry. He took the knowledge he gleaned from manufacturing and customer service to the private social clubs sector. Through data, he discovered the habits of its members and worked with the marketing department to provide better member services which increased member satisfaction. Additionally, he developed an off-site private cloud service that ran all the data center computers remotely which increased revenue and decreased output.
He is now on a quest to solve your technology challenges.
Executive Chef Culinary Advisor
Michael H. Garbin, CEC, AAC, HGT, a 1976 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, was the Executive Chef of the Union League Club of Chicago from September 1992 until June 2019. He left the Club after an extensive and successful career planning and executing events for club members and other prominent Chicago clubs, charities and foundations.
Chef Garbin began his distinguished career serving as the Executive Chef of the Wigwam Resort and Country Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona, a Mobile Five-Star property. Chef Garbin’s prior positions also include Executive Chef of the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado, the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, positions with Sonesta Hotels in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana and the Omni International Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chef Garbin looks forward to bringing his culinary expertise to Akene Advisors where he will provide insights for prospective clients by utilizing his creativity, leadership, teamwork and pro-active problem-solving abilities.
Senior Sales Advisor
JJ has spent nearly a decade and a half using technology and applications to help private clubs and hospitality companies connect with their members, guest and general audiences to achieve their desired business goals. In his previous role, he helped grow a startup SaaS provider from 25 employees with $600,000 in recurring revenue to 150 employees and over $15 million in recurring revenue. In August of 2016, that company was successfully sold to a private equity firm. Currently, JJ uses his expertise to help clients surpass both their long and short term goals. He is passionate about building long lasting relationships with clients and thoroughly enjoys the successes that they achieve together.
In his spare time, JJ enjoys spending time with his family, two dogs and cheering on all Cincinnati sports teams.
Woven into our mission is the desire to help our Military, First Responder Veterans and Parents transition into their next corporate careers at Akene Advisors or our clients.
We understand the challenges our veterans have aligning their military background with the corporate world, so we use the resources already available and our strategic partners to prepare and ensure employment is successfully long-term for both parties.
How is your company honoring and recognizing military connected service (veterans, spouses and children) who have all sacrificed for you and our country?
We have looked to the oldest sustainable business in the U.S., our military, for some basic tools such as crawl, walk, run with our clients; deploying the right team for the right mission, and after action reports to ensure we are always improving and meeting the needs of our clients.