Akinwole Garrett (Aki) is a Strategy and Business Development Executive with over 10 years of deal making experience. Currently, Aki is the Vice President of Business Development at SheKnows Media, where he oversees all business development initiatives across the various SheKnows brands. His primary focus includes creating and executing SheKnows’ content video and flat content distribution strategy, launching SheKnows’ various brands on nex-gen social and editorial platforms such as Facebook Live, Facebook Instant Articles, Twitter Moments and Snapchat Discover, and expanding the SheKnows brand into other international and ethnic markets.
Previously, Aki was the Director of Business Development at CBS Local Media where he developed new business, product and content initiatives, assessed new markets, financial opportunities and the media landscape for business and audience opportunities across digital radio, video and audio on demand content. Aki was also responsible for evaluating and negotiating complex business development and revenue driving projects in new and emerging businesses. He was directly responsible for launching CBS Radio’s national Play.it Podcast Network, as well as, executing strategic deals that significantly improved the user experience for over 80mm unique visitors across all 26 CBS Local market websites.
Prior to CBS, Aki worked for Disney ABC Television Group’s Digital Media Business Development Team within ABC News, based in New York. While at ABC News, Aki focused on sourcing revenue generating opportunities, deal structuring, contract negotiation, working with cross-functional teams on new product development, video syndication, and desktop and mobile monetization strategies that surpassed $5mm in annual top-line revenue.
Before transitioning to ABC News, Aki spent most of his career on Wall Street as an M&A Associate within Barclays Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Investment Banking Group, where he focused on both public and private mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and financing transactions for Fortune 500 clients. Aki also lead the Barclays’ East Coast Digital Media Team, which was an internal think tank and resource within the broader TMT group for Barclays’ clients to understand the rapidly changing digital media and technology landscape.
In his spare time, Aki has also moonlights as a producer. In 2006, he partnered with his brother, the late Bé Garrett, to executive produce the 2007 Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes Film Festival Selection A Nick in Time, which went on to win Best Short Film (Queens International Film Festival), Best Narrative Short Film (Moving Pictures Magazine) and Best Actor in a Short Film (Method Fest Independent Film Festival). He and his brother turned around three years later and he collaborated as a senior producer on American Falls, a film based on the short story written by Barry Gifford. American Falls was selected to over fifteen film festivals, including Toronto International Short Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival and Langston Hughes African American Film Festival. Aki continues to be active as a producer and is excited to collaborate with Jeruvia and the rest of the Rain team on this newest project.
Aki holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BSBA in Finance & Accounting from The Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Toigo Fellow c/o 2011 and recipient of the distinguished Toigo Foundation 40 Under 40 award. He is a Board Member of New York City based 501c3 Resilience Advocacy Project and active in many philanthropic endeavors. In his free time, Aki enjoys running five and ten kilometer races, supporting Philadelphia sports teams, and spending time with his wife and daughter.