We had the good fortune of connecting with Alva Amaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alva, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my initial business was to address issues of service availability in my community for my athletes. My first established business was DCPG Sports a community nonprofit organization that provided access and opportunities for athletes in the District of Columbia and immediate suburban communities to train in volleyball, softball, and other non-traditional sports without having to drive an hour.

A&A Athletics and Vigilance Safety Training Center were established in 2019 which combined my two passions, my love of sports and the love of health and wellbeing. The thought process behind these businesses was to enhance the operations and processes of sports organizations, and facilities that host athletic events and provide training to coaches and administrators in risk management. I took my decades of experience as a coach, parent, first responder, and athletic administrator to create a service delivery that will empower and enlighten individuals affiliated with athletics in any capacity.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Professionally, Alva’s experience has afforded her 26 years in management and program development. She has served 25+ years in the health industry as a health educator, emergency medical technician, and community health consultant providing emergency response training, community education on chronic diseases, and direct service provider in adolescent drug treatment and case management. Alva served 20+ years in the sports industry as a coach, basketball official, and event staff, and 15 years in athletic administration. What sets me apart from others is my innate ability to problem solve and the ability to utilize the full spectrum of experiences and training to improve the situation. What makes me and my company unique is the depth of perspectives I have when assessing an organizational plan, risk assessment, and/or while designing policy, procedures, and action plans. Those vavied perspectives include, consumer, parent, first responder, owner/manager, participant, vendor/service provider.
In pursuing my risk management training, I was often the only female in the room and only African American. It wasn’t easy to get the good old boy network to interject a different perspective into the conversation on the various topics, eventually, it got better. Diversity and inclusion in this field are very much needed. I overcame the challenge by continuing to show up in sessions all across the country where they began to recognize my name.
Lessons I learned over the past few years are that organizations, schools, and businesses do not like to evaluate their operational plan from the risk management perspective. Many and unfortunately a large majority feel that since nothing major has happened everything must be all right. This is the largest misconception and barrier in the risk management one could have. There are a few gems I prescribe that keep the mission of why I do what I do: “Everything is ok until it’s not”, the goal is to be prepared for the unexpected. “If it’s not written it wasn’t done”, have a process in place on a daily to report and maintain actions that are done with the who, what, when, and findings. Having a standard operating procedure for reporting and recording activity will be extremely helpful and important in the midst of a crisis. “Training is not a one-time wonder”, training is a consistent and timely component of an organization’s continuity and stability to set expectations and improve the outcome and experience with the client base.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Kenneth D, Amaker supports me to the fullest, listening ear, and providing me with the hard truth when the work-life balance is not so balanced. My children for being my biggest cheerleaders and for free labor when I could not afford to pay.

Tiffany Miller-Bevins, Shelia Weaver, and Monique AJ Smith for the opportunity and mentorship.

Website: https://www.vigilancestc.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vigilant_ad/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/VigilantAD/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vigilantad/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VigilantAD

Other: https://beacons.ai/vigilant_ad

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