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One of the remarkable takeaways from the journey of 27-year-old Akil Alvin is that he began to achieve his dreams as he grew up — not when. From creating programming that revitalized his local library at 7 years old, to getting himself a job on the UniverSoul Circus marketing team at age 10, Akil tapped into his calling at a young age. It was a surprise to no one when, at 18, he launched his own company and took his place among the 3% of Black men who serve as the faces and founders of ad agencies throughout this country.

It’s clear the millennial media visionary felt it when he heard these legendary lyrics by the late Christopher Wallace: “Stay far from timid / Only make moves when your heart is in it / And live the phrase ‘Sky's The Limit.’”

Since its launch in 2013, DDM has grown to work with some of the world’s leading brands and municipalities. Their undeniable client roster includes The Walt Disney Company, Bank of America, Ford Motor Company, and Coca-Cola.

The hustle hasn’t been in vain. In 2019, DDM was one of 10 millennial-led companies nationwide to be honored by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Akil was recognized as an Emerging Young Entrepreneur, landing a one-year advisory partnership with Warner Media. In 2020, DDM became the first company to be advised by the iconic Walt Disney Company. Under Akil's leadership, DDM embarked on a full circle and historic moment in 2021 as the first ad agency on record to sign an exclusive multimillion-dollar agreement with a municipality in the country, handling high-level messaging and rebranding for the City of Detroit.

In 2022, Akil was named one of Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 as one of North America's top 30 advertising executives. The Black Marketers Association named Akil one of the most admired CEOs in the world. He’s become the go-to expert for all things advertising globally. In November 2022, he was a keynote speaker during the inaugural Week of Entrepreneurship in Botswana. He announced the global expansion of DDM, planting our first international division in Africa, DDM Botswana.

Culture Academy is the cornerstone of DDM, creating opportunities for young creatives of color and preparing them to step into their dreams. Akil gets it. He saw beyond his circumstances and could tap into his inner force to release his abracadabra, which opened his first door of possibilities. Now, he’s paying it forward for the next generation of creatives to Authentically. Impact. Culture.

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