David J. Auker, Director, Business Development

Dave brings over 25 years of unique, executive-level sales experience within law firms and professional sports organizations. Before joining Akina, Dave served as Chief Client Relations Officer at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, where he oversaw the client development activities for the firm, provided internal business development coaching and conducted client service interviews to gauge the firm’s effectiveness. He worked closely with the firm’s lawyers helping to deploy key client development tactics and strategies with clients in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, sports & entertainment, technology, and construction industries as well as entrepreneurial companies.

Prior to Shumaker, Dave was Vice President, Club Consulting & Services for the National Hockey League (NHL) in New York, where he worked with NHL teams to improve franchise business operations. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was the head of all marketing, sales, community and public relations functions. He also previously held senior management positions with Palace Sports & Entertainment (Detroit Pistons & Tampa Bay Lightning) where he played a key role in the business success of two NBA championship teams as well as senior management roles with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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MY PATH TO AKINA

Early in my legal career, I was delighted to discover that Akina shared many of the same ideals and philosophies as me. Over the course of several years, I got to know the team and developed a deeper understanding of their values and desire to assist lawyers and law firms and was thrilled when I was asked to join the team!

WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO

Legal is a very unique industry. Seeing our tools and advice help the career growth of individuals is very fulfilling.

FUN FACT

I (successfully!) did a tandem skydive with the Golden Knights of the US Army Parachute Team. My instructors were the same that jumped with President Bush and Jay Leno.

MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Having worked for the NBA, MLB & NHL, I was able to experience and participate in an increased sophistication and focus on revenue growth in sports not all that different from the legal sector. I enjoy helping people and organizations grow.

FREE TIME

I love spending time with my wife and three daughters. Being a Floridian allows me to bike ride and kayak year round, allowing me to experience some amazing wildlife including manatees, dolphin, sharks, osprey and bald eagles, while navigating the Gulf of Mexico on a kayak.