Author Archives: Akoya

Akoyans Volunteer at Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank

A team of Akoyans and their kids volunteered at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in early April.

After an inspiring Round One in Washington, DC, a team of Akoyans supported the fight against hunger with a volunteer event at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Together, we rolled up our sleeves and in just a few hours bagged and packed an estimated 3,200 pounds of dry pasta for distribution. Special thanks and commendation goes to Ike, Roy, and Fiona, whose youthful energy helped keep the old folks in gear!

The Food Bank was founded in 1980 to help families affected by the closing of Pittsburgh’s famous steel mills. Today, its reach extends across 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, providing healthy food to more than 360,000 people each year — people who often have to make daily decisions about which essential items they need to sacrifice just to buy food. And well over 90,000 children in the area are food insecure, defined as having limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Consistent hunger and worrying when their next meal will be — especially in summer months when school meals are not available — impacts not only children’s physical health, but also their mental and emotional health, leaving scars that can last a lifetime. For these reasons alone, it’s clear the work of the Food Bank is far from over.

Akoya is grateful for the work and commitment of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The team was proud to participate and looks forward to our next staff-wide volunteer event, planned for later this year.

Fifteen Years of DOE SSL R&D Workshops

A few shots of Akoyans behind the scenes of a DOE Solid-State Lighting workshop.

Remember where you were in November 2003? A few of us at Akoya do, as that was when DOE’s Solid-State Lighting program held its very first R&D Workshop, in Crystal City, VA. Fast-forward to today, and we’re proud to say we’ve just returned from working our fifteenth R&D Workshop – every one of them under the leadership of account manager Karen Marchese.

What began as a small two-day gathering with a dozen speakers has grown into one of the lighting industry’s most venerable conferences and spawned other SSL workshops as well. This year’s R&D Workshop, in Nashville, spanned three full days, welcomed fifty speakers, and hosted a bustling poster session enhanced by an assortment of cutting-edge product demos and four talented winners of the third-annual student poster competition. And believe it or not, a few of those inaugural participants and speakers have made it a priority to return year after year, because they value the robust and candid exchange of information and ideas that happens at a DOE SSL workshop.

As the workshops have expanded, so has Akoya’s role in them. Multi-city site search? Sure. Tour organization? No problem. Speaker outreach? Notetaking? Video production? All in a day’s work. After over fifteen years working with the DOE SSL program, we’re proud of the integral role we play in these workshops, and the role they play in shaping the future of lighting.

Akoya Awarded Contract from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Close up of nurse holding patientís handAkoya will provide communications and stakeholder engagement assistance to the Partnership for Patients Program (PfP) in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The PfP aims to save lives by averting hospital acquired conditions and reducing readmissions during transitions from one care setting to another. Akoya will support the partnership by engaging and re-engaging existing partners such as clinicians, hospitals, and patient groups and encouraging them to actively share and promote best practices in patient safety and readmission reductions. Akoya also currently serves the Health Resources and Services Administration at HHS and has extensive health care communications and engagement experience in the federal government.

Akoya Wins 2014 Communicator Awards

glass table with four business awards

The International Academy of the Visual Arts has awarded Akoya two 2014 Communicator Awards. The Communicator Award of Excellence in the Integrated Campaign for Social Responsibility category recognized the quality of the Akoya-created U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs campaign for women veterans. The “Rethink Veterans” campaign included a TV public service announcement, posters, and web content, challenging VA employees to acknowledge and deliver quality care to the growing number of women veterans.

The Communicator Award of Distinction in the Video category was awarded for Akoya’s “Transforming the Lighting Landscape: L Prize PAR38 Competition” video. The promotional video was created for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to motivate manufacturers of LED PAR38 replacement lamps to enter the DOE-sponsored L Prize Competition.

Akoya Supports Nonprofits in DC and Pittsburgh

WTEF, WLP, and PERSAD logos

It’s springtime and Akoya is busy supporting nonprofits in the communities in which we live and work: The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation in Washington, DC; the Women’s Law Project in Pittsburgh; and Persad Center in Pittsburgh.

These important sponsorships come with tickets to some very cool events:


  • Washington Tennis & Education Foundation Tennis Ball, May 9, The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC (and a chance to play a match against James Blake)
  • Women’s Law Project’s Rights to Realities Reception, May 9, The Fairmont Hotel, Pittsburgh
  • Persad Center’s Art for Change Auction and Party, May 12, Wyndham Grand, Pittsburgh

Look us up if you’re there.

Akoya Proudly Supports East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM)

Pittsburgh’s East End has been served by EECM since 1970, when the leaders of 18 local faith groups joined forces to aid homeless adults and at-risk youth. Now EECM operates its initiatives – including temporary housing, feeding, recovery, drug prevention, and educational programs – out of a light-filled 56,000-square-foot community house, launched in October 2013.

Doug Cooper & Stefani Danes collaborationOccupying what was once a blighted lot, the facility boasts a LEED Platinum certification for energy and environmental design. Akoya will soon complete a five-year commitment to the $15 million capital campaign behind this extraordinary new resource. A not-to-be-missed feature is The Once and Future City, a massive 25-foot-tall mural in the gathering room. This collaboration by muralist Doug Cooper and architect Stefani Danes, who worked on the project with summer day camp youth, depicts the ever-changing nature of the East End, celebrating both its “gritty” past and dynamic future.

Akoya Supports DOE SSL R&D Workshop in Tampa

Akoya supported the 11th annual Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting (SSL) R&D workshop, held in Tampa, FL, in January. Several Akoya SSL team members were onsite, managing behind-the-scenes aspects of the event – from coordinating presentations, breakout sessions, and a poster reception to arranging a bus tour of nearby LED installations, and capturing the great interaction among attendees. This is one of three annual DOE SSL workshops for which Akoya provides event and communications support.

Akoya works with Jefferson Regional Foundation

Akoya is happy to be working with Jefferson Regional Foundation on their brand identity. The new grantmaking organization in Pittsburgh was formed in March 2013 when Jefferson Hospital merged with the Allegheny Health Network. The Foundation will improve the health and well-being of residents in southern Pittsburgh communities through grantmaking, education, and outreach.

DOE’s Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office Taps Akoya

Akoya has been awarded a contract to support DOE’s Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office with strategic communications and peer exchange services. Akoya will work with the State and Local Policy and Technical Assistance team, which equips state, local, tribal, and K-12 school district leaders with resources to pursue clean and efficient energy in their jurisdictions. Akoya brings more than a decade of experience in strategic communications and stakeholder engagement in the arena of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy technology.

Akoya Awarded Contract to Support Solid-State Lighting Communications

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has renewed Akoya’s contract for strategic communications support to the Solid-State Lighting program. Since 2003, Akoya has been helping PNNL promote the tremendous energy saving potential of solid-state lighting. Akoya plans and executes campaigns that address multiple constituencies critical to the transformation of the lighting market, including researchers, national laboratories, manufacturers, standards organizations, lighting designers, architects, and consumers. SSL products have begun building market share, but R&D continues to yield further energy savings, better performance, and more cost-effective manufacturing processes.

Shedding Light

Akoya’s Diane Allard used her knowledge of lighting gleaned through her Akoya work supporting the DOE Solid-State Lighting program to recommend long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights during a recent community service project. Diane was part of a volunteer team that made repairs to an Arlington, VA, community home for adults with intellectual disabilities. The LED screw-ins used to replace the existing, unsafe bathroom light fixtures will provide better lighting for many years at a lower cost. Diane volunteered for Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income homeowners across the United States, using her Akoya annual volunteer hours.