Amelia J. Michael (they/she)
Amelia’s passion for social justice began as a teenager, when they participated in an underground feminist movement in Israel that aimed to raise awareness about consent. That early experience led Amelia to obtain their certification as a crisis and domestic abuse counselor through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1994, working as an emergency room volunteer, and growing to offer private counseling.
For over 15 years, Amelia co-owned ANSi Consulting (Mt. Laurel, New Jersey), and transitioned it from a back-end IT support company into a Management Consulting Firm. In 2010, they founded Aikotek LLC, focusing on the things that IT companies were not doing, namely teaching users to understand technology and bridge the communication gap between humans and their machines. For nearly 30 years, Amelia has provided Technotherapy™ (helping people confront their fears and discomforts around technology) to business owners and their employees, with a focus on law firms, non-profits, and family-owned businesses throughout the U.S.
In 2018, Amelia co-founded Polycute.com to serve and celebrate the LGBTQ+ and polyamory communities with unique greeting cards and gifts. Polycute especially enjoys offering greeting cards with alternative inside text options to serve multiple relationship styles and transforming traditional “his and hers” items into more inclusive “his, hers, and theirs” lines. Amelia earned their Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University to expand their social justice work to the realm of gender and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Amelia’s continued work with marginalized communities inspired them to launch Aikotek’s Gender Inclusion for Business Program, as well as their coaching programs. These programs help people improve their communication, understand consensual non-monogamy, and help parents, grandparents, and family members who struggle to adjust and accept a loved one’s LGBTQ+ truth. These combined experiences led Amelia to develop their specialty: helping people become comfortable with the things that make them uncomfortable. Whether it pertains to technology or inclusion, Amelia offers a space for people to acknowledge their discomfort, to “not know what they don’t know,” and to ask questions without fear of judgment.
Curious about the company’s name? Aikotek’s founder adores the famous “Iko Iko” song which originates from New Orleans in the 1950s. Reinterpreted musically many times since then, the song’s history reflects Amelia’s communication style: there are many ways to teach and learn, because we all process change differently. It’s important to find the style that helps you to best be heard. Amelia maintains a collection of recordings by every artist who has ever performed the song. If you are wondering, the count is currently at 58 artists (in 9 languages).
When they are not working or championing social justice, Amelia enjoys a regular yoga practice and a daily meditation practice. They also teach meditation on an individual basis. Amelia is the lead singer of the ‘Rents, a local NJ band that plays rock, blues, and R&B, and they love to record vocals for artists upon request. They had a unique start to their music career, which you can read about in an article featuring them in the Philadelphia Gay News in February, 2021. Their motivation and greatest source of joy comes from their favorite human, their daughter, Sagan.