Meet Maya Akai


Maya is a native of Joliet, IL, and still resides in the area.  She attended the University of Iowa, where she started her endeavors in radio by hosting a weekly radio show on the University’s student based radio station, KRUI. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Arts Communications Studies, she expanded her communications background and acquired a Master of Science Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University. In 2010, Maya took a chance on pursuing her lifelong dream of sports talk radio and auditioned for an on air talent position search that was hosted by a local CBS Radio affiliate 670 The Score.

After going toe to toe with 700 contestants, predominately male, Maya won the contest and hosted her own two hour weekend show, The Maya Gavin Show for over a year. After leaving 670 the Score, Maya launched her own internet based sports talk show, The Maya Gavin Show REBOOTED. In June 2012, she joined the WVON family on the Sunday night sports talk show, The Sports Cypher as a host.  January 2014 Maya expanded her talk show duties to include a traditional talk show on 1690AM WVON Chicago with the Maya Akai Show and by June 2014 she took over the reigns of The Sports Cypher as lead host adding new direction and enthusiasm to the brand! Maya has continued to expand her broadcasting repertoire adding color commentary and play by play duties for the NCAA Division I Chicago State University Men’s Basketball Team.  Maya has appeared on WGN Channel Nine/CLTV, The SportsFeed as a guest and CBS2 Chicago on Monsters in the Morning. Maya, along with her long time sports talk partner, launched the Sports Talk App, SportsZone Chicago that features authentic, unbridled sports talk. The app can be download from the iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon platforms.

When not ON AIR  Maya works in the Mental Health Field as a Crisis Intervention Specialist, License Professional and Certified Addictions and Drug Counselor.  She has worked in the mental health, education, and social services fields for the past 20 years. Maya has a Masters of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addiction Studies from Lewis University.  Maya’s experience in mental health, post-secondary education and social services contributes to her dynamic perspective and conversation on life and everything in between!

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