August 25

Who Is Dawn L. Ridley?


Who is Dawn L. Ridley?

Dawn L. Ridley is the Founder and President of Gamma Innovation Group (formerly Ridley & Associates).  Dawn’s expertise includes strategic planning for organizations in various areas, including marketing, design thinking, new product development, program development and business development.  

Dawn has also served as a Strategy and Planning Director at AARP, where she led the strategy for the Financial Products and Services line of business and served as an internal expert on innovation and design thinking.  Additionally, Dawn served as the chair of the AARP Black Caucus Employee Resource Group. Dawn is also the founder of First Sports Job, where she provides resources to assist individuals secure their first position in the sports industry.

Dawn is passionate about marketing and strategy to build and grow businesses and brands. She is a diversity, equity and inclusion champion with a commitment to supporting access for black owned businesses. She is especially interested in connecting black-owned professional services firms with corporate clients, whether through existing supplier diversity programs or simply making introductions.

 In addition to having served as Vice President, Business Development for D.C. United and Director, Corporate Partnerships for National Geographic Society, Dawn served as the Senior Vice President for NFL PLAYERS (formerly PLAYERS INC), the marketing and licensing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.  Dawn was responsible for managing and directing NFL PLAYERS’ then-$750 million retail licensing business.  She supervised corporate marketing and business development efforts, and assisted in the overall operation and management of NFL PLAYERS.  Dawn was the Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Business Development for NFL PLAYERS prior to her promotion to Senior VP, where she was responsible for maximizing sponsorship and promotional activities with NFL sponsors and NFL PLAYERS sponsors and licensees.  Dawn also served as Assistant Vice President for Trading Cards and Collectibles for over seven years. Dawn has also held sales and marketing positions with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) and the Atlanta Braves baseball club. 

 Dawn is on the faculty at Georgetown University and American University. She has served as an instructor at the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, the School of Business at Rutgers University and at George Washington University.  A native of Evansville, Indiana, Dawn has a BA from Indiana University and an MBA from Clark Atlanta University.  She resides in Bowie, Maryland with her family.



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