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Pioneering CEO and Captain of America True, popular international motivational speaker and coach, and one of the world's top sailors, Dawn Riley has extensive and harrowing experience on the water and in the boardroom. She led two Round The World Race Sailing Teams and recently the French America's Cup team, AREVA, bringing her total to four America's Cups. She was the first woman, only American, and youngest person to accomplish this feat and is a forerunner in providing community access into the sport.
Ms. Riley was the first American, man or woman to race in three America's Cup and two Whitbread Round The World Race Sailing teams, including winning the 1992 America's Cup. She also served as president of the Women's Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King.
Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, where she sailed on Lake St. Clair, Dawn Riley became obsessed with sailboat racing at the age of 13. She joined North Star Sail Club and became Commodore of the junior sailing program. She said it was difficult to break into professional sailing; she had to clean quite a few boat bottoms and learn to fix motors before people took her seriously.
Dawn Riley now has a resume that includes 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman of the year, 2002 IC 45 World Championship, first two-time winner of the Santa Maria Cup, and crew on the Maxi Yacht Morning Glory as they set the all time course record in the 1996 Sydney to Hobart ocean race. She was also team captain of America3, the historic all-women America's Cup team in 1995, a member of the winning America's Cup team America3 in 1992, and skipper of Heineken, the all-women team in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World sailing marathon. According to her, teamwork means choosing the right person for each job, man or woman.
A television host, author of Taking the Helm--One of America's Top Sailors Tells Her Story, and an experienced public speaker, Dawn Riley has spoken on topics ranging from entertaining sea stories to defining and attaining personal success, from risk assessment to competing in coed world. Her experience creating and managing $20 - $35 million projects is used to make the topics of teambuilding and achievement especially relevant to businesses. A former member of the International Speakers Association, she has spoken to hundreds of clients including: YPO, Oracle, Microsoft, Sweetbriar College, Franklin Covey, Association of Professional Fundraisers, Commonwealth Club, Universities, Women's Groups, and Sailing Associations, etc.
In addition to her involvement with the Women's Sports Foundation, Dawn Riley continues as the CEO of America True Foundation and is currently dedicated to providing youth with the opportunity to benefit from sailing and its inherent life lessons nation-wide. She is also an advisory board member of the National Women's Sailing Association and National Sailing Hall of Fame. She is a founding member of the International Women's Match Racing Association, Agua Limpia an environmental education effort, and a Young Leader with the BMW Herbert Quant Foundation and the Aspen Institute.
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