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Dave Ridley    

Operating Partner for People and Leadership at Riata Capital Group & Former Senior VP and CMO at Southwest Airlines

Dave Ridley retired from Southwest Airlines in 2015 after a twenty seven year career. During this period he served as a senior executive in a variety of operational, commercial, and staff functions including: SVP Chief Marketing Officer; SVP People and Leadership Development; SVP Business Development; and VP of Ground (Airport) Operations. From 1998 until his retirement he served on the Executive Committee, the CEO’s staff responsible for strategy and corporate policy.

Ridley now provides keynote speeches and consults with organizations across the world sharing lessons learned in his career at Southwest regarding building a world class brand based on service excellence, the type of leadership required to do so, and the importance of a healthy corporate culture in sustaining it. He is also Chairman of the I AM a Golfer Foundation, a nonprofit organization which seeks to be a catalyst for community transformation in South Dallas through the programming, preservation, and promotion of historic Cedar Crest Golf Course.

A native Texan, Ridley earned his BBA in the Honors Business Program at the University of Texas at Austin and received his MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Ridley has enjoyed 42 years of undeserved good fortune as the husband of Mary Flo Ridley. They are the grateful parents of three children as well as the grandparents of eight grandchildren. He is a passionate golf nut whose addiction thereto is perhaps equaled only to ice cream.

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