"You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give."
- Sir Winston Churchill
Entrepreneur with Impact
Dee Dee Ricks is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, mother and two time cancer survivor. She dedicates her time towards social equality, access to healthcare and identifying opportunities in the marketplace by creating companies and solutions to address these needs. Dee Dee believes that gender and ethnicity should not impede the ability of individuals to thrive on the same ground as others.
In addition to her advocacy work in healthcare, Dee Dee is continuing her plight to fight for equality. She has created a business in the non-diverse financial services industry that is dedicated to creating a diverse pipeline of investor talent.
A serial entrepreneur, Ms. Ricks began her first business at the age of 11 painting house numbers on the front of the house curbs. She realized that day, the sky is the limit for entrepreneurship. Dee Dee's current work enables her to give back, and having organized the donation of millions of dollars to her philanthropic endeavors, she’s now able to help those most in need.
Ms. Ricks co-founded RBG Talent (previouslyRicks Consulting Group, Inc.) which advises hedge funds and family offices on strategy development and talent acquisition. She launched the firm in 1994 with her first client being one of today’s most successful hedge funds, D.E. Shaw. She has counseled leading multi-strategy firms during their growth and expansion phase into new asset classes and strategies by helping clients understand their strategic and competitive positioning in the marketplace. Her proprietary research process has identified new investment opportunities for leading alternative firms to capitalize on synergies within their existing business structures.
Ms. Ricks has closed hundreds of complex deals with the founders of multi-billion dollar, multi-strategy funds. Her proven track record of onboarding top talent to launch successful strategies has allowed her to align her revenue with her clients. Building on her extensive experience, Ms. Ricks created the proprietary POPM model (Portfolio of Portfolio Managers), which enabled her to be the first to bear “netting risk” on innovative deal structures.
Ms. Ricks was one of four finalists in the Ernst & Young’s National Young Entrepreneur of Year Award in 1998 for her groundbreaking recruiter training venture, Internet Research Services, her second company that she ran alongside Ricks Consulting Group from 1996 to 1999. In 1998, recognizing the internet boom, she created a division of RCG, Omnioptions.com. The company focused on recruiting C-Staff out of Corporate America into “dot com” startups. Clients included visionaries such as D.E. Shaw’s Juno and Farsight, Doubleclick, E-Trade, DLJ Direct and CMGI.
Committed to social finance, Dee Dee has invested in the following companies and serves in a Board Advisory position for Nanobeak, a medical device company used to detect chronic diseases such as cancer using NASA’s technology. Ms. Ricks is also an investor and the national spokesperson for RezilientDirect, the leading provider of supplemental health insurance and UNYQ, a medical device company that provides personalized prosthetics and orthotics.
After her second primary cancer diagnosis of Melanoma in December 2015, Ms. Ricks knows now more than ever, her mission in life is to advocate for access to healthcare for all regardless of socio-economic status. In April 2017, Ms. Ricks will launch her international patient navigation advocacy work in Africa, with an emphasis on access to cancer treatment in Nigeria, partnering with government agencies, academic institutions and non-profit organizations.
In addition to her pioneering work in alternatives, Ms. Ricks is a recognized advocate for access to healthcare. Since her diagnosis with breast cancer and the debut of her HBO documentary, The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, she has given over 100 keynote addresses to Fortune 500 companies, foundations, financial services conferences and non-profit organizations in the US and abroad. Ms. Ricks is a sought after inspirational speaker on access to quality healthcare, patient navigation, alternatives and entrepreneurship. She is a multi-faceted speaker, who has addressed a wide variety of audiences, including: corporate engagements for Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Wells Fargo; non-profit organizations such as Robin Hood, Susan G. Komen, CancerForward and Livestrong; major medical institutions such as the University of Florida’ Cancer Center, Lexington Medical Institute, University of Arkansas Medical Center and the Queen’s Medical Center in Hawaii; keynotes for medical conferences such as the Global Prostate Cancer Conference 2015 in Jamaica. Most recently, Ms. Ricks spoke on impact investing at DC Finance’s 2016 Florida Family Office & Wealth Management Annual Conference.
Having served as Chair of the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute and as a dedicated hockey mom (a predominantly non-diverse sport), she understands the social injustices underserved individuals face in healthcare treatment as well as in their day-to-day activities. These experiences led her to found The Ricks Oberoi Foundation, a 501c3 that serves two purposes - funding healthcare equality through patient navigation of underserved breast cancer victims, as well as sponsoring The NextGEN AAA Student Athlete Development Program. The NextGEN AAAs provide mentoring, education, and hockey programs to diverse, low-income, and at-risk youth throughout the United States and seeks to promote character development and personal growth both “on and off the ice,” and to increase athletic participation for an underserved and diverse universe of players, while most importantly, highlighting the importance of academic excellence to thee young athletes so that they will be well equipped to live more productive lives.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Health and Human Performance (HHP) at the University of Florida in 1991 and was inducted into the University of Florida’s HHP Hall of Fame in 2016.