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Richard Dent, Founder

Richard Dent was born and raised, one of eight children, in Atlanta, Georgia. From an early age Richard aspired to reach beyond the borders of his hometown and make his mark on the world. His business acumen developed young; by eight years old he was taking on odd jobs to earn money. By high school, football started to emerge in Richard’s life as another potential breakout opportunity.  In 1978 Richard’s dream began to take shape when he arrived at Tennessee State University, where he was guided by coaches and mentors who would hone his athletic skills and, more importantly, extend the ideology instilled in him by his mother and community—that each of us has the opportunity, an obligation even, to make a dent in the lives of others. His football career is the perfect underdog story. In 1983, Richard was drafted, in the final round, by the Chicago Bears. Just two years later, as a part of the legendary 1985 Bears, Richard was named MVP of SuperBowl XX.  After leaving the Bears in 1993 he spent 1994 – 1997 with the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. In 2008 he was inducted in to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and, not until 2011 and seven years being of passed over, was Richard inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

While fully engaged in his football career, Richard simultaneously began laying a foundation for the next chapters of his life by creating RLD Resources and the Make a Dent Foundation—both reflecting his propensity for forward-thinking. RLD Resources came from years of disciplined study learning about new and emerging technology and energy. The firm continues to operate and is the parent organization for several smart technology and clean energy programs and collaborations serving the Greater Chicago area. The Make a Dent Foundation was another forum for Richard to give back to the communities from which he emerged, by creating access to dreams.

Richard’s underdog experiences, from beating the odds and rising to a college education to his football career, and then his impressive ability to peak in two unrelated professions spanning more than 30 years, speaks to belief in human potential. Please listen to Richard describe his journey and aspirations.

Richard is a father of four, loving partner and remains passionate about the mission and new directions of the Make a Dent Foundation.

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DeEtta Jones, President

DeEtta Jones is an author, executive coach, and diversity and inclusion leader.  DeEtta’s role, as President of the Make a Dent Foundation, is an addition to her illustrious career. She has, for twenty years, been called upon by organizations around the world to provide guidance on how to maximize individual performance and overall organizational capacity.

DeEtta is a first-generation college student and, like Richard, college was where she met gifted educators and mentors who opened up the world of possibilities to her. College was the time when she began developing confidence and the unique voice that laid the foundation for the rest of her career—and that she has used ever since to be an ally to the disenfranchised.  After earning a B.S. in Psychology and M.S in Student Affairs in Higher Education, DeEtta served as the Director of the Human Rights Advocacy and Education Office in Fort Collins, CO, the Director of Diversity Initiatives and Director of Organizational Learning Services for the Association of Research Libraries, and then began her private practice, DeEtta Jones and Associates, LLC, in 2005. DeEtta attended a graduate program in Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and earned an MBA from the John Hopkins University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses on leadership and diversity at the University of Maryland, College Park and Colorado State University. She has, over all of the years and across her experiences, put first a commitment to personal awareness and investment, continued to investing in her own.

Childhood challenges and identity struggles led her to a career as a human rights advocate; becoming the voice of the underdog and an educator for those who yearn for more. Through the Make a Dent Foundation, she delivers the insights and skills, brought to her prominent clients, to those who are ready to begin investing in their own future; those who may not have previously seen themselves as empowered. She has, over the years and across her experiences, put first a commitment to personal awareness and investment, and believes in empowering others to do the same. DeEtta is a mother, author, motivational speaker, educator and, of course, continues to be an avid human rights advocate.

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