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Meet ED Dudley of We Are Connect-ED in Century City

Today we’d like to introduce you to ED Dudley.

ED, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was proudly born and raised in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, MA., where my parents instilled in me the value of hard work and determination.

Before venturing out into the entrepreneurial field, I spent over 20 years in the financial services arena and had the pleasure of working for some of the largest financial services companies in the country in various positions such as Regional Vice President for Evergreen Investments, Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo Advisors and Senior Vice President for a subsidiary of AIG.

After a very successful career in corporate America and after much prayer, trepidation I ventured out into the entrepreneurial arena. I’ve experienced the highs, the lows, the sleepless nights and seemingly never-ending hours of the entrepreneurial journey.

I can be described as a servant leader because I strive to live a life of servitude. One of my favorite bible quotes is “give and it shall be given unto you” because I believe that through servitude we can not only assist others in realizing their dreams, but we will eventually realize our own.

I’m currently very active in the community by serving on several nonprofit boards such as Board Vice President of SwingPals, Interim Board Chair/Executive Committee for United Against Slavery, Co-Founder/Steering Committee Member of 100 Men Who Give A Damn and Co-Founder of Shining Light In Darkness. I also spend a considerable amount of time working with and mentoring youth within the community.

One of my greatest gifts is my ability to network, connect with people and then in turn connect individuals to other people, resources and opportunities. I spend a considerable amount of my time traveling around connecting with people in order to find ways to serve them. It is my desire to see everyone Connect-ED because at the end of the day, We Are Connect-ED.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth road? What’s that? This road has been one full of potholes, speed bumps, detours and even a couple of wrecks. When I ventured out on my own, I just assumed that is was going to be a piece of cake after I experienced success in the corporate sector. I didn’t fully comprehend the sleepless nights, non-stop hours and the fear that I would face during this journey. On many days I seconded guessed myself and thought about giving up and going back to the illusion of comfort and stability of a 9-5. However, it’s through obstacles you can truly find out what you’re made of and because of these challenges I learned that I’m more resilient than I gave myself credit for.

We Are Connect-ED – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At the highest levels of business, relationships are built on mutuality. You plant the seeds of the relationship. Cultivate those seeds and give before you ever receive.

We Are Connect-ED exists to connect business owners and communities as no one business or person can go it alone. The key to success is found in coming together. This is our purpose and we take it seriously.

Started in 2018 to serve the business and community at large, We Are Connect-ED is all about service to others. Our premise when we began was to create a platform for business owners, entrepreneurs and the community to come together and build real and lasting relationships.

We Are Connect-ED is a professional community consisting of individuals who understand the importance of building meaningful connections. Built on the idea that the business community, regardless of the industry we all share a common goal, to develop strong relationships that help grow their businesses and professional lives. We Are Connect-ED provides a platform that makes connecting easy, educational and most of all enjoyable.

Our vision is to be to the premiere and most sought-after organization for business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with other business owners, resources, opportunities and most of all people to form a bridge of strategic alliances, partnerships and collaborations.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is relative and means many things to many people. I personally define success as living out my true purpose and making an impact in the lives of people that I come in contact with. I will know that I’ve achieved success when I can look around and see that I’ve elevated as many people as I possibly could in any way that I could.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Inspirational Light Photography

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Meet Downtown LA Series Sponsor:

Michelle FRECKLES Labelle: I am a writer. My inspiration when I write is my life. God gave me a complex life – mixed with pain & struggle, but he also added beauty, grace, & talents that I could use to improve my life and the life of others. I have 2 published books available for purchase on my website right now. One of the biggest ways to support me is to order my books. I am also available to perform my Spoken Word at events. People can email me at to discuss fees. I have performed at dialogues between prominent public figures, such as Dr. Cornel West. I have also performed at hair shows, school events, business events, etc. People also pay me to create videos with myself vibing to their latest music.

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