A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Al Dawson received his undergraduate degree from Virginia State University and his master's degree from the University of Louisville. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Germany from 1960 to 1963.
As one of the founding members of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, he served in virtually every position of leadership in the organization until his retirement after 25 years in 1997.
Those positions included president and chief executive offi cer of the New York/New Jersey Purchasing Council; vice president of Northeast Region, NMSDC; a member of National Board of Directors and the Executive Committee; chairman of the General Assembly of Councils; and chairman of the Orange County Regional Purchasing Council (California).
When the NMSDC was formed in Washington, D.C. in 1974, Mr. Dawson drafted its first charter or Scope of Work, which guided the activities of all councils.
Newport Beach, Calif., which later merged with Lockheed Martin Aerospace. His program received the rating of "Outstanding" for 16 consecutive years by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 1984, Mr. Dawson received the Small Business Administration Corporate Leadership Award from President Ronald Regan at the White House, Washington, D.C.
Today, Al is retired and resides with his wife Lee in Aliso Viejo, Calif. He has one daughter, Raven (Jessica) Dawson who lives in San Clemente, Calif.