Donna Dawson
Senior Director of Operations
Legacy Corporate Lending

When Donna Dawson started in the asset-based lending industry in the mid-1990s, she knew it was important to apply herself to as much training and hands-on application as possible to be successful. Her goal was to not only be an acclaimed self-starter but to perform and compete on a level playing field with her peers.

Dawson is acutely aware of the importance of jumping in and helping where needed and takes pride in giving back through training and developing those around her. “ABL is unique and is not taught in school, and training plays a vital role,” Dawson says. “The feeling of satisfaction from training a new colleague and watching them develop and grow is priceless.”

Dawson’s 25-plus-year career has spanned various roles in banking and ABL. She has also worked for numerous institutions, including Fidelity Funding, CIT, Core Business Credit, Square 1 Bank, Citi Bank and Live Oak Bank. Currently, Dawson serves as the senior director of operations at Legacy Corporate Lending, an independent asset-based lender.

Dawson has found her time in and contributions to the ABL industry to be both meaningful and impactful. She has had the pleasure of training numerous individuals and has fostered many positive, lifelong relationships.

Throughout her career, Dawson has developed a niche in working with startup companies; she takes pride in strategically helping them to successfully manage and grow their businesses. Dawson advises others to “follow your passion, trust your gut and pay attention to red flags.” Trusting her own instincts has allowed her to save many companies from potential pitfalls, such as fraud
and other detrimental situations.

Looking ahead, Dawson envisions establishing her own lending company. She also aims to advocate for increased representation of women in the ABL industry, particularly at the executive level. Her vision includes developing a mentorship program to encourage and support women entering the sector.