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Founder and Chairman of the Board
Kinji R W Ridley
Board of Advisors
Community Activist, Educator, Financial Specialist are all titles synonymous with Kinji R.W. Ridley. Kinji’s passion and vision for wanting the best for his neighbors and neighborhood is what drives him. Kinji was born and raised in West Philadelphia (59th and Haverford Avenue area) and received his early education at Samuel Darroff, Andrew Hamilton (both in Community Solutions service area) and John Bartram public schools, graduating with honors in 1994. After high school, he attended Howard University on a full academic scholarship from 1994-1997, majoring in Allied Health then Business. Deciding that he would like to gain real life experience, Kinji would return to Philadelphia in 1997 and work at Mellon PSFS (now Citizens Bank) as one of their youngest Assistant Managers before starting his 1st entrepreneurial venture, North Star Financial Services in 1999. North Star Financial was a full service Mortgage Brokerage and Financial Advising firm, assisting residents in the Philadelphia Metro area with home financing along with financial advising and planning services. During this time period, he was also tapped to be the treasurer of the West Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, serving in this role from 1999 to 2001.
In 2003, Kinji relocated to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia where he began his 2nd entrepreneurial venture, Old Dominion Financial. Old Dominion focused on providing full service financial advising to the residents of Hampton Roads as well as in the Richmond Virginia market. Wanting to explore other passions outside of the world of finance, Kinji began a career in education and workforce development becoming an advisor with the Upward Bounds program at Tidewater Community College then an Out of School Career Advisor working with at-risk youth in Hampton Roads. Subsequently, he became the Career Counselor for Centura College, then was promoted to Director of Compliance and Administration at the institution. Furthering his credentials in higher education and workforce development, he was hired as the Recruitment and Placement Coordinator for Tidewater Community College’s Health IT grant program. In this role, he served as the day to day program manager for the college’s 11 million dollar grant program. At the grant’s conclusion, Kinji was promoted to the Campus and Community Resource Coordinator of the Virginia Beach campus, serving also as the Operations Manager for the new Student Center. Never losing touch with his community in West Philadelphia, as an opportunity to relocate back to Philadelphia presented itself, Kinji moved back to Philadelphia in 2014. Keeping with his past entrepreneurial pursuits, he opened Premier Advisors Group in November of 2014. Seeing the extreme poverty and need in his neighborhood, Kinji founded Community Solutions CDC in 2016.
As a staunch believer in the power of education and desiring to keep a promise to his mother to finish his undergraduate education, Kinji returned to school at Tidewater Community College in 2007, then enrolling simultaneously in Bluefield College where he graduated with a B.S. in Management and Leadership 2010. He then pursued his post-graduate education first at Capella University (Education) then Strayer University where he completed his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Understanding that passion without action is meaningless, Kinji is an active member of the Urban League of Philadelphia’s Network of Extraordinary Talent (NExT) as well as Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.