Closing Keynote Speaker
CEO & Co-Founder
The Gathering Spot
Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections and experiences.
At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally impactful events. Responsible for the company’s overall management and strategic vision, Ryan has led the club’s physical expansion with location openings in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, launch of membership communities in New York City, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, and Chicago; as well as the digital expansion of the company’s platform TGS Connect.
In 2022, The Gathering Spot was acquired by Greenwood, Inc, creating the largest fintech and community platform for Blacks and minorities with a combined community of over 1 million people. The companies share a mission of closing the wealth gap for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship and education. This partnership represents a historic move as one of the few black-on-black M&A transactions at scale and was recognized as one of the most influential Deals of Year in 2022 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Ryan has been honored as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was selected as one of the 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under Forty honorees and one of their 100 Most Powerful leaders, was named one of Goldman Sach’s Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2021, and named as one of Georgia’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders by Georgia Trend. The Mayor of Atlanta honored Ryan and his business partner with the prestigious Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor, was named by Atlanta Magazine as one of “Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders’’, and he has been recognized as one of Inc.‘s 30 under 30. He has also been named one of the country’s most influential African-Americans in The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100.
Ryan has been featured in notable national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Revolt, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. He is a trusted speaker and regularly moderates conversations with thought leaders and notable individuals ranging from political figures like President Joe Biden and Senator Raphael Warnock, to business pioneers like Thasunda Duckett and Ben Chestnut, as well as leaders in the entertainment industry including Will Packer, Kelly Rowland, and Gabrielle Union. His work has led to several keynote presentations for various companies including Goldman Sachs, Delta, Google, Meta, Ford Motor Company, and Nike. He also led to keynote presentations at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities including Georgetown University Law Center, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, and The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
A native to Atlanta, Ryan is currently an active participant in several Atlanta civic and community organizations. He proudly serves on the boards of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Usher’s New Look, The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Business League, The Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Invest Atlanta’s Foundation and previously served on the boards of Hands on Atlanta and Peace Preparatory Academy. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men and Atlanta Rotary Club.
Ryan graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center where he proudly serves on the Board of Regents. He currently resides happily in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.