Dolphins Announce Promotions For Aponte And Herman

Posted Aug 10, 2012

The Miami Dolphins announced that Dawn Aponte has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Football Administration and Ryan Herman was promoted Manager of Football Administration.

Aponte, entering her third season with the Dolphins, joined the team on February 1, 2010 as the club’s Senior Vice President of Football Operations. Aponte works closely with General Manager Jeff Ireland and Head Coach Joe Philbin on football administrative matters and serves as the team’s chief contract negotiator. She is responsible for the management and strategic planning of the Dolphins salary cap, negotiating and drafting player contracts and overseeing the football operations budgets. Aponte also serves as the team’s liaison on league affairs.

A veteran football executive, Aponte joined the Dolphins after spending the 2009 season as Vice President of Football Administration for the Cleveland Browns. In her role with the Browns, Aponte’s primary responsibilities included player contract negotiations, salary cap management, player cost budgeting, league compliance and assisting in other legal matters. Aponte joined the Browns organization in 2009 after spending the previous three years at the NFL office, where she served on the League’s Management Council as the Vice President of Labor Finance. In her position at the NFL Management Council, Aponte represented the 32 clubs in dealings with the NFL Players Association and Class Counsel on salary cap and other labor related matters. She also dealt with the clubs on CBA, salary cap and player contract matters. Aponte served on the Management Council Working Club Executive Committee and worked with the ten-member owner committee (Management Council Executive Committee) on collective bargaining issues and labor related matters.

Prior to joining the league office, Aponte worked for the New York Jets for nearly 15 years in various capacities, most recently as the club’s Senior Director of Football Administration. In this role, she worked closely with the Assistant General Manager on matters pertaining to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, player contract negotiations and salary cap   management. Aponte graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware in 1993 and passed the C.P.A. exam shortly thereafter. She went on to receive her Master’s degree in Finance and Management from Wagner College in 1999, then continued on to earn her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar. Dawn and her husband, Kevin, have four children, Matthew, Madison, Caroline and Thomas.

Herman, entering his fifth season in the NFL and third with the Dolphins previously served as the club’s Football Administration Coordinator from 2010-11. Herman’s primary responsibilities include draft choice negotiations, assisting with the club’s salary cap planning and management, and assisting in all veteran player contract negotiations. Herman is also responsible for daily NFL player contract and marketplace analysis, assisting with the club’s player payroll management, conducting various statistical and salary cap related studies, providing strategic legal insight and analysis, and coordinating with the League regarding CBA compliance, player contracts and grievances.

While attending Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Herman served as a legal intern in the Labor Law Department of Proskauer Rose, L.L.P., where he   provided litigation support to numerous Major League Baseball Clubs during player salary arbitration hearings. Upon graduating from Cornell in 2004, Herman enrolled at Hofstra University School of Law, where he focused on labor and employment law, and served as a law clerk for the NFL Management Council from 2006 to 2007. During his tenure at the NFLMC, Herman assisted League attorneys in all aspects of the grievance process, drafted various legal pleadings and memoranda, conducted numerous League-wide analyses and legal studies, and provided litigation support to League attorneys during arbitration hearings.  Prior to joining the Dolphins, Herman was as an attorney with the firm Solferino & Solferino, L.L.P., and practiced commercial litigation in Mineola, New York.

Herman was born and raised in Northport, New York, where his mother (Kate) and two brothers (Taylor and Kyle) currently reside. He received a B.S. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, and earned his J.D., cum laude, from Hofstra University School of Law in 2007. He became a member of the New York State Bar in November 2008.

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