Mavs and Coca-Cola Southwest collaborate for Mavs Business Assist program to support minority and women entrepreneurs

DALLAS — About 40 executives from the Dallas Mavericks and Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages gathered Monday night in Dallas to meet with dozens of local minority and women entrepreneurs who are members of the inaugural Mavs Business Assist ( MBA) program.

Launched at the start of the season, the MBA program gives 100 minority entrepreneurs across North Texas the backing of an NBA franchise to support their businesses and dreams.

The Mavs and various community partners, such as Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, will meet with MBA members quarterly and the program will culminate in a pitch competition in front of a panel of judges later this season.

Local entrepreneurs all have different dreams and aspirations – but they share a common goal of making an impact in their local communities.

“We take feedback from our entrepreneurs very seriously, actively seeking their input on how to improve the program and how we can better help them achieve their goals,” said Teddy Graves, founder of Mavs Business. Assist. “The large number of volunteers who gave up their night to be part of the program (Monday night) also left a strong impression on the entrepreneurs, conveying the message that we are all invested in their success.”

The Mavs Business Assist program is designed to provide networking resources and peer support to diverse local entrepreneurs through professional development workshops and other activities.

Minority and women-owned businesses are often systematically excluded from economic benefits and resources, limiting their ability to do business, obtain capital and grow their companies.

Texas continues to rank among the nation’s Top 10 for women-led startups, but there is a wide equity gap, especially among women from Black and Brown communities.

The Mavs Business Assist program aims to foster relationships and amplify the stories of those in underserved and under-resourced demographics.

The storytelling initiative is a big part of the Mavs Business Assist program because many entrepreneurs have great ideas, but they need an outlet to share their visions and backgrounds with one another. you have a larger audience.

The Mavs continue to “pass the mic” and allow business owners to share their stories and visions through various digital platforms, such as, social media channels and at games. of the Dallas Mavericks.

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Networking with large corporations and businesses like Coca-Cola Southwest is another important part of Mavs Business Assist.

The MBA program also has the support of Dallas Mavericks legend, team ambassador and businessman, Rolando Blackman, who attends every event.

Graves said the Mavs have an all-hands on deck support system that will only grow in the coming years.

“The Mavs Business Assist program is a source of pride not only for myself, but for the entire Mavs Take ACTION! team,” he shared.

“When we first started thinking about this program, we asked ourselves, ‘how can we intentionally engage minority entrepreneurs in the DFW area?’ We know there are key ingredients to make this program special: a globally respected platform, a great city, and most importantly, amazing minority entrepreneurs throughout DFW.

The program is a personal mission for Teddy Graves, who serves as the Dallas Mavs corporate social responsibility manager. His late grandfather was Earl G. Graves Sr., who founded the magazine and media empire, Black Enterprise.

Graves Sr. is known as as a leading pioneer, icon and champion of black-owned businesses and a supporter of equal opportunity. He received the National Award of Excellence for his business achievements.

Now his grandson is planting similar seeds in the world of sports and business.

“I’m certainly very optimistic for what can come out of this inaugural program,” Graves said. “Personally, one of my highlights was when I had a moment to myself when session No. God works in mysterious ways. I started this program in memory of my grandfather’s legacy, and his birthday was January 9, the day of our session. Looking around and seeing the faces of all of our wonderful entrepreneurs who are so engaged and happy gives me a feeling that he is proud of how this program unfolded.


More than 20 top executives from Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages volunteered at the Mavs Business Assist event on Monday and spent one-on-one time with various participants, answering questions and sharing more about the their backgrounds. Among them are senior directors, vice presidents and general managers.

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Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, an Arca Continental company, is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola in the United States. Based in Dallas, they provide beverages to 31 million people in Texas, parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas.

Derek Alexander, vice president of marketing and commercial operations at Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, was the keynote speaker. He told the MBA members that he read their bios and felt they had unique stories as entrepreneurs.

“Words like communicator, leader, courage, strength, passion, and inspiration describe those of you who continue this journey,” Alexander said.

“I want to thank you for what you do in the community,” he added. “I want to thank you for being an inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and I especially want to thank you on behalf of the entire Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages family and allowing us to be a small part of your journey here tonight . I hope we can be good friends and a community of our own moving forward.

After Alexander’s presentation, MBA participants rotated around different tables and visited with executives who could provide expert insights on employee engagement. The Mavs and Coca-Cola Southwest provided 11 working tables, covering nine different topics, including General Strategic Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Profit Growth Management, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Legal.

“Before the event, we had our entrepreneurs fill out a form where they ranked their preferences on these topics,” Graves said.

“After analyzing the data and performing the tasks, each entrepreneur was assigned to three different rotations at the table, which allowed them to participate in discussions and learn from different experts in the field,” he added.

“Overall, the table rotations were successful. Each table had a small group of participants, which simultaneously helped the sessions feel intimate but wide-ranging. This allowed for more focused and engaging sessions. conversation.”

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Various Dallas Mavericks executives and staff members also participated in roundtable discussions to answer questions and share more about their professional careers. The idea is to develop more personal business relationships with MBA entrepreneurs to ensure that they feel supported more than in a corporate environment.

A key connection can be an open door to the future.

“Hopefully this shows how excited we are to be here with all the entrepreneurs,” Alexander said. “Once again, thank you for letting us be a small part of your journey.”

The Mavs have several workshops planned throughout the season before the culmination of the Mavs Business Assist pitch competition.

In honor of the late visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, the Dallas Mavericks will continue to amplify the stories and dreams of various entrepreneurs in the Mavs Business Assist program throughout the year. To learn more about the program, click here.

Reporter: Tamara Jolee, Dallas Mavs
Photojournalist: Brandon Colston, Dallas Mavs


Table 1: General Strategic Leadership

  • VP, Commercial: Santiago Herrera
  • Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer: Ronnie Fauss

Table 2: General Strategic Leadership

  • GM, North Texas and Oklahoma Operations: Danny Trimmer
  • Director, North Texas Operations: Doug Smith

Table 3: Marketing

  • VP, Marketing and Commercial Ops: Derek Alexander
  • Brand Director(s): Fernando Martinez, Shelby Reeves
  • Chief Marketing Officer: Iris Diaz

Table 4: Marketing

  • Channel Commercial Director: Oystein Enger
  • Brand & Multicultural Marketing Director: Andrea Suarez
  • VP, Marketing: Derek Diaz de Leon

Table 5: Sales

  • VP of Sales: Bob Sweeney
  • VP, Ticket Sales: Scott Trible
  • Director, Season Ticket Sales: Kyle Gillespy

Table 6: Supply Chain/Distribution Logistics

  • VP, Supply Chain: Reyes Garcia

Table 7: Management of Revenue Growth

  • PGM Director: Josh Stirneman

Table 8: Finance

  • Finance Director(s): Ron Smith, Amyn Dhamani
  • Controller, Finance: Will Gough

Table 9: Information Technology

  • CIO: Simon Parkinson
  • Information Technology: Abe Trinidad

Table 10: Human Resources

  • VP, HR: Silvia Martins
  • DEI Director: Michelle Burgess

Table 11: Legal

  • Chief Legal Counsel: Josh McCin
  • Organizational Unit Attorney: Shelia Ogletree


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