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 got together Monday night in Dallas to meet with dozens of local minority and female entrepreneurs who are members of the Business Support program. (MBA) Newly opened Mavs.

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

Mavs and various community partners, such as Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, meet with MBA members quarterly, and the program will conclude with a pitch competition before the judges later this season.

All local entrepreneurs have different dreams and pursuits — but they all have 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 help them better achieve their goals,” said Teddy. Graves, founder of Mavs Business Assist said. “The large number of volunteers who gave up their evenings for the program (Monday night) also left a strong impression on entrepreneurs, conveying the message that we are all invested in their success.”

The Mavs Business Support Program is designed to provide networking resources and fair support to diverse local entrepreneurs through professional development workshops and other activities.

Women-owned and minority businesses are often systematically excluded from economic benefits and resources, which hinders their ability to do business, raise capital, and grow their companies.

Texas continues to rank among the top 10 countries for women-led startups, but there is still a large equity gap, especially for women from Black and Black communities. brown.

The Mavs Business Support Program aims to foster relationships and amplify the stories of people from underserved and under-resourced demographics.

Storytelling initiatives are an important component of the Mavs Business Assist program because many entrepreneurs have great ideas, but they need a vehicle to share their vision and background knowledge with multiple stakeholders. more object.

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

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Connecting with large corporations and businesses like Coca-Cola Southwest is another key component of Mavs Business Assist.

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

Graves says Mavs has a comprehensive support system on board that will only grow in the coming years.

“Mavs Business Support Program is definitely the pride not only of me but of the whole Mavs Take ACTION! team,” he shared.

“When we first started thinking about this program, we asked ourselves, ‘how can we intentionally attract minority entrepreneurs in the DFW area?’ We know that there are key ingredients to making this program special: a globally respected platform, a great city, and most importantly, extraordinary minority entrepreneurs across the globe. DFW.”

This program is a personal mission of Teddy Graves, who serves as the corporate social responsibility director of Dallas Mavs. His late grandfather was Earl G. Graves Sr., who founded a magazine and media empire, black business.

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

Now his grandson is sowing the same seeds in the sports and business worlds.

“I am definitely optimistic about what can be gained from this inaugural program,” said Graves. “Personally, one of my highlights is when I have a moment to myself when the 3rd session starts. God works in mysterious ways. I started this program in memory of my grandfather’s legacy, and his birthday is January 9, the day of our session. Looking around and seeing the faces of all of our amazing entrepreneurs getting involved and happy, I have a feeling he would be proud of how this show is going.”


More than 20 top Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages executives volunteered for Monday’s Mavs Business Assist event and spent time meeting face-to-face with various participants, answering questions, and sharing Share more about their background. Among them include senior directors, vice presidents and general managers.

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

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

Alexander said: “Words like communicator, leader, courage, strength, passion and inspiration describe those of you who will be on this journey.

“I want to thank you for what you are doing 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 for allowing us to be a small part of it. Your journey is here tonight. I hope we become great friends and a community of our own moving forward.”

After Alexander presents, MBA participants rotate through various desks and meet with executives who can provide expert insights into employee engagement. Mavs and Coca-Cola Southwest offer 11 desks covering nine different topics, including Joint Strategic Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Profit Growth Management, Finance, Corporate Information Technology, Human Resources and Legal.

“Prior to the event, we asked our entrepreneurs to fill out a form for them to rank their interests among these topics,” says Graves.

He added: “After analyzing the data and performing the tasks, each entrepreneur is assigned three different rotations of the table, allowing them to participate in the discussion and learn from different experts in the field. this.

“Overall, the board rotation was successful. Each table has a small group of participants, which at the same time helps the sessions feel informal but has great scope. This allows for more targeted and engaging conversations.”

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Many Dallas Mavericks executives and employees also joined the table 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 beyond the corporate environment.

An important 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 allowing us to be a small part of your journey.”

Mavs has several more workshops scheduled throughout the season before the Mavs Business Support pitch competition culminates.

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

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


Table 1: Common strategic leadership

  • VP, Commercial: Santiago Herrera
  • Director of Strategy & Innovation: Ronnie Fauss

Table 2: Common strategic leadership

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

Table 3: Marketing

  • VP, Marketing & Commercial Operations: Derek Alexander
  • Brand Manager(s): Fernando Martinez, Shelby Reeves
  • Marketing Manager: Iris Diaz

Table 4: Marketing

  • Channel commercial director: Oystein Enger
  • Director of Brand Marketing & Multiculturalism: Andrea Suarez
  • Vice President, Marketing: Derek Diaz de Leon

Table 5: Sales

  • Vice President of Sales: Bob Sweeney
  • VP, Ticketing: Scott Trible
  • Director, Seasonal Ticketing: Kyle Gillespy

Table 6: Supply chain/distribution logistics

  • VP, Supply Chain: Reyes Garcia

Table 7: Managing Profitable Growth

  • PGM Director: Josh Stirneman

Table 8: Finance

  • Chief Financial Officer(s): Ron Smith, Amyn Dhamani
  • Controller, Finance: Will Gough

Table 9: Information technology

  • Managing Director: Simon Parkinson
  • Information Technology: Abe Trinidad

Table 10: Human Resources

  • Vice President, HR: Silvia Martins
  • DEI Director: Michelle Burgess

Table 11: Legal

  • Chief Legal Counsel: Josh McCin
  • Organizer Attorney: Shelia Ogletree


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