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Cynt Marshall’s life led her to become CEO of the Dallas Mavericks

Before she became the first black woman executive director in NBA history, a life of struggle and crossing barriers made Cynt Marshall the strength she is today.

DALLAS – The Mavs are currently in their longest playoff run since 2011.

But while Luka Magic is on full display for the whole world to see, real magic is happening behind the scenes.

“I love this,” Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall said of the team’s postseason effort as we prepare for our one-on-one interview on the American Airlines Center’s central runway. “I love this. I’m really excited. “

Not everyone can sit the Mavericks logo on the AAC court.

“We’re special,” Marshall said, laughing on stage.

Maybe. Or maybe that’s where Marshall’s life has always been bound to lead.

In 2018, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hired her as the team’s CEO, which led the former AT&T executive to fix the team’s office culture in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at work.

“Mark Cuban’s mandate for me was to transform the culture,” Marshall said of the directive they gave him when hiring.

Now, four years later, she gave the WFAA free to talk about what we liked about the Mavs and the culture of the organization. At the same time, she gave us unprecedented access to her own life as the woman in charge of turning the team around.

The first, however, we wanted to clear the air about something that began at the beginning of her tenure Mavericks, mainly her statement during her introductory press conference that she did not know who Mark Cuban was when he communicated with offers her the job as CEO of Mavs.

“I know some people don’t believe that,” Marshall said, laughing once again. “But I don’t care if they don’t believe it because I didn’t know who he was! And we joked about it because, like I said, he didn’t know me either!

It is good, then, that Marshall knows herself. In fact, she had to discover herself at a young age, and more than that, she had to learn that her future is not defined by her past.

“When I was 15, my dad broke my nose,” he said. “I went to school with that brace on my nose from where my father broke my nose, and three teachers and a principal hugged me. I love educators. I absolutely love educators. I celebrate them a lot. I get others not to celebrate them. Only during the Teacher Assessment Week, but every time I get a chance because they contacted me. They found out what was going on with us. They knew my mother’s dream was for her kids to go to college and set me on a path. ”

Her mother Carolyn Gardener, and specifically her courage, also helped shape a young Cynt.

“She kept us full of hope,” Marshall said of her mother’s influence in her childhood. “She did some jobs. And then, at 15, she and my dad got divorced. And it was an ugly, violent summer, but we left.”

Marshall had the humblest of beginnings. But at the urging of his mother and teachers, he worked hard to work harder.

After high school, he headed to the school of his choice, the University of California, Berkeley. There she became one of the school’s first black cheerleaders, as well as the first black member of her brotherhood, Delta Gamma.

She broke down barriers with the help of many people.

“I have four words for which I live,” Marshall said. “Dream, focus, pray and act. And that’s how I broke [those barriers]. They taught me to have big dreams, and I did had big dreams. And people were showing me things. They would take places from me and invest in me. “

From San Francisco housing projects to CEO. Marshall kept telling herself in college that this was going to happen.

“I’m going to work for a big company, and I’m going to be a great boss in a corporation,” he said about the big dreams of his college days.

Along the way, he married the love of his life, Kenny. But then came so many overwhelming losses.

“My husband and I had four miscarriages in the second trimester and a daughter who died at six months of age, was four months premature,” Marshall said. “And that’s how we spent the first 10 years of our marriage.”

She and her husband affectionately refer to their lost daughter, Karolyn, as “Special K”. She is also the reason the Marshalls finally sought adoption.

“He took it, but he had a plan,” Marshall said of his faith in God.

Cynt and Kenny were finally blessed with four children: Anthony, Shirley, Rickey and Alicia. They have all been adopted into foster care, and each has an incredible history of overcoming their own history of abuse and neglect.

“Yes, yes,” Marshall said. “My babies. I love my honeys. I call them all honeys; now they’ve grown.”

Marshall has grown a lot over the years, from “mom” to stage 3 colon cancer survivor (in September he will release a book about his fight against cancer called “You’ve Been Chosen”) to the Mavs executive.

In February 2018, she became the first black woman CEO in the history of the National Basketball Association.

She had many life lessons to help her make informed decisions about the future of the Mavericks’ main office. It starts, he said, with zero tolerance.

“There are certain things we can’t stand,” Marshall said. “It’s not that they don’t occur, but that when they do occur and when they are verified, we have no tolerance.”

In just four years, Marshall has transformed the toxic environment into an inclusive one.

But then, in March, another bad headline: Former Mavericks CEO Donnie Nelson sued the team, claiming he was fired from his 24-year post in retaliation for informing Cuban that a senior Mavericks executive had harassed and sexually assaulted a job seeker.

When asked if these recent allegations against the Mavericks seemed like a regression, Marshall did not hesitate.

“We don’t back down,” he said. “We’re not guaranteeing that bad things won’t happen. We say that’s how you respond now.”

As for Marshall, she responds in those moments to the way she has responded all her life: fighting adversity, not letting the past define her, and building a future in trust.

“I just want to thank all our fans, our fans who showed up all season, our fans who trusted us,” Marshall said. “Even when we’re going through a crisis, even if we have bad headlines, even if they don’t know what’s real and what’s not real, they’re here for us.”

Cynt Marshall’s life led her to become CEO of the Dallas Mavericks

Source link Cynt Marshall’s life led her to become CEO of the Dallas Mavericks

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