Cynthia Marshall is a true game-changer who has left an indelible mark on sports and business. As the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, Marshall is the first Black woman to hold the top executive position in an NBA organization. Her story is one of grit, determination, and a fierce commitment to making positive change.
Marshall’s journey to the top of the NBA was not easy. Born and raised in Richmond, California, Marshall experienced firsthand the challenges of growing up in a low-income neighborhood. However, she was determined to succeed and attended the University of California, Berkley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Upon graduating, Marshall began her career in the telecommunications industry, holding leadership positions at companies such as AT&T and Pacific Bell. She founded her consulting firm, serving clients like the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2018, Marshall was brought on as the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks organization as a beat for change. She quickly made it her mission to create a culture of respect, inclusion, and accountability, implementing numerous changes to improve the workspace environment. Under her leadership, the Mavericks have become a model for other sports organizations, receiving recognition for their diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Marshall has received numerous accolades for her leadership and contributions to society. In 2019, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and was recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the top 50 most powerful women in technology. But her work as a member of the board of directors for the YWCA empowers the next generation of female leaders. She also established the Cynthia Marshall Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to students pursuing a degree in business.
In 2022, Marshall’s memoir You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected covers her battle with cancer. From humble beginnings in a low-income neighborhood to leading the charge for diversity and inclusion initiatives in the NBA, Marshall is a true example of what is possible when we go all in and chase our dreams with unbridled passion.