She makes every day better than she found it
Long before she became the Mavericks’ CEO, Cynt Marshall was an accomplished and frequently recognized business professional, a survivor of cancer and adversity and a master storyteller. One morning in her retirement, the phone rang. Marshall assumed it was one of her children in college, calling to ask for money, and asked her husband to take the call.
She watched him as he listened to the caller, then covered the phone and said to her, “This guy has plenty of money. It’s Mark Cuban and he wants to speak to you.” “Who’s Mark Cuban?” asked Marshall.
Marshall was the inaugural speaker in NCJW Dallas’ “Catalysts” speaker series, and she shared that now her ability to effortlessly use her personal experiences as a launching pad to connect to important ideas in business and life was on full display. The speaker series was held as part of NCJW’s Opening Meeting Oct. 7 in Linz Hall at Temple Emanu-El.
She told the audience that not long after that initial call, she was at a conference table in the Mavs’ offices. Ten white men filled the remaining seats. This was not the first time in her career she had faced such an audience. Marshall began to articulate four items: her vision; the need for total transparency; a set of organizational values; and what became the 100-Day Plan for Diversity and Culture Change at the Mavs. By meeting’s end, they’d agreed to become nothing less than the standard setter for diversity, equity and inclusion in the NBA worldwide. One hundred days later, there was a much more diverse group sitting around the table. Now, four years later — while still a work in progress — the culture at the Mavs has significantly changed and the NBA is following its lead.
In March 2021, Forbes recognized Cynt Marshall as one of the “Fifteen World’s Most Inspiring Female Leaders.” She inspires not just because of what she accomplishes, but also for the challenges she’s overcome along the way while always retaining a daily commitment to serve others. In her recent memoir, “You’ve Been Chosen,” she shares many of these stories and her belief that she was chosen for these experiences that helped shape her commitment to others.
Like NCJW Dallas, Marshall has a deep passion for education, recounting how three teachers and a principal “literally saved my life.” Likewise, the Mavs and NCJW Dallas are both deeply committed to Getting Out the Vote, and the two leaders swapped examples of their organizations’ efforts. Marshall is also the board chair of Dallas CASA and was surprised to learn that NCJW Dallas created the pilot project that became Dallas CASA decades ago.
One of the many questions Shannon Morse, NCJW executive director, and hybrid audience members asked Marshall at the event was what drives her in all these situations to still make the world a better place every day. Her response was swift and definitive: “The sisterhood!” She is passionate about helping and providing hope and light for all women and particularly about being a role model for Black women. She declared to the audience, “I found my sisterhood in Dallas, and you are all now part of it.”