Michael A. Graves, has more than 25 years of experience in consumer goods, multi-media, and fundraising (both private equity and philanthropy), and is the Founding Member and Managing Partner of the Graves Advisory Group, LLC (Graves Advisory). Graves Advisory is a diverse marketing firm based in New York that focuses on business development and analytical growth strategies, branding, image consulting, and one-on-one coaching. (The Firm has an additional presence in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Houston.)
Prior to forming Graves Advisory, Mr. Graves was the Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Marketing Officer at Black Enterprise Magazine (BE). He led the company’s historic growth from a single title publication to a multi-media platform that launched three nationally syndicated shows; two television, one radio, and a National Women’s Conference, while spearheading content, sales, and marketing integration across all properties, and the global redesign of their .Com brand.
Before joining BE, Mr. Graves was an Award-winning Bottler in the Pepsi-Cola Franchise system (Wash, D.C.) for over a decade; working with two of the Nations leading Entrepreneurs Earl G. Graves Sr. (Father), and Earvin “Magic” Johnson (NBA Legend). His time there was highlighted by industry product launches of New Age beverages which became iconic national brands, with household names such as Aquafina, Lipton Brew, and Starbucks Frappuccino, as well as the “Urbanization” of Mt. Dew. He cut his teeth in business working at top urban and gospel radio stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth market (KNOK, KDLZ, KHVN) as an On-Air personality focused on specialty promotions, advertising, and marketing events. This was an extension of his On-Air presence at both the University as well as secondary education levels.
Mr. Graves is a Principal at Earl G. Graves Ltd, (parent company of Black Enterprise Magazine and the BE/Greenwich St. Private Equity Firm), and was a Founding Board Member of the Harris Obesity Prevention Effort (HOPE) Charitable Foundation at NYU. He has been a dedicated mentor to young African-American men and women for almost 3 decades.
Mr. Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Communications Major at the Walter Annenberg School, as well as a starting Noseguard and Defensive Tackle on their Undefeated Football team. He has also served as a Guest Speaker at the Graduate School of Education on the Topic of Institutional Development.