Trina Terrell-Andrews is no stranger to working in high-profile environments with overlapping demands. The Chicago native has a background in journalism and the record industry and was previously the executive director of the Bradie James Breast Cancer Foundation. Terrell-Andrews was chosen to be the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center CEO and has been at the helm for 12 years. Rolling out spoke with Terrell-Andrews about the community work, partnerships and future projects in store for the organization.
Tell us about your transition from journalism to the nonprofit sector.
I decided to make the transition out of journalism in 2009. I came back to the morning news as a freelance writer. When I started seeing things change with the trends and the social media, I was honest with myself because I’m not that tech-savvy; I yielded to the young people coming in, and you have to know when it’s your time to do something else. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Brady James and his foundation. As a result, we did a partnership with the Heroes Foundation. I initially did consulting work with the foundation and received a text message asking if I could come in and manage their facility.
What opportunities did you identify as a result of the pandemic?
When we decided to do Center Table, one of my counterparts was at a food bank, and she texted me asking me what we were going to do about kids continuously getting meals because the school had shut down. We’ve always done something on a small scale, but when you get Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki at the table, it becomes massive. Our team has a passion for taking care of people, and that’s been one of my passions and goals to make sure that no matter where you live, you have access to quality services and resources. What I [also] saw, especially being in [the] Cedar Crest neighborhood, we have a lot of older adults. Some are empty nesters, some are widowed, and they are senior citizens who could afford to go to the store, but it was too scary for them to go to the store. We teamed up [with] North Texas Food Bank, prepacked boxes ourselves, and brought in other professionals.
How are you leading the organization into the future?
I am passionate about it. I remember doing interviews where people would ask me where I see myself in five years, and I would tell them I wanted to educate people, and they would laugh, saying I wasn’t going to make any money educating people. But I really do get to make money educating people every day. It’s not about the money for me, but if I get a call and a kid has never received a suit, then I’m sitting with my team [to figure out how to help].