Mark Cuban, DRC leaders share vision for growth in Dallas Region

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications 

Since purchasing the Dallas Mavericks in 2001, Mark Cuban has accrued many titles: owner, CEO, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and disrupter. The latter is one of the titles of which he is most proud, Cuban said at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s 2023 Annual Meeting, presented by Texas Instruments, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.  

During his career, Cuban has disrupted in many industries, forcing them to reevaluate the way things have been done and make changes for the better. In 2022, Cuban zeroed in on the pharmaceutical industry when he launched one of the only companies he has ever attached to his name: Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. The company sells drugs at a flat 15% markup with a $3 pharmacist fee and a $5 fee for shipping. 

“Sometimes disruption is just about simplifying,” Cuban said in conversation with Emily Ramshaw, Co-Founder and CEO of The 19th*. “The pharmaceutical industry has just morphed into a very complicated industry.”  

Cuban enlisted the help of Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and DRC Board member, to compile a list of medications the team has purchased over the past season. The total cost for the team was $165,000. The same prescriptions on Cost Plus Drug Co. would have cost the team just $19,000. 

When Ramshaw asked how he can bring this to Washington, D.C., and change the current structure of the pharmaceutical industry, Cuban said he will let his business do the talking. 

“The best way to teach politicians how to do things is by growing a business because that’s the one thing they pay attention to,” he said. “They see where the money is, they see where the checkbooks are, and they figure out what’s working and what’s not.” 

During the keynote conversation, Cuban also shared a key portion of his vision for growth in the Dallas Region: taking care of citizens and talent already here. He believes the education and the wellbeing of underserved youth in the region is the key to the city’s future.  

“I think being prepared to deal with making our weakest, youngest citizens better students, better fed, healthier, will pay off huge dividends for the city of Dallas in the long term,” Cuban said. 

The capacity crowd also heard Bob Pragada, CEO of Jacobs and 2022 DRC Board Chair, celebrate the DRC’s recent designation as National Chamber of the Year and reflect on the DRC’s progress on its 2022 priorities, which included an intense focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

“I’m most proud of the work the DRC has done to bring real financial investment to under-championed communities,” Pragada said, giving a shout out to Latosha Herron Bruff, Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Community Engagement. “[Bruff] led business leaders on 12 vision tours last year, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in Southern Dallas County. As a result of those tours, more than $4 million has been invested in that area—not as charity, but as business investments.” 

The Annual Meeting also kicked off the official start of Rafael Lizardi’s one-year term as 2023 Board Chair. Lizardi, Chief Financial Officer for Texas Instruments, took the opportunity to share his priorities for the forthcoming year, notably the 88th Texas Legislature. 

“We all know that Dallas is a great place to live, work, and do business, but smart, long-term investments are required to keep our business climate and quality of life strong and globally competitive,” Lizardi said. “The legislature is in session this year and has a historic surplus—over $30 billion. We encourage our elected officials to use some of that surplus and make smart, long-term investments in infrastructure and human capital.” 

Lizardi also announced that Nancy Avila, Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer for McKesson, will be the 2024 Board Chair. 

The DRC shared its 2023 Annual Report, recapping and sharing the impact of our work over the past year. Read the report here.

The DRC hosts hundreds of events each year. Make plans to join us again for more dynamic programming. 

The 2023 Annual Meeting was presented Texas Instruments. Speaker Sponsor was Axxess. Platinum sponsors were American Airlines; Thomson Reuters; and Wells Fargo. VIP Sponsor was KPMG and Happy Hour was sponsored by PwC. Gold sponsors were Deloitte and Ernst & Young LLP. Silver sponsors were American Airlines Center; FORVIS; Haynes and Boone, LLP; The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.; Oncor; Santander; Southwest Airlines; and Toyota Motor of North America. Bronze sponsors were Amazon; Amegy Bank; Arcosa; Bank of America; Bridgepointe Technologies; DFW International Airport; Fifth Third Bank; Grant Thornton, LLP; Hillwood, a Perot Company; HUB International Texas; Locke Lord LLP; NEC Corporation of America; Texas Mutual Insurance Company; and The University of Texas at Arlington.