Team details

It is quite possible to work without results, but rest assured, never will there be results without work.

CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

John Graves

FULL BIO

Education and Experience

Graves is founder and president of PR Networks, Inc., a full-service public relations firm with more than 30 years’ experience.  His business resume as a senior advisor has included several corporate clients, most notably Coca-Cola Company and Ilitch Holdings, (Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars, etc.) counseling both for more than 25 years.

Graves was the lead external government affairs consultant for Ilitch Holdings on the $863 million Little Caesars Arena project, home of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings. He has provided strategic advice to several corporate CEOs and senior executives.  Moreover, he has provided counsel to several law firms on discrimination cases. 

His special event experience spans to Coca-Cola’s 100th Anniversary, Major League Baseball 2005 All-Star FanFest, Summer and Winter Olympic Torch Runs, and Sean “P Diddy” Combs Vote or Die Campaign at Wayne State University with Mary J. Blige and Leonardo DiCaprio, and numerous other events. 

Graves’ commitment to youth includes chairman of the Detroit Youth Sports Commission, which manages two UAW-Ford sponsored baseball fields in Detroit – William Clay Ford Field and Balduck Park.  The youths play more than 600 games annually during the spring, summer and fall leagues. He created the “Cool Kids Code” program three years ago, to help close the digital divide in Detroit.  

Graves co-chaired the 40th Anniversary of “Roots” the TV mini-series at the Museum of African American History with the Haley family and actor, John Amos and other dignitaries.  One of the event’s honorees was Sanofi-Aventis, the leading French pharmaceutical company that offered a smallpox drug without exercising a patent, which allowed the drug’s availability for pennies in poor African countries. 

He held a premier movie screening for Lucasfilm with “Red Tails” in Detroit with originally documented Tuskegee Airmen and the cast of the movie, to honor our heroes. He also hosted the premier screening of the “Great Debaters” with its cast before Detroit and St. Louis high school students to address conflict resolution. He recently served as an executive director of “Voices of the Movement,” a NBC nationally syndicated program, that aired in 15 major markets.

He was the co-founder of the Ford Detroit Football Classic at Ford Field with Alabama State University vs Florida A&M University, which sold out the inaugural year, with more than 65,000 attendees.  Sixteen years ago, at Super Bowl XL in Detroit, he managed the inaugural Fritz Pollard Alliance Johnnie C. Cochran, Jr. “Salute to Excellence Awards,” given annually to minority NFL coaches, executives and organizations.

Graves is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, where he attended St. Jude High School earning All- State recognition in basketball and winning two consecutive State Championships, as the captain and a four-letter athlete.  In addition, he garnered All-State honors in football.  Graves played collegiate football as a receiver at Alabama A&M University.

His social resume began in the 10th grade while participating in civil rights rallies, listening to Dr. Martin Luther King and others.  It was that inspiration that led him to march on March 7, 1965, in Selma, on “Bloody Sunday” across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  He was honored to return to Selma to co-manage the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” for the city of Selma, Alabama. Graves serves as chairman of the official celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Detroit. 

Graves received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Detroit-Mercy.  He has humbly accepted numerous awards for his community service. Graves served in the US Army during the Vietnam War, as a missile supply specialist, and later as an Honor Guard. He sits on several boards, with all of them serving humanity. 

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