Terdema L. Ussery II, Esq., is in his tenth year as President and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. He is in his fifth year as CEO of HDNet. Ussery serves as an alternate governor for the Mavericks on the NBA Board of Governors, as well as President of the Dallas Mavericks Foundation.
Ussery came to Dallas after serving as president of Nike Sports Management. Prior to that he was commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).
In his first season with the Mavericks, he led the successful campaign which resulted in funding for American Airlines Center. Once the plans were underway, Ussery was actively involved in securing the naming rights partnership with Dallas/Fort Worth based American Airlines for the downtown facility and played a key role in the development of the building. He actively participated in the architectural selection, design and construction of the American Airlines Center.
His impact has been evident in the growth of the Mavericks as one of the most recognized brands in all of sports. Under his direction, the club continues to rank in the top five in the NBA in corporate sponsorship, ticket sales, television revenues, game presentation, and community impact. Ussery was also instrumental in the successful launch of HDNet, negotiating its first content and distribution deals. He has consistently been highly ranked in Sports Illustrated’s “Top 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports” and he was named the “2003 Corporate Executive of the Year” by Black Enterprise Magazine.
Ussery grew up in the Watts section of South Central Los Angeles. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Princeton University. He earned a master’s degree from Harvard University. Finally, Ussery earned a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he served as executive editor of the California Law Review.
Ussery practiced business and entertainment law in the Los Angeles office of the San Francisco-based firm Morrison and Foerster, before joining the CBA as its deputy commissioner and general counsel in 1990. In April 1991, he was named CBA Commissioner. His two-and-a-half-year term was highlighted by rapid growth and much-needed stability. While serving as CBA commissioner, Ussery was profiled in Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
In August 1993, Ussery was named president of Nike Sports Management. While reporting to Nike Chairman & CEO Phil Knight, Ussery’s responsibilities included marketing Nike’s pro athletes and negotiating contracts. Twice, while at Nike, Ussery was included on The Sporting News’ annual list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports”.
Ussery sits on the boards of three publicly traded companies: The Timberland Company (NYSE: TBL), Entrust, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTU) and TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS). He is on the Executive Committee of the Greater Dallas Chamber, and serves as chair of its Economists Council. In 2004, Ussery was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University. In 2007, he was elected to serve on its Executive Committee.
Ussery, a popular speaker who is active in the Dallas/Fort Worth business community, has taught Business Ethics and Corporate Governance.