John Graves has more than 30 years’ experience in the areas of public relations, government affairs, marketing and business development. Some of his clients have included Ford Glass Division, Lear Corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Major League Baseball and Ilitch Holdings family of companies - Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Motor City Casino, Little Caesars Pizza, etc. He has managed marketing for numerous historic events including, Motown 40th Anniversary, Summer & Winter Olympic Torch Runs, Roots 30th Anniversary, Mandela Day in Michigan and the Red Tails screening which benefited the Tuskegee Airmen. His political acumen has afforded organizations a “comfort level” to utilize his services at events with such luminaries as President Bill Clinton, Republic of Nigeria First Lady Stella Obasanjo, Eddy Martinez, Secretary of State, Dominican Republic, Dr. Zwelini Mkhize, Treasurer General ANC Party, Vuyiswa Tulelo, South Africa Consul General, Alan Greenspan, Rueben “Hurricane” Carter, Johnnie Cochran, Tony Dungy, Bill Gates, Judge Greg Mathis, Barry Sanders, and others. He also managed a Michigan event for Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Mary Blige and Leonardo DiCaprio with the Vote or Die Campaign. Other clients have included institutions such as State of Michigan, Nielsen Media Research, Royal Bank of Scotland and Wayne State School of Medicine.
Graves is a Vietnam-era Army veteran, where he served honorably as a missile supply specialist and later, as a distinguished color guard. He serves on numerous boards, most notably, national board member of Rainbow PUSH and chairman of the Automotive Project, which promotes inclusion of minorities in the automobile industry. In the capacity as chairman, Graves interacts frequently with CEOs, global vice presidents and other management. He recently joined Rev. Jesse Jackson to lead a trade mission to Japan hosted by Honda, Nissan and Toyota executive leadership. Graves has received numerous awards including the Spirit of Detroit Award; Governor’s Seal of Michigan; Jewish Assisted Retarded Citizen Appreciation Award; US Marines Toys & Tots Service Award; and Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute Volunteer Award. One of his more cherished accomplishments was serving as Community Chair of the Detroit Public Schools Clean, Safe and Healthy Schools Program, which garnered national recognition from President Bill Clinton. He played football at Alabama A&M University and later earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from University of Detroit-Mercy.