Latino Heritage Month Spotlight: Maritza Davis
In the second installment of our Kings.com series for Latino Heritage Month Spotlight, we sat down with Maritza Davis, who recently joined the Kings as the Vice President of Experiences and Social Responsibility, as she discussed her heritage, inspiration, and journey.
How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?
"My role is two different worlds that come together often. One is working with the Community Impact team and making sure that we are out in the community and running different programs, like Jr. Kings, 50/50 Raffle, Kids Club, volunteering efforts and fundraising events for the Kings Foundation. Also, it’s making sure that the players are out in the community connecting with folks in a variety of ways.
"The other side, is the Events team, working behind the scenes to plan and coordinate for game days. This includes everything that’s going on in the DOCO Plaza, different activations that happen within the arena, and taking care of ticket members that rent out spaces around the venue.
It’s really about how people experience our team in a multitude of levels - from the community, all the way to the arena."
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
"I enjoy that both of my teams get to be at so many events. The Community Impact team experiences moments that make a difference and impact the lives of people around us. We have a huge platform as an NBA team and being able to see people’s lives changed through basketball is really special. We also do a lot of events where we’re helping renovate or create within our community and sending that energy back into our city is exciting and fun.
On the Events side, I like when we’re conceptualizing ideas that come to life on the DOCO Plaza and then watching people interact with the elements dreamed up by our team."
In what ways do you celebrate your Latina heritage?
"I’m Mexican-American, and to me, being a Latina woman is really important. I celebrate the past of our ancestry and the men and women who have worked really hard to give to their communities and families and those around them. A lot of the influence I’ve received from my family is seeing how they work and interact with others. I treat my work like that - it’s my work family. There are people that you take care of and they take care of you, and it’s about ensuring that everyone is happy and thriving in what they do.
"I use a lot of the things I’ve learned in our Mexican-American culture in my everyday work. I think about people who are bilingual and multilingual, and not just in English and Spanish. Growing up around that, it makes me conscious about things like ‘Are we translating?’ or ‘Is there adequate access?’"
How would you characterize your journey to where you are today?
"The journey is like climbing a hill or going through a mountainous terrain. There will be moments where it’s really smooth and easy, and others are rough and rocky. You have to think about how to get through this next phase of life and find that inner strength to move forward.
"I’ve been really blessed to have a great family and friends that have been supportive. I think when you live authentically and want to impact something in a positive way, it’s not always easy to make it happen, but if you have enough grit, you’ll get there."
Who have been your biggest role models?
"I would say my grandmothers were really the ones who were holding it down at the house. We had grandfathers who were hard at work, but you wouldn’t see them as much because they’re out there working. My grandmothers always had this way of making things seem effortless. They would just make things happen.
"I also gain inspiration from my parents, aunts and uncles, mentors, professors, and people within the community."
What advice would you offer fellow Latinos/Latinas/Latinx who are striving to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry?
"My advice is always do great work and be true to what you stand for. Before joining the Kings, I didn’t know a ton about basketball. I played it as a kid, but realized that in professional basketball there’s a whole business side to it. Don’t feel limited by anything that you are striving towards and you can make a positive impact in anything that you do."