Alumna Honored as 2016 AACSB Influential Leader

Texas A&M University-Commerce alumna and Executive Director of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) Zenetta Drew has been selected to be a part of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’s (AACSB) 2016 class of Influential Leaders.

“It was an honor to be nominated by Texas A&M University-Commerce and chosen as a part of the 2016 Class of AACSB International Influential Leaders,” said Drew. “I credit my accomplishments to the faculty at A&M-Commerce who provided the world-class education that launched and has sustained my career. It is my pleasure to represent our school with this global recognition.”

When examining Drew’s work, the term influential leader seems like an understatement. Since beginning her work at the DBDT in 1987, Drew has helped the organization grow its budget from $175,000 to over $3.9 million and its number of performances from 30 to 600. Additionally, audiences have grown from around 20,000 to over 150,000 persons annually, and the company has now performed in 31 states and 15 countries on five different continents.

Unsurprisingly, Drew coined the motto of the theatre, “relentless excellence” and was heavily involved in the campaign to move the DBDT into its current building, which previously did not allow African Americans. The theatre also provides dance lessons to children ages four and up through the Dallas Black Dance Academy.

Before working at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Drew graduated from East Texas State University in 1974 with a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting. After graduation, she spent 12 years of her career working at ARCO Oil and Gas Co., where, at one point, she was responsible for 50 percent of corporate revenue.

Over 100 submissions from 22 countries around the world were received by the AACSB and of those only 30 honorees were selected.

Drew currently holds positions on the A&M-Commerce College of Business Executive Advisory Board and the A&M-Commerce Business Advisory Council. She was also honored as one of three inaugural inductees into the A&M-Commerce Academy of Entrepreneurs.

Beyond her roles at A&M-Commerce, Drew is also involved with the Booker T. Washington High School Advisory Board, Friends of WRR, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, The Marketing Committee for the Dallas Museum of Art and the Advisory Board of Dallas Thanksgiving Square. Additionally, she is a founding member of the Dallas Coalition for the Arts and serves on advisory boards for the National Endowment for the Arts and President Bill Clinton’s Americans for the Arts Strategic Planning Committee.

To add to her numerous accomplishments, Drew has also won numerous awards including the 2003 Texas Legislative Black Caucus Outstanding Texan Award in Arts/Entertainment, the 2004 Dallas Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Alumnae Chapter’s Outstanding African American Women in the Arts Award, the 2009 Woman of the Year–St. Paul Baptist Church and a 2013 Women of Color Achievement Award by the 100 Black Men of Greater Dallas/Fort Worth, Inc.

To learn more about the AACSB award, visit: