Celebrating Black History Month with COO Maurice Wilson II

Wilson is the North Texas Food Bank’s first Black executive.

For North Texas Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Maurice Wilson II, Black history is American history.

“I love that we honor it in the month, but Black history is American history,” says Wilson, who is the first Black executive in the NTFB’s 42-year history. “I’m proud of our portion and I’m proud of all of our history, even the parts that are difficult, because they are defining. They’re either moments that we have to acknowledge and move forward, or they’re things that we have to remember so that we don’t transgress again.”

Maurice has been COO of the NTFB since June 2022 and brings an extensive background in supply chain and logistics for food and home goods products with companies like Sam’s Club, Walmart and Wayfair. He is also a 17-year U.S. Army veteran, where he taught other units about supply chain logistics.

He told NTFB Senior Communications Specialist Eryka Thompson that he didn’t realize he was the first Black executive in NTFB history until she pointed it out, but that he’s been the first in several positions throughout his career. Maurice was the first black student body president at his college and was the first in several posts throughout his military and corporate career.

Providing representation is important, Maurice said, so that Black individuals can see someone who looks like them in positions of leadership. But, he added, he hopes his role goes beyond that.

“I’d hate to just be a symbol for people and no one else could come after me for another 30 years,” he said. “I’d love to create a situation where the most qualified and most exceptional are always getting their opportunities. And I’ve found that when that’s the case, you know, diversity is always included.”

Maurice pointed to his legacy and that of his family as his driving force as he leads the NTFB’s business operations, logistics, quality and community impact.

He told Eryka that his grandfather was a bus and cab driver for over 40 years in Chicago and that he once saved people from a burning building and then went on to finish his route.

“Throughout my family’s history, we’ve always been those people,” he said.

He continued by sharing that his great, great, great aunt worked in the fields from “can’t see to can’t see” and that she persevered through those circumstances in the hopes that his generation would have opportunities like the ones he has today.

“My driving force is really the legacy, my legacy. It’s who I am,” Maurice said.

Watch Eryka’s full interview with Maurice here: