Marva Hanks has held many titles throughout her life and career, but she’s proudest of her background of service to others. Marva is living her dream today as a professional consultant, but the adversity in her past taught her the valuable lessons she shares with others now. She comes by her eloquence naturally—she’s a third generation speaker—and thrives when sharing her motivation and inspiration. Marva’s heart and passion have made her a tireless advocate for professional athletes and many others throughout her life.
Marva’s story began in Holly, Michigan, where her time as a star on the Holly High Bronco basketball team and as a fundraiser for underprivileged local youth foreshadowed her future work. She met her husband, Merton Hanks, while attending the University of Iowa in pursuit of her degree in communication. Marva and Merton began their lives together amid the extravagance and stress of the athletic world—she as a basketball player and Merton as a college football star. Their busy lives reached a fever pitch when Merton was drafted by the San Fransisco 49ers in 1991, the days of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.
The lives of professional athletes and their families are notoriously marred by financial troubles, depression, and divorce—a sad statistical norm—and the Hanks family weathered their share of trouble. But the Hanks came through it all armed with strong faith and surrounded by an ever-growing community of friends and mentors. Marva and her family became an exception to the rule, a fact that would one day ignite a desire in her to pass her wisdom on to other professional athletes and their loved ones.
Marva’s life changed again when her daughter was diagnosed with autism. Always ready to advocate and lead, she helped found the acclaimed awareness organization Facing Autism in 2003. Marva continued to add to her long list of causes to champion, including public education, support for single mothers, cystic fibrosis research, support for special needs children, and severe illness awareness. She has served on dozens of boards and committees, including the Bloomfield Educational Foundation and Bible study fellowship.
Marva is proud to continue her lifelong goal to educate, empower, and effect through Marva Hanks Consulting, providing personalized consulting services to athletes. Marva Hanks Consulting counsels athletes on personal finance, asset and investment management, marriage and relationships, and more. Marva’s commitment to bettering the lives of those around her continues on in her counseling, speaking, and consulting.