This week, members of the Parson team took to the road to Omaha, Nebraska to learn more about the success of Davis Companies, the Small Business Association (SBA) 2012 National Small Business Champion of the Year.
The SBA designates only one outstanding individual or couple as the National Minority Small Business Champion award recipients. As the national winner for this award, Dr. Dick and Mrs. Sharon Davis (pictured above) were selected based on their efforts to promote minority-owned small business, volunteer time and services to small business interest groups, advocate for the cause of small business through legislation, and use professional expertise to assist small business owners.
The Parson team was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Dr. Davis and his stellar team at Davis Companies. Some interesting takeaways from our meeting:
- Davis Companies is actually the lead organization of several businesses that are owned and operated by the Davis family of Omaha. They’ve been in business for more than 40 years!
- The firm and its affiliates provide risk solutions, insurance, bonding, and consulting services to their business clients.
- Beyond his traditional business expertise, Dr. Davis works to stimulate the creation of minority business enterprises in cities where growth has lagged behind nationwide minority-owned entrepreneurship.
- Before he was an social entrepreneurial rockstar, a successful and notable educator, and a mainstay in Nebraska’s business community, Dr. Davis was a gridiron superstar!
- The family’s newly formed Davis Business Ventures focuses on transition and transformation – providing economic empowerment and wealth building to the next generation of diverse business leaders and thinkers.
- Dr. Dick and Sharon Davis have worked closely in partnership with Omaha Public Schools’ Careers for Kids Initiatives, the Chamber of Commerce’s North Omaha Development Project, as well as the Omaha Mayor’s Task Force on Small and Emerging Businesses (on which Dr. Davis helped develop new rules for the city’s diversity-friendly small and emerging business ordinances).
- With the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, he helped lead efforts for building capability and capacity for small and emerging businesses.
- The Davis Companies’ headquarters is in a district revitalization area in an underutilized part of the Omaha, and their building sits in the shadow of one of Omaha’s premiere attractions, TD Ameritrade Park, home of the NCAA Men’s College World Series (which was VERY exciting news to baseball lover, Jason Parson!).
At the end of the day, it was abundantly clear that the Parson team shares the Davis Companies’ commitment to revitalize small business communities and enable the expansion of cities’ minority businesses, investments, and “professional eco-systems.” In talking with Dr. Davis about his strategy, we learned about an entrepreneurial education component, investment and incubation of local small business projects, and major partnerships with large, national firms. We were very inspired!
Above all, we look forward to working together with Davis Companies to pave the way for new minority businesses to emerge, incubate, and bolster their respective cities’ local economies … including here in our own Kansas City!