Illustration by Randall Nelson
2013 Volunteer Hall of Fame: Richard Davis
Day job: Chairman, president, and CEO of US Bancorp
Volunteerism: United Way, Minnesota Business Partnership, YMCA of Minneapolis, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Orchestra
He makes it sound so simple: “I like to be involved with things I care about and like,” Richard Davis says. But encouraging others to donate their time and money is a challenge, even when you’re the top executive at US Bancorp, a company that supports community involvement, matches employee donations, and encourages employees to spend some work hours volunteering.
“There are a fair percentage of people who still don’t give here at all yet because they haven’t figured out how. They don’t know how to break the ice or what to do about it," he says. Davis worked hard to change that when he ran the Greater Twin Cities United Way Annual Fund. "I did well more than 75 corporate meetings to talk about the campaign—encourage people to think differently, volunteer, follow with money, give to United Way, all of that,” he says.
Davis’s commitment to United Way extends beyond his work life. He and his wife, Theresa Davis, co-chaired United Way’s Annual Campaign in 2010 and raised more than $88 million to support efforts to help people overcome poverty. He also co-chairs a program called Step-Up, which connects kids in public schools with professionals as they move from high school to college. “There’s something about intersecting with young people at a certain point in their life—[they] get a chance to change their view of what’s possible in our community,” Davis says.
With people like Davis working to strengthen our community, end poverty, and connect young people with business leaders, the possibilities for success seem endless.