Name: Anthony Davis
Profession: VP, Head of Human Resources – Atlanta Bread International/Bake One
One Word That Describes You: Capable
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
I’m in awe of even the consideration of this recognition; it is humbling, yet exciting. This means a great deal to me. I believe there is a generation of men on this Earth that are making amazing strides without the need for announcement of their work. It is a great feeling to be linked with others that are working to provide good to our local community and country as a whole.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
My journey in HR is non-traditional; I fell in to HR; didn’t go to school for it. Many thought because I did not have formal education in HR specifically, that I was not qualified. In fact, I’ve had some say to me directly that I would fail and wouldn’t make it six months. Fast forward 10 years—I’ve served on the HR Leadership team for several Fortune 500 companies in a variety of diverse industries and am still progressing today. Here’s what I did know: 1. I am a leader; 2. I have a passion for people; and 3. I want the best for the company that I serve. With that, I learned that as the leader I will not know or have every answer; when I recognized that my team and I were a “resource” and not the sole “source” it aided all of my operational struggles and allowed me to turn them in to real life success stories.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Transparency! This quality is very important to me. I am a relationship manager. Some folks desire to network, I build relationships (there’s a difference) and in my relationship(s) I appreciate candid honesty on both ends. I never look to surround myself with folks where it’s not a 50/50 relationship. I look at relationships like this: “what are you willing to give and what are you willing to get” out of this relationship; if your relationships don’t have these types of views, I would encourage you to re-think that connection.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Currently, I serve as board chair for The Open Book Foundation. This organization was founded in 2013 with a simple vision in mind: provide FREE books to Title I elementary schools and community organizations that serve low-income neighborhoods and communities. Since its inception, this volunteer–based organization has donated more than 100,000 grade-level new books to schools all over the U.S., Canada, and third world countries and has leveraged partnerships with several school systems to include the Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, North Carolina) school system in establishing “TOBF National Reading Day.” On this day, volunteers from TOBF visit schools and read books to youth in an effort to support and promote reading.
Another project is the development of an executive search company called The Executive Partners. My business partner and I started the company two-and-a-half years ago and have had numerous successful placements with Fortune 500 companies throughout the globe. I strongly believe that helping companies and candidates find the right employment synergy will create greater competitiveness in the work place. My desire is for this company to change the landscape of corporate and personal branding in an effort to enhance the talent acquisition process.
What is the best advice you ever received?
My grandmother always says, “In everything give thanks.” I never really understood that growing up; I just thought she was being “churchy” by referencing an old school LaShun Pace hit. But as I matured and truly prevailed life experiences, she was right and now I pass that advice to everyone. Good, bad, indifferent and in everything give thanks!
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Do it! Go! Conquer! If not you, then who?
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Inclusive leadership is the name of my game. I strive to assure that all parties involved in projects I lead are fully aware of their responsibilities to secure success of our meeting/event. I also work to assure that I remain a calming factor; many look to me for that sense of comfort and that gives me pleasure as it is my “job” to assure that what we do from the board room to the soccer field is managed and presented as professional and effortlessly as possible.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
Time away is imperative. I shared with another group recently that we must be “intentional” as it relates to maintaining ourselves. My best vacation was one that had the least activity; I laid on the beach of La Jolla, California, and embraced beautiful clear water, ocean breezes, and magnificent cuisine. As a native of Miami, I embrace tropical beaches and calming waters as it provides a great sense of peace and tranquility.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Porto Heli, Greece, is EXACTLY where I want to visit. Known for its lush olive groves to perfect bays, when you research every scene seems as if it was lifted from a postcard. I hear the beaches are calming and ideal for fun and frolicking and will make for awesome Instagram pics!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you to the BE Modern team for highlighting men who are working positively in today’s society. There are so many devastating horror stories in our news and on social media today as it relates to men in general. I’m excited there is a platform that showcases positive vibes, from the guy next door, and honored to be apart—keep pushing BE!
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