Our very own Stephenie Davis was featured in NIBA’s Belt Line Publication for their Winter 2022 addition. Here is her article.
NIBA Member Spotilght
Tell us about your company.
Davis Industrial is an award-winning, privately-held,
certified Woman-Owned Business with locations
in Tampa and Miami, Fla. We specializes in solution-
driven conveyor maintenance, metal fabrication,
and bulk material handling components.
Describe what you do on a day-to-day basis.
We have an amazing team at Davis Industrial, so I
am very lucky to be able to spend my time on all
facets of the business. As with any small(ish) business,
the role “President & CEO” means you wear many
hats. I spend a lot of time in the field with customers and our
Solutions Specialists, helping them to solve problems with a
solution-focused approach. I also spend time working with our
Branch and Department Managers to help guide the direction
of the company with new strategies and tactics to ensure we are
positioning ourselves in the best way to be able to take care of
our customers. I am regularly out on job sites with our technicians,
collaborating to figure out what improvements we need to
make internally to help them in the field. In between all of that
I’m usually talking to our CFO about our growth strategy, investments,
and financials. Every day is very different from the last!
What was your first industry job and how did it lead
you to where you are today?
Well, this was basically my first industry job. I bought the
business when I was 21 after just a short stint in outside sales.
As crazy as it was looking back, buying a broken business at the
precipice of the recession was a great opportunity to reinvent the
business and our approach to the industry and our customers.
I’m proud to say that after starting with just a few people, we
now have almost 50 people and two branches with solid plans for
future growth. All of that was born out of a little desperation, a
lot of drive, a customer-focused approach and most importantly,
an incredible team making things happen.
What is the one piece of advice you wish someone
had given you before you started in the belting
Oh wow, there are so many things I wish I would have known,
so many things that may have kept us out of some hot water
over the years, but I feel like that is how we learn. There’s always
something new. If I were to give someone advice today about
the industry in particular, I would say grow your network. There
is so much valuable information out there, much of it is bottled
up in the people that have been there and done that. Tapping
into the network is a game changer.
How has NIBA impacted you, both personally and
I’ve been very lucky to be able to serve on the Education and
Technical Committee several times, currently serving as Chair.
The exposure to the people and the knowledge they have is unlike
anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. Not only have I been
able to utilize NIBA to grow my knowledge, my network, and
my business, I have made a lot of really great friends along the
way. I would say that as with any organization, the more you
put into it, the more you get out of it; personally, I decided
to get involved early on and am so glad I did.
In your opinion, what sets NIBA apart from other
We belong to numerous other organizations to ensure we
have a well-rounded view of the industry and our part in
it. I would say that NIBA differs in that it is close knit and
very inviting. Everyone is so genuine and willing to help one
another grow themselves and their organizations. The training
problems are also a huge differentiator. The in person,
hands-on training is unmatched.
Tell us about your favorite moment from a past NIBA Annual
Attending the annual convention is an invaluable experience. Not only
is it a great way to network and learn about the industry, but it is also
a lot of fun! The memories you make at a NIBA convention are long
lasting and the connections can be exponential.
The last convention was so well put together that it’s hard to give just
one answer. I’d say for me it was really the overall balance of it, there
was something for everyone at pretty much any time. If you wanted to
have business meetings, there were opportunities. Or to meet Women of
NIBA, there was a time and place for that. Or if you were a first timer,
there was a reception for that. If you were one of us under 40, there was
a place for you too. And if you wanted to chill by that awesome pool
with a beverage in hand, you could do that too. I think NIBA is doing
great things, and this was our best convention yet.
What value did you get from attending a NIBA Virtual
I recently attended the Heavyweight Splice School hosted at the Almex
Institute in Decatur, GA. No matter how many times I attend this
school, I learn something new. The trainers are truly experts in their
fields, they put on a very informative and engaging course. They were
able to captivate the attention of attendees no matter their position or
background, we had attendees that have been in the industry anywhere
from a week to several decades with various backgrounds and lots of
really good questions; none of which stumped the trainers.
What is the belting industry’s biggest challenge?
We’ve been having the same problem as long as I have been in the industry, it’s
the lack of qualified people. The issue now is that the problem is bigger than it
ever was before. The knowledge base that is retiring or moving on compared to
the workforce coming up is leaving us all at a big disadvantage.
How can NIBA help to resolve it?
I think the NIBA Board is setting the focus in the right direction. They are
intentional about providing value to NIBA members and helping them succeed
in business. Businesses need resources and training for those resources. The
focus on Educational and Technical training made available to NIBA membership
is going to help businesses train their new employees or refresh the training
of their existing employees to get them up to speed faster to help their businesses
thrive. Our expansion of these training courses over the past year and future years
to come is not only what sets NIBA apart in the industry but also makes it The
Place to be, true to the motto “If you’re not in NIBA, you’re not in belting.”