Jim Davis (business)

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Jim Davis
Born James S. Davis
1943 (age 73–74)
Nationality American
Education Worcester Academy
Alma mater Middlebury College
Occupation Businessman
Known for Owner & chairman of New Balance
Co-founder of Major League Lacrosse
Net worth US$4.9 billion (March 2017)[1]
Children two

James S. Davis (born 1943) is an American billionaire businessman, the chairman of New Balance and a co-founder of Major League Lacrosse.[2][3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

James S. Davis was born in 1943,[2] the son of Greek immigrants.[6] He attended the Worcester Academy, and he received a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Middlebury College in 1966.[2][3][5][7] While in college, he played college football.[4][7]

Career[edit]

He started his career as a sales engineer at the LFE Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts, and as marketing manager for the Applied Geodata Systems Division of Techven Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3][5] In 1972, he bought New Balance, then only a 6-employee firm in Boston, and turned it into a 4,000-employee global corporation with revenues averaging around $2.5 billion every year.[2][3][5] He has been a Board member of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the International Athletic Footwear & Apparel Manufacturers Association, and the Two/Ten Foundation.[5] He is a member of the Athletic Footwear Council and is on the Executive Committee of the Rubber and Plastic Footwear Manufacturers Association.[5] He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Citizen’s Bank in Providence, Rhode Island.[5]

He has donated $500,000 to Mitt Romney's Super PAC, Restore Our Future.[8][9] He has donated $5 million to the University of Maine.[2] He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, Middlebury College.[2] A library on its campus has also been named for him.[7] He formerly sat on its Board of Trustees, on the Worcester Academy's, and on Newbury College's.[5][10] He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Sports Museum of New England and formerly Boston Children's Museum.[5][11]

As of 2017, he is the 324th richest person in the world, and the 94th richest in the United States, with an estimated wealth of US$5.1 billion.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He is married, and has two children.[2] He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.[2]

Controversy[edit]

Davis donated almost $400,000 to the Trump Victory Committee in September 2016.[12] In an interview given to Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Germano on the day following the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, a New Balance senior executive suggested support for Trump due to his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Widely reported social-media reaction documented numerous New Balance owners destroying or disposing of their shoes—with many pledging lifetime boycotts of the company.[13][14][15][16]

See also[edit]

List of Donald Trump presidential campaign endorsements, 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forbes: "The World's Billionaires - Jim Davis" 22 March 2017
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Forbes profile
  3. ^ a b c d New Balance leadership
  4. ^ a b Daren Fonda, 'Sole Survivor', in Time Magazine, Nov. 01, 2004 [1]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Major League Lacross Founders
  6. ^ The Pappas Post: "Son of Greek immigrant leads New Balance to major expansion" April 3, 2012
  7. ^ a b c Sarah C. Ray, 'Library named for Jim Davis '66 and his family', May 7, 2010 [2]
  8. ^ Dan Eggen, 'New Balance distances itself from donation to Romney supporting ‘super PAC’', in The Washington Post, [3]
  9. ^ Glen Johnson, 'New Balance disavows chairman’s Romney donation', on Boston.com, 08/10/2011 [4]
  10. ^ Middlebury College Board of Trustees
  11. ^ Boston's Children Museum Board of Trustees
  12. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (13 January 2017). "New Balance founder gave nearly $400,000 to Trump". Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Why has New Balance backed Trump and what other businesses support him?". The Sun. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  14. ^ Germano, Sara (2016-11-11). "New Balance Faces Social Media Backlash After Welcoming Trump". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  15. ^ "People are trashing New Balance sneakers after the company’s apparent pro-Trump comments". Boston.com. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  16. ^ "This is why people are lighting their New Balance shoes on fire". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-11-12.