After many years of industry and association service, Davis is inducted into the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC)/Paperboard Packaging Hall of Fame.
James M. Davis has lead a fruitful and successful career in the corrugated converting business — helping build and thrive several companies all while building a flourishing family as well.
As a young man, Davis turned down opportunity to work in his father-in-law’s box business in Iowa to follow his wife Jane to Denver to live and work as a teacher. After realizing he wanted more for his young family, Davis started in the industry at Hoener Waldorf Corp. in St. Paul, Minn., working his way up from salesman to sales manager. He commuted weekly from his family home in Denver to St. Paul.
After purchases of Hoener Waldorf, Davis wanted to explore going out on his own. He approached the Deline family for backing of his own sheet plant, but instead they recognized Davis’ leadership and brought him into their own growing company, Deline Box and Display.
Davis became the sales manager of Deline Box and Display based in Denver. It ended Davis’ weekly commutes to Minnesota and gave him the leadership opportunity he deserved.
“Between Jim and my dad, they grew the company more than either one of them imagined,” says Dave Deline, president of Deline Box and Display.
With that sales growth, Davis’ stake in the company grew to a 49 percent ownership. During that time, Davis began his involvement with AICC. He joined the board as regional vice president for Region 2, the Rocky Mountain states. He chaired the innovations committee and the convention content committee. Davis became the president of the AICC for the 1999-2000 term, serving over the first SuperCorrExpo.
“What sets Jim apart is his can-do attitude,” says AICC President Steve Young. “He just won’t take no for an answer — there’s always a way. There’s possibility of anything.”
In the late 1990s, Davis was ready to start a new chapter in his life. After he sold most of his stock in Deline Box back to the company, he opened Packaging Express, a small sheet plant in nearby Colorado Springs. Packaging Express works closely with Deline Box and its customers. Davis’ son Matt runs the business today.
Throughout the industry, leaders and follow AICC members say Davis’ genuineness and humor are his most appealing traits.
“Whether you are a customer, a supplier or an employee — he wants to get to know you,” says Mark Williams, president of Richmond Corrugated. “He wants to break down barriers. His ace in the hole is his humor.”
“Jim’s a real people person and he takes a sincere interest in every person he meets,” says Lee Shillito, president of Triad Container, a past AICC chairman and Hall of Fame inductee. “That’s what makes him a great sales leader.”
Hall of Fame members have succeeded in their business, personal and family life, as well as showing their commitment to the AICC and to service throughout their lives. The 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Davis, is the perfect example of that success and commitment.