Former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of American Saw & Mfg. Company, East Longmeadow, MA Senior Trustee, Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
Influenced by his philanthropic grandmother who spent some of her childhood in an orphanage in the Midwest, John Davis has been at the heart of a number of community organizations and initiatives. He is a senior trustee to the family’s foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation which, according to The Boston Globe, is one of the largest family foundations in Massachusetts. In this role, he has overseen charitable contributions to myriad community organizations with a specific emphasis on education.
For John Davis, education and development of the potential of young people is a passion. Under his guidance, the Foundation has directed substantial resources toward programs having to do with education and the well-being of children, underscoring his belief that investments in early life and early education avoid larger and frequently intractable social costs later on.
This philosophy led John and trustees of the Foundation to be among the first supporters and advocates of Step Up Springfield – a campaign for proficiency and character development in the Springfield Public School system, and to the Foundation’s launching of the Cherish Every Child Initiative which is aimed at improving the lives of Springfield’s children from birth through the age of eight.
He has served as Chairman of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, is a co-founder of the Springfield Area Council for Excellence, and is a trustee of Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as a trustee of the Community United Way of Pioneer Valley and is Director of the New Leadership Charter School.
Stephen A. Davis
Former President and Chief Operating Officer of American Saw & Mfg. Company, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts Senior Trustee, Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
In characterizing his family’s substantial philanthropy through the vehicle of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Steve Davis simply says, “the more we could do, and the less people would know about it, the happier I would be.”
His grandmother, a former orphan who regularly sent checks to needy individuals and organizations serving the welfare of children during the company’s early years, provided the inspiration behind the formation of the Foundation. More than that, she instilled a sense of community and giving back that today animates Steve and his brother John in their work as Trustees of the Foundation.
His work as Trustee at the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation has afforded him the opportunity to put his perspective of looking forward, to go from point A to point B, and when you get to point B, look to point C, into practice through the Foundation’s many initiatives that are largely aimed at assisting children and youth.
The Foundation, under Steve’s direction, has also looked at the accountability of nonprofit organizations and is funding a professional capacity-building program for these organizations.
“Now we approach the Foundation’s work like we would a business in asking ourselves the tough questions, “where are we going, where can we make the biggest difference, the most impact?”. We are taking some big risks with the Foundation and seeing some success. And, we are learning from our failures about how to be more successful as we go forward”, he says.
Beyond his service to the Foundation, Steve Davis has a rigorous civic life and serves on the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, is a trustee of American International College, a trustee of the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, a trustee of the Springfield Symphony and is a former Director of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council.
Jane Davis Kusek
Former Travel Coordinator and Administrative Assistant, American Saw & Manufacturing Co., East Longmeadow, MA Trustee, Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Springfield, MA
Jane Davis Kusek is the only daughter of James and Mary Davis. A graduate of Green Mountain College and Springfield College, Jane spent her early career working in the marketing department of American Saw & Manufacturing Co. She was an administrative assistant and was responsible for coordinating the travel of senior executives in the company. She left her position at American Saw to raise her family and engage in community volunteer work. She was an active member of the Parent Teacher Association at her child’s school, has worked in the Duxbury community as a volunteer during the holiday seasons, and is pursuing her interest in assisting people to own their own homes through involvement with Habitat for Humanity.
Similar to her brothers, Jane has followed the example set by her grandparents and their commitment to community service. She is particularly interested in programs that serve low-income children and youth. Educational achievements, access to healthcare, and support of families facing difficult life situations, are of particular concern to her. She has been a consistent supporter of Smile Train, an international organization focused on dental health and the repair of cleft palate for children living in Third World countries.
Jane assumed her position of Trustee of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation in 2004 and has played a central role in the ongoing strategic grantmaking of the Foundation.