"Our offices are a bit somber this morning,” said Rich Wilson, President and CEO of Jacksonville-based Paul Davis Restoration Inc. this past Friday, June 14th. “We learned today of the passing of our founder Paul Woodall Davis at the age of 92. I am so pleased that I got to visit him recently and tell him how much his guidance and great spirit have helped me personally and helped the entire company to thrive.”
Paul Woodall Davis founded Paul W. Davis Contracting in 1966. During the time that entity was growing, Insurance Restoration Contracting was a “niche market.” Paul Davis had very original insights about what the future would be for this industry. Property insurance adjusters were looking for ways to settle claims, sorted out these folks who soon realized the insurance adjusters were going to be their sole source of business. Paul Davis saw this fragmented niche for what it is today; a multi-billion-dollar stand-alone industry.
The company began franchising in 1969. That’s when Davis began his teaching role and is credited with doing an excellent job of it by the Paul Davis staff and early franchisees. He authored the original Operations Manual and personally taught the Owners’ School. As the franchise network grew and he had less personal time to spend teaching, instructors were brought in. Employees were also empowered to participate in the Owners’ School. Davis took a personal interest in all the employees at what was then called Paul W. Davis Systems. His management style was the same as his project development; he empowered the employee and helped them make corrections along the way. He had an open-door policy; he made himself available to all employees.
In 2016 Paul Davis wrote and published his autobiography called “If I Could, So Can You!” an effort that delighted the entire PDRI system. Among the values shared in the book by Davis: “For any organization to enjoy the greatest potential for success, its culture must always reflect its basic values.”
Stephanie Rosenstone, Senior Executive Assistant to Rich Wilson, spoke at Davis’ funeral Saturday.
“Paul felt strongly that Rich Wilson embodies the values and integrity which the company was founded on. Paul often commented that Rich is the perfect CEO to lead our network to the growth that he could not have dreamed. He was passionate about his support for the direction/leadership occurring at what is now Paul Davis Restoration Inc.”
Paul also credited his devoted wife Brenda for coining an oft used phrase among us at Corporate; “remember who you are and who you represent”.