Steven A. Davis (’80 BBA Marketing), who now heads a major food and restaurant company, was honored with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, Nov. 14.
Video by Chris Baylor
Davis serves as chairman of the board and is chief executive officer of Bob Evans Farms Inc.
“At UWM, I not only got the chance to study business, but to work in business,” says Davis, who has spent his career using innovation to transform retail foods into nationally known brands.
In 2005, Black Enterprise Magazine named him one of the 75 Most Powerful Black Men in American Business.
Like many UWM students at the time, Davis not only worked his way through school, but also was able to participate in internships with local companies like Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
“I was able to apply what I was learning in class to what I was doing with the company.”
Davis attributes the broad, general background he received in business along with supportive faculty for his career success. In addition to heading Bob Evans, he has worked with Kraft and Pizza Hut.
The UWM Alumni Association gives the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize an alumnus/alumna for exemplary achievements over the span of a lifetime.
Davis now lives in New Albany, Ohio and gives back to the community, serving as a board member for the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, Jobs Ohio and Operation Feed, which supports the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Foundation and Distinguished Service awardees
Other individuals and corporations being honored by the Alumni Association at the Nov. 14 event include:
Margaret Rykowski (’80 MS Nursing, ’76 BS Nursing), who will receive the UWM Foundation Alumni Achievement Award. She is Home Health Agency and Integrated Rehabilitation Service administrator for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Rykowski is one of only 18 nurses ever to achieve this rank. View video on YouTube
Allyson Nemec (’90 M.Arch), an architect and president of Quorum Architects, who receives the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. View video on YouTube
Community Service Awards
Matthew Jandrisevits (’06 PhD Urban Education). Jandrisevits is a psychologist who volunteers his time with under-served and uninsured populations at the Bread of Healing Clinic and Agape Community Center. See video.
Michael J. Murphy (’86 BA Geological Sciences).Murphy is a lifelong public servant, fighting to alleviate homelessness in the City of Milwaukee and address other challenges. See video.
Ursula Twombly (’87 M.Arch, ’85 BS Architectural Studies). Twombly has spent her career supporting and mentoring emerging women architects while leading one of the premier women-owned businesses in Wisconsin, Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C. See Video.
Corporate Partner Awards
Northwestern Mutual, We Energies and Spancrete will receive the university’s Corporate Partner Awards, which recognize corporations or non-profit organizations that have made a significant impact on the campus and/or on the lives of alumni and students by assisting in the advancement, growth and/or development of UWM.
- Northwestern Mutual, beginning in 1976, has been one of the university’s most generous donors. Over that time the company has supported programs and projects in numerous UWM schools and colleges including: The Center for Technology Innovation in the Lubar School of Business; music scholarships in the Peck School of the Arts; Empowering Nonprofits in Technology in the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research; and the Latino Leadership Program in the Roberto Hernandez Center.
- Spancrete, a valuable partner to UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Innovating the precast industry for almost 70 years, Spancrete partnered with the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in the formation, implementation and continued financial, design and production support of the nation’s first academy/industry based architectural design studio focused on designing with precast concrete.
- We Energies is one of UWM’s most significant philanthropic partners. Over the span of 39 years, We Energies has supported numerous UWM initiatives. Among the many strategic investments are those for wind energy research and the Renewable Energy Research Fund in the College of Engineering & Applied Science; a student team in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning for the International Solar Decathlon competition; and the Supply Chain Management Institute in the Lubar School of Business. We Energies also has made exceptional investments in Innovation Campus, the UWM Real Estate Foundation’s new campus in Wauwatosa.
For other award winners this year, go to: http://uwm.edu/alumni/awards/