We had the good fortune of connecting with Laurie Kaye Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laurie Kaye, what principle do you value most?
Integrity matters most to me and I believe that people want to work for those who are ethical, They know that if their leader acts with integrity, that leader will treat them right and do what’s best for the business. Integrity means doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Leaders know that honesty and integrity are the foundations of leadership. Leaders stand up for what they believe in. People recognize those who live by high moral standards, and know that they can place their trust in them. If you’ keep promises and commitments, and do the right thing in every area of your life, you’ll be known as an authentically good, trustworthy person. You may not always be liked, but you’ll be respected. Who would you have more faith in? A charismatic leader who beguiles everyone, but doesn’t keep their word, or one who keeps their promises and commitments?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have over twenty-five years of business management experience in a broad spectrum of industries, as well as extensive leadership participation in civic and community organizations and in my church. Some of my professional career highlights include managing a mentor program for a non-profit with a budget of over seven million dollars, a 90 office executive suite business and a leasing program for a multi-million dollar mall renovation. At different times in my life, I tried to make the jump from working at for-profits to non-profits and through perseverance, starts and stops and a lot of volunteer time I made it happen. I am proudest of my work with non-profits both as staff and as a volunteer and it was my life’s desire to transition from the for profit world to the not-for-profit. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with two of our under-served high schools in Miami creating and running a school to work mentoring program through funding from the Department of Education and then I was selected in May 2013 to be the executive director of The Commonwealth Institute South Florida (TCI). TCI is a network of business and successful women. We provide leadership development, high-level networking and mentoring through our content rich events and programming. I have the great fortune to work with hundreds of amazing women in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and be a part of a vision to unleash the potential of women leaders to drive successful businesses and inspire all those around them. It’s awe inspiring to see what happens when women come together supporting one another. I believe that the more successful the leader – the more successful her organization, her family, her employees and the communities that they work and live in. Fast forward 7 1/2 years and COVID-19 greatly affecting us all. Most of all those that have the least resources. My passion for education and seeing the huge learning losses for children in underserved communities are taking me on a new journey; inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gendere, economic, and social barriers . I’ll be joining Girls Inc of Greater Miami in January 2021 continuing my work advancing women but now at a much earlier stage in their lives. I am committed to making our community stronger and preparing women and girls for a better future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
GIven COVID-19 almost everything we do would be primarily outside activities and outdoor dining. My friend would stay at my home on Miami Beach or Faena Miami Beach should she wish to have a place of her own. At every venue and stop we’d take time to sit quietly to people watch and enjoy the eclecticness of Miami and surrounding areas. Day 1 would be spent at the Faena with a Crown Chakra Day Spa Package at Tierra Santa Healing House. Dinner would be at Pao at the Faena. Day 2 would start with a very long walk along the ocean in Miami Beach from Lummus Park to North Beach Oceanside Park and back. Lunch at Smith & Wollensky and dinner that evening in the garden at Casa Tua. Day 3 would be a trip to Fairchild Gardens spending at least 3 hours walking through the grounds followed by lunch at Lulu’s in Coconut Grove followed by an afternoon at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Dinner back on Miami Beach at Prime 112. Day 4 would be spent in Design District and Wynwood. Window shopping first and lunch at MIchael’s Genuine, A visit to a few galleries making sure to get to De La Cruz Collection. After roaming the streets of Wynwood we’d drop in for dinner at KYU. Day 5 would be a Beach Day back at Faena where we’d spend the day relaxing in a poolside cabana. Lot’s of time to rest up and read an entire book in one sitting. Day 6 would be split between Perez Art Museum MIami and Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Lunch at PAMM’s Verde and dinner back on the Beach at Joe’s Stone Crab. Day 7 would be a visit to Calle Ocho with a walking tour followed by lunch at Versaiiles Restaurant. Last stop before my friend leaves is Ball & Chain and then on to the airport.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It takes a village! There is no one person but there is what I collectively refer to as my person “board of advisors”. Many are from my literal The Commonwealth Institute South Florida (TCI) Board of Advisors that have challenged me and helped me develop my leadership skills in the same way that TCI advances women in leadership. My time with TCI is brought me to Girls Inc of Greater Miami and to the founder Virginia Akar, also a TCI member. Encouraging and guiding me to Girls Inc of Greater Miami is Dr. Leslie Baumann, founder of a medical and research practice, extraordinary business woman, TCI member and board member of Girls Inc of Greater Miami. We have a standing lunch date every Saturday and listen to one another and advise one another. Every Sunday for the last 25 years I have a standing Sunday morning walk with a dear friend, Michele Stein. We mutually listen and guide one another in all things personal. The list goes on and on and there are many great women in my life that have helped me navigate and grow professionally and personally.