Hometown: Tell City, Indiana
Job: CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana
Resume: President of the Junior League of Evansville, 1987 to 1988; recipient of the Helen Klamer Philp Award, founding member and original co-chair of the Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County; established the JLE Youth Development program; president of A Network for Evansville Women, 2002.
Family: Husband, David, daughter, Alethea, son, Kurt, and seven grandchildren.
With seven sisters, Jan Davies grew up in Tell City on a small farm. Today, her zeal for service is fueled by her hardworking, socially conscious parents and has driven Davies to be an active volunteer in the community. As the first woman inducted into the Evansville Rotary Club, she volunteers her time to organizations like the Junior League of Evansville and the Deaconess Women’s Hospital. Through her involvement with the Leadership of Evansville, she advocates for women’s training in leadership roles, looking to give every woman an equal voice in a discussion.
How did you become involved with the Girl Scouts?
I was a Girl Scout my senior year in high school. That’s when I first became a Girl Scout. I grew up through the 4H program because I was a farmer. My parents were the club leaders — that’s what we called them — so I was in 4H club. I loved that program. Then when I was a senior in high school, this fabulous young woman moved to Tell City. Gene Borders married his wife Charlotte from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and brought her home as his bride. This beautiful lady was a Girl Scout and every young woman went flocking to her Girl Scout troop. That’s an example of when you get good leadership; the adult-girl relationship is so important when we do all the programs in Girl Scouts. I wanted to do everything she was doing because she was so very cool.
What does community service mean to you?
Community service is very important for me because I grew up in a family that did community service. We learned from day one that you don’t only take; you always give back. You help your community and make it better. You invest your time and energy, and you do that on a volunteer basis. You don’t expect to get paid or anything. It’s a gift because the community has given so much to you, so when I got out of college and became an adult, I kept right on going. Evansville is the best place in the world to live. I absolutely love this community, and Evansville is a wonderful place to raise your children. But I don’t think people understand how wonderful this city is. I think if you’ve always lived here, then you don’t have that reference point. I didn’t grow up here and was welcomed here. The community embraced me being the CEO of the Girl Scout council. How fortunate is that?
What volunteer work has impacted you?
The work with the Women’s Fund was so significant because you can give moral support and training, but how often do we have a funding source that says women and children are so important to this community that we’re going to raise this money to make things better. I’ve also worked a long time with A Network of Evansville Women. I served in a lot of those officer positions, and I was chair of the board. It’s refreshing to be in a room with all professional women — the conversations we have, what we’re trying to accomplish as a group, and also the understanding of regardless of what your work is or what your profession is. We had this underlying understanding that, as women, we are the same with the same concerns for the community and for family.
What is your vision of your community?
I hope our community continues to be a good place to raise your family. Evansville is a nurturing place where people are courteous and there’s accountability. Sometimes I think we all need to come together to help develop the vision, and the mayor has been very good about that. But we haven’t reached the tipping point. There has to be this swell of unity behind the community, but I hope we keep the integrity, decency, and an attitude of service we have established. I don’t think this is like every community, and I hope to see it stay that way.
For more information about the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana, call 812-421-4970 or girlscouts-gssi.org.