If you ask any of my family and friends what is the one topic that will send me into a verbose vortex of conversation, they'll tell you "TRANSPORTATION". I love transportation. I love learning about the different types of transportation and understanding the operations. I love using all forms of transportation. Transportation has the ability to connect communities to each other, jobs, education, and opportunities. It is an important aspect of our everyday lives, that we rarely notice (well other than me, of course).
I'm a transportation guru located in the District of Columbia. I co-own Nspiregreen LLC, an environmental and urban planning consulting company, with my good friend, Chanceé Lundy. I oversee our transportation and urban planning projects. Throughout my career I've worked across several modes of transportation including roadway design, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, transit planning, and rail.
Even outside of Nspiregreen, I encourage women and girls to bike for health, wellness, transportation, and fun as the Co-Founder of Black Women Bike. In addition, I serve on transportation committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Transportation Research Board.
In summary, I love transportation!
The Path to Transportation (no pun intended)
Since my older sister was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a doctor. Unlike her, I spent most of my younger years uncertain about what I wanted to be when I grew up. At various times I wanted to be a dancer, astronaut, chemist, teacher, or a restaurateur. I was all over the place. Thinking back the cards were stacked for me to work in the transportation industry. During my influential years, both of my parents were in the transportation. My dad worked at the Port of Elizabeth in New Jersey and he was the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). My mom was a human resources professional for the New York City Transit Authority. Days off from school meant spending time at work or attending conferences with one of them.
Having two parents in transportation also meant most of my toys were transportation related. I had (and still have) Tonka trucks, a Lionel train set, race car tracks, Legos, and Little People (which included an airport with airplanes). I would spend hours transforming my basement into my own world creation all connected by my Lionel train set.
When I was applying to undergraduate school, my dad who was then the ED/CEO of ASCE, encouraged me to consider civil engineering. I didn't have any better ideas for a major, so why not. After all, math and science came easy to me. During my junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park, I took Introduction to Urban Transportation Planning with Dr. M. William Sermons. That class was instrumental in my career: I learned that being a good civil engineer is more than designing civil infrastructure; it is also about the people. That class helped me find my passion in planning. I immediately began to research graduate degrees in planning.
The Davis Legacy
In my dad's farewell speech to ASCE, he discussed the "Davis Legacy". He was leaving the civil engineering industry his youngest daughter. It is very exciting to live out my dream of working for myself, while making my dad proud.
At the age of 22, I wrote a life strategic plan. The career objective was, "To be a World Renown Expert in Transportation." As part of this goal, I wanted to be the "US Secretary of Transportation by 2035". Even now, I'm amazed at the unlimited vision I had at 22 years old. There were times in my career where I strayed off course into other fields. I'm here now and I look forward to what the future will bring.