In honor of Black History Month, Jerome L. Davis, Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer, MWAA, shared his personal stories, experiences, inspirations, what inclusion and diversity means to him individually and in the workforce, and his take on how business has changed since the pandemic began.


A brief Introduction of your journey at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

After 40 years in corporate America I joined the Airports Authority in September 2014 in a newly created position of Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. The company was looking for an experienced leader of diverse businesses and organizations, not necessarily from the aviation industry. Departments in the Office of Revenue include: Airline Business Development, Marketing and Consumer Strategy, Real Estate, Government Affairs and Communications and Commercial Parking. The journey was going to focus on driving growth and demand to increase non-airline revenue (both short- and long-term growth); building a brand and marketing organization; transforming the culture to move with speed, execution and innovation across all functions; and develop talent for the future through succession planning.


2020 has been an unprecedented year in many ways and you have been at the epicenter of lot of changes in the company - What does a normal day look like in the “new normal?”

The day still starts the same at 7 a.m., but instead of being on field trips at our airports, or meeting with our contractors/outside partners or having multiple industry or internal meetings, I spend a great deal of time on Zoom or conference calls, conducting business through a virtual network. Quite frankly, the accountability is the same. It’s just that we are dealing with such an unprecedented business dilemma, which has impacted all businesses to some degree. With no turnaround in sight, everyone’s vision for the business must be steady and clear.


Recently the conversation within many organizations has been about equity and inclusion, and what we’re doing to encourage it. What does being an African American in an executive role mean to you?

Always challenge yourself and set achievable goals that can inspire you and others. Look for the good in people and try not to focus on the negatives. A career is typically built over time, and you will have some setbacks. Just be clear, racism does exist and will continue to exist, but I am convinced that more energy needs to be put on efforts that will make a difference for you personally. Racism can cause you to lose your way if you let emotion keep you from seeing the prize.

We can all use training and development. Take advantage of all diversity and inclusion training, skill-based training and coaching -- and understand your blind spots. The power of “awareness” will be your best asset as you grow as an executive.


Who are some heroes in Black history (or entrepreneurs) that inspire you and why?

  • Mom and Dad: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.”
  • Muhammad Ali, because of his passion, clarity and work ethic.
  • Martin Luther King, because of his fight for justice, peace and equality.
  • Jackie Robinson, because of his ability to not let barriers stop him.


What does Black History mean to you?

Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.



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