Earlier this month, Emmett I. Davis, Jr, one of the founders of Davis & Floyd, was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame along with Patrick W. McKinney, former partner of Kiawah Partners, and the late James M. Smith, Sr, founder of JM Smith Corporation.
Over the last thirty-three years, the Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina has inducted more than 100 business leaders across the state into the Hall of Fame. The honorees, called Laureates, are chosen for their unique contribution to the state’s business landscape, for being an agent of positive change, for their leadership, and for being a source of inspiration to the leaders of tomorrow.
“I am truly honored for this recognition and thankful that the wonderful people at Junior Achievement consider me worthy of being a part of this group who have done such great things for our state,” said Davis.
“Laureates of the Hall of Fame are pillars in their community and known for their integrity, leadership, innovation and business achievement, and Emmett Davis epitomizes all of that and much more,” said Casey Pash, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina.
Davis and business partner Phil Floyd started the company in 1954. Over the last 63 years, Davis & Floyd has grown from a two-man start up to the largest, privately-owned engineering firm located in the state with 175 employees and five offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Greenwood. As a multi-disciplined firm, Davis & Floyd works throughout the Southeast and has been involved in some of the state’s largest and most challenging projects, including the Conway Bypass, recovery of the Civil War submarine The Hunley, and ongoing drainage tunnel projects in downtown Charleston to name a few. Although officially retired, Mr. Davis serves as chairman of the board and is still seen most days in his office in Greenwood, when he is not visiting job sites.
Davis has been recognized as a leader in his industry and within the community. He is active in various professional societies including the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Council of Engineering Companies, which awarded him the Service to the Profession award in 2008. He was awarded The Order of the Palmetto by the SC governor, the Presidential Medallion from Piedmont Technical College, and Palmetto Medal by The Citadel Board of Visitors.
Other memberships include Tau Beta Pi’s “Eminent Engineers” (The Citadel); Citadel Society of
1842; Citadel Foundation Campaign Steering Committee; Lander University Foundation; Chi Epsilon-Clemson Chapter; SC Historical Society (former president); and Greenwood County “Hall of Fame.” He is a Life Trustee of the Independent Colleges and Universities of South Carolina Foundation as well as director emeritus of Countybank, Greenwood.
His former leadership roles include director of United Telephone Company; former member and chairman of the Self Regional Healthcare Hospital Board; director of Self Family Foundation; member of Clemson University Engineering Advisory Board; director/president of The Citadel Development Foundation; and board member/chairman of Erskine College. He received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from The Citadel and Honorary Doctor of Science from Erskine College. He graduated from The Citadel in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
An Elder in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Greenwood, Davis was married to Mona Ruth Looper (deceased) and has three children: Emmett I. Davis, III, Rebecca Ruth Davis Flack, and Stephen Looper Davis as well as five grandchildren.