2010 Hall of Fame: Joan Davidson - Setting a Blazing PaceSeptember 2010 By Erik Cagle
Ask anyone who knows Joan Davidson, and they will tell you that she has a lot on the ball—an excellent work ethic, top-notch people skills, a strong manager and a positive leader. But she'll be the first to admit that when it comes to patience...well, let's just say she's still working on that.
"People who know me well would say, 'She never stops asking questions, pushing for results, improving approaches,' " notes Davidson, the group president of Sheridan Publication Services in Hunt Valley, MD. "So, it is challenging for me when we can't move as fast as possible."
Perhaps it is because Davidson has set such a breakneck pace for herself in only 15 years in the printing industry, rising to group president at Sheridan while becoming a major figure among the printing industry's associations. As group president, she has responsibility for four of Sheridan's six companies—The Sheridan Press, United Litho, Dartmouth Printing and Dartmouth Journal Services. On the association end, Davidson has served as chair of the NAPL board and received the prestigious NAPL Soderstrom Award in 2008.
That Davidson has accompanied and helped guide such a prosperous period in the constantly-evolving Sheridan organization after a heralded career in the marketing and finance divisions of Procter & Gamble makes her an ideal choice as a member of the 2010 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame. She becomes the fourth woman to enter the hallowed honor roll, joining Judith Booth (1994), Diane Romano (1996) and Janet Green (2009).
Davidson was part of an executive triumvirate, along with Sheridan CEO John Saxton and CFO Bob Jakobe, who made the leap from the consumer products heavyweight (where she worked in the cosmetics and fragrance division of Cover Girl Cosmetics). She arrived in 1995 as vice president of finance at The Sheridan Press, and was promoted to president and COO a year later before making group president in 2007.
"I was fortunate to have worked with Bob and John at P&G, so I was accustomed to their excellent management and leadership capabilities. Given their achievements and my desire to be working with a strong management team at a smaller organization...I am glad to have made the change into printing. All the experiences and challenges have made me a better person and leader."
The third of six children born to Jerome and Jeanne Beach, Joan Davidson relished her childhood years in Maryland, where she played basketball, soccer, softball and lacrosse. Between school, athletics and part-time jobs, "We all learned multitasking at a very young age." She enjoyed the love and support of a large family unit.