By Sabie Crowder
Julie Davis is a woman you want to know. Fun, smart, thoughtful, and courageous, she is a role model to women who take leaps from an outgrown position to huge potential.
Julie’s fourth generation roots are deep in her tight-knit Soddy Daisy community. Self-professed small town girl and life of the party, Julie was voted Friendliest in her senior class at Soddy Daisy High School.
After high school graduation, Julie attended Chattanooga State with a familiar classmate: her mother.
“It was a little odd at the beginning. People would mistake my mom for my sister, which happens to my daughter and I now,” she reflects, smiling.
Julie owes a lot of her successes to the community college where she came into her own.
“It was such a significant phase of life for me. Coming from a small town, Chattanooga State opened opportunities I had never gotten before. My world was opened up.”
Just an example of how she maximized her time at Chattanooga State was in the early nineties. As Student Government Association president, Julie was able to take her first flight to attend the Association conference at Texas Christian University.
Julie’s involvement with Chattanooga State has continued to grow over the years. Now she serves as Alumni Board president, her daughter Shelby works at the community college, and Julie has now served on two search committees to find a new Chattanooga State president–once as SGA president and once as Alumni Board president. These unique experiences allowed her to meet different community members.
“There are so many smart people in the world. When you get close to them, you tend to take for granted how smart they are.”
Opportunity knocks and Julie answers when she was a Chattanooga State student worker for Debbie Adams in the Career Planning office. Terry Lamb, advisor at the Chattanooga office of JC Bradford, called for a job board posting for the college students. Lamb needed to fill a part time data entry position and Julie applied the next day. “That job never made it on the board,” Julie laughs.
Julie painstakingly entered data 2 years before getting married and moving to Knoxville, where she was able to transfer to the JC Bradford (later Raymond James) office. Julie moved back to Chattanooga in 1995 to raise her daughter closer to family and continued to work part time until Shelby was 16. An industry veteran with a unique career path, she has held nearly every role at the company including receptionist, cashier, wire operator, and her longest position as an assistant to an advisor for 23 years.
Assistant to Advisor
For 23 years, Julie tilled her soil, paid her dues, did the jobs she was given. But–and I’m sure a lot of women can relate–she became bored and felt like she wasn’t meeting her potential. Where women should look up to Julie is when she took her unfulfillment and untapped growth and did something about it.
Her husband John of 3 years was her biggest cheerleader.
“It was early in our marriage when I decided to make this career change, so there was a lot of newness but he was the one who pushed me to go for it.”
Julie received her Series 7 and Series 63, as well as her insurance license, and has now been an advisor for 4 years. One of five advisors at Raymond James Round Table Advisors, she is the only female.
She remembers the transition being challenging from assistant to advisor.
“It was hard to own it. Suddenly I went from a colleague to many coworkers to ‘one of the guys’. Tony D’Andrea, the Branch Manager of her office, had to remind me that I needed to focus on my new role, instead of the familiar assistant duties.”
She now has her own assistant, who Julie makes sure to pass along wisdom and best practices, while being able to relate to the job.
After just two years of membership, Julie has served on the membership committee and on the search committee to find current executive director, Holly Ashley. First as vice chair and now as chair of membership
Her advice to all members? “Jump on a committee as soon as you join. Take advantage of all the opportunities and events. Be deliberate in meeting other members. Make this a priority and it will directly impact you personally.
Julie is not a life observer, she’s a life liver. “I don’t want to do a little bit of anything. I want to live life, not have it live me.”
The future is bright for Julie Davis. “I am excited to continue getting involved in community organizations. I love new meeting people and the causes they represent.”
Julie lives with her husband in Soddy Daisy and is enjoying a new season of being a grandmother.
Learn more about Julie here.