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Volume 22 No. 27
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Kim Davis, National Hockey League

Photo: Michael Benabib / National Hockey League

Coming to the NHL after a successful career in the financial sector, Kim Davis sees a parallel between the shift she believes the league must make and one she nudged forward at Chase Manhattan Bank while working to build an affluent segment business 25 years ago.

“We were marketing to and talking to the same customers, and you tend to build those networks in the communities you’re most familiar with,” said Davis, hired by the NHL late in 2017. “What we did differently was to reimagine how you want to think about what your growth prospects are for the future, and who those growth prospects are.

Kim Davis

Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs, National Hockey League

Born: Chicago
Education: Spelman College, B.S., economics

“We know that the cultural makeup of communities in our sport is evolving. We know the facts and the data. So for our sport and our business to remain relevant in this ever-changing world, we have to think about new audiences and new spaces. To me, that’s what culture and inclusion is about.”

Though diversity and inclusion sometimes is layered into the role of those who work in social responsibility or social impact, Davis is quick to point out that it isn’t her background.

“I am not a D&I expert. I am a growth and business expert,” Davis said. “And that’s what I bring to the sport. And the ability to be an integrator. To use influence and the ability to inspire and rally people around a vision is what will be the game changer for us.” — Bill King

Getting to know...

Favorite day-off activity: Having a four-hour massage, which I do every single Saturday at 6 a.m. if I’m not on the road. 

Guilty pleasure: (See above) That, and a really, really delicious caramel hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and nuts.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Anything to do with interior design and entertaining. When I have time I am always entertaining and having people over. I love to do things that are fancy.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet: I wish I had met Althea Gibson. I grew up playing tennis and she was my hero. I think she’s an amazing sports figure that didn’t necessarily get all the recognition that she deserved.

Role of sports in social issues: It is really no different than business in general. It’s not only leading on the field of play but leading across social and cultural and environmental issues and making sure they play that role in communities.