There’s one question that local businessman Myles Davis has an easy answer for.
“My parents were not jazz fans (and) did not name me after the jazz trumpet player,” Miles Davis, he said.
And no, “I do not get better tables at restaurants because of my name.”
Davis said each of his three siblings have names that start with the letter M. “I was supposed to be a girl named Melinda.”
So who is his favorite jazz musician?
“Miles Davis, of course. I have all of his albums.”
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
Jesus Christ, Sir Thomas More and my mother who died from breast cancer at the age of 50.
What job would you like to try/not like to try?
Try: Owner or president of the Minnesota Vikings. I’m a big Minnesota Vikings fan. For a long time I had season tickets and I would fly out there twice a year.
Not try: Mason.
How did you get into this business?
I was working as a housekeeper at Queen of the Valley Hospital and going to Napa College when Tom Foster, the master electrician, asked me to be his apprentice. I appreciated his trust and it was a good opportunity to learn a trade while I went to school for business. That was 1982. I was 18.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
I started this company in 1994 and felt very strongly, as I still do, that the employees make our company successful. So, the most challenging aspect of electrical contracting is making sure that you hire good people, but once you attain those great employees, train them and keep them busy year round. Keeping a loyal, knowledgeable work force busy year round is a constant challenge.
That which I can’t live without
My family and Budweiser.
What’s on your to-do list?
Hike or mountain bike to Machu Picchu.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Pay cash for a brand new Porsche Cabriolet.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Right here. I work and live in the Napa Valley, my brother is my partner, my wife has an office in my building and my daughter works as my assistant. Where else would I want to be?
What’s the most significant project you’ve been involved with in your career?
Our company did all the electrical for the batch (concrete manufacturing) plant and all the temporary offices for the new Carquinez Bridge. We are very proud of this as this type of job is generally reserved for union shops. Being a merit shop, it was quite an accomplishment to get and complete.
What other business person(s) would you like to see featured in “10 Questions?”
Tim Cooney or Johnny Westbrook of Cooney & Co. General Contractors
Judy Schindler, JS Design + Build
Mike Willard, Bluestone Pool & Landscape
Lori Reich, Reich & Associates
Tom Trainor, Trainor Construction
More from Myles Davis
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
The misconception by some companies that billing 30 days plus is mandatory. Most small companies need to be paid right away and when you take it past 30 days, it becomes a nuisance. What’s really funny is that most hotels, retail outlets, etc. require 30 days plus billing yet they require you to pay on checking out. I don’t get that.
What’s your favorite gift to give?
Helping others. If someone asks for my help, I cannot say no.
What is your favorite charity?
American Cancer Society.
What was your childhood ambition?
I had many but like many kids I wanted to play pro sports.
What was your first job?
Dishwasher, Suscol House, now Villa Romano.
Who do you most admire in the business world?
George McCuen, McCuen Investments and Pete Singler, Esq. Singler Napell & Dillon.
What’s one thing Napa could do to help local business?
Recognize the difficulty of starting a new business and make it as easy as possible. Recognize when a business creates civic improvement.
Each Wednesday the Napa Valley Register’s Business Focus asks “10 Questions” of a local entrepreneur or businessperson. Readers are welcome to suggest business people to be profiled. To suggest a candidate for “10 Questions” e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org