Former U.S. Bancorp CEO and president Richard Davis has been selected as the new head of Make-A-Wish America, replacing 14-year leader David Williams. Williams announced his departure this spring, around the same time Davis stepped down from his role as chairman of the board at Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank.
Davis brings decades of leadership experience (including 30 years of nonprofit involvement) to Make-A-Wish, the Phoenix-based nonprofit that grants unique, morale boosting wishes to child patients suffering from life-threatening conditions.
"Richard is very much dedicated to the Make-A-Wish mission of creating life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses and we are excited to see him leading the organization forward," said David Clark, chairman of the Make-A-Wish board of directors. “We feel he is exactly the right person to lead us into the next chapter."
Over Davis’s 11 years leading U.S. Bank, the company’s revenue increased 49 percent and experienced a record net profit of $5.9 billion in 2016—Davis’s last full year as CEO. Beyond business, Davis has been at the forefront of many community initiatives in the Twin Cities, arguably the most notable being his efforts to erect U.S. Bank Stadium and bring Super Bowl hosting duties to Minneapolis.
Davis also co-chaired the Minneapolis Step-Up program, which launched in 2004 as a program offering paid summer internships for disadvantaged Minneapolis Youth. What’s more, Davis has served on nonprofit boards for more than 30 years, including the boards for Goodwill, United Way, YMCA, the University of Minnesota Foundation, and the University of San Diego. He also boasts board experience with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Guthrie Theater, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Davis was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service award in 2007. Twin Cities Business also honored Davis in 2016 when he was named the Person of the Year.
With decades of experience, Davis said in a statement that he is looking forward to taking the reins at Make-A-Wish.
"I have always been inspired by the remarkable work of Make-A-Wish and the organization's ability to fulfill wishes for children undergoing treatment for critical illnesses,” he says. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to lead Make-A-Wish and to join the remarkable staff and countless volunteers who participate in granting a wish every 34 minutes of each day.”
Outgoing CEO Williams will remain in place through October 31, and Davis will replace him effective January 2, 2019.