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Financier Davis is Liberty Bank's community developer

Cambridge College Alumnus Glenn Davis
Glenn Davis sits at his Main Street office in Middletown, where on of his newest duties includes overseeing Liberty Bank's Small Business Academy, which launched in 2016 to help fledgling entrepreneurs better understand then fundamentals of business.

Math and computations have always fascinated Glenn Davis.

As he reflected in his Middletown office on his extensive career in finance, the dapper vice president for community development at Liberty Bank said it wasn't really the numbers that engaged him as a child.

"I like solving problems," Davis said. "What's intriguing for me is working through the process. I love successful outcomes. As an economic development person what is refreshing is that you can leave a legacy that you were able to solve a problem that led to significant change. At the end of the day, economic development is about taking nothing and turning it into something.''

The Windsor resident's mornings start at about 5 a.m. with prayer, walking the family dog and then breakfast. He is normally at his Main Street branch a little after 8 a.m.; leaves around 5:30 p.m. — and usually works another two hours in his home office.

Davis leads a three-person team tasked with making investments and providing resources to empower low-and-moderate income communities. In addition to his VP duties, Davis is also the bank's Community Reinvestment Act officer, making sure that loans and mortgages are made available to underserved communities.

More than $40 million worth of transactions flow through his office, including investments in nonprofits, lending to homebuyers, neighborhood revitalization projects and small businesses.

Davis, a Philadelphia native, and wife Dianne have been married 37 years. They have three children and a grandchild. His career in finance, banking and economic development spans 40 years.

"I love working with small businesses and helping them to achieve their goal," Davis, 62, said. "That's been the real driver for me — helping others achieve their goals."

That driver applies to his staff as well. As a business leader, Davis says he wants his team members to achieve their individual goals, "but to have that success structured in the context of our team."

When it comes to managing people, Davis said he has learned that it's important to understand the personalities of each employee and what motivates them.

"You can't treat everyone the same," he said. "People are wired differently. So, even your approach to how you motivate them is different. Some may require more of a strong-arm approach; others a softer approach. The key to being successful with that is to really be in tune to who you are. You have to be comfortable with yourself to be able to flow in those different roles."

He majored in business and economics at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and earned a master's degree in management at Cambridge College in Massachusetts. Work stops included Louisville, Ky.; Shreveport, La.; and Houston, Texas.

This is a man who at an early age found his niche in life — finance — and parlayed it into a career helping others secure funding for their dreams. Davis was hired at Liberty in 2013.

On any given day, the customer may be a real estate developer trying to transform a parcel of land, a nonprofit looking to expand, a first-time homebuyer, or an entrepreneur seeking a loan.

Financial literacy is another sector that drives Davis.

He is particularly proud of Liberty's Small Business Academy launched in 2016. The training program educates fledgling entrepreneurs, who generate less than $1 million in annual revenue, on the fundamentals of business. Financing, taxes, risk management and insurance are among the topics discussed. The candidates must be in business for less than three years, have no bankruptcies in the past five years, and not be under supervision of the criminal justice system. A credit line of $5,000 is approved for each participant that completes the eight-week program. So far, about 100 entrepreneurs have graduated.

"In my experience, no one has ever gone out of business because they were not proficient at what they did,'' Davis said, adding that it is the business-side of operating a firm that dooms many entrepreneurs.

When he's not working the numbers and solving problems, Davis enjoys time at home working on his yard and reading motivational books, or ones about spirituality and (who knew?) espionage.

He finds irony that his very first job in 1976 was in a management-training program at a place called Liberty Bank in Louisville, Ky. — no connection to Connecticut's Liberty.

"I've come full circle," Davis said, with a smile. "Back into a Liberty Bank."