wears many hats
thrives on being busy.Davis, vice-president of ADF Systems, Humboldt, wears many hats, one could say.
Not only does his
job with ADF
occupy a great deal of his
also holds down three positions volunteering for the area Cub Scout and Boy Scout organizations.
Davis volunteers to serve as local Cub Master for Cub Scouts and Scout Master for Boy Scouts.He also serves as commissioner of the Twin Lakes District, overseeing several area counties of scouting organizations.
"Growing up on the farm, you definitely develop a work ethic," Davis
, who grew up on a farm near Clare, said.
"It helps instill a good work ethic in you," Davis
An early experience in life taught Davis
the value of volunteering and 'helping out.' As a 12-year-old boy, Davis recalls how area neighbors helped out on his
family farm while his
father was hospitalized with a serious illness.
"When I was 12 years of age, my father got seriously sick with spinal meningitis.He
never really recovered as it did quite a bit of damage to him," Davis
said."The neighbors in the area always came over and pitched in to help us out on the farm."
"That's the thing I remember the most - when you needed help, there was people always there to help," Davis
"I think that's why I'm involved in the scouting as much as I am," Davis
said."I see a need in that area and you don't necessarily need to be asked to help fill that need.You just go and do it.I guess that's why I stay involved in scouting."Davis, a 1975 graduate of Northwest Webster High School in Barnum, began employment in Humboldt in 1977 at Hotsy.Prior to joining Hotsy in its drafting department, Davis attended Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, where he studied in the Machine Shop/Drafting program.At Hotsy, Davis worked his way into a designer position at Hotsy, and eventually moved up to the position of manufacturing engineer.
When the farm crisis struck the Iowa economy in the early to mid 1980s, the Hotsy
plant was closed for a period of time and Davis
was one of those out of employment.He
teamed up with two others (Lou Fontana and Marv Almond) to form ADF Systems, Inc.
, in 1984.He's held his position with ADF since.
That's how we started ADF
"My job is basically engineering.We cover all of the United States, Canada and Mexico.I attend a lot of trade shows and it involves travel," Davis
said."I've been over to Israel with my job, along with some other places."
"In the parts washer industry, customers have a lot of different parts and applications.We have a standard line of equipment that can fit those needs.Sometimes it needs some special modifications and we can do those modifications by coming up with a machine that can solve that problem," Davis
"Back when I started out in drafting in the 1970s, I never dreamed I'd be in the position I am in now," Davis
We were kind of the forerunners or leaders in the industry for cleaning with water," Davis
said."So you had that challenge to work out, initially."
(Environmental Protection Agency) later got involved and said solvents needed to be phased out due to health hazards.That gave us a big boost," Davis
"After the first four or five years, things started to click pretty good for us and we kept moving along," Davis
said."Right now business is going well for us.We don't have a crystal ball so we can't tell what it will be like down the road, but things are going well."Davis
has been involved in scouting for the past 10 years.Gerald
wife, Cathy, have two sons.Nick is 15 and Alex is nine.They reside five miles south of Humboldt.Gerald
still farms the home place.
"I started out in scouting in 1996 when my oldest son first got involved," Davis
said."I was one of the adults who always wanted to participate.At the time they had good leadership."
"I soon signed on as a den leader.Membership started to change and you get asked to do more and more.About two years after Nick started, I became Cub Master for about two years," Davis
said."After doing that for a while, I began helping out on the five-county district level.We ran the summer day camp for three years and I was camp director for those camps.After that, I became district commissioner."
"As Nick got older and moved into Boy Scouts, I became the Scout Master.Currently I hold the positions of Scout Master, Cub Master and Twin Lakes District
said."I guess I've got a lot of scouting hats I wear."
, who wasn't involved in scouting as a youth on the farm, scouting is a good fit as he
enjoys taking boys out on camping trips and hikes.Last July, he led a group on a 10-day hike in the mountains of New Mexico.
"Growing up on the farm, I wasn't involved in scouting.When I got home after school, I helped out with the hog chores on the farm," Davis
said."We played baseball and stuff like that, but we didn't know a whole lot about scouting when I was a kid on the farm."
"Going on a long camping trip like we did last summer was quite an adventure.There was quite a lot of preparation work ahead to do," Davis
said."We needed to do some rigid exercising for three to four months prior to get into shape for the hike.We'd go out two or three times and do some 10 and 20-mile hikes to prepare for that.""To take the boys on a camping trip like that is pretty neat.Every one of the boys says they want to go back, or do it themselves," Davis
said."There were some days that got pretty long and there were some hard days.You'd go up 1,500 to 2,000 feet, then you would come back down, then go back up.After it's all said and done, there's a big reward to it."
"I've already had kids come back and tell me about a day camp from five or six years ago, so that helps make you feel like you are making a difference," Davis
has two sisters.One lives in Fort Dodge and the other lives in Iowa City.He
has been farming the 80-acre home place since he
was age 18.
career and his
volunteer work, Davis
believes in rigid flexibility.
"Rigid flexibility is one saying I use," Davis
said."You do need to have guidelines you need to go by, but you don't always have to stick by those guidelines.If there's a better direction, then go that way.That's one saying I use or like to go by in life."
In a recent interview with the Independent, Davis
, with his
low-key, even-keeled disposition, looks back on the guidance he
received from his
mother a "mentor" as he
looks back on how she
family together while his
father was ill.The adversity has left a lasting impression on Davis
and how he
tackles each new challenge.
"My mother - you could definitely call her
a mentor," Davis
said."With Dad being sick, she
had to hold down a job so we were able to eat.Yet, be able to take care of Dad, too.He
was also in a coma for about a year and we drove to Des Moines all the time to see him."
"In looking back, Mom was a big part of it in carrying on things at home," Davis
said."And then there was the neighbors helping out.Those are things that stand out in my life when I look back."Gerald Davis
holds down a position of vice-president at ADF Systems, Inc.
, Humboldt, a position he
has held since 1984.