Coffee Break: Joshua Davis, president of The Will Group

  • Joshua Davis is president of The Will Group in Wheaton.

    Joshua Davis is president of The Will Group in Wheaton. Photo courtesy of Joshua Davis

  • Joshua Davis is president of The Will Group in Wheaton.

    Joshua Davis is president of The Will Group in Wheaton. Photo courtesy of Joshua Davis

  • Joshua Davis played football at the University of Tennessee.

    Joshua Davis played football at the University of Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Joshua Davis

  • Joshua Davis

    Joshua Davis

Posted11/20/2022 7:00 AM

Joshua Davis



The Will Group

401 S. Carlton Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187

(630) 462-0230

Industry: Department of Transportation, utility, commercial and industrial construction

Annual revenue: About $70 million

Number of employees: 120

Age: 33

Q: Describe your company.

A: The Will Group (TWG) began in 1986 when my father, Stephen L. Davis, had a vision of a business that would honor the legacy of his father and promote the core values of integrity, pride and hard work that his father, William "Will" Edward Davis, emulated. Will understood the importance of hard work and that by empowering people with jobs, communities would begin to thrive.

Thirty-six years after our establishment, The Will Group has evolved into a company that provides shared services to several separate and distinct clients that are prominent within the construction industry. These separate and distinct companies provide services including infrastructure supply, construction management, electrical distribution, contract assembly, warehousing, third-party logistics, field engineering services and more.

We all operate under the common philosophy, "Where there's a Will, there's a way."

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

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A: We have invested significantly in facilities in 2022 to alleviate global supply chain issues for our partners.

We recently invested in a 120,000-square-foot industrial business center development that centralizes and expands our existing facilities in the North Lawndale community of Chicago. Phase 1 consisted of a 3-acre parcel of land that had not been on the city tax rolls for nearly four decades. The $20 million-plus investment will have the potential to create more than 200 jobs.

The existing mixed-use facility is used for contract manufacturing, including smart LED light fixtures, EV charging stations, capacitor banks, prefabricated homes (through our partner @inherent homes) and more. Plans are to begin Phase II construction of the development in 2023.

In addition, we recently opened a new location in Carol Stream to provide third-party logistics and distribution support for a local utility. We are excited about the additional jobs we will create that will allow us to continue offering value added solutions to our partners that are inclusive of the communities in which we operate.

Our recent growth has also allowed us to open an office in New York City where we are providing our services for the JFK Airport expansion.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?


A: The global supply chain continues to present new issues. With rising interest rates and inflation, we anticipate that supply chain issues will continue to provide challenges in the upcoming year.

We have dealt with labor issues in the first half of 2022. However, we have stayed with the mindset of "people first, mission second," which has allowed us to have a stronger staff than ever before heading into 2023.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Sustainable infrastructure. We are excited to roll out our EV charging products in 2023.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: Never stop learning.

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: My biggest role model is my father. I am grateful to be able to follow in his footsteps with my sister, Jessica Ashley Garmon, who is The Will Group's chief operating officer and chief legal counsel, and to be able to help grow the company through various verticals. Growing up, he would always tell me that I needed to be "better than him." That is a tall task. But my continued admiration has created motivation. He is continuing to do great things, which has kept me going.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: Our company launched our first advisory board last year. Being a family-owned business, it has been insightful to have the mentorship, guidance and accountability of outside counsel.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: Seldom in business do things go exactly as planned. As I have advanced in my career, it has built an optimism during adjustments and lessons learned while pushing through the highs and lows of running a business. If every moment was easy, a lot more people would do it.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I'm a private pilot who loves spending time with my wife and two kids. I enjoy flying small planes and taking people on Chicago skyline tours to see their reactions. Currently, I am trying to learn how to golf, as I wrap up my Executive MBA Program at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Between family, work and school there is not much free time.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: Reading material from Kellogg and "Llama Llama Red Pajama."

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: My two toddlers.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I would work in the aviation industry. I was recently promoted to the DuPage Airport Board of Commissioners, and it has given me the opportunity to provide public service while learning some of the ins and outs of the business of aviation.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: Baseball umpire for the Wheaton Park District.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Neyland Stadium. I was fortunate to be a walk-on on the football team for my first few years at the University of Tennessee before I had back surgery. It would be special to have my grandfather's name on a stadium in his hometown.

Q: Two accounts to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)

A: @WSJ: keeping up with the latest news while on the go.

@Vol_Football: The No. 5 team in college football.

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