As an entrepreneur and executive in travel technology and data services for over 17 years, Davis has been a visionary and driving force in the travel industry. He built two successful technology services firms, which have been enablers of online travel, now the largest e-commerce category, and fundamental changes in travel marketing and distribution.
Davis is the non-executive chairman of TRX, Inc., a global leader in travel technology and data services. Previously, as co-founder and CEO for nine years, he led the company from start-up in 1999 to revenue of $110 million in five years and raised over $100 million in growth capital. He was named chairman of the board in December 2008 and non-executive chairman in January 2011. TRX processes approximately $400 billion per year in travel volume on behalf of its clients, including transaction data from over 400 sources in 50 countries. Clients include travel agencies, travel websites, corporations, travel suppliers, government agencies and credit card companies. TRX is publicly traded and employs 800 people in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and India.
From April 2007 through July 2011, Davis was the lead investor in hotelicopter, an innovative cloud computing platform for online hotel search and direct distribution, founded by two Darden graduates. He helped the founders raise $5 million in early-stage funding, build the industry-leading hotel search platform, and sell the company to a strategic buyer. He served as the non-executive chairman of hotelicopter from April 2009 through July 2011.
Prior to co-founding TRX, Davis was the senior vice president and general manager of the Travel Industry Practice Group at Atlanta-based iXL and CEO and co-founder of Green Room Productions, a San Francisco-based Internet travel technology company, which he started in 1995 and sold to iXL in 1998. Before starting Green Room, he worked in new ventures for the Travel Channel at Landmark Communications in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to attending graduate business school in 1992, Davis was an associate producer with Jobson Sailing and ESPN, covering international sailing events and the America’s Cup in San Diego.
In 2007 and 2002, Business Travel News recognized him as one of the Top 25 most influential executives in the travel industry. He is the seven-time chairman of the Masters Program, the premier executive forum for corporate travel industry leaders. In 2005, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) voted Davis its “Member of the Year.” Three times, Travel Agent Magazine has listed him as one of the “100 Rising Stars” in the travel industry. He is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator at industry events, highlighted by a keynote speech and one-on-one interview with Alan Greenspan for a 4,000-person audience at the GBTA international convention in 2008.
Davis earned a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He is a graduate of Leadership at the Peak at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Davis resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife Nicol and their three children. He enjoys competitive sailing, skiing, marathons and triathlons.
Davis is a frequent lecturer at Darden in classes such as “Entrepreneurial Thinking,” “Entrepreneurs Taking Action,” “Starting New Ventures,” “General Managers Taking Action,” “Corporate Finance,” “Operations” and “Reading Seminar in Management.” He has sponsored and co-authored three Darden cases studies on the challenges and opportunities associated with the start-up and growth of new business ventures.
- “Green Room Productions, LLC,” UVA-ENT-0080, Darden Business Publishing, 2006 (with Gregory Fairchild, Dorothy Kelly and Susan Singer)
- “TRX, Inc.: The Offshoring Decision,” UVA-OM-1296, Darden Business Publishing, 2006 (with Kenneth Heckel and Timothy Lasester)
- “TRX, Inc.: Initial Public Offering,” UVA-F-1568, Darden Business Publishing, 2008 (with Susan Chaplinsky, Kensei Morita and Xing Zeng)
From January 2007 through May 2011, Davis was a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. In 2009, he was named the co-faculty director of the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship. He taught “Financing New Ventures,” “Entrepreneurship” and the “Entrepreneurship Track Capstone.” He helped create and coordinate the 12 credit-hour Entrepreneurship Track and organize the McIntire Entrepreneurship Concept Competition. He continues to be a guest lecturer in courses such as “Making Business Work.”