Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 6                                        July/August  2005


Where in the World is Jeff Davidson?
Company President Has Tales to Tell from Travels
by Samantha Carpenter

“Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” is a popular computer game in grade schools that teaches about geography and history. World traveler Jeff Davidson, president of Weinig USA, could have his own computer game named after him, considering he has visited 20 or 30 countries.

Weinig USA is a subsidiary of Germany-based Weinig Group, which offers a variety of machinery for the wood processing industry from moulders to cross-cut saws to rip saws to finger jointers to glue presses and more. Davidson joined the company in 1990 after answering a blind ad in The Wall Street Journal. Before working for Weinig, Davidson worked for overhead material handling-type companies.

When talking with Davidson, it doesn’t take long to find out what he really enjoys when he travels, and that’s golf. Whether or not he seeks out a golf course depends on whether his travel is for business or pleasure.

“What’s interesting about getting around is playing the different golf courses,” Davidson said.

While Davidson says that he’s been to a number of exotic places, such as China, Africa and Japan, his favorite travel destination is the Caribbean because “You can combine golf with the beach.”

Davidson says it’s hard to say which course has been the coolest on which to play.

“There are so many and they are all so nice that is almost impossible to answer. If you take the top names, going to Scotland was definitely a highlight. The courses in Northern California on the coast are great. The ones in Florida are wonderful and so are the ones in South Carolina,” he said.

He jokes that his wife, Ute, learned to play golf four years ago out of self-defense. When asked if he tells her how to swing the club out on the golf course, he answered, “Absolutely not!” 

Davidson, who usually shoots in the high 80s, says that his goal is to play the top 100 golf courses in the United States and he is halfway there.

Whether he is traveling for business or looking for the next golf course, Davidson says that traveling has taught him to be more patient.

“You can’t change what’s going on. If the train is late or if the plane is cancelled, there is probably a good reason for it,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to get on an airplane with a mechanical defect, so what’s the sense of getting upset about it?”

Business travel has taught Davidson that you need to be cognizant of different cultures.

“You have to be in tune with the local traditions and norms. In different countries, you have to follow different procedures. For instance, sometimes you address people by their last names rather than their first names,” he said.

In the future, Davidson would like to visit South America, specifically Brazil and Chile. To make it a “hole-in-one trip” he would welcome advice on which golf courses to play while there. 

Samantha Carpenter is editor of SHELTER magazine.

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