On Monday at the Amaral Bailey American Legion Hall, a veritable crowd assembled to support Ken Davis as he was honored as Small Business Person Of The Year for Manchester by the Greater Cape Ann Chamber Of Commerce.
There were stacks of folks from Davis’s long list of family (including wife Lisa) and friends, standing with well-wishers from the community, the Manchester Club, and of course, a big contingent from the Cape Ann Savings Bank, including CASB President Maryanne Smith, former bank president Robert J. Gillis, Jr, and his predecessor Harold J. "Bucky" Rogers.
Davis has worked at the Cape Ann Savings Bank for 41 years, and worked his way up to vice president, head of residential lending and manager of the bank’s Manchester branch. Maryanne Smith, another veteran of the bank who was named president in July, introduced Ken Davis to the crowd. She said working at the Cape Ann Savings Bank can feel like a family, and it was clear from her remarks that Ken Davis is a big part of that. She said Davis is the walking epitome of a community banking, who measures success in human terms, not just numbers. She said Davis knows who may need a little extra attention, he’ll know if an elderly customer hasn’t come into the bank when they typically do (and will check up on them), and he regularly will advocate for a particular loan application because the applicant, he says, is “more than what’s on paper.”
Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken wouldn’t typically find herself at the Manchester Chamber function, but she made the trek down and showed up to support Ken Davis. She wanted to publicly congratulate her friend, and opened with a little ribbing.
“Why is it called Manchester by the Sea,” she asked. “I’m from Gloucester. Should I say ‘by the sea’?”
She quickly got down to business, heralding Ken Davis for all he’s accomplished at the bank, his extensive work with local charities and, more than anything, his talent for becoming a true part of his community, in Manchester as he is already in Gloucester.
“Ken Davis is my friend,” said Mayor Sefatia. “He’s makes things better, and he deserves all the recognition in the world.”
Those who know Ken Davis (like Mayor Sefatia) know that he was the nephew of Eugene Loring Alves, former pastor of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church in Gloucester, the staple of the Portuguese community on Cape Ann. Ken and his cousins would work alongside his uncle, pastor there for 42 years until he died earlier in 2019. In fact, Ken Davis, as one of the very few non-Manchester residents who is a member of the Manchester Club, cooks a version of the church’s coveted “Portuguese Pot Roast Dinner” for the Manchester Club once a year. It’s a huge hit. (Spoiler alert: it’s the menu for next month’s Manchester Club dinner.)
The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce will be recognizing all five recipients during Cape Ann Small Business Weeks, which goes through October 1. Next, Jimmy Roumeliotis of Cape Ann Pizza will be celebrated in Essex at Woodman’s on Thursday, September 23. And at the October 1 awards and recognition luncheon at the Castle Manor Inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant several area high school graduates will also be saluted as 2021 Cape Ann Chamber scholarship winners.
Every year since 1981 the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce has celebrated Cape Ann Small Business Weeks, to honor the achievements of our region’s small business entrepreneurs and their employees and to thank them for their contributions to the economic vitality and community life of Cape Ann.