Monday, May 7, 2007
George Davis Named to Board of Governors
By TINA BAY, Staff Writer
Culver City-based media and broadcasting entrepreneur George Davis was named Friday as a public member of the State Bar Board of Governors by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Davis, 49, told the MetNews he had not been familiar with the State Bar or its governing body but applied for a vacant public member slot because he saw it as an “excellent opportunity to be of service and also to provide a different perspective from a lot of the lawyers on the board.”
The non-lawyer appointee, who is set to serve until August 2009, said he is “coming in with a very open mind” and does not have a particular interest item or policy matter on his agenda.
“I’m new to this,” the 25-year veteran in the broadcasting, digital cinema and satellite sectors remarked.
But, he added, he understands how to dialogue with attorneys because many of his friends are lawyers, and he has interacted with legal counsel while working in the entertainment business.
Local entertainment lawyer Virgil Roberts, who has known Davis for 15 years and wrote a recommendation on his behalf to the governor’s office, said the appointee is “extremely intelligent,” has “good judgment,” is “upstanding” and “forthright.”
Despite initially lacking background about the State Bar, Roberts said, Davis has the advantage of being a fast learner who is interested and concerned about serving well.
“A lot of times, if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you always got,” the lawyer commented. “I think it can be very helpful to organizations like the State Bar, and bureaucracies in general, to bring in someone who isn’t bound by an ongoing value system that may bring a fresh perspective. He’s not a rabble rouser, not a radical person, but he’s a thoughtful person.”
Davis, who is a Republican, is also not an ideologue, Roberts added.
“George is certainly a lot more conservative than I, but I’ve always found him to be a very open minded person,” the attorney, a self-described liberal Democrat, said. “One of the things that’s important with appointments is that we’re not getting political hacks or ideologues but intelligent people, and I think George falls into that category.”
Davis noted some of the skills he would bring to the Board of Governors:
“I have a lot of experience in managing people, managing budgets, managing different cultures in different countries—I’ve had people work for me in Japan and Singapore, for example—and working under tight deadlines and dealing with different strong personalities.”
State Bar President Sheldon Sloan told the MetNews he does not know Davis, but said the last four public members who have been appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Assembly and the Senate president pro tem have been “outstanding” and voiced confidence in the newest member.
“I assume that Mr. Davis will be along the same lines,” Sloan said. “I know the governor’s office takes great pains to review people who they’re ready to appoint and I would certainly expect that he’ll be a quality person.”
The appointee is currently president of Davis Broadband Group, a media and entertainment consultancy he founded in 2001. Focused on international business development and technical operations, the group is currently working with Sony Hong Kong to deploy digital cinema systems in South East Asia and to obtain digital feature content from Hollywood studios for the upgraded theaters.
From 2004 to 2006, Davis served as senior vice president of Americas and Asia for Technicolor Network Services, in which capacity he managed business development activities throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific Rim, and oversaw the broadcast playout services center for Disney Channel Japan in Tokyo.
He has previously worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where from 1996 to 1999 he was corporate vice president of worldwide satellite operations. In that role, he supervised the construction and staffing of Sony’s digital uplink center in Singapore and served as the lead negotiator on satellite bandwidth and technical facilities in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
He was promoted in 1999 to vice president of international channels for Sony Pictures Television International, which tasked him with representing the studio on the boards of directors for ShowTime-Middle East, CineNova-Holland and ShowTime-Australia.
Davis, a Seattle native who moved to Los Angeles in 1984, said he started in the broadcasting business at age 19 as a radio announcer and then “worked [his] way up through the ranks,” his jobs including a stint as a television cameraman. Eventually, he earned his executive MBA from USC, where he attended night classes, and became an executive.
He also holds an undergraduate degree in business administration and management from the University of Redlands.
Davis is a member of the Dean’s Circle Executive Board for the School of Arts, Media and Communications at California State University, Northridge, and formerly chaired the board of LA 36, Los Angeles’ education cable access channel.
The compensation for his State Bar post, which requires Senate confirmation, is $50 per diem.
There are a total of six public member positions on the 23-member board. Sixteen of the members are attorneys, 15 of whom who are elected by colleagues within their districts to serve as a district representatives and one of whom represents the California Young Lawyers Association, and the final member is the president of the State Bar.
Ballots were sent out last week in the current election for open seats in four of the nine districts, including two slots in Los Angeles County’s District Seven.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company