FACES OF CAPE COD: DeWitt Davenport – CEO, The Davenport Companies

DeWitt Davenport is well known in the area as not only the CEO of The Davenport Companies, but for his deep-rooted ties to Cape Cod and its communities. He possesses a genuine love for the Cape, and it shows in every endeavor he sets out to accomplish.

“I worked in the family business as a kid and through college, pounding nails for the Davenport Building Company and a variety of positions at Red Jacket Resorts (dishwasher, waiter, guest services, bellman),” Davenport said. “I loved the hospitality business and obtained my B.S. from Cornell Hotel School. Upon graduation, I accepted a position with a public accounting firm and worked there before returning to the family company.”

The Davenport Companies was established in 1956 by his father and grandfather when they cut a road in Dennis, he said, starting what would become known as the Wrinkle Point residential development. Over the years, the building and realty divisions expanded into over a dozen diverse businesses throughout Cape Cod and New England. The company is now a fourth-generation, family-owned business which employs over 1,300 people.

The success of The Davenport Companies rests with a very simple philosophy, he said. “Think of a triangle – the customer is on top, the stakeholders at one corner of the base and the service providers on the other corner. Everyone is empowered to make decisions provided they result in an equilateral triangle. Decisions must be fair to all those parties. If we do that correctly we can then make a perfect diamond with the community being the fourth point. We can give back our ‘time, talent and treasure’ to help the community become stronger. Engagement is the key to our vision.”

Davenport and his wife, Susie, have lived in South Yarmouth for nearly four decades, and have no intentions of changing that anytime soon. “We had too much fun raising our children, Christian and Johanna, in this community to ever leave. Outside of work and time spent with non-profit organizations, I like to spend time with my family, fishing and kayaking on Bass River.” In fact, he is one of the three co-founders of the Friends of Bass River, a group of neighbors who share a lifelong love of that waterway, as well as concern for its preservation and health (friendsofbassriver.org).

Giving back to his community is paramount to Davenport. “We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world. It’s a simple choice: Do you wish to make it better by contributing, or do nothing? By maintaining our focus on constant improvements for our customers or the community there is a sense of connectedness, continuity, family, loyalty, community and tradition.

“Since 1956, we have stayed true to our roots and maintained our focus. With this foundation, there can be no other outcome than success.” The Davenport Companies, he added, continue to honor the same values from 1956 now – hard work, perseverance, integrity, loyalty and respect for the team and the communities they serve.

In addition to many other responsibilities, he also serves the community as Chairman of the Board for Cape Cod Healthcare. “It’s a very forward-thinking organization, focused on creating new partnerships and careful of how they handle the community’s money,” he said. “This position is a significant and wonderful part of my life. I am blessed to work with such wonderful human beings.”

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.

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