40 Under 40: Where Are They Now?

Catching up with class of 2014 honoree Kelly Lyon Davis.

Kelly Lyon Davis [PHOTO: Erik Kellar]

Class of 2014 honoree Kelly Lyon Davis advised then that a good way to ensure success is to not get too comfortable and simply follow a routine. “Because that’s how we have always done it” is no reason to do it that way this time. We can all do better; we can all be better.

True to form, Davis still follows her own guidance, now as the recently named Naples Office managing partner at Quarles and Brady Law Firm. And, she instills that in her colleagues.

“I always want to learn better ideas,” she says. “I try to push people [to do the same].”

Undoubtedly, that has been her focus since she joined the national firm 14 years ago, her first job as an attorney after earning her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. (She received her Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University.)

Davis practiced in all areas of labor and employment law, helping employers manage their workforces. When she was named a 2014 40-under-40 winner, she had secured the post of partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group.

As busy as she was in the office, Davis maintained a demanding schedule outside of it. As chair of the firm’s Naples Quarles Cares initiative, Davis organized charitable efforts with many organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, St. Matthews House, Heart Walk, Adopt a Family and more.

She’s also the mother of three sons, who, in 2014, were under 5 years old. She toiled to impress them with her skills in building Lego towers and fashioning Rainbow Loom bracelets, necklaces and rings. (They’re now 8,10, and 11.)

In November, Davis was promoted to her current position, in which she oversees day-to-day management, implement operating and strategic plans, manage budgets, and represent the office within the community. She will still maintain her practice, however.

She likens her new role to being the “chief people officer.” “I describe myself as a people person … making sure that people are happy,” she says.