“It’s been an honor to drive you, today, ma’am,” Michael Davis said recently to a client as he left her at her residence. The kind softness in his voice reflects the care and professionalism of the owner of St. Chris MediVan, a transportation provider for the elderly, disabled and special needs community. Davis began St. Chris in March 2015 after appreciating similar services for his own parents and during a stint as a volunteer driver for the VA Portland Health Care System. Now he refers to the business as “his calling.”
Name: Mike Davis.
Job title: President, St. Chris MediVan.
Residence neighborhood: Fisher’s Landing.
Business name: St. Chris MediVan.
Business address: 16420 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Suite 103-204. stchrismedivan.com/
Educational/professional background: I was born and raised in Southeast Portland, completed a 4-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, then enjoyed a 30-year career at two major high-technology companies in the metro area. I’ve worked in precision measuring, electronics manufacturing, technical computing, software release readiness, software manufacturing engineering, and non-emergency medical transportation.
How and when you got started in your business: My first exposure to non-emergency medical transportation services was in 2005 while I was caring for my elderly parents. I really appreciated that there were transportation services specifically set up to help senior citizens and people with disabilities. Six years later, at age 53, I found myself laid off and having to figure out what to do next. I considered starting a wheelchair van service business when a VA adviser suggested I volunteer as a driver for the VA hospital. I did that, and found the work to be challenging, yet very fulfilling. I realized that this was my calling. I continued my business preparations while accumulating valuable experience at the VA. Eventually, I was able to pull it all together and opened for business in March 2015.
Personal/business philosophy: Praise God, and help people in some way.
Most rewarding part of job: Seeing, and knowing, that I have helped a hurting person in a significant way.
Most challenging part of job: Getting through Portland traffic.
Something surprising about your work: You don’t have to be a wheelchair user to get a ride with St. Chris MediVan.
Best feature of my Clark County community: The Fisher’s Landing area has really great public schools with great leadership.
What would make your community a better place? More family-wage jobs, with free training programs to help people qualify for those jobs. Affordable housing.
Your favorite travel destination and type: The Oregon Coast beaches.
Favorite restaurant: Casual dining at Timberline Lodge.
Hobbies: Taking snapshots.
Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: When it comes to the arts, my most enjoyable experiences are attending my 14 year-old daughter’s music performances.
Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: Take a train trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
One word to describe yourself: Patient.
Person you’d most like to meet: Economist, professor, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.