Davenport inducted into Alabama Business Hall of FamePublished 7:45pm Monday, November 18, 2013
A businessman who worked in Alexander City for more than three decades was recently honored as one of the state’s most distinguished business leaders.
Gene Davenport was one of five inductees in the 40th class of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame last Thursday at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Hoover.
Davenport, who served for 30 years as an officer of Russell Lands Inc., said it is a great honor to have his name alongside distinguished businessmen from throughout the state’s history.
“I was extremely honored. I’ve been familiar with this organization for a long, long time,” Davenport said. “I’ve attended a number of their events in years past. It’s always good. The inductees in years before have been first-rate business people – many of whom I knew well and respected.”
During his 30 years with Russell Lands, the last 13 of which were as president and chief operation officer, Davenport was a part of a company that grew to include 13 residential land development projects, condominium developments, five marina operations, 11 building supply centers, over 400 rental lake houses among other developments.
During Davenport’s time, there was also the construction of Willow Point Golf and Country Club, professed by many to be America’s most beautiful lakeside golf resort.
Davenport became Russell Land’s ninth employee on Jan. 1, 1973, and being able to watch the company grow is something he’ll always remember.
“All 30 years of it was wonderful. I was fortunate to be able to witness a company that was in its infancy and be with it as it grew to what it is today,” Davenport said. “That’s got to be exciting for anybody. It was thrilling and so was my time in Alexander City.”
As for being recognized as one of Alabama’s great businessmen, Davenport said it’s a great feeling.
“It feels pretty special, but when I look in the mirror I still see the same old guy,” Davenport laughed.