SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For Shawni Davis, the introduction of President Joe Biden during his visit to Syracuse was in front of her biggest audience yet. Davis owns Luminary Electrical Contractor and is a member of the local IBEW union. Two days before President Biden’s visit, she got a call from the union’s business manager Al Marzullo.
“He asked me what do you think about maybe introducing the president on Thursday,” Davis recalled. “I’m like excuse me. Don’t joke with me like that.”
It was no joke, but a surreal moment for Davis who grew up on the south and east sides of Syracuse in the projects.
She studied psychology at Syracuse University but had to drop out when her mom got cancer. Not knowing what she wanted to do, her father introduced her to electrical work. Now she owns her own business.
“It took a lot of hard work. It took a lot of studying. It took a lot of paying attention, asking questions and IBEW offers the best training you could possibly get when it comes to electrical work,” Davis said.
She has a selfie with President Biden, but being in the room also gave her an opportunity to connect with Micron leaders. As a small business owner, she was asked what it would be like to be part of a project with Micron.
“For me, it just signifies that there is potential for exponential growth,” Davis said. “I’m a small business now, but I’m not planning to stay a small business.”
She hopes her journey inspires others to keep pushing forward.
Davis now has a staff of three, but she says after last week that number is growing.