Who’s Who: MacPherson’s Jeanine “JD” Davids Celebrates 30 Years

Introducing Who’s Who, a feature that showcases a member of our industry community who is doing an incredible job. If you would like to nominate someone for a Who’s Who feature, please email us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com with their name, position, company and a short description of why you would like to nominate them.

Jeanine (right) with her best friend “Bud.” This is the only picture Jeanine would let us use – if we wanted her, we get Bud too. Jeanine and Bud met in 1986 at Art Hardware in Boulder, Colorado (now Meininger’s) and became close friends; when Jeanine left for California to join MacPherson’s Bud followed shortly after, taking over Jeanine’s purchasing responsibilities when she went on maternity leave. Sadly, Bud passed away in January 2017 but their friendship is eternal.

Category Manager Jeanine Davids just celebrated her 30th anniversary with MacPherson’s. Jeanine is known around the office for her expertise, off the cuff sense of humor and willingness to innovate. We had to cap our talk at an hour, but we could have gone on all day! Jeanine started out as an assistant to the purchasing manager back in 1988 when the department consisted of two people; she moved on to become a Buyer, a Merchandise Analyst and now a Category Manager, where she handles the realm of paints, mediums, adhesives, brushes, storage, and printmaking supplies.

What initially inspired you to work within the art industry?

In high school I spent every possible moment in the art department so it was just logical for me to work in an art store.  I still remember the ad in the newspaper, Art supply store needs sales help. In August of 1979 I applied, had one interview and the rest is history. The store was on Long Island in Hempstead, NY., called Orange Front. It was actually a paint, wallpaper and window treatments store with the art supplies tucked into the back of the store.

What are some of the highlights of working at MacPherson’s?

My favorite experiences at MacPherson’s are related to NAMTA – I’ve always loved it because I like when a lot of people in the industry are experiencing the same thing at the same time. You get real time reactions from people – I like having the vendor-customer relationships at the tip of my fingers. It’s also great to see all of our hard work pay off!

What do you love most about your job?  

I love working on projects with people who are as engaged and invested in the outcome as I am.  In the 30 years I’ve been at MacPherson’s, that element has always been there. As long as I can contribute to something meaningful, I’m happy.

What keeps you engaged?

MacPherson’s is always changing. Always looking to do new things, increasing value to our retailers and vendors. We’ve never sat on our laurels. I always learn new things, and that is how we have gotten to where we are as a company. We are always asking that question: what can we do better. It’s never boring for me, because change excites me: what am I gonna learn now?

So, what kind of new things have you learned recently?

The concept of retailer engagement and how people connect with their customers. People have to turn a store into an experience and destination to give the customer a reason to walk in. Our department is embracing these terms with open arms…now when we look at a product, we think, how is it going to play out at the retail level? What about it is going to entice a retailer, or a consumer? This is different thinking than what we’ve done in the past, which is so fun.

What is your typical day like?

My typical day is a mish mosh – it all depends on what our department is working on. There is always a Buyer’s Guide in play. A ton of meetings with ideas, brainstorms, trends…I also process data from vendors, see what they are offering. Running alongside of that, we’re bringing in new products, planning a product launch, tracking down product information. And meeting deadlines because without deadlines we wouldn’t be civilized!

What is your team like?

Right now I’m working with the strongest team we’ve ever had in my thirty years here – and it’s 100% how Cathy Denny has brought us together. The way we work together, we are constantly collaborating and talking about projects. The transition of the Buyer’s Guide is a beacon of success, too. I would love to be a fly on the wall with the retailers and see how the they use the guide, how it helps them, what we can work on.

Are you involved in the arts in your free time?

I’m always artsy! My daughter is into art and I mat her artwork. I’m always working on something. Covering things with paper, customizing and personalizing anything and everything.

Do you have a motto or manifesto for your attitude towards work?

It’s the same for work as it is for my life: change we must to live again.

Word On The Street…She’s a Superstar!

“What comes first to my mind: Jeanine is a…

  • Vendor’s advocate and true partner who prioritizes supporting others,
  • Industry knowledge guru and proponent of change and innovation,
  • Dynamic personality entwined with a fantastic sense of humor
  • Team player with the desire to be the best that she can be.”
    -Cathy Denny, Merchandising Manager

“Jeanine’s unparalleled sense of humor and irreverence, combined with her vast knowledge and experience in this industry makes her my hero and an ART SUPERSTAR. Jeanine for President!”
– Hannah Reineck, Web Content Specialist

“In her 30+ years here Jeanine has seen it all and is always looking out for the best interests of MacPherson’s… She is also a charter member of the MacPherson’s in house band, “One Night Stand”.  Jeanine provides back up vocals as well as taking the occasional lead on a song like “Love Shack”. She designed the “One Night Stand” band logo which is prominently displayed on two large signs in our Emeryville office!”
-Jim Semitekol, Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer

The One Night Stand poster proudly on display in our Emeryville office.

Thank you Jeanine for all your hard work and dedication. The MacPherson’s family endorses JD 2020 all the way!

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