Paula Davis and her husband and high school sweetheart, Tim, raised two children, Renee and Tim Jr., while also managing an insurance claims business. They started the firm in their garage, and grew it over four decades into a nationwide franchise corporation employing more than 120 people locally, with 160 franchise locations. Having spent more than 30 years as an executive at the company she cofounded, Paula is now semiretired, though she retains her title of vice chair of Woodland Capitol Holdings. She devotes much of her time to her five grandkids, philanthropy and other interests.
Tim and Paula are major donors to Providence Saint Joseph Foundation and are recognized as Mission Leaders. They are also generous donors to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Woodbury University and YMCA of Burbank.
Paula was recently invited to join the board of directors of Providence Saint Joseph Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well-being of area residents—especially those who are poor or vulnerable. The foundation raises funds to benefit the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, helping the hospital purchase items not otherwise covered through the operating budget such as medical equipment, clinical education and training, and technology.
What do you like about living in the Valley?
“There is such a community feeling here in Toluca Lake. Everyone has a sense of belonging. We all come together in a time of need. We are supportive of the community and each other. It truly is such an amazing community to be a part of.”
Should everyone get involved in nonprofit work?
“It’s a little bit addicting! If you’re capable of giving, you should. It is a privilege to give back—incredibly gratifying and inspiring. And in some ways I feel it is our obligation.”
How did you become connected with the Providence Saint Joseph Foundation?
“We gave our first gift to Providence Saint Joseph in 2001 supporting the Disney Cancer Center. I was asked in 2016 by my friend Judy Angel to cochair the Minutes Matter campaign to raise $78 million to fund a much-needed new emergency department and urgent care facility at Saint Joseph’s. We started at ground zero and put together a committee made up mostly of close friends, with the goal to raise $5 million in Toluca Lake for the critically important imaging center within the emergency department. At one magical event, we raised $850,000 in donations and pledges in a single evening. We have raised slightly more than $5 million and are still going.”
What have you learned about yourself since becoming involved with the foundation?
“I have learned so much about myself since becoming cochair of the Toluca Lake Committee. I learned that I was more of a leader than I ever thought I was. I’ve learned I can confidently speak in front of people, and they listen. When you speak from your heart and truly believe in what you are doing, you can actually make a difference. This entire experience has been a gift to me. I received so much more than I gave. It is time well spent doing something for the good of everyone.”
Are there hospital leaders to whom you are close?
“I’m mostly close with the emergency department physicians and caregivers through my involvement with the emergency services campaign: Dr. Campen, Dr. Sato, Dr. Simic and Debbie Buffham, as well as Dr. Mena—an amazing oncologist at the Disney Family Cancer Center who also serves on the board.”
What other organizations or causes do you support?
“I’m involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and have a very personal connection to it. For many years I was a member of La Providencia Guild for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. We are also donors of Woodbury University and YMCA Burbank.”
What are some ways we can all be of help to others as the holiday season approaches?
“We can all be a lot kinder. Kindness goes such a long way. You never know what someone is going through or what kind of day they’re having. Simply being kind could change someone’s entire mood. It’s so simple but so meaningful. Do things for others. We host a family in need for the holidays, and it is such a rewarding experience.”
What are you especially grateful for today?
“I’m grateful for my health, my friends and my incredible family.”