Supporter Spotlight: Larry Davidson and Janice Dinkins-Davidson
Larry Davidson and Janice Dinkins-Davidson are a dynamic husband-and-wife duo with a shared drive to make deep connections and lasting impact in the community. Each is woven deeply into the fabric of Roanoke in a distinct and unique way. Janice is the executive director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia (CACVA), a Roanoke-based statewide child abuse intervention organization; Larry is the owner and president of Davidsons, a men’s clothier.
“It’s in my DNA”
Larry’s grandfather, Joe, established Davidsons in 1910 in the heart of downtown Roanoke. According to Davidsons’ website, Joe believed that “customers were community” and he emphasized relationships over sales. Joe’s approach, the website goes on to say, “was a natural result of his bedrock conviction that if one expects support from the community, one must offer a sincere investment into that community.”
Subsequent generations of the Davidson family took that belief to heart. Larry is the third generation of his family—after his grandfather and his father, Sig—to operate Davidsons. You could say that community service is a Davidson family value.
Or, as Larry puts it: “It’s in my DNA.”
Larry’s dedication to the community extends beyond Davidsons’ doors. Like his father, Larry has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including those of Center in the Square, United Way of Roanoke Valley, and Trust House (now known as ARCH Services), and supported other nonprofits, including TAP, in different ways.
A leader in child abuse prevention
Janice, too, has developed deep community connections through her work in nonprofits and child abuse prevention over the past twenty-plus years.
She began as a volunteer at Trust House (now ARCH Services), then transitioned to a full-time employee. She left Trust House to join Children’s Trust, where she served as executive director for 17 years. During her tenure there, she began her work with the Child Advocacy Center of Roanoke, successfully merged the Court Appointed Special Advocates program into Children’s Trust, and expanded services at Children’s Trust. Now directing Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia, her work has been critical in addressing child abuse in southwest Virginia.
According to Janice, “It’s here and it’s not going away, as much as we’d like it to. But children are better served now than they have ever been.”
Additionally, Janice has worked closely with TAP’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS). Stacey Sheppard, director of DVS programs, refers families in need to CACVA. In return, CACVA refers families in need to TAP. Stacey notes, “If it had not been for Janice, the Roanoke CACVA would have never started… She is an absolute angel to ensure that children have safe environments.”
Shared Beliefs and Deeply Personal Connections
Janice and Larry’s support of TAP also reflects a deeply personal connection to the organization. They enjoyed a close, decades-long friendship with Owen Schultz, the former director of TAP’s Planning Department. Among their shared beliefs was the need to work to leave their community a better place than they found it. After Owen’s death in 2016, Larry and Janice continued to support TAP as a way of honoring their friend’s legacy.
Larry Davidson and Janice Dinkins-Davidson remain committed to leaving their community better than they found it. As Janice notes, serving the community is “the rent I pay to live on the planet.”