Joel Davis
David F. Miller Retail Center Executive Director Dr. Joel Davis.

Joel Davis named Executive Director of Miller Retail Center

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dr. Joel Davis has been tapped to lead the David F. Miller Retail Center at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. Davis first came to Warrington as an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Marketing teaching courses in Python, machine learning and AI to undergraduate and graduate students in Warrington’s Heavener School of Business and Hough Graduate School of Business.  

“Analytics is everywhere these days. That is a bit of a cliché, but it is true,” Davis said. “I am excited to add that competency to the Miller Retail Center, and to continue to support the college’s overall goal of being more focused on analytics and AI. It is this college and university-wide initiative that attracted me to the job, and I am excited to be a small part of it.”

In addition to his lecturer role at Warrington, Davis served for the past eight years as Chief Strategy Officer at Revenue Management Solutions, a company that assists the restaurant and retail industry identify profitability opportunities through data-driven analytics, where he was responsible for leading the company’s emerging analytics and data strategy discipline. Prior to his role as CSO, Davis served as Vice President of Operations for about three years.

With his analytics and AI background, and the university’s greater initiative, Davis is excited about incorporating these disciplines into the Miller Retail Center.

“I think all students at Warrington need a solid grounding in analytics and AI,” he said. “Not everyone needs to be an expert, but everyone needs to know enough to be useful contributors. The Miller Retail Center has always done a fantastic job connecting great students with great companies, and by adding a focus in analytics and AI specific to retail opportunities, we are ensuring our students are prepared for the broad array of opportunities retail presents.”

Davis notes that with the continued superb efforts of Miller Center Director of Student Engagement Cece Schulz and Office Depot Program Director Margaret Jones at helping students find retail careers and the incorporation of analytics and AI, the Miller Retail Center can become a national leader.

“I have talked to so many former students who credit [Cece and Margaret] with finding them not just a job, but a career,” Davis said. “That’s Cece and Margaret’s superpower. Mine is helping students and companies leverage analytics and AI to make better decisions. I am looking forward to focusing on AI research specific to retail needs and opportunities and making the Miller Retail Center a national thought leader in this space.”

Prior to his time at Revenue Management Solutions, Davis worked his way up the ladder at Royal Caribbean International from account manager of product decisions, strategy, and pricing to director of analytics, finance and business operations.

Davis holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and MBA from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business as well as a bachelor’s degree in business from Excelsior College.

“With his experience and expertise in AI and analytics, Joel is a great fit to lead the Miller Retail Center and our students into the future of the industry,” said Saby Mitra, Warrington College of Business Dean. “We’re thrilled to have him on board as Warrington continues to transform its curriculum around the application of AI and analytics.”

Davis steps into the role of Executive Director following the loss of 19-year retail educator and center leader Betsy Goodman in November 2020. A scholarship established in her honor supports students studying retailing at Warrington.

The Miller Retail Center strives to develop tomorrow’s business leaders by stimulating interest in retail careers, preparing students for entry-level management, providing continuing education opportunities, facilitating communications between retailers and academics, and researching retail issues and opportunities.