"WBCS is a central place to gain business development insight, focus on your organization’s vision, and surround yourself with positive people." - Chanel Christoff Davis
Chanel Christoff Davis is the CEO and President of Davis Davis & Harmon LLC, a Sales Tax Experts company that knows sales tax law, how to interpret it, and how to advocate it to their clients. The company was formed in 2001 and has been WBCS certified for 2 years. Chanel was also a recipient of the 2018 Lillie Knox Investment Award and we asked her how she utilized the money, and how WBCS events continue to benefit her business.
You were a recipient of the 2018 Lillie Knox Investment Award; how have you been able to utilize this money, and what results have you seen?
Davis Davis & Harmon LLC is currently developing software that will help manage some of the new Economic Nexus law requirements. We now employ an up-to-date software solution that increases the internal controls around managing all sales tax exemption certificates for the client. By having a more advanced audit defense process, the client can easily find supporting documentation for specific sales transactions. The new database creates a more systematic approach to sales tax compliance that can be used and easily managed for years to come.
What gave you the initial “spark” to apply, and how did you decide what you would use the award money for? After attending Harvesting Partnerships, the prior year, our Director of Operations encouraged me to apply and added it to our 2018 planner. Our firm’s focus on innovation and thought leadership has led to consistent and stable growth in our firm, and the recent US Supreme Court decision in the case Wayfair vs. South Dakota helped us decide how to use the award money.
Did winning the Lillie Knox Investment Award allow you to accomplish something you would not have been able to do otherwise?
This award is helping us add more features and enhancements to our software product, and is giving us the funding to take it to market.
How has WBCS helped you connect to other WBEs for mutually beneficial partnerships/business deals?
WBCS has been a critical connector for DDH to other WBEs. Meeting WBEs at programs, recognizing them at other local events and having WBCS as a conversation starter has led to several partnerships and business deals. Also, to make a more significant impact on minority and women business owners, I've developed and now host a podcast called Follow the Leader. It features dynamic women entrepreneurs and their journeys to becoming a success in business.
What advice would you give to a WBE considering certification, or wanting to get more involved?
My single best piece of advice to women who are considering WBE certification is to absolutely apply. Find one program that excites you, get involved, and connect to WBEs, WBCS staff and Corporate members. WBCS is a central place to gain business development insight, focus on your organization’s vision, and surround yourself with positive people. Having continued success and growing your business with WBCS is not instant, but with consistency and intentionality it can greatly increase your success.
What is one thing you wish you knew about WBCS before joining?
I wish I had known about all the wonderful programs WBCS hosts (Table Topics, Connections to Contracts, Harvesting Partnerships, etc.) throughout the year. I have had to reinvent myself ten times to remain relevant and profitable as an entrepreneur. I have evolved from being a consultant and working in my business to working on my business. Working on my company is an ever-changing role and requires full-time commitment and focus. As the CEO, I'm the figurehead, brand-strategist, operations guru, podcast host, public speaker, and so much more. It has been an enriching journey. To that end, becoming certified with WBCS sooner would have been very beneficial.