Lisa Davis graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, as a first step toward becoming a surgeon. She moved to Oregon to attend Oregon Health and Science University, but decided a life in medicine was not for her. Her resume soon included jobs ranging from working on a Hawaiian farm to the operating room, but it was working as a mechanic in a bowling alley that made her realize working with her hands was her path to a satisfying career.
She found Oregon Tradeswomen and completed the organization’s training before she was accepted into the apprenticeship at Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 in Portland, Oregon, where she completed a building trades apprenticeship and service program. Davis worked her way up to become Local 16’s first female instructor, while also helping form a diversity committee and serving on the ground floor of the local’s mentoring program.
In 2019, she joined the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers, as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) service and testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) specialist. In January 2023, she became the ITI’s director of recruitment and retention, working to expand mentoring programs for apprentices and cultivate relationships between local training centers and apprenticeship readiness programs or pre-apprenticeships.
In March 2023, Davis was named administrator for the National Energy Management Institute, or NEMI. In this role, she helps expand legislation efforts, manages SMART industry certifications through the International Certification Board (ICB) and partners with contractors and members to make buildings healthier while increasing energy efficiency.
Davis also serves on SMART’s International Women’s Committee, where she has helped craft resolutions and amendments to the union’s constitution. She is currently working on mentoring resources and parental support connections for members.