Don Davey

Living the Dream

I got drafted by and played for my favorite team since I was a little kid. Now that my NFL career's done, I'm not that far removed from being a fan.


I grew up in Wisconsin, and I grew up cheering for the Badgers. And I grew up cheering for the Packers. And then I got to live every Wisconsin kids' dream by actually playing for the Wisconsin Badgers, the team I grew up cheering for. And I got to, not only that, be drafted by the Green Bay Packers and play for, you know, my favorite team ever since I was a little kid. And now that my NFL career's done, I'm not that far removed from being a fan.

I was fortunate to have the experience, to actually be part of those teams, and to be a player. But before that, I was a huge fan. And now after that, that I'm not a player anymore, I'm still a huge fan. And I know how impactful that can be to people. Certainly, people in Wisconsin that are Badger fans or Packer fans. I know how much it means because I'm very much in their shoes.

When I was a kid, I met some of the Packer players and was just awe-struck. And I get to hang in the locker room now and be on the sideline - and I still like being around those guys and being a part of it. Even though I was a former player, it's cool to get to meet those guys. So, I try to never forget that, I guess, is what I'm saying. And I try to never forget what an impact you can have on people, by just being a good guy.

I know that it's one thing to be successful in business and to have monetary rewards, but it's so much more meaningful -- if I can use my businesses to do good for people in other ways, such as through the Firehouse Public Safety Foundation, or through my investment advisory business. We literally have the power to change people's lives for the better.

And so, everything I do, I kind of have that in the back of my mind. Whether it's with business or just meeting people, or I teach my daughter's religion class to a bunch of third graders. I feel like if I can. . . if I do things well and do things in the right way, I can literally have a really big impact on people's lives and change their lives for the better. Even in a very small way, it's worthwhile.

I'm always looking for those win-win type situations. My whole journey into Ironman, I started when I got done playing football, I started doing these Ironman races. I was also involved with Firehouse Subs and giving away money through our foundation. I actually orchestrated a partnership between our Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, and the Ironman Foundation, where we raised and were able to give away $250,000 to the police and fire fighters in Kona, Hawaii, and as part of that arrangement, I got to race in the Ironman world championships last year and fulfil my dream of competing in the Super Bowl of Ironman.

So, it was truly a win-win situation. I got to do something I've always wanted to do since I got out of the NFL, the police and fire fighters in Kona are much happier and the citizens in that city are much happier now for me having made that donation. They're much safer.

And the Ironman Foundation and the Public Safety Foundation now have a partnership that they've continued since and gone on to give several million dollars away to other organizations around the country as well. So, you feel really good when you can kind of broker those types of win-win-win situations.

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