A Publication of WTVP

Turner: Government Contractor of the Year

by Steve Tarter |
(L to R), LeAntwone Davis Sr., LeAntwone Davis Jr., Ron E. Davis, Terry A. Davis
(L to R), LeAntwone Davis Sr., LeAntwone Davis Jr., Ron E. Davis, Terry A. Davis

Davis & Davis General Contractors could hardly be any busier, but work ethic is built into the family’s DNA

Catching up with LeAntwone Davis is no easy matter.

On any given day, the owner-president of Davis & Davis General Contractors in Urbana is on the move, supervising a variety of construction jobs across central Illinois.

On a typical day last month, Davis traveled from Springfield, where his firm is involved with jobs at the State Capitol and the old Sears building being converted to a home for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, to a job in Lincoln to oversee a jail project. Meanwhile, along with working on a parking garage and the undergraduate library at the University of Illinois, Davis & Davis also is working on the new football dome at Illinois State University.

Little wonder that Davis & Davis General Contractors is the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship’s choice for 2023 Government Contractor of the Year.

LeAntwone Davis heads the company, now a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in finish carpentry, miscellaneous concrete and hauling, while wife Gayle Davis tends to the office. In November 2022, Davis & Davis added painting to its list of services. Meanwhile, they’ve invested in a dumpster business, which they hope to grow to meet the demand.

Turner Center officials said that Gayle’s attention to detail and LeAntwone’s dedication to the success of this business quickly became apparent as the firm worked through the process of being certified as an MBE with the state of Illinois.

“This is a legacy business with LeAntwone and our three sons,” said Gayle, noting that her husband is following in the footsteps of his father, W.S. Davis Sr., now retired as a carpenter.

It has been a long ride. LeAntwone began his carpentry apprenticeship in 1987 and completed the program in 1990. “I have a total of 27 years as an active member of the Carpenter’s Local 243,” he said. “Of these 27 years, I have worked in the areas of bridge work, building foundations, and interior systems. My supervisory experience includes carpenter foreman, general foreman, superintendent and now business owner. Although I have done residential work … the majority of my experience lies within commercial building trades.”

And now he is looking to step back himself, leaving the bulk of the operation to his sons: LeAntwone Jr., Ron and Terry. LeAntwone Jr. has achieved full journeyman status, serving as superintendent on three jobs, while his younger brothers are at different stages of earning their own journeyman credentials.

In business since 2010, Davis & Davis now employs 19 people. It brags a reported $8.3 million in subcontracts with state agencies, including a $3.3 million contract with Peoria Heights-based Williams Brothers Construction at the youth detention center in Lincoln. In total, Davis & Davis is working with three general contractors on five government projects, at present.

Steve Tarter

Steve Tarter

is a Peoria Magazine contributor who was born in England, raised in Boston, moved to Peoria to attend Bradley University and decided to stay. He has spent a career in journalism and public relations