Our sister newspaper Crain's Detroit Business has a popular feature called "Forty under forty," where each year it profiles 40 up-and-coming stars in southeast Michigan's business community. Among the best and the brightest being honored this year: Angela Davison, associate general counsel for packaging blow molder Amcor PET Packaging USA Inc. Davison's story isn't typical for this year's class, but it is one of the best. Here's a taste:
While growing up on the west side of Chicago, Davison moved more than 20 times because her parents couldn't maintain steady jobs and were frequently evicted. When her parents lost custody of their kids, Davison spent several years homeless while finishing high school.... [At Amcor PET,] Davison has engineered contracts with customers including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and Unilever. Soon after becoming associate general counsel, Davison closed a three-year, $100 million beverage company contract that had been mired in negotiations for about 18 months. The client, which Davison said she could not disclose, had continued operating under a previous contract while attorneys worked out issues such as pricing and volume commitments. The success at Amcor has provided stability Davison couldn't dream of as a child. When her brother was placed in a foster home about 70 miles away, Davison dodged child services officials and stayed in Chicago. In high school, she slept in various places so she could continue studying. She achieved a full college scholarship at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. After earning her law degree and working as a patent attorney, she landed at Amcor. Davison hopes to join the board of directors of the Sterling, Va.-based Orphan Foundation of America, for which she volunteers as a legal adviser and mentor to teenagers. "There's a little something special that I add because I can say, 'Look, I was there too. I know how hard it is, but it can be done.'"As you can see, this is quite an inspiring story. Congratulations to Davison for being honored in Crain's 19th annual "Forty under forty" list today.