The Purpose-driven Life
Scott Davis of HUB International reflects on the ways in which hardship and uncertainty helped him build a life of meaning and purpose.
by Lindsey Getz

The history of Scott Davis’s professional accomplishments begins much like many other success stories—with him nearly choosing a different path. In other words, he just as easily could have ended up doing something much less remarkable with his life, helping far fewer people and changing far fewer lives than he has.  
His story also has its share of struggles. He could mention the moments of family discord and several failed personal relationships. He’s happy to say he’s now married to a woman he describes as “the love of my life.” He could mention his aimlessness and his lackluster academic career—“just barely treading water,” as he recalls—and the fact that he graduated from high school in the bottom 20 percent of his class. 
The turning point came when Scott got involved in the insurance industry. His brother Bob gave him his first taste of the insurance business by offering him a referral fee for each new client he brought in. At the time, Scott was struggling through college and working a 40-hour week managing a billiards parlor. The first fee yielded $350—big bucks in 1975, especially for relatively easy work—and he quickly found that he had a real talent for the business. More importantly, he gained a sense of fulfillment from the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. He then sought to take the next step by obtaining the necessary licenses and requirements to sell insurance himself.
“My first appointment was a referral from a longtime friend,” says Scott, a former Plymouth Meeting resident who now lives in South Florida. “They purchased products, and the experience was both rewarding and emotional. I cried the whole way home, overcome by the realization of how I helped them. This was a defining moment in my life’s path.” 
He built a base of clients over the years, though this task became more challenging because of many shared family connections. After nearly 20 years of having worked for his brother, dating back to the entrepreneurial ventures of their childhood, Scott decided to branch out on his own and start a company from the ground up. The idea of stepping into the unknown both terrified and exhilarated him. In the end, he saw starting his own venture as a matter of personal destiny, although it caused a rift between him and his brother due to the decision to part ways. 
Despite some of these personal family challenges, his insurance business flourished. One by one, friends, acquaintances, and referrals started rolling in—and Scott felt as though he had truly come into his own. Eventually, he had the opportunity to purchase a competing agency, known as Triester, Rossman & Associates Inc., which over the years had helped to insure many individual clients and businesses.
While the boutique agency saw great success, Scott continued to seek new and inventive ways to help people. In 2020, he and his partner of 23 years, Jeffrey Triester, decided to sell the agency to HUB International, the fifth largest global insurance brokerage with a growing presence in the greater Philadelphia area, which would enable him to grow his business further and support a few nonprofit organizations close to his heart. Scott, who previously subsidized his philanthropic endeavors by borrowing from his line of credit, recognized that he could give back even more. 
Throughout his life, Scott has supported causes and organizations that advocate for others in need. One example: Wings for Success, a Chester County-based nonprofit organization devoted to helping vulnerable women from local neighborhoods by providing them with apparel, advice, and other resources. While women have made tremendous advances in American society and in the workplace over the years, Scott is an advocate of supporting further opportunities and advancements for females in the work environment. 
Another organization to which Scott is wholly committed is the NOMO Foundation, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that aims to provide children and teens with prevention and early-intervention resources to combat social issues such as drug use, teen pregnancy, and illiteracy. NOMO Executive Director Rickey Duncan calls Scott a “blessing,” and says that his philanthropic efforts have been momentous to NOMO’s progress. 
“When we were in the process of moving to a new home, he went above and beyond and purchased us our furniture,” Duncan says. “He also purchased us a 55-passenger charter bus so that the youth in Philadelphia can get out of the at-risk community and take trips. He’s an amazing contributor to the community.” 
Other organizations Scott has embraced include the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), which is dedicated to empowering African-American insurance professionals, and Mission Philadelphia, which is committed to ending hunger and homelessness in Philadelphia.   
The HUB International transaction brought an unexpected twist to Scott’s story—a reconciliation with his brother, Bob. HUB International has since acquired Bob’s company, Davis Trachtenberg Inc. After 25 years of separation, the brothers have rekindled their bond and now talk more frequently than ever, as if trying to make up for lost time. The reconciliation brought him to tears.  
At age 68, Scott feels as though his life has come full circle. He considers the reconnection with Bob a precious gift. Life experience has taught him gratitude and reaffirmed his commitment to helping others who may be experiencing challenges of their own.
“After many years of working for myself, I’m now a HUB employee, but I feel I now have the resources and ability to help even more people,” he says. “That’s something I couldn’t have done on my own.”
Scott has learned a great deal from his many successes, but admits he has probably learned more from his failures. So often, he says, the way a person reacts to an obstacle or challenge determines how they fare in the long term. For Scott, the hardest times have only deepened his desire to connect with others and lend a hand to those who need it most. 
Whether it’s helping an individual find the most appropriate insurance coverage or generously donating his time, energy, and funds to a community-based organization, Scott is happy to say he leads a life of meaning and purpose. He is also extremely proud of his successful son, who recently finished his graduate work to pursue his doctorate for Bio Medical Neuro Engineering at the University of California at San Diego. 
While the journey has been long and sometimes difficult, it’s a journey Scott is proud to call his own.
A message from Scott Davis: “For every person who reads this article and emails me at with their comments, I will donate $200 to either NAAIA, NOMO, Wings for Success, or Mission Philadelphia, up to the first 50 people, or a total of $10,000.” 

Photo courtesy of Scott Davis

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, June 2021.