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Mark S. Davis ’85 is a highly accomplished leader with 38 years of diverse management and executive experience with Deloitte.

It was the last class that Mark S. Davis ’85 selected in his senior year of high school that carved the trajectory of his entire career.

“My high school had a class in 12th grade called College Accounting, ” Davis said. “I had heard how great the class and teacher were, so I signed up. I ended up loving it! Accounting came very naturally. I’m someone who likes balance in all aspects of my life, and in accounting everything is balanced. Right from high school, I said to myself, this is what I want to do.”

Today, Davis is an audit and assurance partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP in the New York office. At Deloitte, widely acknowledged as the number one accounting firm worldwide, Davis specializes in initial public offering (IPO) and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions in his role as the firm’s Tri-State IPO Readiness Leader. Over the past 38 years of accounting and auditing, he has guided  clients from a range of industries through initial public offerings, spin-offs and acquisitions.

Davis has been honored by leading civic and business organizations, including as Adelphi’s Accountant of the Year, one of the Long Island Business News “40 Under 40,” Advancement for Commerce, Industry, & Technology’s Humanitarian of the Year, and Champion of the Long Island American Heart Association Walk-a-Thon.

People Looking Out for You

After completing two years at Nassau Community College, Davis was searching for his next school. The East Meadow, New York, native wanted to stay local and quickly decided on Adelphi.

“I felt unbelievably comfortable on campus,” Davis said. “The success of the accounting program was very impressive, as was the percentage of students who got a job right after graduation and, more so, the number of graduates who went to work at the Big Eight accounting firms.”

The support system offered by professors and his involvement in the Accounting Society club helped provide the launchpad for his success.

“Two people who made the greatest impact on me while at Adelphi were [Associate Professor] Grace Conway and [Associate Professor] Jack Angel,” Davis said. “Grace was responsible for recruiting and on-campus activities, including the Accounting Society. She was always focused on students’ next steps in life and their future careers. Jack made accounting and tax fun, which can be hard to do! Both of them were always looking out for me and my classmates, and that was a common sentiment across Adelphi’s professors and faculty—you just felt like people were looking out for you.”

Davis joined the Accounting Society and ran for president in his senior year.

“I am always looking to be in the front, to lead the team and help them succeed,” Davis said of his leadership style. “I created the Future Business Leaders of America at East Meadow High School. I was the accounting society president at Nassau Community College. And I had the same aspirations when I came to Adelphi. I ran against three or four other students who had all been there from freshman year, so I wasn’t sure that I would get the role. But I was selected by my peers to be the Accounting Society president. That success really informed my career. It made clear my potential and my ability to go to another level.”

As president, he was in charge of setting up recruiting events for Big Eight and other accounting firms on campus. He was the lead on those relationships and put together activities like basketball and softball games, casual gatherings, and meetings at the firms’ offices.

Davis’ impact on his classmates did not go unnoticed. At graduation, he was selected to give the Commencement speech for the School of Business.

“I was beyond honored to be chosen,” he added. “It was one of the greatest days of my life.”

I Love All the People There

Davis’ ability to build genuine relationships, earn good grades and take on leadership roles made him an attractive candidate for public accounting firms. He interviewed with and received offers from nearly all the Big Eight accounting firms, but his decision came down to two: Touche and Deloitte.

“I chose Deloitte because of the people, and the people are what have kept me here my entire career,” Davis said. “We recruit top-tier talent who make our culture what is and has been for me for over 30 years. We look for more than just academics, and that’s how we create a successful and supportive partnership and entire organization. That was true when I got hired, and we still hire that way today.”

Starting as a staff accountant, Davis has taken on increasing responsibilities, including creating and leading the start-up Emerging Growth Company practice in New York City and becoming the managing partner of the Long Island office for eight years.

“That was the highlight of my career,” Davis said on becoming managing partner. “I remember when I first started in 1985 seeing the managing partner and saying, that’s a job I would love to do one day. When the opportunity arose and I was selected, I was honored to take on the role.”

He also spent time as national managing partner of Deloitte Private Enterprises, where he led the Audit and Assurance business’s focus on midsize, emerging, private and family-owned businesses.

“In addition to serving large multi-nationals, I have always been interested in helping family-owned and midsize companies get to the next level,” Davis said. “I find great satisfaction and pride in working with a company that is small but looking to grow, who really appreciate the advice you give them, and where I can become a true trusted advisor for their leadership team.”

Stay Connected

Davis, who is one year away from mandatory retirement, is not planning to ride off into the sunset. “I refer to it as graduation,” he explained.

He plans to dedicate more time to helping students and, at this juncture in his career, offers this advice:

“Spend the time to become well-rounded—get involved in societies, take on a leadership role and then do something with it,” Davis said. “Go to events where you can meet future employers. That’s how you can impress them. If we meet you and get to know you beyond what’s written on your résumé, you are building relationships that help influence hiring decisions.”

Davis, who serves on the President’s Advisory Council and the Willumstad School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, also shares this advice for alumni:

“Try to stay connected to the school after graduation. Stay involved and contribute in whatever ways you can. We have a lot to be thankful for. Adelphi helped form us into the people we are today and makes investments in its students in ways not all universities do. I know the University helped me with my path to success, and I am grateful for the experiences I had, the people who supported me along the way, and the jump start I got in beginning my career coming out of Adelphi.”

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