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College of Business

Committed to Community: Davis enjoys community banking and giving back to his Alma Mater

Anderson University graduate Nakia Davis has spent close to three decades in community banking. He’s now President/CEO of The Commercial Bank, which serves seven Upstate communities from branches in Honea Path (home office), Belton, South Greenville, Donalds, Due West and Greenwood. A new branch is set to open in 2025 in Ware Shoals. While studying in the adult program of the AU College of Business, Davis felt he was part of a community of classmates and faculty who demonstrated Christlike care in a challenging time and a commitment to his success. Davis has served on the Anderson University Board of Trust and loves cheering on the Trojans; He looks forward to the inaugural football season in the fall of 2024.  

Tell us about yourself. 

I was born and raised here in Anderson County and still live in Iva. I guess this is probably where I'll end up, too, when it's all said and done. I attended Crescent High School. My wife was born and raised here and she's a teacher at Iva Elementary. My oldest daughter is also a teacher at Flat Rock Elementary, which is here in Anderson District 3 as well. I have three daughters and one son-in-law. 

How did you find out about Anderson University? 

I've known about Anderson my whole life because I was born and raised in Iva. My grandfather and my grandmother were both involved with Anderson University, serving on several committees for them over the years and have actually been recognized several times in the past. I graduated in 2000 in the night school program.  

Tell me about your role as a banker. 

I serve as the President/CEO at The Commercial Bank in Honea Path and I've been in community banking for 28 years now. I’m a third-generation community banker. My grandfather and my uncle were both involved in banking and one of my aunts, and so I've been involved my whole life. I came over to The Commercial Bank about two-and-a-half years ago from another small community bank which I was at for 25 years and I came to take over as the President/CEO here at Commercial Bank. We're celebrating our 90th anniversary this year. We're excited. We’ve got a lot of things going on in and around the communities that we serve. We’re a $250 million asset size bank and we were established in 1934. We’ve purchased an office in Ware Shoals that was a previous bank, and we'll be opening that office in the spring of ’25 and that'll be our seventh location. At The Commercial Bank we enjoy serving small town USA. 

At the end of the day, what gives you a feeling of accomplishment? 

I especially enjoy community banking... Of course, banking is a heavily regulated industry... but it's nice to know at the end of the day that us as small community banks still are helping out the communities we serve. The people that work at our bank make decisions in that office. We don't have to send that decision-making process to another office or to a head office and make decisions there. The people that you're talking to inside our bank are actually people that that live, work and play in the same community as our customers do, and so that's what's gratifying. We're able to help people right inside our communities that we work and play with every day. It is gratifying to know that we take the money that our depositors put in our local bank and we loan it back into our local communities and help these communities thrive and grow. I guess that's what makes community banking what it is and that's what makes The Commercial Bank what it is. I'm just happy to be a part of it. 

How do you feel like your Anderson education has benefited you professionally and in other areas?  

Anderson University has been a vital part of my life now for over 25 years. Of course, when I graduated from Anderson University, that was a major accomplishment for myself. I've actually served on the Board of Trust three terms there. It has been an honor and a privilege to see first hand the growth AU continues to make. 

One of my daughters will be a rising senior next year, and my youngest daughter is going to be a freshman at AU next year… It's good to see that Anderson University is on the top of their list. I have one daughter that's in biology and she could have gone to any college in South Carolina but chose AU over all the others; and then my youngest, she's going to be a teacher and her first choice is Anderson University. 

AU really helped me, just the faith-based education that you get there, no matter if you're in biology or if you're in business or if you’re in the health field. There's the faith-base that is the foundation of Anderson University. They put God first in what they do there at that university. It's also good to know that you have professors that you know can pray with you. It was that way when I was in school there.   

You’ve given back to Anderson over the years, serving on the Board of Trust. When you look back just over 20 years there's been significant growth.  

Yes, there’s been phenomenal growth at Anderson and a lot of that credit is to Dr. Whitaker and Diane Whitaker. They just celebrated their 20th anniversary at AU not long ago. Just having that kind of leadership in the role as president of the college is unheard of—first of all, being a college president for 20 years—that doesn't happen every day. To have that consistency in the leadership role, in the direction and the vision of the university, is vital to the success of Anderson. I know Dr. Whitaker wouldn't want to take all the credit, but he shouldered a lot of the vision that has put Anderson on the map. And the staff he’s put together has been phenomenal. I heard several professors along the way say the minute they stepped on the campus, they knew this was a place for them. They can feel that God is on this campus and this is where they want to be and where they need to be. I think it's a credit also to Dr. Whitaker for the staff and the job that they do to keep the university moving forward. 

Do you have some favorite college memories? 

I went to Gardner Webb University for about two years and played football and then came home and got an associate degree from tech and then finished my four-year degree at AU—I went at night. I was already working full time and then married my wife, Brooke. I was not there much during the day, but the biggest thing is the outreach and the love that was shown for me and my family during the time of need when my first daughter was born. 

I had my first daughter while I was in school and she was born eight weeks premature. I was finishing up my last semester as a senior at AU. To be able to lean on teachers and professors in times of need, I didn't have to stop mid-semester because of that situation. They worked around my schedule. My daughter was in the hospital for over a week in the NICU in Greenville. As a senior you're doing a lot of group projects and so my group met with me at the hospital on several occasions to finish work and then also to pray. Those are not characteristics of a lot of colleges in the country, or even right here in South Carolina; and so Anderson University holds a special place in my heart and it always will. 

I love going to the sporting events and I'm looking forward to our football starting up. Even back then I enjoyed going to softball and basketball games, and now the expansion of our athletic campus and the job that Bert Epting is doing there is just extraordinary and I'm looking forward to celebrating as an alumni on our first football game. 

As a working adult going to college, did you feel that your professors were helpful?  

Absolutely. Being there at night is a big dedication on our part and on the faculty’s part as well and their commitment to getting the adult program up and running and established at Anderson at that time—they had not been doing that for that that long of a time at that point, but they were very accommodating and very easy to work with and very accessible throughout the day. 

What advice would you give someone about preparing for a career and choosing Anderson? 

The biggest benefit to Anderson is you get a great education in a Christlike environment, which is hard to find in today's world. Commit to it and be dedicated to your goals. Keep those goals in the forefront and be determined to finish. There's no better place to do it than at Anderson University and its Christlike setting. 


C. Nakia Davis
C. Nakia Davis
Graduated from Anderson University: 2000
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Title: President/CEO of The Commercial Bank