Frank Davis (264441)

Frank Davis, a Black businessman from Manhattan (New York City) who is a multi-millionaire, was enjoying a vacation in Sarasota, Florida, with his 27-year-old son at the prestigious Art Ovation Hotel when their relaxation was interrupted by a racist note. According to several news sources, someone snuck into the Davis’ room and left a 2×5” post-it note that read, “You’re a nier.” The note was placed on a lamp in the sixth floor room. “I was stone cold for 30 to 40 seconds when I read the note,” Michael Davis, the son, told the New York Post. “My first thought was, what did we do to deserve this? We tipped well, we were beyond nice to all the staff.” Fearing for their lives, Michael and his parents called the police and the front desk. The Sarasota Police Department responded, but no suspects have been named. The incident was especially wounding in light of Frank Davis’ lifelong efforts to promote diversity. The business executive has donated $5 million to his alma mater, Bucknell University, for a new building and for minority recruitment. Frank Davis, 58, co-founded Horizon Group after reaching the upper echelons of Fortune 500 companies. He took a broad view of the incident. “It is critical that we all be champions for diversity and inclusion every day,” he said. Management for the hotel, part of the Marriott chain, was far less responsive than the cops, Michael Davis said. While the hotel refunded all the Marriott points the family had used on their planned six-day visit, it refused to move them to a comparable location. The Davises checked into a hotel two hours away. “The whole experience has been very awful and saddening. Despite our best efforts to be friendly, welcoming guests, someone chose to hate us simply for the color of our skin,” said Michael Davis, whose mom is a Cuban-American from New York City. A Marriott vice president eventually called Michael Davis to apologize. A spokesperson for the hotel chain told the Post it was planning sensitivity training for the Sarasota site, saying, “The matter is being actively investigated and appropriate actions will be taken.”