When I heard my younger brother, Cameron Davies, and his Cruising Kitchens team were giving out free food to first-line responders during the pandemic, I wasn’t surprised. Cameron is the guy who will give you the shirt off his back. When we were growing up in Georgetown, he once begged my mom to adopt a friend having a tough time at home. My mom had three rambunctious boys already, so that wasn’t going to work, but we found another way to help. Family has always been the most important thing to us. Cameron has a tattoo — well, Cameron has a lot of tattoos, but one reads, “For without family I’m nothing.”
The food drive began with a call from Northrock Church, where Cameron and his wife Kaycee are members. The church wanted to provide free meals to doctors, nurses, EMTs, police officers, and fire fighters, and they thought my brother could help. His company, Cruising Kitchens, is the largest manufacturer of custom mobile kitchens in the world, and of course, Cameron being Cameron, he said yes, even though he had stopped business operations in March due to coronavirus. “I’ve operated a lot on impulse over the years, but I felt like I needed to do it,” he said.
The call came on a Wednesday, and by Thursday, he had volunteers, put graphics on a big army truck, and prepped the meals. Our local grocery store chain, H-E-B donated $3,500 worth of food, and Black Rifle Coffee gave hot and cold drinks and delivery service to hospitals and clinics. They set up a drive-through on the north side of town in the church parking lot. Over the next thirty days, they fed over 6,500 people. For free.
“Chaos.” That’s how Cameron describes the experience of April 2 to May 4, though he loved it. I was proud of him, but my main concern was his safety. As his older brother, I wanted to know he had his mask on, and that he was taking proper precautions (he was). My brother and I have a lot in common, but we have very different attitudes toward risk. He’s an entrepreneur, and I’m an investment advisor. He wears red shoes and jeans to work each day, while I wear a suit and tie. As the middle child, he was always a bit of a rebel. I was the oldest boy in a single-parent household, so I had to lean on him to straighten up, but I knew he’d find his way. Nine years ago, he started building what has become a booming business, featured on reality shows and TV segments. He makes incredible custom kitchens for everyone from fledgling upstarts with a dream to big players like Whataburger and Pizza Hut. The restaurant industry is under strain right now, but mobile kitchens are a major growth industry.
The food drive was a success. Cameron has stories about the small, meaningful ways the drive made a difference. To the nurse having a terrible day who forgot her lunch, who then learned a free meal was coming —multiply that story by 6,500 people. It feels good to take care of people. That’s another value we learned growing up. Our involvement with philanthropy started with our mother. She was board chair for Seeds of Strength, a women’s philanthropic organization that provides grants to Georgetown nonprofits, and my wife and I spent a decade volunteering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. One of my favorite parts of working at Sendero is how philanthropy is a core to our business. Sendero Wealth Management is committed to improving our community through the support of charitable organizations with a policy that enables and empowers our employees to give back.
Cameron says he learned about giving back from watching me. But I learn about taking risks from him. He didn’t always listen to me (shocking, I know), but I’m glad he didn’t. The impacts he has made both in his business and community through taking risks are profound and widespread. Where I see risk, he sees potential. And in a tough time like right now, it’s important to see both.
Tyler Davies, Investment Advisor