Davey Willans began his career in 1965 as a sales representative with the J.B. Roerig Division of Pfizer Inc. in Detroit, MI. Over the next 24 years, he progressed up the sales organization management ranks, and then into the International Division. An interesting twist of fate landed him at Warner-Lambert in 1989 as Senior Director, Global Business Manager. In this capacity, Davey played a major role in helping to establish the Lipitor marketing partnership in many foreign affiliates. Davey would retire from Pfizer in 2000 - as a Warner-Lambert legacy retiree. "While I loved my eleven years in the Parke-Davis Sector of Warner-Lambert I bleed true Pfizer blue," notes Davey with pride, reflecting on his rewarding career at both companies.
But that's not all Davey's proud of. Davey and his wife, Nancy, have also played instrumental roles in helping save the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ, located one mile from Pfizer's Morris Plains office.
The Museum is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Craftsman Farms is the former home of noted turn-of-the-century designer, Gustav Stickley, a major proponent of the "Arts and Crafts" home building and furnishing. The property's log house, built in 1911, is one of the most significant landmarks of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Craftsman Farms is also an Official Project of Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation dedicated to the preservation of our nation's irreplaceable historic and cultural treasures for future generations.
Stickley is a well-known spokesman for the Arts and Crafts movement. He combined the roles of furniture designer and manufacturer, architect, publisher, philosopher and social critic into his work. Stickley is best known today for his straightforward furniture, sometimes called "mission" or "Craftsman furniture."
So, what exactly does Davey do at Craftsman Farms? In his role as Director of Development on the Board of Trustees of The Stickley Museum Foundation, Davey spends a great deal of time bringing local, county and state officials together to help promote and support the property and to help continue their renovation and program development work.
"We've made a lot of progress, but we still have more work to do," reflects Davey as he surveys the master bedroom in its saddened condition of disrepair. Both Warner-Lambert and Pfizer have helped to bring the property back to more scenic conditions. "Over the last several years, volunteers from both companies have spent days weeding the grounds, pulling moss off the trees and helping to bring the natural beauty of this property back to something more like what it used to be," he said. "We're very thankful for the support - both financial and the time put in by volunteers."
In addition, Davey plays a key roll in raising funds to support the ongoing restoration work. He also runs museum tours and presents lectures on his personal travels in search of period art pottery for his personal collection.
"My wife introduced me to Craftsman farms about 15 years ago, when the property was threatened with development for 52 town houses," explained Davey. The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, with encouragement of community groups and others interested in the importance of the site, like Davey and Nancy, were able to obtain the property through eminent domain.
"Since then, the Craftsman Farms Foundation has orchestrated the completion of much of the Main House restoration to its 1910-1917 appearance," noted Davey. "I have a new appreciation for what it takes to restore a property like this to its original state. It's great to be able to contribute something to make that happen," he said.
For more information about The Stickley Museum at Craftsman farms visit, www.stickleymuseum.org.