Meet Your Moderator: Jim Davidovich

Tell us about yourself.

In 2022 I retired after a 37-year career at United Airlines, mostly in Mileage Plus Marketing working with airline partners around the globe. I loved traveling the world and learning how to work with people from 28 airlines and a variety of cultures over 6 continents. I was proud to be a leader in many projects that lead the frequent flyer industry in customer facing enhancements.

Prior to United I had a dream job right out of Augustana College. I graduated on Friday and then on Monday flew to Arizona as Statistician and Assistant PR Director for the Chicago Cubs. Two years later they added the role of Traveling Secretary to my work, which is how I fell in love with travel. I was the youngest person to ever hold that position in baseball.

After 6 months of retirement, I accepted a part-time position as a Career Counseling Coach for the Chicago based firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

I am the youngest of 3 sons of the most wonderful parents who lived long fulfilling Christian lives to the ages of 95 and 99.  I live in the house I grew up in Elmhurst, buying it from my parents when they moved to a retirement facility. I married almost 10 years ago to a wonderful Jamaican man, Andrew — the stabilizing force in my life. We have two dogs who were also born in Jamaica and are Usain and Bolt. We are Cubs season ticket holders, enjoy music, theater and cars. 

What has your involvement been in the presbytery and church?

I have served as a ruling elder at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church for 7 terms covering 21 years. I led numerous committees in those years, but most rewarding was to be a member of the PNC that brough Cliff Lyda to Elmhurst 20 years ago. It was a defining service in my life. After that, I took a break from Session and signed on for two terms on the Committee on Ministry. I took a two-year hiatus and then agreed to a third term on COM.

In 2012 I had another moving experience being elected as a delegate to the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh. I served on the Health Committee.

At Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, I have been on the Building and Grounds Committee for the last 3 years and co-coordinator of the Elmhurst Family Pride Fest, hosted by EPC the past two years.

Why did you say “yes” to serving as presbytery moderator? 

Being asked to serve as moderator is one of the great joys of my life. That people I respect a great deal had confidence in me is an honor. The biggest reason, though, is that I feel this is an extraordinary time in the life of the presbytery — a time of change and that we can make that change good. There are new ideas coming forth and new ways of looking at solutions. In particular, it was because of Craig Howard’s vision and leadership that was on display to me in a Committee on Ministry meeting in which the underlying question was, “What is best for this congregation/pastor and how do we make that happen, even if it is not in our usual play book?” It was then that I thought I want to be a bigger part of this transformation

As you look around Chicago Presbytery this month, what gives you hope for the church?

What gives me hope is that we are seeking new solutions, encouraging creativity and also the focus on action. Matthew 25 is not just a mantra but a call to action, and I see the hundreds of initiatives in the presbytery over the past year and it is encouraging. The presbytery is letting churches lead by acts of kindness that benefit the community and show the teachings of Jesus Christ in action. I also love that we will take time to focus on those actions and celebrate them in our Assembly meetings.

What do you like to do outside of work and church?

I like spending time with friends and family. They keep me grounded and focused. I love cars and going to car shows, whether big events like the Frankfurt, Germany, auto show or the local “Cold Brew and Cool Cars” meets. We are with friends in a Cubs season ticket plan and enjoy going to Cubs games. At the time of the Assembly meeting, we will have just returned from a weekend watching Spring Training baseball.

What’s one thing you are looking forward to in 2024?

This one is easy. By far it is being a delegate to the General Assembly meeting in Salt Lake City. I am so super excited to be a part of that and engage with the larger body of denomination leaders that it is far and away my biggest excitement for 2024 (unless maybe the Cubs win the World Series Again….lol).