The people of Powder Springs, Ga., don't know it yet, but a bundle of benevolent energy is about to take up residence in their town.
And the people of the Virgin Islands are about to lose the close company of a friend many have known for years but have never met in person.
Anita Davis, Radio One talk show host, Knight Quality Stations programing director and after-hours aerobics instructor, will be leaving the territory at the end of August to move to Powder Springs, which she describes as "a little suburb outside of Atlanta."
Her last day on the air and in the program director's chair at WVWI will be Friday, Aug. 27. And for those who've endured the pain for the gain in her fitness workouts at Local Bodyz, her last class there will be on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
"I'm trying not to cause too much excitement," she said of the impending move, which she had not discussed on air before commenting to The Source. "But the word is out there, and people have been calling me, and I don't want to lie to them."
After the better part of 16 years in the broadcast industry on St. Thomas, and citing the "24-hour nature of that work," Davis has decided that it's time to "change gears" and make a career change in a direction that's less stressful. Not that she knows what it's going to be.
"I have the unique opportunity to go home to Mother," she said with a chuckle. And Powder Springs (population 6,862, according to a Georgia web listing and not even in the 1999 Rand McNally Atlas) is where her parents, longtime St. Thomas residents Marie Elaine and Frank Sedlak, live.
It was through the Sedlaks that Davis first came to the Virgin Islands. She spent a short time here, went back to the mainland to put in a couple of years at radio stations in Cleveland, Ohio, and Georgia, and then returned in 1987 to settle on St. Thomas and begin work at WSTA/Lucky 13.
(How what she terms her "unconventional" family - the Sedlaks are her adopted parents - came about is a story in itself. As a teen-ager, Davis related, she was a member of a New York theater troupe that performed in a Long Island church. Marie Elaine Sedlak was then the pastor's wife. She ended up adopting Davis at age 18, and after the Sedlaks married, he adopted her, too.)
When Radio One, newly purchased by Randy Knight and newly rebuilt on the Gregerie East shore in Crown Bay, returned on air from its hiatus after Hurricane Marilyn, Davis left Lucky 13 and came on board as host of the Community Exchange, producer of the Paradise Communique and Community Calendar, and program director.
Throughout her years on St. Thomas, Davis has been involved in many community outreach efforts, notably in the calypso music realm and, more recently, in the exploration of cyberspace for a mass audience. Personally, she has been a role model for those wanting to take charge of their physical, intellectual and spiritual lives and make changes for the better.
Describing Knight as "a great boss," she said he has been "extremely accommodating in terms of the transition" as she prepares to leave the KQS family.
To her knowledge, Davis says, no decision has been made on who will take over as host on the Community Exchange. She said Patricia Sprauve, who has been handling traffic at the station, will become programing manager and Monife Stout has begun working on the Community Calendar. JAMZ morning show personality Robert Luke has been hosting Paradise Communique for some time.
Knight had nothing but nice things to say about the employee he is losing.
"Of all the people that I have been fortunate to work with over the years," he told The Source, "I'm especially pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented Anita Davis. Her significant contributions have been directly responsible for the growth and success of Knight Quality Stations."
Wherever her muse may lead her, Davis says, "I'm thinking that I'm going to use the same skills."
Knight said, "Powder Springs is about to be blessed."