Smith's Career Path Leads Back to NWA

by Paul Gatling  on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 8:53 am  

“That went very well; everything was going according to plan,” Smith said. “Our oldest son was a sophomore in high school, and we were at least going to stay in Texas until he graduated.”

But family news required a new plan for the Smith family — moving back to Northwest Arkansas. An elderly relative living in Neosho, Mo. — the hometown of both Smith and his wife, Cindy — was in failing health, and the couple didn’t hesitate to make the move back.

“My wife said we, or at least I, have got to go back … like next week,” Smith said. “We had a moving truck loading up our stuff the next weekend.”

Smith spent about two months separated from his family while continuing his job in Houston before being hired in December 2010 at Great Southern Bank. He’s been the face of the company in the Northwest Arkansas market ever since.

Smith said Northwest Arkansas is home for him and his family, which includes two boys — a senior and a second-grader — in the Bentonville School District.

A former Bentonville City Council member in 2007, Smith ran again for city council last month, but was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat incumbent Bill Burkhart. Smith said he would continue to be active in the community as much as he can through other avenues.

Service to others, he said, has always been important to him. Smith served with the military police in the U. S. Army for five years after high school, an opportunity he cherishes.

“I wouldn’t trade that for anything; that was a big part of my life,” he said. “My family has always had a sense of service, and that is rooted in what I do.”

Smith is a past vice chairman of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and was instrumental in establishing the area’s first YMCA — the NWA Mercy Family YMCA in Rogers — in 2011. The club has a little more than 2,000 members and Smith is currently chairman of the board of directors.

“It’s been a special project because it’s all about developing our youth,” Smith said. “I feel like we haven’t done as good a job as we should in doing that.”



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