Sylvester Smith

Director of Small & Minority Businesses Development

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Little Rock

Sylvester Smith

Sylvester Smith, 29, credits his mother, former state Rep. Judy Smith, with teaching him that "One can achieve anything they want as long as they're willing to work at it."

The keep-trying attitude of the Philander Smith College graduate leads him to be the best role model he can be for the black community.

He was Gov. Mike Huckabee's policy adviser for minority affairs from late 2001 to July 2004, when he came to his present job.

He's also Arkansas' alternate representative on the Delta Regional Authority board of directors.

In his current post, he created the one-day Small Business University, a program for aspiring small-business owners in rural Arkansas. He also implemented a certification process for minority-owned firms that want to do business with the state.

He's on the Arkansas Real Estate Commission and serves on the Arkansas Republican Party's state committee.

The Leadership Arkansas graduate works with Philander Smith's Brother-to-Brother mentoring program for at-risk youth. As part of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, he was one of eight chosen to go on a diplomatic exchange in eastern Europe last spring.