Meet An Executive VP

S. J. Smith Company has been in my family for 55 years, and I’m the third generation. I’m the granddaughter of the founder and daughter of CEO Richard J. Smith. Growing up in the business, like most children of owners, I did it all.

After graduation, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, for a job at John Deere Credit. My decision to return to the Quad Cities to work for my father was well thought-out, with no regrets. While it wasn’t my idea, starting from the ground floor was very smart on my father’s part. Today I’m responsible for HR, and those early experiences are very valuable to me. I know how the warehouse works, how the truck deliveries work, how the stores work. I know the type of individual who needs to be there, because I’ve worked there. I’m learning how to deal with all sorts of people: customers, vendors, branch employees, corporate employees. Each one brings a different scenario. We sell to the person who walks in and is welding in his garage, and we sell to the John Deeres. As a representative of the company, I have to diversify myself to be able to provide those vastly different customers with what they need to properly do their work.

I was named Executive Vice President in December 2005. My father said, “She’s the one. We want her to run the company one day.” Coming from Dad, that’s huge, and I’m eager to carry on the family legacy. Kobelco

Gases and Welding Distributors Association