Vice president, IGS Solar
About: Smith has been with IGS Energy since 2013 and was instrumental in founding the business unit that grew into IGS Solar. His leadership has led to more than $200 million of new business in the solar space. Smith received a B.S. in business administration from Ohio University.
Columbus needs a holistic, grassroots approach to narrowing the city’s inequality gap.
Outside of work: Smith is the founder of TwentyEight19, a faith-based nonprofit focused on relationship-based development of individuals and families in the Linden neighborhood. He is the founding member of Linden McKinley Football Boosters and the leader of Team Linden, an organization within the New Albany Presbyterian Church. Smith also coordinated the donation of a $150,000 solar panel system for the new Linden Community Center through IGS Energy. He and his wife, Erin, live in Gahanna and have three children – Dennis, Maggie and Kelly.
What does Columbus need to thrive? Columbus needs a holistic, grassroots approach to narrowing the city’s inequality gap. We are increasingly seeing this inequality manifest itself in racial tensions, lack of employment and education, broken families and violence across our communities in need. However, popular rebuilding efforts are generalized and the results are marginalized. Too often the development efforts are treated as projects, not people, and this causes many of the continued failures in achieving long-term vitality. Instead, we need to engage motivated leaders that are empowered, funded and supported to make lasting differences.
Smith’s idea: To establish working teams to support grassroots community development in communities most in need— namely North Linden, South Linden and Franklinton. This support would be through financial assistance, planning, mentoring and long-term partnerships.
The Future 50 would divide into community teams, and first identify community, religious and business leaders most committed and capable of making changes. Future 50 members would then partner to develop a one-, two- and five-year plan for making lasting changes on three foundations— education, employment and family development.