Contribution provides new opportunities for expansion of academic programs at Central State University
WILBERFORCE, Businessman and radio journalist Josh Smith today announced a one million dollar gift to Central State University. on Tuesday, March 11th, the distinguished Class of 1963 alumnus presented a check for $100,000 in concert with the overall pledge of one million dollars. The gift deepens a longstanding philanthropic relationship between Central State University and the Smith family. In 2007, he was inducted into the 1887 Legacy Society in recognition of a $250,000 insurance gift that was increased to $500,000 in 2013. That same year, he contributed $50,000 to WCSU-FM.
“Thanks to the generosity of Josh and Jackie Smith, the University will enhance its ongoing commitment to prepare innovative leaders for the future,” said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University. The presentation was made at a 12-noon luncheon meeting at the University. “Jackie and I are pleased to continue our support of my beloved alma mater,” Smith said. “We look forward to empowering more students at Central State University to use their education to have a long-term positive impact on the world.”
Charles Whitehead’61 the current Central State University Foundation President stated “ this gift is magnificent, it will not only support the University in a tangible way, the size of the gift will inspire other alumni to give back to the alma mater.”
Smith is a cum laude graduate of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and did graduate work in law and business administration at the University of Akron and Central Michigan University. He is also a nationally renowned entrepreneur and lecturer who has been chairman and managing partner of The Coaching Group since 1998. In this capacity he is the coach/senior advisor/consultant to the CEO’s of portfolio companies. Smith frequently assumes active roles in his client’s companies that include serving as chairman or vice chairman of the board, board member, or advisory board member.
Smith serves on the board of directors of four Fortune 100 companies: Caterpillar, Inc., FedEx Corp., Allstate Corp. and SCORE. He serves as vice chairman of Comp Care, Inc., a publicly traded, specialized healthcare services firm. He has also served on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Inland Steel, and the Board of Visitors of Bowie State University, where he was chairman. Smith was featured in a recent Black Enterprise article “Meet America’s Most Powerful Corporate Directors.”
Smith also serves as chairman of United Converting Company, LLC. United Converting is a manufacturer and distributor of nonwoven products serving consumer, industrial and medical markets. In July 2008, Smith launched Biz Talk With Josh, serving as the show’s host. Biz Talk With Josh is a weekly business talk show airing on the CBS Radio network (1580 AM), which focuses on issues impacting entrepreneurs, small, minority and women-owned businesses. The show streams live on the Internet at http://washington.cbslocal.com on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am EST, and is available for listening following the broadcast at http://biztalkwithjosh.com, and is broadcast on Saturday mornings at 8:00 am EST on WCSU-FM – streaming live at http://wcsufm.org.
Previously he was founder, chairman and CEO of The MAXIMA Corporation, a 20-year-old consultancy that achieved a national reputation as one of the top African American owned, and fastest-growing firms in the United States. In addition, earlier in his career, he was a high school teacher in Washington, D.C.; served on the faculties of Central State University and the University of Akron, both in Ohio; was executive director of the American Society for Information Science and served in executive management capacities for Herner and Company and Plenum Publishing Corporation.
Smith was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush to serve in the following capacities: chairman of the U.S. Commission on Minority Business Development from 1989 to 1992; the executive committee of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations; the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the George H.W. Bush Memorial Library Board of Trustees. He also chaired the Committee on Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the George Bush for President Campaign. In 2003, Smith chaired the special Task Force on Minority Business Reform for the State of Maryland, and subsequently served as an advisor to the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Minority Business Reform. In addition, he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland as a member of the board of directors of the Maryland Small Business Development Finance Authority.
Throughout his impressive career Smith has volunteered his time to promote small and minority business development and forming relationships with all segments of the business community. From 1986 to 2002 he was a member of the Maryland Stadium Authority (appointed by three different governors). He is the recipient of the Man of the Year Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’Rith; served on the National Fund Raising Campaign Committee of the NAACP; and was chairman of the National Urban Coalition. He has received honorary Doctorate degrees from the following universities: Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; Bowie State University in Bowie, MD; Florida International University in Miami, FL; Sojourner Douglas College in Baltimore, MD; and Delaware State University in Dover, DE.
In recognition of his achievements and business acumen he has received over 300 awards, honors and other citations. Including being chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce as its National Director’s Legacy Award recipient; by the Governor of the State of Maryland as a Business Legend; inducted into the African American Hall of Fame; recognized as the Business Leader of the Year by the Rainbow Push LaSalle Street Project (Jesse Jackson) for his countless contributions and loyalty to further the goals of equitable access to capital, inclusion and fairness in corporate business practices for people of color. In October 2009, Smith was recognized as MBE Advocate of the Year by the Western Pennsylvania Minority Supplier Development Council in appreciation of his demonstrated leadership role and commitment to supplier diversity development. In September 2010, Smith was presented with the highest honor bestowed by SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business — the Lou Campinelli Award.
Smith lives in Suburban Washington, DC with his wife, Reverend Jacqueline Jones-Smith, former Pastor of Good Hope United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.