You’ve gotten to know a little more about Liz MacDonald and Michelle Long over the past two weeks. They certainly contribute to the Chamber, but the person who made the chamber your chamber is Theodore Smith.
Ted was born in Jackson County, W.Va., the seventh of eight children, to Ralph and Glada Smith. His parents raised four of the children through the Great Depression, so they had known difficult times. The family moved across the Ohio River onto an Ohio farm where Ted learned about hard work and continues to exhibit a strong work ethic.
Following graduation from high school, Ted was drafted into the Army the day after his 20th birthday. During that time, he married his high school sweetheart, and together, he and Bev raised two children, Tony and Whitney. Following the Army, Ted went to work at E. I. DuPont in Parkersburg, W.Va., where Ted was offered higher education. Volunteering for every available educational opportunity became the norm, which has carried throughout his life. After all, as he would tell anyone, the more you know, the greater your opportunities will be.
Following a great 34-year career at DuPont, Ted retired. However, retirement is not for everybody. If one gets to know Ted, they realize he cannot sit still. Ted and Bev followed their children south and the very first drive through Newberry convinced them this was the place for them to reside.
He joined Rotary (was President for the 2010-2011 year), met new people, and learned more about his new hometown. He started working for the City of Newberry’s Parks and Recreation Department, and after seeing the possibilities of involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, he became the director of your chamber on Jan.1, 2010.
Ted is often heard saying that if you are not enjoying what you are doing, then you should not be doing it. One can tell that Ted enjoys working for and supporting the members of the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce, and that positive outlook disseminates to Liz and me and onto the members.
Accepting challenges is not something from which Ted has ever shied away. He would tell you that he is most proud of the way people in Newberry County think about the chamber, responding positively about the growth that has occurred since his involvement.
During Ted’s leadership, the chamber took the lead in advertising and marketing for the capital project sales tax for the November 2010 election, and it passed by the largest margin since the referendum was first presented to voters. The Community Hall building, including the Visitors Center/Chamber facilities, has received a complete renovation, completed just over a year ago.
If you have not seen the inside of the building lately, stop by 1209 Caldwell St. to see your chamber, and let us talk with you about how you can also make a difference in Newberry County. If you are so excited that you want to contact us immediately, please call us at 276-4274.