Kenova native credits West Virginia roots for success
By Jama L. Jarrett
KENOVA, W.Va. --It may be easy for some to forget their roots once they leave home, but not for Brad Smith. Even though he lives more than 2,500 miles away from his native West Virginia, he has never forgotten where home is.
Smith grew up in Kenova, a small town at the confluence of the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers and on the borders of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Today, however, he resides in Menlo Park, California, in the Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco. Smith is the president and CEO of Intuit Inc., a financial management software company.
“The great thing about growing up in West Virginia was we were taught we’re capable of achieving anything. My parents encouraged me to follow my dreams. It is because of their belief in me that I’ve achieved one of my dreams, and I’m honored to lead a great company like Intuit,” said Smith.
After high school, he earned his business administration bachelor’s degree from West Virginia’s Marshall University and then acquired his master’s in management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He held marketing, sales and management positions with ADP, Advo Inc., PepsiCo and 7UP until he become part of Intuit, a NASDAQ-100 company with approximately 8,000 employees.
In February 2008, Smith celebrated five years with Intuit, producer of the popular Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax programs. During his time at Intuit, Smith has successfully led every large business at Intuit, including its small business and consumer tax divisions.
Growing up in West Virginia cultivated values that Smith lives by every day. “I learned a lot in West Virginia. The lessons I learned helped me to better understand life and the significance of the people around me,” Smith said. “I truly appreciate where I am today and I know my roots in West Virginia have helped me succeed.”
Smith likes to come home periodically to West Virginia during Marshall football season to see his alma mater play. “I love the Mountain State,” said Smith. “I live a hectic life, but I make every effort to come home with my wife and two girls to visit my family and enjoy the beauty of West Virginia.”