Meet our President & CEO, Steven A. Smith - August 3, 2016

Steve Smith2 (2)My involvement with Job Point started innocently enough, when Board Chairman Matt Garrett asked me to serve on the board of directors, beginning in August of 2014. As I had just completed seven years service on the Heart of Missouri United Way Board earlier in 2014, I accepted after a quick review of Job Point’s mission. Imagine my surprise when my fellow board members asked me to serve as interim president and CEO after Jim Loveless’s resignation in October 2014. I hesitated at first, but when some long-term supporters of Job Point pushed me to accept, I did so.

After a 37-year career in finance, I had decided I was ready for another career in an unrelated field. I had served on numerous non-profit boards in town and enjoyed each unique perspective and niche. It seemed like I was being called to this role.

I wasn’t totally prepared for the hectic pace, the unique language and the level of passion — not necessarily in that order — of the employees and board of directors at Job Point. It was easy to become absorbed in the culture of caring for all the people who come to us seeking to improve their station in life. Each had their own barriers to employment, as well as varying levels of commitment to see their program through to the end. This is not a criticism, but rather it’s a testament to the numerous hoops, hurdles and temptations that stand in the way of each client. The camaraderie built between the clients and staff forms rapidly, even though it’s not always readily acknowledged until later in the program.

My best day with Job Point was in December, 2014. That was graduation day for the Construction Trades and Youth Build programs. The venue, a church, was filled with graduates, in their caps and gowns, and their families, friends and the Job Point staff. Each graduate was presented with their certificate of graduation, as well as numerous trade-related certifications and recognitions.  All in attendance cheered each one, with flashbulbs popping throughout the ceremony. The most touching moment was when each graduate rose individually to speak to the entire group assembled.  There were no dry eyes in the house. Every graduate spoke from the heart. After that day, I was even more dedicated to the Job Point cause. How could anyone sit through the ceremony and not be favorably impacted?

With each passing class and group of clients, I have been fascinated by how each individual is gradually molded into a productive member of their society and the Job Point family. The staff has the patience of Job and truly handles themselves with the utmost professionalism each and day.

My role is not to tell the staff how to interact with the clients, but rather it is to see that the business office is functioning as efficiently as possible, so more individuals can be served. The first six months of my tenure flew by, with each day presenting challenges and opportunities.

The next chapter in my time at Job Point began at the Board Meeting on April 28, 2015, as the Board named me President and Chief Executive Officer (no more Interim).  I’m truly honored to serve in this position and look forward to the many opportunities to serve the numerous consumers of Job Point going forward.

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