Kirk Ray Smith, MHS, BHS

Kirk has been proudly married to his wife Venessa, MBA (Accounting Professional), for almost 30 years and they have three wonderful adult sons, and two beautiful grandchildren. Their oldest and youngest sons are now serving in the United States Army, and their middle son is a para-professional and college student, studying film production. Since 1989 Kirk has served in government and private sectors and higher education, as Army noncommissioned officer, corrections supervisor, nonprofit senior executive, board volunteer and college professor. He also established a non-profit business and relationship consulting firm in 2002.

Kirk was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in a single parent home, with 7 siblings in one of the most economically challenged communities in Cincinnati. His community was crime, drug, and alcohol infested.  Poverty and hopelessness were cultural norms. In effort to stay out of the trouble that was so prevalent, Kirk spent his time playing sports at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. As a teen he worked several jobs, e.g., a fry cook, a golf caddie, and bus-boy to name a few. For various reasons Kirk struggled through grade school until his final two years of high school.  At the beginning of his junior year, he decided that he wanted more out of life than what he witnessed in his community. After graduating, Kirk served in the United States Army for 7 years achieving the rank of Corporal and earned several Distinguished Service medals during times of war and peace.

Kirk is a self-published author and former op-ed columnist. Since 2016 he has served as the President and CEO of RCS Pinellas. RCS serves more than 130,000 individuals and families annually throughout Pinellas County, FL, as a leader in addressing hunger, homelessness and domestic abuse through innovative programs and services with an operating budget of over $10 million. For last three years in row, RCS attained the coveted 4-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator. Only 17% of charities evaluated have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

In 2018 RCS Pinellas was recognized as the Large Charity of the Year by the Clearwater Regional Chamber Commerce, and the Large Business of the Year by the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, for both its mission and business prowess. Prior to accepting his current role he served as President and CEO and Executive Director within multiple multimillion dollar YMCA Associations in the states of Florida and Massachusetts for over 15 years, supporting several urban, suburban, and rural communities. He led operational and financial growth while providing high-quality services and supports to the most vulnerable among us. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor/Instructor for institutions of higher learning, specializing in human services, leadership development, social justice, community engagement, marketing for nonprofits, organizational change, and public policy advocacy within both undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Kirk serves and has served on several boards, committees and judges panels supporting for-profit businesses, community-based non-profits and higher education institutions. He has been featured on numerous national and local television shows and in news publications and magazines discussing community leadership development, education, fundraising, human and social service work in suburban, rural and urban communities and professional staff development. Kirk has been a motivational speaker and lecturer for over 20 years.  Kirk holds a Bachelor of Science of Human Services and a Master of Science of Organizational Management and Leadership. He is a nationally certified Nonprofit Organizational Leader & Leadership Development Professional.

Kirk has been humbled by God’s mercy, Jesus’ power, and the Holy Spirit’s presence. He’s also been humbled by the love and patience of his wife and all the wonderful men and women who’ve given him opportunities. Kirk considers every aspect of his life as an opportunity to improve the lives of all those around him, as it’s more about ‘getting to’ than ‘having to’.