She recently talked about her career,
TMA, and life outside the office.
Q How did you gravitate into turnaround/restructuring work?
Smith also has held numerous TMA
committee positions at both the
chapter and global levels, and currently
is co-chair of The Annual, to be
held in Boston November 1-3. She
received TMA Global’s Outstanding
Individual Contribution Award in
2005 and was recently named to
receive a 2012 Chairman’s Award
during the conference in Boston.
SMITH My mother was the
bookkeeper in a school district and
worked her way up to become the
assistant superintendent of schools. I
really wanted to do education, because
that’s what I knew. I thought the best job
was to be a teacher.
I went to SUNY Buffalo College and
became a special education teacher,
which was driven in part by the
fact that when I grew up, a boy next
door to us was developmentally
disabled. I was often asked to babysit
for him, and I always seemed to
be protecting him from the bullies
because he was picked on a lot.
Smith was born in Anchorage, Alaska,
before the territory became the nation’s
49th state, and lived in a log cabin for a
time before moving to Long Island, New
York, as a child. She attended the State
University of New York at Buffalo, where
she obtained bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in education. After a stint as a
special education teacher, Smith moved
into social service agency work, first
in New York state and later in Boston,
where she also obtained an MBA from
Boston University. She joined Deloitte
in 2000 and led Financial Advisory
Services in New England before her
elevation to her current position.
I was recruited very early on to go to this
very new idea of running a residential
treatment facility, a lockdown facility
for adolescent males in Niagara
Falls. It was right on the Niagara Falls
gorge, so if you tried to escape out the
back, you’d fall to your death. There
were metal detectors and guards. It
was a very rough environment.
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