Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Jim Smith of Fayetteville to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees on Monday, Jan. 28.
Smith’s five-year term will expire on Jan. 14, 2024. He succeeds Charles H. Blanchard of Russellville, who was chairman of the ATU Board of Trustees in 2018. Blanchard served on the board from 2009-19.
A native of Russellville, Smith is a 1991 honor graduate of Arkansas Tech with a degree in accounting. He was selected by the faculty as the top student in the ATU College of Business in 1991 and was a member of the 1988 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference champion Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys baseball team.
Smith earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law and a Master of Law degree in taxation from the New York University School of Law. He began his career working in corporate and tax law at Friday Eldredge & Clark for almost two decades before co-founding Smith Hurst in northwest Arkansas in 2011.
Arkansas Business named Smith as one of the Arkansas 250 most influential people in business in 2018 and Best Lawyers in America has recognized him every year since 2007.
Smith’s community service has included work on behalf of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, the Fayetteville Community Foundation, the Arkansas Rice Depot, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Museum Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Symphony.
A past president of the ATU Alumni Association, Smith was the first person inducted into the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction under the Outstanding Young Alumnus category when he received that honor in 2001.
Returning members of the ATU Board of Trustees for 2019 are Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, Stephanie Duffield of Russellville, Tom Kennedy of Little Rock and Fritz Kronberger of Russellville.