The following is reprinted and updated from CallandPost.com
In business, we often think of the great pioneers who paved the way for us to be where we are today.
We forget about the ones making history each and every day now. One such great man is the Rev. Hilton O. Smith of Turner Construction. The “Great Man” theory is a philosophical one that aims to explain history by the impact of a single individual or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence and wisdom or Machiavellianism, used power in a way that had a decisive historical impact.
As former Senior Vice President for Corporate and Community Affairs at Turner Construction Company, Smith’s duties include managing the company’s corporate affairs, minority and woman owned business enterprise program, and their equal employment and educational programs. He coordinates business development and strategic marketing programs with Turner’s senior executive officers as well.
Smith had actively led Turner’s efforts in awarding over $20 billion dollars to thousands of minority and woman business enterprises. For four consecutive years, Turner reached the one billion dollar mark in the MWBE utilization program.
He oversaw the national Turner School of Construction Management, which began in 1969, along with the James H. Walker Course in conjunction with the City of Cleveland. Annually, Turner’s 46 business units coordinate and provide educational opportunities in the construction industry for small businesses. This is an award winning and widely recognized program that has received many awards, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s EVE Award, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Award for Best Practices and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Minority Advocate Award.
Smith who follows a quality just like Martin Luther King Jr. also works for racial equality in the United States. Smith became active in the movement for Civil Rights and racial equality. In the Greater Cleveland area, he actively serves on the boards of The Cleveland Foundation; University Hospitals; United Black Fund; Urban League of Greater Cleveland, SCLC, and UCIP-ASAP. He was also former President of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP.
Nationally, he enthusiastically serves on several other boards.
Smith is an ordained minister and serves as an associate minister of the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church. Hilton and his late wife Delores have three children and four grandchildren.