Greg Smith has a certain swagger about him; one that comes with real-life experiences and successfully resolving unique challenges professionally and personally.
The Lima, Ohio, native will celebrate his 11th year at CSM Production February 9 and has accumulated 22 years of experience in the military. Greg donned a U.S. Navy uniform as a Cryptologic Technician Technical Chief Petty Officer and was deployed 10 times including Desert Storm, the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom spending just shy of 15 years overseas.
If you know this senior manager of project development, “shy” is not a word that would describe him; yet as a youngster, he was extremely introverted. Read on to learn more about this recent Bert Award recipient.
1. What brought you to CSM Production and is this where you thought you would be at this time?
When I retired, I wanted to get involved in racing and always saw CSM Production trucks at the track. They were always pristine, uniform and looked sharp which appealed to my military background. I also liked that they did multiple types of work, not just one thing.
When I started, I honestly didn’t have a vision of where I was going to be. One of the reasons I came here was it was a fast-growing company and I believe had huge opportunities for me. The company has morphed so much since I started.
2. At the 2017 Dog and Pony Awards, you were honored by your peers with the Bert Award. What does this mean to you?
It means I am making an impact on the employees and having a positive effect every day. I believe investing in people meaning their development, education, professional skills, leadership, etc. plays into making an impact on others.
3. What are the most important lessons you learned while serving in the military?
Strength and trust in comradery – “esprit de corps.” When in military operations, you always had each other’s back. There was immense trust. When the mission went down, I always knew nothing would happen to me. This one thing allows a razor focus on the mission at hand.
4. Tell us what you do at CSM.
My role is to take the projects that are out of the norm and require engineering and technical design from concept to reality. I also handle a mix of safety and compliance training.
5. Who is the best all-time rock group?
Pink Floyd; They were a band that did not follow a normal track and to this day, everyone knows their songs. I worked with them for a little while and they were just such a great group of guys.
6. Your Instagram name is DJ_Grizzly_G. What’s the story behind that?
I have been a DJ since 1981. I started out doing school dances as a freshman when vinyl and records existed. The high school actually bought the DJ gear so we could do it in house.
Sometime while at CSM, Grizzly was something people started calling me. Everyone has always called me by a nickname with the exception of my mom!
7. You finish an event and you step outside and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
With the understanding that I can’t find the rightful owner, I would donate $3 million to helping animals which is a passion. Plus, I would help a friend who is having a hard time, give some to the church and keep working to build my dream farm which would include a really big barn that can double as a country music venue.
8. What were you like in high school?
In high school, I was the most introverted person you can imagine. I was shy. I was a huge dreamer and not a big sports guy. My spark came from my elementary music teacher, Ms. Quay, who could see my passion was elsewhere. She bought a stereo to run the music.
We put on a huge Christmas pageant and came up with the idea to do a film strip projector. I created a crank and used the film projector and small mirrored ball to make it look like falling snow in the gym.
My last two years, I attended vocational school where I learned how to interact with all types of personalities. I essentially learned how to network. What may come as a surprise, I was voted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2010 as a success story.
9. Who inspires you?
Everybody I meet every day inspires me. I once heard a quote that only a few people walk through life with their eyes open. I l love to learn from everybody that knows something I don’t and can teach me.
My dad was a lot like John Wayne. He was rough and tumble; grew up in the Depression. Like John Wayne, he embodied the American spirit which is something that inspires me.
10. What question should we ask the next 10 questions participant?
What in the world is with skinny jeans? What’s your opinion on the subject?