Stay In The Know

Keep up with the news, inspiring words and business insights that make Brad tick! From leadership lessons, news related to Brad’s work in academia and the latest updates from the Wing 2 Wing Foundation, think of this blog as a resource for learning and connection.

Continuing the Country Roads Legacy: How Appalachian Music Impacts Local Culture


Nestled deep within the intricate landscapes, winding rivers, and majestic mountains that define the region, Appalachia has long been celebrated for its rich musical heritage. So much so it carved out its very own musical genre. A tradition deeply rooted in the enduring spirit of generations of settlers who have shaped the nation's history and continue to propel its future, “Mountain Music” emerged from a melting pot of cultures and influences.


Future Leaders: How Gen Z Employees Are Shaping Today and Tomorrow’s Workplace


New generations bring change across all aspects of life. The characteristics of each generation have been influenced by the societal, economic, and technological factors prevalent during their youth. Currently, the workforce consists of four main generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Gen Z, the newest to enter the workforce, comes with a different set of values and interests that will transform the workplace. As President of Marshall University, Brad D. Smith has directly observed the strength, adaptability, and ethical values embodied by Generation Z. These young leaders are primed to lead and revolutionize the workplace, driving progress and adaptation in the ever-evolving professional landscape.


Spring Into Gear with Mountain Biking in West Virginia


West Virginia and the Appalachian Region are home to some of the most beautiful vistas across the United States. With spring and summer around the corner, now is the perfect time to take to the mountains and try mountain biking. Brad D. Smith is a passionate advocate of the sport, and through his organization, the Wing2Wing Foundation, he is dedicated to advancing mountain biking throughout West Virginia. Beginners and experts alike can read more about the thrills of mountain biking below.


Why Leading with a Purpose is So Important


Over the years, I have come to realize a few things about leadership: failure can teach just as much as success, the impact of servant leadership, and perhaps most importantly, leading with purpose. These principles have driven my own means of leadership in both my executive career and as Marshall University’s President. I am grateful to have learned these principles from special, trusted mentors. Leaders are not necessarily born, they are nurtured and built by experiences big and small. For me, one of the key aspects to becoming an effective leader is finding the purpose behind your leadership.


Wing 2 Wing Foundation’s 2023 Year in Review


Since its 2019 inception, the Wing 2 Wing Foundation has worked to level the playing field of opportunity in Appalachia. Acting on its three guiding pillars (education, entrepreneurship and environment), Wing 2 Wing has worked to support West Virginia’s dreamers and doers by prioritizing access to education, advancing entrepreneurial interests, and conserving and championing the region’s natural assets. In 2023, Wing 2 Wing celebrated four years since its founding as well as the introduction of new ventures and programs created to further aid Appalachians.


Brad D. Smith: A Look Back on 2023


Continuously dedicated to creating a better future for all, Brad D. Smith kept a packed and fulfilling schedule in 2023. Over the course of the year, Brad leveraged his leadership roles and experience to both further his commitment to the development of his home state, West Virginia, and support his alma mater as Marshall University’s President. He also drove new initiatives to uplift overlooked communities in Appalachia — opening opportunities to people across the region — and joined Amazon’s board of directors. As 2023 comes to a close, read on to learn more about Brad’s work over the last twelve months.


Marshall University’s 2023 Homecoming: A “Super” Time for Celebrating the Herd


Homecoming at Marshall University is a week full of exciting events and activities. Beyond the celebrations, Homecoming is also an opportunity for members of the Marshall community to reconnect and come together as one herd and reflect on how the university has changed throughout the years. This year’s 2023 Homecoming celebrations built off the sentiment of change, following a theme of “Super Marco: Level Up,” which honors Marshall “leveling up” in stature as well as the history of video games.


Celebrating Two Years of Ascend West Virginia


In 2021, Brad D. Smith and his wife Alys launched the Ascend West Virginia remote worker incentive program through their Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC). As a West Virginia native with a lifelong passion for giving back to his home state, Brad was inspired to create an initiative that would share the wonder of West Virginia with those living beyond its borders and entice more individuals to call it home. Two years have passed since the launch of Ascend, and in that time, the program has experienced overwhelming success and momentum for the future.


Celebrating the Wild Wonders of West Virginia on National Public Lands Day


Public lands are portions of land owned by the general population and managed by the federal government. According to the Congressional Research Service, approximately 640 million acres of U.S. land is federally owned across the country. In West Virginia — a place famously nicknamed “Almost Heaven” for its natural splendor — about one fifth of the state’s 15.5 million acres is publicly owned. These public lands are accessible to anyone, giving the general public space to connect with nature and learn about local wildlife. An advocate for West Virginia’s environmental and economic development, Brad D. Smith has taken steps to encourage his fellow mountaineers to embrace, appreciate and utilize the state’s natural resources and beauty.


The Value of Young Mentors: What Today’s Leaders Can Learn from the Next Generation


The next generation of employees entering the workforce brings enthusiasm, drive and agility born out of global disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and rapidly changing technological environment. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, young people today are continuously noted as maintaining a positive outlook on the world and striving to make a positive impact in hopes of creating a better future for all. Their life experiences and status as digital natives position these members of up-and-coming generations as great mentors. Who better to understand how to approach the future than those who will be living in it?


Increasing Opportunity in West Virginia by Advancing Access to Education


When it comes to leveling the playing field of opportunity among people, education is a critical component. Studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people who receive higher education are more likely to earn a higher income than those who do not. Data from the Bureau also indicates that the unemployment rate is much higher for people who receive less education – specifically, those who do not have a high school diploma. With education having a significant impact on a person’s employment — and subsequent financial and economic stability — it is essential to increase access to educational opportunities for the greater health of historically underserved communities, including those in West Virginia.


Outdoor Recreation in West Virginia: Things To Do and Its Role in Supporting the Local Economy


West Virginia’s Appalachian mountains make the state a “must-see” destination for adventurers. And beyond the mountain range, the sprawling hills and valleys also pose as the perfect backdrop for a number of outdoor activities. According to a study by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), 67% of West Virginia residents engage in outdoor recreational activities each year. But the state’s great outdoors serves as more than just a place to explore. West Virginia’s most enticing feature also plays a vital role in supporting the local economy through tourism and outdoor recreation. The same OIA study reported that outdoor recreation in the Mountain State is responsible for 91,000 jobs statewide and generates $660 million in state and local tax revenue.


Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in West Virginia


Supporting local businesses is crucial to the U.S. economy. Not only do these entities account for 99% of all businesses in America, but they also support numerous families and communities across the country. Born and raised in small-city Kenova, West Virginia, Brad D. Smith has long been witness to the importance of small businesses and has spent a portion of his career supporting local entrepreneurs as a means to championing his home state’s development.


West Virginia Day 2023: Commemorating 160 Years of the Mountain State


West Virginia Day, held on June 20 every year, celebrates the anniversary of the Mountain State being admitted to the Union and officially becoming America’s 35th state in 1863. While West Virginia is renowned for its mountainous landscape and coal mining history, the state is now making a name for itself as a land of renewed opportunity as it pushes to further its economic development and revitalize its communities.


Brad D. Smith Leads Marshall University’s Spring 2023 Commencement


On Saturday, April 29, Marshall University celebrated its 2023 spring commencement, honoring and awarding the institution’s latest graduating class through two ceremonies held at Mountain Health Arena. Students walked the stage in recognition of their various achievements — from undergraduate to doctoral degrees — and celebrated the milestone that is degree completion while also reflecting on the moments that led to the present moment. This year’s spring commencement marked the second that Brad D. Smith has led as Marshall University’s president.


Four Organizations That Support the Environment While Boosting the Economy


For decades, the West Virginia economy depended on the coal industry. But as the world’s approach to energy has shifted, so has West Virginia’s story and role. Recent years have seen the state’s energy market moving in the direction of a low-carbon future. As part of this change, new businesses and organizations across the state are blazing paths, driving economic development through nature-based initiatives. In turn, these new entities are helping to create jobs in impoverished areas while raising awareness for environmental issues and solutions.


Brad D. Smith and Christian Spears Deliver Keynote Address at PACnet ‘23 Conference


President of Marshall University, Brad D. Smith, and Marshall Athletic Director, Christian Spears, delivered a keynote address at PACnet ‘23 on “Lessons in Leadership.” The four-day conference was hosted by software company Paciolan, in Huntington Beach, California. The event’s theme was “Simplifying Success,” and aimed to inspire and empower attendees. Brad and Christian’s keynote address was guided by moderator Sarah Davis, Senior Vice President of the University Partnership Group at Learfield, who initiated discussion on topics such as shifting how your team thinks and taking care of people in order to win on multiple levels.


Reflecting on Brad D. Smith’s First Year as Marshall University’s President


Brad D. Smith was elected as President of Marshall University in October 2021 and stepped into the role in January 2022. After nine months in office, Brad was officially installed as the 38th president during a ceremony on September 16, 2022. In the year since Brad D. Smith has come into his presidential role at Marshall, the school has undertaken numerous initiatives to drive the university and its students forward. Brad’s work has been centered around Marshall’s vision statement, which is to “inspire learning and creativity that ignites the mind, nurtures the spirit and fulfills the promise of a better future.”


Wing 2 Wing Foundation: Reflecting on 2022 and Looking Ahead to 2023


In 2019, Brad D. Smith and his wife, Alys Smith, co-founded the Wing 2 Wing Foundation to uplift West Virginia by supporting accessible education, advancing entrepreneurial interest and conserving Appalachia’s natural resources. The past year has been particularly successful as the foundation has seen growth across its own assets as well as contributed to growth in the state at large.


Brad. D. Smith Moderates Fireside Chat With Bill Gates and Senator Joe Manchin


On January 9, 2023, Bill Gates, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, visited Charleston, West Virginia to discuss the future of the energy industry in the state. While in Charleston, Gates joined West Virginia Senator, Joe Manchin, for a fireside chat on energy innovations. The chat was hosted at the Clay Center and was moderated by Marshall University President, Brad D. Smith. With a personal stake in the future of Appalachia, Brad brought a unique perspective as moderator to the discussion of West Virginia’s role in the future of energy.


Brad D. Smith Shares the Top 6 Activities to Do this Winter in West Virginia


As the colder months roll in, many of us retreat indoors for the season. While you may stay warm in your home, there’s a host of adventures to delve into this winter in West Virginia. Bundle up, get outside and explore these activities and destinations below.


Sheryl Sandberg Visits Marshall University


Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta (formerly Facebook), sat down with Marshall University President Brad D. Smith while visiting the university to speak on her story of perseverance and resilience in the face of life’s greatest challenges.


Tips for Finishing the Semester Strong


As the fall semester at Marshall University and other institutions come to a close and exams begin, it’s time to make the last few weeks count. Undergrad and graduate students alike can be stressed and face more academic challenges during this last-minute push. Read on for advice from Marshall University President Brad D. Smith on finishing the semester on a high note.


Top Remote Workforce Programs in America


The pandemic has instituted many changes in America, one being the shift towards more long-term remote work opportunities. Many people who previously worked in an office have reported feeling just as or more productive in their remote working space. What’s more, according to research, remote teams are here to stay with an expected 25% of all North American professional jobs being remote by 2023.


Brad D. Smith Discusses The Rising Number of West Virginia Startups


West Virginia is an opportune place for startups to thrive. From the eastern panhandle to southern West Virginia, the Mountain State has seen over 4,300 new businesses formed since 2010, along with a nearly 50% increase in business registrations since 2018 alone. Additionally, the West Virginia government has taken steps to encourage entrepreneurship in the state.


10 Fall Activities to Enjoy in West Virginia


Something about the fall season inspires a sense of adventure. It’s a great time to get out and about, visiting new places and experiencing new things. Known for its beautiful outdoor scenery and recreational activities, West Virginia makes for an optimal fall destination.


Brad. D. Smith Kicks Off the 2022–2023 Academic Year at Marshall University


Every year, Marshall University receives freshman students during its Week of Welcome (WoW). The purpose of the program is to give new students the opportunity to acclimate to the campus, college life and all things Marshall before the upperclassmen arrive. It is an immersive experience designed to educate students on important available resources, and help them become familiar with the school’s academic expectations and traditions.


Brad. D. Smith Shares Five Reasons to Move to West Virginia


“I’m a boy from a small town in West Virginia who spent twenty two years dreaming of a way out and every day since looking for a way home,” Brad told Good Morning America on October 22, 2021. The segment focused on Ascend West Virginia — an initiative Brad started alongside his wife Alys, the West Virginia Department of Tourism and West Virginia University to encourage remote workers to relocate to the Mountain State.


Brad D. Smith Shares Tips on Balancing Work and Wellness Based on His Own Experiences


The last two years have seen a monumental shift in the work environment. With the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic came a great migration — many employees packed up their desks and set up shop at home, diving headfirst into a professional ecosystem that the world had not yet seen before. Now, in 2022, as the pandemic slowly eases on, life as we once knew it has begun to return. But the work life and culture of the past has not. Many have chosen to either remain at home permanently or opt for a hybrid work environment: commuting to the office occasionally, rather than every day.


Brad D. Smith on Leadership in the Modern Work Environment and His Recent Career Shift


Considering his notable tenure as a business leader in Silicon Valley, followers of Brad D. Smith’s professional career may have been surprised to see his path take a new direction in late 2021, leading him away from business and into academia. In January 2022, Brad was no longer just the former Intuit executive or the co-founder of a nonprofit. In addition to business and philanthropy, his professional pursuits were now taking him into the world of higher education, as the President of Marshall University.


Brad D. Smith Recaps His 100-Day Listening Tour as Marshall University’s President


On January 1, 2022, Brad D. Smith stepped into a role distinct from the various experiences that had previously defined him as a business leader. Just recently the executive chairman of Intuit, a software company located in Silicon Valley, Brad pivoted to a new sector entirely: academia. Brad entered his new position as the President of Marshall University with the tenacity, humble leadership and strategic mind that has traditionally defined his career.


Brad D. Smith’s Perspective on Economic Developments in West Virginia


This year has already been an exciting one for economic development in West Virginia. In early January 2022, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced three pieces of significant economic news, marking what could be a turning point for the state’s economy and narrative.


Marshall University Honors Alys and Brad D. Smith and Others at Awards Banquet


Marshall University and the Marshall University Alumni Association (MUAA) honored many notable alumni at the 83rd Alumni Awards Banquet on April 9. Brad D. Smith was honored with the university’s Distinguished Alumnus award while, Alys Smith, was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award. The Distinguished Alumnus award and the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award are two of the university’s highest honors.


Brad D. Smith Speaks to His New Role as President of Marshall University


“I am being called to follow my purpose,” Brad wrote in an inspired LinkedIn post on November 16, 2021. The purpose to which Brad is referring? Two and a half weeks prior to the post, on the morning of October 28, 2021, it was announced during a Marshall University Board of Governors meeting that Brad D. Smith had been selected as Marshall University’s 38th president.


Brad D. Smith Shares His Favorite Leadership Lessons from Ted Lasso


When you think about career development, personal growth or leadership, your mind might automatically jump to thoughts of college courses, training seminars or management books. But the truth is, inspiring leadership lessons don’t have to come from an online course complete with a downloadable certificate, or from pages that are catalogued under 303.34 (“leadership”) in the Dewey Decimal System.


Engaging Youth Outdoors with the Science Adventure School


One of the driving goals behind the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC) is to expand outdoor educational opportunities. This means helping kids step away from screens and inspiring them to get outdoors, instead. At the OEDC, we know just how much West Virginia’s great outdoors has to offer and we want our state’s youth to know and appreciate it too!


Brad D. Smith Discusses Ascend West Virginia on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Program


On May 11, 2021, on an NPR “All Things Considered” segment titled “Pennies From (Almost) Heaven: Get Paid To Move To West Virginia,” hosts Alisa Chang and Mary Louise Kelly discussed Brad D. Smith’s Ascend West Virginia program. The episode included some recorded quotes from Brad, as well as quotes from Danny Twilley from West Virginia University, Assistant Dean of the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative.


Discussing the Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative with Positively West Virginia Podcast


On April 9, 2021, Danny Twilley and Paris Winfrey appeared on the Positively West Virginia podcast to discuss the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC) with co-hosts Jim Matuga and Frank Vitale. Danny is the Associate Dean for the OEDC and Paris is the Program Coordinator. Both individuals were excited to share the OEDC story with Positively West Virginia – a podcast that prides itself on equipping small business owners and entrepreneurs with tools they need to succeed in West Virginia – and its listeners.


Recent Wing 2 Wing Foundation Activities


The Wing 2 Wing Foundation focuses on supporting accessible education to instill capabilities and skills needed to participate and compete in the digital world. Wing 2 Wing primarily operates in the Appalachian Region, where technological changes have created upheavals in the social and work lives of residents and youth.


Brad Shares His West Virginia Roots


On June 3rd, 2021, Brad D. Smith appeared on the the Mountaineer Media Podcast, a podcast that connects West Virginians by sharing stories and interviewing leaders. Smith, a native of West Virginia, discussed his roots and Ascend West Virginia, a remote worker initiative he is spearheading. Brad also explained how West Virginia’s unique culture guided his career path, and how he's working to help the state become an entrepreneurial force.


Brad D. Smith Talks About Agility, The Most In-Demand Skill


I’m often asked what skill, experience or attribute I find most important in today’s fast-changing environment. Admittedly, my answers have evolved over the past 35 years of my professional career. Looking back, it has become clear that one skill stands the test of time, and I believe will be increasingly in-demand as we push ahead in the 21st Century. That skill is agility.


Brad D. Smith Delivers Special Commencement Speech for UVA Wise


The graduating class of 2020 experienced a variety of challenges as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. From stay-at-home orders and having classes interrupted, to cancelled spring break plans and virtual graduation, this group of students had to overcome various hurdles as they graduated and pursued future endeavors. To honor them, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise held an in-person commencement ceremony on May 9, 2021, at Carl Smith Stadium. Brad D. Smith was a part of this special ceremony, where he delivered the commencement address via video to the graduating class.


Brad D. Smith Participates in Beyond The Cloud Discussion


On March 17, 2021, Brad D. Smith participated in the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative’s Focus Forward event. The event focused on the National Weather Service’s available data that could benefit innovators and businesses. Focus Forward aims to bring together business, education and government leaders to discuss forward-thinking ideas and how to implement them in West Virginia.


Brad D. Smith Keynotes The Virtual 3 Steps to StartUp Venture Fair


On March 9-10, 2021, the virtual 3 Steps to StartUp Venture Fair featured experienced investors, innovators and entrepreneurs who offered advice on starting a business and attracting investors.


The Power of Storytelling to Build a Coalition of Minds, Hearts and Hands


Shaping culture, catalyzing change and building coalitions of the willing share one thing in common – they are the outcomes of successful storytelling. A leader’s ability to organize details that create an emotional arc and result in visible progress and change in the receiver(s) is the most under-rated tool in a leader’s toolbox.


Tech Leaders Hopeful For West Virginia’s Future Economy


When you think of technology companies and revolutionary innovation, West Virginia likely isn’t the hub that pops into your mind. That could all change in the future; at least according to several optimistic West Virginia tech experts. In an article published by the State Journal, Anne Barth, TechConnect Executive Director, and Jim Estep, President and CEO of the High Technology Foundation in Fairmount, shared their thoughts on some big changes that will impact West Virginia’s role in the tech industry.


Remote Worker Initiative Launched in West Virginia


In October 2020, Alys and Brad D. Smith—through their Wing 2 Wing Foundation—donated $25 million to West Virginia University to develop the Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC). The OEDC was created to leverage the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities to stimulate the economy and improve the overall quality of life in West Virginia. As part of this program, a remote worker initiative called Ascend WV was created, and, as of Monday, April 12, 2021, interested candidates can apply. In the United States there are now more than 4 million workers able to work from wherever they want. West Virginia is hoping to capture their attention and introduce them to the natural beauty of the area.


Brad Discusses His Unique Approach to Leadership


Brad’s journey to becoming one of the most successful Silicon Valley CEOs wasn’t without challenges, but those challenges molded him into the leader he is today. In a December interview with Investor’s Business Daily, Brad discussed his past experiences and how they have shaped his leadership style.


Brad D. Smith Talks About Leadership Lessons and His Path to Silicon Valley


On January 28, 2021, Brad D. Smith virtually joined Rebecca Fannin to discuss lessons he has learned as Intuit’s former CEO and now executive chairman. In the session, Brad breaks down his five principles of leadership, as well as how his humble beginnings in West Virginia made him who he is today. The show featured questions from Fannin, as well as real-time questions from the virtual audience. After discussing leadership, Brad spoke on the importance of his home state, West Virginia, in making him the man and leader he is today.


Brad D. Smith Delivers a Message of Resilience During Charleston Area Alliance’s Celebration 2020


On December 3, 2020, Intuit’s chairman Brad D. Smith virtually joined the Charleston Area Alliance’s webinar “Celebration 2020: Trailblazing the Future of the Kanawha Valley.” The event celebrated innovation in the Mountain State and offered a look forward at economic development opportunities and entrepreneurship in the region. As the event’s keynote speaker, Brad spoke about West Virginia’s opportunity to lean into new trends in work and education, and investments he and his wife are making in the state.


Brad D. Smith and John Chambers Join Forces In West Virginia


For the Fall 2020 issue of West Virginia Executive Magazine, editor-in-chief Samantha Cart wrote about two business leaders with big plans for fostering economic opportunities in the Mountain State. The article featured Brad D. Smith and John Chambers, JC2 Ventures CEO, and explored the work both leaders are doing to improve the communities that raised them. In 2018, just a day after Brad and his wife, Alys, donated $25 million to the Marshall University Lewis College of Business, West Virginia University released a statement that John Chambers had made substantial donations to higher education as well.


Leading a Company Through Self-Disruption


“Predictions are difficult, especially about the future.” That is one of the many mind-benders attributed to the great Yogi Berra. However, one prediction has proven to be more certain by the hour – rivals are disrupting market leaders at a pace that is accelerating. Research published in an article by the scholar Mark Perry affirmed that “nearly 9 of every 10 Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are now gone, merged, or contracted, demonstrating that there’s been a lot of market disruption, churning, and creative destruction over the last six decades.”


Brad Moderates Marshall University’s Third CEO Panel With Chris Gardner and Shellye Archambeau


The Lewis College of Business and its Brad D. Smith Schools of Business at Marshall University hosted its third CEO Panel discussion on March 3, 2021. The panel is part of the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series and started in 2018 as the highest-profile community event of the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business. The Dean’s Distinguished Speaker series offers a rich and vibrant experience to Marshall University students and various other stakeholders as they learn from renowned c-suite executives, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and industry leaders about business successes, effective leadership and the future of work.


The Five Principles of Leadership: Principle #5 is PAY-IT-FORWARD


In an earlier post, I shared a definition of leadership that I believe best articulates what is required for leaders to succeed in the fast-moving 21st Century. In doing so, I foreshadowed a framework derived from more than three decades of benchmarking, learning, applying and adapting. I call it “The Five Principles Leadership” – Potential, Purpose, People, Playbook, Pay-It-Forward, and committed to devoting the next five articles to diving deep into each of these “P’s”, sharing lessons learned, best practices and pragmatic tips for implementing the model in our daily leadership habits and organizations.


Brad D. Smith Attends Marshall University’s #WVSolutions Seekers Student Leadership Conference


On November 20th, Brad D. Smith joined Marshall University’s president, Jerome A. Gilbert, for an interview as part of the first #WVSolutions Seekers Student Leadership Conference. The event invited West Virginia high school upperclassmen, college students, and individuals enrolled in professional training programs to engage with local leaders over Zoom. With a shared passion for giving back, West Virginia natives Brad and Gilbert encouraged students to learn about the Mountain State and make lasting connections with fellow attendees.


Brad D. Smith Visits West Virginia University to Inspire Future Leaders of the Digital Workforce


Jake Stump, director of research communications at West Virginia University, recently wrote an article in WVU’s Business Magazine about Brad D. Smith’s visit to campus in March of 2020. Before the COVID-19 pandemic fully hit the U.S., Stump joined faculty, staff, and students in welcoming Brad by giving him a tour of the WVU Innovation Hub. They asked the chairman of Intuit and SurveyMonkey board member about his personal relationship to West Virginia and his plans for improving professional and economic opportunities in Appalachia.


The Five Principles Leadership: Principle #4 is PLAYBOOK


The importance of playbook was instilled in me at an early age when I enrolled as a martial arts student. To progress from the beginner rank of white belt to gold belt, I was expected to complete a series of skill tests which included breaking a board with my hand. Prior to enrolling in the class, I had many childhood memories of attempting to break sticks and other objects with my hand, only to experience intense pain and an unbreakable object. This time would be different, thanks to the introduction of a playbook.


The Five Principles of Leadership: Principle #3 is PEOPLE


One of the best examples of getting this right was the 1980 U.S Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. When college coach Herb Brooks was hired to helm the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, he set out to assemble a team of college all-stars with a singular goal of uniting his squad against a common foe, the heavily-favored Soviet team. As the story goes, Brooks invited the top players in the country to try-out for the team, and in an unexpectedly short period of time, made his selection.


Brad D. Smith Honored By WV Chamber of Commerce’s Debut Magazine


In a recent issue of Chamber, Jack Houvouras, publisher of West Virginia Chamber and Huntington Quarterly magazines, wrote a compelling article about the life and career of Brad D. Smith. Inspired by Brad and his wife, Alys Smith’s recent $25 million donation to West Virginia University, Houvouras explores Brad’s personal and professional journeys to get a clearer understanding of the former Intuit CEO’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit.


The Five Principles of Leadership: Principle #2 is PURPOSE


In an earlier post, I shared a definition of leadership that I believe best articulates what is required for leaders to succeed in the fast-moving 21st Century. I foreshadowed a framework derived from more than three decades of benchmarking, learning, applying and adapting. I call it “The Five Principles of Leadership” – Potential, Purpose, People, Playbook, Pay-It-Forward, and committed to devoting the next five articles to diving deep into each of these “P’s”, sharing lessons learned, best practices and pragmatic tips for implementing the model in our daily leadership habits and organizations.


Brad D. Smith Honored as WVU December 2020 Commencement Speaker


West Virginia University (WVU) recently invited Brad D. Smith, a native of Kenova, WV, to take part in their December 2020 graduating class’s celebration. As the remote event’s commencement speaker, Brad spoke to the students’ opportunity to thrive despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. He described how their experiences adapting to current adversity can instill some of the most important professional skills available: adaptability, resilience, and purpose.


The Five Principles of Leadership: Principle #1 is POTENTIAL


In my most recent post, I shared a definition of leadership that I believe best articulates what is required for leaders to succeed in the fast-moving 21st Century. In the article, I deconstructed the various attributes necessary for a leader to role model “the ability to inspire others to achieve shared objectives.” In doing so, I foreshadowed a framework derived from more than three decades of benchmarking, learning, applying and adapting to bring it to life.


The Five Principles of Leadership: Defining Leadership


Since childhood, I’ve been enamored by those who seemed to run towards danger, guide others to safety or success, and deflect any accolades that came their way. As a boy, that was my definition of leadership. Over the years, many articles, books and presentations have been published that seek to define and decode the essence of successful leadership. While their numbers surpass my ability to read or listen to them all, I will confess that I’ve devoted a significant portion of my life to doing so.


West Virginia Chamber Fireside Chat with Brad D. Smith


On September 9, 2020, Brad D. Smith sat down for a Q&A session with writer and fellow Marshall University alumnus, Jack Houvouras, for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Virtual Business Summit Series. Brad spoke about his personal and professional reasons for transitioning from Intuit’s CEO, including his desire to seek out his next exciting life challenge along with his wife, Alys.


Alys and Brad D. Smith: Creating An Outdoor Economic Collaborative


Brad D. Smith, executive chairman of Intuit, and his wife, Alys, recently donated $25 million dollars to West Virginia University to support groundbreaking new programs that improve the state’s economy, establish first-rate recreational infrastructure, and improve access to opportunities to explore and learn in nature.


Leading Through A Crisis: Bad Times, Followed By Good Reflection, Lead to Great Opportunity


The year 2020 has challenged us in ways that we could not predict, requiring us to improvise and adapt along the way. As we’ve experimented our way from day to day, many individuals have shared their reflections and best practices for navigating through a crisis. In this article, I will attempt to codify/share the key leadership lessons I have embraced so that bad times, followed by good reflection, can lead to great opportunity.


Wing 2 Wing Foundation Website Launch


After careful development, Intuit’s executive chairman Brad D. Smith and his team are proud to announce the launch of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation website. Co-founded by Brad and his wife, Alys Smith, the Foundation strives to support human potential and growth with guidance through philanthropy and experienced leadership. By establishing an online presence, the Wing 2 Wing Foundation can more effectively connect people and fulfill its mission to bring greater educational, entrepreneurial, and environmental opportunities to those underserved regions that need it most.


Moves The Needle & Brad D. Smith Podcast Recap


In a recent interview with Moves The Needle, Brad D. Smith shares his experience as a leader, educator, and executive. Brad speaks about what an empathic and productive leader looks like for businesses and beyond. With a rich personal history of meeting challenges in the workplace and changing executive roles, he talks about what makes a leader effective when helping produce innovation and while cultivating these skills in others.


Brad D. Smith Honored With 2020 Champion of Children Award


On October 6, 2020, West Virginia KIDS COUNT (WVKC) honored Brad D. Smith with the Champion of Children Award for his ongoing commitment to developing education-based and economic opportunities within the mountain state. WVKC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with over 30 years of experience meeting the needs of children and families. It is a member of the larger KIDS COUNT network with offices nationwide.


Brad D. Smith & HERD 20-20 Webinar Recap


In a recent Q&A interview with Marshall University as part of the HERD 20-20 webinar series, Brad D. Smith provides his perspective as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and education-focused business leader. Brad offers his insight on multiple topics related to large and small businesses surviving and prospering during the pandemic, and he discusses how other corporate leaders are developing and deploying strategies for effective recovery.


Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood – A case study for today’s leaders


In today’s increasingly chaotic and unpredictable world, a premium is being placed on the attributes and actions of our leaders. While some may argue that this is not a new expectation, the reality is that 2020 has brought an unanticipated share of challenges that have tested new and seasoned leaders in ways that could have never been imagined.


How to Discover Your Why: What I Learned From My Transition From CEO

10/21/2019 - LinkedIn Article

After stepping down from eleven years as Intuit’s CEO, Brad D. Smith realized that his decision, while the right choice, left him feeling uncertain about his own life’s next mission. Smith consulted with other successful industry leaders who had experience redefining their focuses and discovered that one of his biggest personal values was championing underserved and overlooked individuals and families.


Life's Most Important Lesson Learned at a Young Age

06/28/2018 - LinkedIn Article

Since serving on Intuit’s diversity council almost 20 years ago, Brad D. Smith always arrives at the same conclusion about the significance of diversity and inclusion: the true power of our differences happens below the surface of what we most easily observe about others.


Three Ways to Prepare the Next Generation for the Future

05/21/2018 - LinkedIn Article

No one achieves greatness on their own, and as a community-driven business leader, Brad D. Smith has had the privilege of learning from the employees and customers of the future.


Three Ways Being a Parent Made Me a Better Leader

03/02/2018 - LinkedIn Article

Reflecting back on raising children, it has become clear to Brad D. Smith that many of the lessons that he's learned from being a parent apply equally to the work environment.


Interested in learning more
about Brad?