Lewis R. Smoot Jr., senior vice president of Smoot Construction, received his bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology from The Ohio State University. His path to success, however, started earlier at Columbus State when he completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Construction Management.
Smoot first attended Columbus State from 1985-1989 and then returned to the college almost 20 years later for a second degree in Finance. In between, he kept more than busy managing and building the respected family construction business.
The young Smoot started as a laborer with the company in 1980. He put his construction career on hold to enlist in the U.S. Navy, serving as a senior corpsman in a neonatology unit.
"Columbus State allowed me to have a very hands-on learning experience taught by professors whom I got to know on a personal level."
When his Navy stint was over, Smoot returned to the family business, starting once again on the lowest rung of the ladder. From laborer, he worked his way up to project manager and then administrative manager. During this steady climb, Smoot frequently drew on what he had learned about construction, finance and business management at Columbus State. In 2011, Smoot was promoted to senior vice president of the firm.
The busy executive finds time to give back to the community as a member of the board of directors for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Capital Area Performing Arts (CAPA). Professionally, he has served as chairman of the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio.
Smoot is also a proud member of the Foundation Board of Columbus State Community College, having served two terms as the board president and chaired the successful Support What Works campaign.
"Columbus State allowed me to have a very hands-on learning experience taught by professors whom I got to know on a personal level," he says. Two professors in particular stick out in Smoot's memories: Dwight Bonner and Chuck Rinehart.
"These guys dedicated themselves to teaching construction to the next generation," Smoot adds. "I am very appreciative of all they have done for me, my brother and many members of our organization who have gone through the Construction Management program at Columbus State."