Katie Smith (’04) never thought she would give up the fast-paced life of morning radio, but when her father offered her a job in the family business, she accepted.
Smith initially loved the radio position, but as her ratings climbed higher, her personal life suffered. So she began searching for new jobs. When her father approached her with the offer, she thought she would give it a try and, 15 years later, she is still there!
PHC Restoration performs 24/7 emergency repair for water, fire, and storm damage as well as emergency mold removal. She did a little bit of everything and slowly moved up through the company, eventually assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer and majority owner of the company after her father retired. Smith’s goal for PHC Restoration is to be a positive influence on their customers and their community. “I took what was there,” Smith said, “and had to make it my own while honoring the foundation that made it great to begin with.”
To build a great company, Smith believes that establishing and adhering to core values “is the most important thing you can do for a company culture. You hire for values, fire for violating values, and live by core values. If you don’t establish them, other people will do it for you.”
As she transitioned into the position and discovered the challenge of implementing change in a company that had been doing things the same way for many years, Smith also learned the value of having a vision for the company moving forward. “I’ve learned that you can’t give up when it gets difficult, and once you think you’ve “arrived” it’s time to acknowledge how far you’ve come, give thanks, and keep going toward a renewed vision.”
Smith says her Campbell education gave her the foundation she needed to be an effective writer, speaker, and leader as the president and representative of her company, her employees, and an international trade association. “Even though I did not end up working in broadcasting, I have opportunities to use my training in journalism, interpersonal communication, and public relations almost every day.” Smith also gives thanks to Dr. Dean Farmer, who planted “many seeds of wisdom” that gave her the strength of character she needed as a leader to be in turns adaptable and unyielding.
As an alumnus, Smith is growing her Campbell network through Orange Owned. Orange Owned has allowed her to connect with alumni and fellow business owners, giving her a sense of belonging and reigniting her pride in being a Campbell graduate. “I am proud to have the Orange Owned badge on our fleet of vehicles and in our branded content. Small actions can bring awareness to Campbell University, which in turn makes our county, and my community, a better place to live. I believe in the power of connection,” Smith says.