Memphis, TN—Richard W. Smith, the president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks, has been named Chairman of the board for the Greater Memphis Chamber, by a unanimous vote of his fellow directors. The position, which is a two year term, takes effect on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at the Chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon at The Peabody Memphis. As Chairman of the Board, Smith is charged with upholding the mission of the Chamber and supporting its economic development efforts. Smith fills the position of outgoing Chairman, Carolyn Hardy, president & CEO of Chism Hardy Investments.
“I look forward to serving as Chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors over the next two years. The Chamber board is made up of Memphians who care very deeply about the future of Memphis. My vision as Chairman will be to focus on creating the most business-friendly environment possible, one that will help bring great jobs and investment to our community, as well as continue the momentum Carolyn has created in providing economic growth for all,” said Smith.
“Our efforts in the area of private sector supplier diversity, improving the number of contracts awarded to minority and women owned businesses, in conjunction with the efforts of the City of Memphis on the public sector side, have moved the needle in the right direction for the first time in a long time. We still have more work to do, and we remain committed to ensuring that the economic pie is distributed more evenly. Now, however, the focus turns to growing that pie as aggressively as possible, for everyone.”
Smith has been engaged with the Chamber over the years serving on the board of directors and was one of the founding Co-Chairs of the Chairman’s Circle. Additionally, he helped lead as Co-Chair of the moon mission to create 1,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years which has successfully graduated into the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter).
“Richard has been instrumental in the Chamber’s efforts to create more opportunities for businesses around the world to invest here and to enhance the community for existing businesses. As Chairman, he will help strengthen Memphis’ position as an attractive place for talent and businesses,” said Phil Trenary, president & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber.
As president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., Smith is responsible for ensuring FedEx Trade Networks, an international integrated freight forwarder, delivers tailored solutions to guide businesses of all sizes and continues being a leading provider of global transportation services, value-added logistics solutions, and comprehensive customs brokerage services.
Growing up alongside the company in Memphis, Smith developed a deep passion and understanding of the valuable role logistics serves in connecting people and goods, and creating economic growth. Smith joined FedEx Services in 2005 as a senior solutions analyst. In 2007, he became a manager at FedEx SupplyChain Solutions. He was promoted to managing director of Life Sciences & Specialty Services at FedEx Express in 2009 and was named vice president of Global Trade Services in April 2014.
Most recently, he held the position of senior vice president of Global Trade and Specialty Services. Smith earned his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He serves on the following boards: the Greater Memphis Chamber and its Chairman’s Circle, Launch Tennessee, and the Coalition of Services Industries.
For more than 175 years, the Greater Memphis Chamber has been the lead economic development organization for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.