Stephen V. Smith

Strategic Thinker & Communicator helping build strong businesses, organizations, communities

Thanks for stopping by! Take a moment to tell me about yourself.

Who Am I?

Husband. Father. Pawpaw.
Small Business Owner.
Rare Disease Advocate.


I Will Do A New Thing

Change is a constant, but sometimes we are handed change so significant that it alters the trajectory of our lives. This happened to me (twice0 in the past decade. I'm passionate about helping others — particularly small business owners — navigate their own journeys and learn to embrace their new thing.


I've done some interesting things in my life.

I photographed a murderer at the crime scene years before he was arrested and convicted.I stood in a dilapidated guard shack atop a wall overlooking the prison yard where James Earl Ray escaped.I interviewed a WWII Flying Tiger who had his original pilot’s license that was signed by Orville Wright.I helped a documentary filmmaker dig up a dead cow at night in the snow to collect tissue samples for a mutilation investigation.I stood at the confluence of two major rivers for 2 minutes and 21 seconds of totality during a solar eclipse.I drove through the underground tunnel from Detroit into Canada without a passport.I shared my faith with men on death row in Delaware.I met Miss Baker, one of the monkeys who flew into space for NASA (see photo).I kissed a camel (we both kept our mouths closed).I sat at Colonel Sanders’ desk.I helped Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Louvin buy a shovel.I spent an afternoon interviewing Mike Wolfe of American Pickers.I spent 12 days on a ventilator in 2015 — then 4 more in 2023.I ghostwrote editorials for a cat.I videoed the formation of an EF5 tornado.I photographed a bridge as it exploded, unaware of the chunks of concrete flying over my head.But the most interesting thing I’ve done, by far, is to live life with my adorable and adoring wife, Michele, and our amazing and amazingly talented kids, Kayleigh and Lucas (and now Anna, his wife). We became grandparents in 2021, officially launching my true life’s work: Pawpaw.For more than three decades I’ve interviewed and written about people, each with their own unique stories to tell. Starting as a reporter in 1991, I wrote news and features for a rural newspaper as well as several ag publications. On New Year’s Day 1996, Michele and I launched our tiny communications company, an expansion of my freelance work. Over the next two decades, that company grew to a staff of 30 scattered across six states, serving clients from Texas to South Carolina, from Florida to Minnesota. We were named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. In 2020, we sold our business to a strategic acquirer based in Oregon; we continue to work with the combined companies to expand their impact across the entire country.This website acts as a hub of sorts to centralize several of my projects, interests, and writings. You will find links to past things, along with info about new initiatives that excite me. If anything interests you, reach out and say hello!

© 2024. Stephen V. Smith