Kent Smith, a fifth generation sign-craftsman, is a Colorado native who grew up in Englewood, attended Colorado State College and the University of Northern Colorado with degrees in history, historical research, economics and geography. Smith Sign Studios was opened in 1928 by Kent’s father Howard. As a result, Kent has been continuously active in the sign business for over 60 years. Kent returned full time to the trade in 1972 (taking over for his father) after a few years in education. The Smith family sign and gilding heritage can also be traced to Howard’s father Abner, who was the sign and “varnish coach” painter for the Rio Grande Railroad. Abner gained his sign and gilding training in his own brother’s sign business and his father’s wheelwright business.
Kent is no stranger when it comes to civic engagement and volunteering. He’s had memberships or been involved in the Greeley/Weld Chamber of Commerce, National Civic League Vision Together Program, Weld Citizens Action Network, Greeley Urban Renewal Authority Citizens Board, Economic Development Action Partnership, Lions Club, Colorado Historical Society, Civil War Roundtable, National Railway Historical Society, Colorado Railroad Historical Foundation, Greeley Area Sign Association, Evans Area Chamber of Commerce, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce, Estes Area Lodging Association, League of Women Voters and --believe it or not-- other organizations, associations and committees.
He’s also a Certified Larimer SBDC Consultant. “The reason I decided to become a business consultant is that I’ve been doing so for over 50 years,” says Smith. “We encounter many businesses that need some direction and advice when we’re doing sign projects for them. I’ve learned businesses not only need help with signs but also with most of their other business operations.”
Kent joined the Estes Park EDC Board of Directors in 2015 and has since held the position of Chair on the Business Incubator Committee. “Everyone doing business in the Estes Valley should be attuned to economic development because it’s not about just helping a single business succeed. Every economic gain benefits everyone else. That’s why it’s important for me to be involved in the Estes Park EDC.” Kent also believes that economic development shouldn’t be left to chance. That’s why he believes supporting Estes Park EDC and engaging the issues is so important to our community.