Hugh Smith Jr.
Hugh McKinley Smith, Jr. is originally from Seaside in the Monterey Peninsula of Northern California and is a golfer at heart. His home was about 5-10 minutes from Pebble Beach Golf Club, where he was lucky enough to play, practice and caddie as a young man. Smith's father picked up the game while in the service and taught him. Needless to say, golf has been a major part of his life and it could be argued that the core values of the sport; honesty, integrity and sportsmanship, have contributed to the person he is today. Over the years Smith has stayed active in the community, participating at an early age in programs like the Boy Scouts of America, of which he is an Eagle Scout, like his father, brother and nephew.
Upon graduating high school as a top golf recruit, he arrived at Jackson State University on an academic and athletic scholarship in 1993. Five years later, he graduated with two degrees in both Business Finance and Business Management, touting the highest G.P.A. of any student-athlete. Smith also went on to win the National Minority College Golf Championship, becoming the best amateur minority golfer in the United States.
Since then he has worked in many aspects of business as an Executive, in both the corporate and non-profit arenas. Upon graduation and not pursuing to become a PGA Professional, Smith went on to work in Colorado as a Grants Manager for the United States Golf Association and then in New York for the Metropolitan Golf Association/Foundation, running their Foundation and then moving to their Tournament Department as the Assistant Director.
From there Smith relocated to Mississippi, where he was employed by the State of MS Division of Medicaid, initially as an Accountant/Auditor, but then as an Executive reporting directly to The Executive Director and Governor Haley Barbour. He was responsible for major projects and endeavors on behalf of the state and its beneficiaries to make their lives better while at the same time ensuring the Division’s financial stability.
Most recently, Smith was the Executive Director for the First Tee of Phoenix, non-profit organization that is made possible by the Phoenix Thunderbirds who coordinate the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale. Over his 10 year tenure, and with the support of his staff and the community, they grew to become the largest chapter of The First Tee impacting over 100,000 young people through regular programs at 14 locations, 180 school locations through the National School Program and special programs with allied organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs and Salvation Army.
Currently he is the Director of Regional Affairs of the Pacific Region of The First Tee. In Smith's role he works with chapters in CA, OR, WA, HI, and internationally, support their overall health and goal to achieve long term success by increasing the number of program locations, certifying participants, TARGET outreach, volunteers / mentors and financial resources – as well as developing relationships to support the growth of the National School Program and youth service program partner locations.
Smith's family enjoys residing in Arizona because of the good weather and people. He looks forward to playing when he has time, remaining a scratch golfer and staying active in his church, community and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.