THIS MONTH'S BULLS EYE FEATURE: Albert E. Smith
Seventy-one year old Haddonfield resident and CPA Albert E. Smith started in business as a Management Trainee at Camden Trust Co., where his initial assignment was as a teller. He later joined Fidelity Bank and Trust Company in Pennsauken, as Comptroller, and worked his way up to Executive VP.
After 20 years in banking, he joined Canon Financial Services, as President, and then after a 22 year career there, he retired in 2007. A member of the Hsopital Board since 1986, Smith became Chairman of the Board in 2007, where he served for six years.
Smith has moved on to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kennedy Health, a position he assume on January 1st of this year. Kennedy has 4,600 associates and its 2014 revenue was $540 million.
When asked where he envisions Kennedy in five years, Smith’s answer is “Doing great things as an integral part of a healthcare conglomerate.”
Smith’s family was originally from Camden and his father, Albert, was “a printer, hard worker, Church vestryman, and Master of his Masonic Lodge,” while his mother, Marguerite, worked as a legal secretary and was, Smith recalls, ”a loving, homemaker.”
He has one sibling, brother Gary, who is four years younger and works as a Fiber Optics Engineer at Comcast.
Smith married Meral in 1978 and they have one daughter, Allison, who, is 23 and a senior at Rutgers-Camden, where she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Marketing.
Smith is, of course, a Rutgers grad himself, with a major in and Accounting and a minor in Finance.
He describes his business philosophy this way: “Make a plan, work the plan, set objectives very carefully - and incentivize employees to accomplish those objectives.”
Smith personal motto is “If you can’t measure, it you can’t manage it,” so it’s no surprise the he measures success “by results.”
Self described as “a relentless pursuer of excellence,” Smith says his toughest decision was to leave banking and remembers the late Richard Abdill, then-President of Fidelity Bank, as his mentor, boss, and friend. “He taught me to play out our plans on paper and though discussion before making any moves,” Smith explains.
The honor or award of which he is most proud is that both he and his wife were recognized by Rutgers-Camden as “One of 50 Finest” at the school’s 50th Anniversary celebration. “Both of us were also recognized as two of the “Top Ten Outstanding Alumnus” of the School of Business at the same celebration. My wife, I should mention, attended Rutgers at night for 10 years, while working full time. She earned her Accounting degree, went on to get her CPA, and was a founder of two title companies.”
Smith’s favorite person is Kennedy President & CEO Joe Devine because “he seems to have all the needed skills to succeed in life and in business—he’s got a great personality, he’s a strong leader, and he’s a good person.”
And the person Smith most admires is Thomas Jefferson—because he was “a true Renaissance man and a founding father of our country.”
And, finally, his epitaph (as he would like it to be written): “He was always tough, but fair.”