For the second year in a row, the National Speakers Association honored Dr. Burt Smith as the Oklahoma Chapter’s Member of the Year.
This follows the American Marketing Association’s Oklahoma City chapter renaming its Lifetime Achievement Award after Smith, a professor of marketing and MBA advisor in Oklahoma Christian’s School of Business Administration. He received the organization’s only lifetime achievement award in 2008.
These awards reflect Smith’s servant leadership approach to his field and his commitment to helping his community. In 2011, Smith served as auctioneer (another of his many talents) to help raise more than $150,000 for injured Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery, a father of four facing significant medical bills, who unfortunately passed away in late spring.
OC MBA alumna Dee Patty, a former student of Smith’s who works for the police department, organized the “Taking Care of Our Own” benefit event.
“I remember Dr. Burt being so enthusiastic and excited about his work at OC that I looked more into the work he did outside the school. It was there I discovered he was also an auctioneer and worked some of the benefit auctions put on by actor Mark Harmon. I knew we needed to have him for our auction,” Patty said.
Patty has since been asked to be a consultant by other officers wishing to put fundraising events together for Officer Peery and other first responders injured in the line of duty in the metro area. She also has taken the “Taking Care of Our Own” name further to make it a nonprofit organization to continue to raise funds for first responders injured in the line of duty.
According to Smith, when people meet Chad, they were impressed with what an upbeat spirit he had despite what had happened.
“His ability to inspire has not been exaggerated,” Smith said. “I only visited with him for a little while because he had tons of folks lined up who wanted to thank him. In the short time I spent with him, I was impressed with what a powerful human being he was.”
Smith said he was also very proud of how his former student used her leadership and organizational skills to help make the event such a success.
“People have no idea how much planning, detail and just plain hard work goes into events like this,” Smith said. “Dee and her team can take great pride in the way they orchestrated these events. It really was something to behold.”