Burt Smith has been present for every one of the 199 meetings of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Marketing Association since he became a member in 1994. After his 200th meeting on Thursday, Smith will celebrate 20 years of perfect attendance.
“It’s been an awfully good run, and I can’t thank AMA enough for the impact it has had on my career,” said Smith, a professor of marketing and management at Oklahoma Christian University and a business consultant. “AMA has provided me and my students with access to the sharpest minds in the state. I’ve really enjoyed showcasing OC and helping students land great jobs and internships.”
Given Smith’s service to AMA, it is only fitting that he would be the first local member to achieve perfect attendance over two decades. Smith was the youngest person named to AMA-OKC’s board in 1995, and he is a past president of the chapter, which received its first National Chapter Excellence Award under his leadership.
Just a few years ago, the chapter renamed its lifetime achievement award in Smith’s honor.
“Dr. Burt has been an integral part of AMA-OKC during the last 20 years,” said Stewart Law, an OC alumnus and the chapter’s president-elect and a research manager at Evolve Research. “Today, he still volunteers his time and expertise as a trusted advisor to the board and even gives a free copy of his book to every new member. As his former student, I can say that his passion for marketing knows no bounds.”
Smith made the decision to aim for 20 years of perfect attendance a few years ago, after realizing the goal was attainable, even if it meant adjusting his family vacations.
“I’ve always believed in ongoing professional service and the need to stay involved in the industry, especially as a past-president,” Smith said. “About five years ago, I realized I had not missed a meeting and decided to go for 20 years. I always appreciated those past-presidents who supported me during my presidency, so I've tried to play that role myself over the years. As long as they will have me, I’ll keep attending.”
“I would like to extend a ‘congratulations’ from everyone involved with AMA-OKC for Dr. Burt’s 20 years of involvement and support,” said current AMA-OKC chapter president Lindsey Funk, a marketing strategist at VI Marketing and Branding. “Dr. Burt is always willing to lend a helping hand or an encouraging word of advice to the board and the membership. We hope for many more years to come.”
In addition to teaching undergraduate marketing classes at OC, Smith is an advisor and professor in the MBA program. In 2009, he was honored with the Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching award. He co-founded OC’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association and serves as a sponsor.
Smith co-founded and now solely owns EMI Research Solutions, a market research consultancy, and has served clients such as Cox Communications, OG&E, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Subway and the Oklahoma City Zoo.
He was the first Oklahoman to earn the AMA’s Professional Certified Marketer designation. He is one of less than 1,600 professionals worldwide to hold the Sales and Marketing Executive International’s Certified Marketing Executive designation, and he also holds a Certified Quality Manager designation from the American Society for Quality. Smith is the only professional in the world to hold these designations as well as a doctorate.
Smith has served on the board of directors of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and was the certification chair for the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Sales and Marketing Executives International. He was also named in the Journal Record’s Centennial Class of Achievers Under 40, as well as the inaugural class of Business OKC’s 40 Under 40.
Smith became an auctioneer at 17 to fund his college education. He was the 2002 Oklahoma State Champion Auctioneer and has raised more than $1.3 million for charities across Oklahoma and Texas.
In 2007, Smith published his first book, “The Great Game of Networking,” and he regularly blogs at www.drBURT.com. He is also a past-president and two-time member of the year for the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Speakers Association. Smith resides in Edmond with his wife, Terri, whom he met through AMA, and his son, Dalton.