Steve Smith, Partner
Steve brings 25 years of business leadership experience to governmental, corporate and non-profit clients, including organizational management, business development, and fiscal management. He is adept at initiating and cultivating successful partnerships and delivering results. He provides counsel to governmental, corporate and non-profit organizations in the areas of public affairs strategy, relationship development, education, and economic development. He leads Pendleton’s project review teams and has authored economic analysis reports for some of Georgia’s largest counties.
Prior to joining Pendleton, his leadership roles have included serving as chief of staff for the Fulton County Schools. In this role, he directed daily operations of the superintendent’s office and directed communications and legislative departments of the $1.5 billion /97,000 student organization. Also, he served as the associate superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools (APS), and had executive control and direct oversight responsibility for all aspects of the $600MM day-to-day operations of the district from 2011-2014. As the second ranking executive in the district, he led the turnaround and rebuilding of the school district in the aftermath of a national scandal involving cheating on state standardized tests. Before his APS tenure, Steve was vice president of corporate responsibility & governmental affairs for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.). He served as the company’s liaison to elected officials and community leaders. Steve also directed the funding of community nonprofit organizations through TBS, Inc.’s corporate philanthropy program.
Steve’s leadership experience ranges from education, marketing and communications, work force development to business development and fiscal management. Before joining TBS, Inc., Steve was director of administrative services for Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB). He managed the daily operations for the 200-plus employees of the digital broadcasting company by directing procurement and purchasing, security, corporate fleet, space allocation and marketing.
Steve is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia. He is a founding investor and board member of Atlantic Capital Bank, located in Buckhead. Steve serves (or has served) on the board of directors for the following organizations: Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (past chair), Georgia Chamber of Commerce (past vice president, membership), 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, University of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees, University of Georgia Alumni Association, and the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA (immediate past chair). He has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Independent Redistricting Task Force, and was a mayoral appointment to the Atlanta Arts & Cultural Funding Task Force.
In 2010, Steve completed the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Terry College. The program included an international residency to Vietnam and China. In addition to his MBA, Steve earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in English education from UGA.