As President of Third Coast Interactive, Inc., (TCI) Ron D. Smith oversees strategic alliances with local, regional and national corporate partners at the Franklin, Tennessee-based company. Prior to Joining TCI, Ron D. Smith served as President of Reputation Advocate, Inc. His understanding of search engine optimization and the components required in building a comprehensive digital brand for both individuals and companies has positioned him to assist clients utilizing the Third Coast Interactive flagship service The Review Solution.
Ron D. Smith has been a proven leader in industries as disparate as brand and business management, music publishing, book publishing, and digital media. His previous ventures include management roles with start-up company Worthy Publishing, children’s entertainment firm Big Idea/Veggie Tales, and media production company Steelehouse Media Group.
A native of North Carolina, Ron D. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Trevecca Nazarene University. He began working with Nashville-based US Bankcard, a company that pioneered lower discount rates and independent credit card processing. At US Bankcard, Ron D. Smith managed numerous telemarketing programs for the American Heart Association before tackling his own independent projects in 1990.
Over the next decade, Ron D. Smith laid the foundation through his business relationships and involvment in direct marketing, digital printing, entertainment enterprises and a number of other services. Ron D. Smith helped launch the successful artist management and music-publishing firm McSpadden-Smith Music, which later partnered with production company Broadway Video. Broadway Video is a producer of hit television programs (Saturday Night Live) and movies (Tommy Boy).
At McSpadden-Smith, Ron D. Smith acted as a pivotal contact for all retail partnership and helped Blockbuster Music’s Christian music sales more than triple in a 12-month period. Under Smith’s leadership, Broadway Video and McSpadden-Smith were eventually sold in 1996 to Golden Books Family Entertainment. Predicting the market’s future, Ron D. Smith led an investor group in the acquisition of the music company and later positioned it for sale to national conglomerate Music and Media International.
Artists who drew from the company’s catalog included Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Anita Baker and Faith Hill. When Ron D. Smith and his partner sold McSpadden-Smith, the catalog contained more than 700 songs recorded by major country, pop and Christian artists.
Over the past decade, Ron D. Smith has continued to diversify his professional interests. He enabled the acquisition of Howard Publishing to Simon & Schuster, at $10 million. Ron D. Smith currently serves as a consultant with Classic Media, owner of Big Idea/Veggie Tales.
Ron D. Smith has also acted as a consultant for a number of leading companies including Random House and Simon & Schuster. His book publishing firm Freeman-Smith has developed and sold in excess of 500 titles and more than 12 million units. Freeman-Smith sells products through retailers such as Lifeway, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Barnes & Noble and several others. In 2011, Worthy Publishing acquired Freeman-Smith to create a larger presence in the book publishing industry.
A devoted family man, Ron D. Smith and his wife Michelle have been married for over 20 years. Along with their three children, the couple enjoys traveling and attending sporting events throughout Tennessee. Ron D. Smith and his family also volunteer regularly with Danita’s Children in Haiti, a non-profit organization that cares for and rescues orphaned children while attending to their physical, emotional, spiritual and academic needs.