Delmonize (Del) Smith has been appointed as the first director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s new Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE). The center, which is under the direction of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, is located downtown in the historic Rochester Savings Bank at 40 Franklin St.
“Del’s depth of entrepreneurial experience and research, along with his exceptional leadership skills, will be a tremendous asset to establishing CUE as a trusted center for creating an environment and culture for Rochester entrepreneurs to grow and thrive,” says Saunders College Dean dt ogilvie.
Smith, a professor of management, joined the faculty of RIT’s Saunders College in 2007. In addition to teaching courses in entrepreneurship and new venture development, Smith’s research has focused on the growth of minority-based businesses. He currently is president of FoxWise Technologies USA, a management consulting firm in Rochester that helps clients identify and integrate the best people and technology to improve performance.
Smith says he is excited about the opportunity to help establish the center as a downtown hub for entrepreneurial programs, research and development—and in furthering its mission to create an economic boost for area businesses and organizations while promoting new business ventures within the urban community.
“It is clear that the Rochester community has high expectations of CUE,” Smith says. “I see my role as executing on the vision that Dean ogilvie has relayed so that RIT meets, and even exceeds, these expectations.”
Last February, Smith organized a Town Hall meeting to capture critical feedback from the community through partnership and collaboration—in an effort to help develop a strategic plan and programming for the downtown facility that is expected to open this fall.
Smith has earned several degrees: Bachelor of Business Administration from Faulkner University, Master of Science in management from Troy University, and Ph.D. in management with a concentration in organizational behavior and management information systems from the University of Alabama.
He is an active board member of the Venture Jobs Foundation, Seneca Park Zoo and Discovery Charter School. Rochester Business Journal recently named him an honoree of their Forty Under 40 award, which recognizes professionals younger than 40 years of age for service in their jobs and in the community. Smith lives in Henrietta with his wife and four children.
Note: Last October, Rochester Institute of Technology became the recipient of the Rochester Savings Bank building in downtown Rochester due to the generosity of Amy and Robert Tait at Rochester Historic Ventures. The historical landmark will serve as the home of the new Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and be converted into a multi-use venue for other RIT activities.