Boardroom to Classroom: Career Executive Joins Economics and Business Faculty

Over his 38-year business career, Greg Smith has been a “builder and a fixer”—turning around failing departments or organizations and launching new ones. Now, the newest member of Gordon’s Economics and Business Department is fixing something else: a common misconception about marketing.

“There’s a common myth out there that if you’re in marketing, you’re gimmicky or perhaps even dishonest, unprincipled,” says the associate professor in the practice of business and marketing. “We have to break that myth.”

“It’s a huge value to people,” Smith says, “connecting what people do with what they need or want. Whether you’re launching a new product or trying to raise funds to offer services to people in need, nothing moves without marketing.

Smith’s quest to rebrand marketing starts with equipping ethical business professionals. “I’ve been a Christian in the business world my whole career,” he says, “and I never felt that I was well prepared for it. So, my goal in teaching at Gordon is to help students understand how to apply Christian principles to the workplace.”

Smith describes his career in three chapters: the manager chapter, the executive chapter and the consulting/education chapter. During the first chapter, he held leadership positions in the semiconductor (computer chip) distribution industry, managing divisions for companies like Future Electronics and Avnet. He spent chapter two climbing the ranks at Kronos, one of Massachusetts’s most well-respected companies. In his 14 years there, he was a key player in quadrupling the company’s annual revenue.

Somewhere between the second and third chapter, Smith, a lifelong learner, started collecting master’s degrees—an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and an MBA from Endicott College. And he began to consider what it would look like to lead in the classroom—to share his decades of experience and learning as a professor.

“Getting two master’s degrees in your 50s is probably a little unusual,” Smith says, but it was part of a thoughtful approach to this current chapter. Stepping back from the breakneck pace of large companies, Smith took on leadership posts at smaller technology companies and began consulting and teaching—part-time at Northeastern University, Endicott College and Merrimack College, and now full-time at Gordon College, where he’ll teach Principles of Marketing and Introduction to Small Business this spring.

Smith has also been heavily involved in the North Shore nonprofit ecosystem for the past 10 years. He has served on the boards for Amirah, Pathways for Children and Lazarus House, and been a longstanding elder for First Presbyterian Church Northshore. As a grants volunteer for the Cummings Foundation, he maintains relationships with nonprofit organizations that have received grants. And as a mentor for business incubator MassChallenge, he coaches startups on marketing and sales strategies. 

“Marketing is pervasive and powerful, and so the responsibility of the marketer is great,” says Smith. “Whether students plan to launch a business or nonprofit, or lead existing ones, they have the potential for great impact. My goal is to help students tap into that potential and make a difference for Christ in the workplace and beyond.”