President & CEO
Women for Economic and Leadership Development Board of Directors candidate, National Church Residences
Barbara J. Smoot is President & CEO of Women for Economic Development. She became the first-ever person in that role in October 2010, spearheading the turnaround of a stagnant local nonprofit organization to become a premier women’s leadership nonprofit at a national level. To achieve this, she created the first long-term strategic and tactical plans, overhauled the organizational governance, revamped the programming, repaired the fundraising structure and expanded the branding.
As a result, she drove unprecedented growth, building corporate membership from 5 to nearly 60 organizations and individual memberships from under 200 to over 800. Smoot also created new and revamped existing programs to increase impact, attracting CEOs and C-suite executives from major companies. This tripled the annual attendance at programming. By cultivating national and community relationships, she created collaboration opportunities tied to the organization’s mission, including successful launches of multiple chapters.
Previously, Smoot served as Vice President, In-Retirement Business Development at Nationwide Financial. There she created and executed new product strategies to grow market share, retain customer assets and increase business segment revenues, including retaining an additional $20 million in assets through an IRA rollover strategy and resource reallocation plan for group retirement plans. She also was Vice President and Product Manager at Individual Life Insurance.
She is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A. in Physics. She has served on numerous boards, including current service as Commissioner and Chair, Pay-Equity Committee, for the Columbus Women’s Commission and a member of the Women’s Center for Economic Advisory Board.