President & CEO
Women for Economic and Leadership Development
Barb Smoot is the President & CEO of Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), the organization that develops and advances women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves. As WELD’s first president, Barb is the driving force behind WELD’s rapid growth. She serves as primary community liaison, overseeing fundraising, collaborative partnerships and development and implementation of WELD’s new strategic initiatives, including WELD’s national expansion.
Barb is very active in the Columbus community in a variety of ways. She is a commissioner on the Columbus Women’s Commission and chairs the Pay Equity Committee. Barb is on the national board of National Church Residences and sits on the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee. In addition, she was elected to the National Church Residences Investment Corporation Board. Most recently, Barb was appointed to the City of Westerville Board of Zoning Appeals. Barb has served on the Board Development Committee for the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland and on the boards of the Nationwide Federal Credit Union, the Martin Luther King Arts Complex, St. Joseph Montessori School, and WELD.
Barb was selected as Columbus CEO 2017 CEO of the Year for Small Nonprofits. She is one of Smart Business’ 2016 Smart 50 award winners and was recognized as the 2014 NAWBO Columbus Women’s Business Champion. Under Barb’s leadership, WELD was featured as Community Network of the Year by The Women’s Book.
Barb has 20+ years of financial services experience and is a past Fellow in the Society of Actuaries. She is a graduate of Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics.