Executives: Smith's Leadership Team
|Robert G. Ackerley
Co-Founder & Director
|Leland C. Ackerley
Co-Founder & Director
Led by co-founders Bob and Lee Ackerley, Chief Trading Officer Marc Barnhill, Chief Operating Officer Kirk Wehby and Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Hartzell, Smith's senior management team is among the best in the industry, with extensive experience and a strong, balanced background.
Robert G. Ackerley, Co-Founder & Director
Leland C. Ackerley, Co-Founder & Director
Brothers Bob and Lee Ackerley - natives of New York - founded Smith & Associates in Houston, Texas in 1984. Today, Smith employs over 350 people and has offices worldwide. Smith has been named to the Inc. 500 and Top 100 Private Electronics Companies, and is consistently ranked as a top independent distributor by electronic industry publications.
Before establishing Smith & Associates, Bob received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and was an engineer with Texas Eastern Corporation (1980-84). Lee attended Princeton University, then worked in sales for an electronics distributor in New York.
The Ackerleys' track record in the high-tech service sector is evident, not only through the growth of Smith & Associates, but also through the success of their start-up ventures. Bob and Lee were co-founders and controlling shareholders of EnterpriseWorks, an IT consulting firm that grew to over 100 consultants prior to being sold to Iconixx. Another Ackerley venture, AssembleTech, was a contract manufacturer of custom cable assemblies that employed a staff of more than 500 at locations in the US, Mexico, and China when it was sold to Amphenol (NYSE: APH). ZettaWorks, the Ackerleys' IT-consulting business, with offices in Texas, New York, California, and Australia, reached $16 million in annual revenues before being sold to Perficient (NASDAQ: PRFT) in late 2004.
The Ackerleys' focus on technology and their entrepreneurial spirit haven’t wavered in the thirty years since starting Smith. They continue to invest in and mentor numerous start-up technology companies in the fields of engineering, software development and integration, and digital media. With an eye to the future, they are also committed to supporting initiatives with global impact, including investments in sustainable energy and agriculture. Bob and Lee maintain their firm commitment to the high-tech sector with the ongoing expansion of Smith & Associates and development of successful new business ventures.
In recent years, Bob and Lee have passed day-to-day management to an experience senior management team and work closely with them, developing Smith's growth plans and strategy.
Marc Barnhill, Chief Trading Officer
Marc Barnhill leads the company's sales, business development, and marketing efforts worldwide. Marc joined Smith & Associates as a buyer in 1990 and has since held a number of management roles, including establishing the distributor sales division in 1992 and managing the company's top sales team. He was promoted to Vice President, Trading in 1996 and to his current role in 2007. Prior to joining Smith, Marc was a manager at Grace Equipment Company (1988-89). He received his B.A. from Francis Marion College.
Matthew Hartzell, Chief Administrative Officer
Matt Hartzell leads the company's administrative functions worldwide, overseeing Smith’s legal, accounting, human resources, and IT departments. He joined Smith & Associates as General Counsel in 1998 and served as COO from 2008 to 2014. Before joining Smith, Matt was a shareholder with Hirsch and Westheimer, P.C. (1985-98). He received his B.A. from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and his J.D. from the University of Houston College of Law. Matt is also on the board of directors of Allegiance Bancshares Inc. in Houston.
Kirk Wehby, Chief Operating Officer
Kirk Wehby leads Smith’s global operations, quality, logistics, security, and facilities. He has served as CEO of solar-tech provider and consultant ONTILITY since 2012, and, previously, as Vice President of Global Operations for Smith (2008-2012) and Director of Operations and Supply Chain for Cardone Industries (1997-2008), where he managed startup and integration of manufacturing operations in Belgium and Mexico. Kirk received a B.S. from Oral Roberts University and his M.B.A. from Westchester University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Bollinger, Chief Globalization Officer
Mark Bollinger oversees the administration of Smith’s international offices. Before taking on this role, he served as Smith’s Vice President of Marketing and, previously, helped build Smith's business development team. Mark was formerly with the Federal Communications Commission (1993-2000), where he managed the wireless telecommunications spectrum auction program. He received his B.A. from William Jewell College and his J.D. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Law.
Choon Byun, President, Asia-Pacific
Choon Byun joined Smith in Houston as a purchasing agent in 1997, then moved to sales prior to transferring to Hong Kong in 1998. In 2000, he relocated and opened Smith's office in Seoul, Korea, serving as Managing Director. Choon opened Smith's Shanghai office in 2004 and was appointed Vice President, Northeast Asia in 2005. He was named President, Asia-Pacific in 2012. Choon graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a B.A. in Economics and Psychology.
Margo Evans, Vice President, Marketing
Margo joined Smith in 2008 as Marketing Manager, and took on the role of Marketing Director in 2013 and VP of Marketing in 2016. Margo previously worked as Marketing Administrator at Dresser, Inc. She earned her BA in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin and her Master’s in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University. Margo is a member of the American Marketing Association and the Business Marketing Association.
Art Figueroa, Vice President, Global Operations
Art is responsible for managing Smith's global distribution logistics, reverse logistics, anti-counterfeiting efforts, and corporate sustainability. Previously, he served as Director of Security and Facilities, overseeing the development of Smith's quality management systems. Before joining Smith in 2004, Art was in management at Securitas Security Services and Questia. He received his BA in Political Science from the University of Houston in 1994, and is a member of TAPA AMERICAS.
Jason Fowler, Chief Financial Officer
Jason Fowler oversees Smith’s worldwide financial operations, managing the company’s accounting and credit departments worldwide. Before joining Smith, Jason spent most of his career at Guaranty Bank, where he began his commercial banking career in 2001, and then at Texas Capital Bank in Houston. In 2015, Jason took on the role of Senior Vice President in Texas Capital’s Energy Banking Group. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance from Texas Tech University.
Thuy Tran, General Counsel
Thuy Tran first joined Smith as Associate General Counsel in 2000. In 2008, she was promoted to her current role as General Counsel. Thuy received her Bachelor of Arts from The University of Houston and her J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Prior to joining Smith, she was an associate at McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel, P.C. in Galveston, Texas.
Sean Trinh, Vice President, Finance
Sean Trinh reports jointly to the Chief Trading Officer and Chief Operating Officer and manages special projects for the executive team. He joined Smith in 1989 as Controller and served as Vice President, Information Technology from 2000 to 2007. Sean received a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Management Information Systems from McGill University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Concordia University.
Phyllis Tsu, Chief Information Officer
Phyllis joined Smith in 1999. Since that time, she has assisted in all phases of Smith's IT services. Phyllis was appointed CIO in 2010 and oversees Smith's proprietary trading system, ERP and related applications, IT network, and customized IT solutions. Phyllis earned her bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications in Nanjing, China. Prior to joining Smith, Phyllis gained extensive system management and development experience across multiple industries with both US and China-based companies.
Mike Weaber, Chief Financial Officer (Management Group)
Mike Weaber oversees Smith's global accounting and credit departments. Prior to joining Smith in 2011, Mike had a distinguished career with the Bayer Group, where he held a variety of international and domestic finance positions, from Finance Manager in Germany in 1979 to Senior Vice President of Finance, Controlling and Administration in 2004. Mike is the current Chairman - Foun¬dation Board of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. He holds his Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College and an Executive MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.