Chief Executive Officer
Location: Aurora, CO
Industry: Healthcare/Human Services
Bentley Smith is relentless.
Despite a changing world, Smith, CEO of Support, Inc., stays focused on how he can enhance his teams through his own actions and the actions of others. He recognizes that it takes everyone on the team to achieve exceptional results and not only the individual.
“Over communicate, don't minimize a person's struggles through change no matter how small it seems,” Smith said. “Be consistent, available, and never get rattled.”
Support, Inc., founded in 1989, provides community-based services that result in quality lifestyles for individuals across the entire front range of Colorado. The lifestyles are characterized by integration into the community, a sense of belonging, empowered choice-making, and opportunities for growth and learning. Before accepting his position with Support, Inc., Smith knew it was where he wanted to be. He could relate to the mission of the company and was ready to help make a difference for a company that shared his values.
Prior to joining Support, Inc., Smith worked for a large national corporation in both finance and operational capacities. He acknowledged that working for a large corporation meant the safety, structure, and support of deeper resources offering stability and a relatively defined career path. But it also meant working within the constraints of well-established corporate norms, challenging red tape, and limited entrepreneurial spirit. He was recruited to meet with the founder and owner of Support, Inc. who was searching for a leader now that the company had reached the mature phase of its life cycle. This meant building on the organization’s success from the past 25 years, while also reinventing itself to thrive into its next 25 years. Smith was impressed with the view of the future of Support, Inc. He was up for the challenge.
Since he started leading Support, Inc. in 2013, the company has grown over 120% without taking on any debt or outside investment. Smith is understandably proud of this achievement because it meant aligning ownership, employees, and other constituents under a common vision while also asking all these groups to sacrifice for the collective good. The organization is stronger for it and unified as a result. Able to instill his entrepreneurial spirit throughout all ranks of the company as a basis for a renewed vision, Smith embodies what it means to be a Titan in the healthcare and human services industries.
“The organization's success is my success,” Smith said. “That is the best way to judge me, and this means our clients, leaders, and staff are thriving and growing. It’s that simple.”
At times this meant empathy and sensitivity to the changes this brought to the individuals throughout the organization, and at times replacing stagnant individuals with new talent better suited to achieving this spirit. Support, Inc. will continue to grow significantly in existing services, enter new markets, and develop and acquire talent to do so over the next 5 years. Additionally, over the last several years, the marketplace has seen greater competition due to a low barrier of entry. Therefore, part of this growth will include an even higher degree of innovation and risk taking in its service delivery to change the historical norms in the industry and differentiate Support, Inc. from the rest of its competition. This disruptive approach will ensure that the organization will thrive, and just as importantly, so will all its constituents.
“We seek to define the industry, not just operate in it,” Smith said.
Under the leadership of Smith, Support, Inc. was recognized in 2015 as one of Colorado Companies to Watch by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Smith has also served on many non-profit boards throughout the years including serving as the current chairman of an adult learning company that has doubled its funding under his leadership.
Throughout his business and leadership experiences, Smith believes that in order to grow and succeed, compromise is critical, no matter how right you may think you are.
“Surround yourself with better people than you are as that will make you and your company better,” Smith said. “Look at everything from a 360 view as best you can - including yourself.”
A true Titan of industry in every sense of the word, Bentley Smith is relentless in continuing the growth, evolution and success of Support, Inc. There is no doubt that with his leadership, grit and determination that anything – and everything - is possible."
"Be consistent, available, and never get rattled."