Location: St. Louis, MO
In 1983, Steve Smith founded The Lawrence Group as an architectural firm in the attic of his home. Since then, and over the last 39 years, the firm has grown into a comprehensive real estate services firm and added a development group to lead the process on over $500 million in real estate assets.
According to his staff, Smith has led the organization through its many transitions. “It has been his initiatives that have transformed the company to what it is today,” they said. “He has been the individual who has envisioned the projects, taken the risk, raised the money and executed the delivery of over 1,000,000 square feet of buildings all in the city of St. Louis.”
The Lawrence Group and its affiliates provide a range of comprehensive services related to the design, development and construction of buildings, including architecture, interior design, planning, financing, development, construction management and property management.
“In my 40 years in business, I have learned that leadership is most needed and the opportunities for future success are the greatest during periods of great difficulty and challenge,” said Smith. “During periods of great challenge, such as business downturns, recessions or industry changes, is when our organization has come out stronger, been followed by greater growth and become more focused.”
Smith said he plans to continue his executive role in the organization but with an enhanced vision. “That role will evolve more into mentorship and guidance of the next generation of leaders,” he said. “In addition, I will continue to invest both my time and my resources in growing our city and community, specifically through real estate investments in the core of the city.”
Smith is no stranger to involvement in the St. Louis community. He has served as the chairman for Downtown St. Louis, Inc., SSM Health St. Louis Regional Foundation and the Grand Center Community Improvement District. He has also been recognized with the Developer of the Year award and has been named to the 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame by the St. Louis Business Journal.
His focus as a leader and as a CEO is forward thinking. “One quote by Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, I agree with is that you need to get to the future ahead of your customers and be ready to greet them when they arrive,” said Smith.
For his forward-thinking leadership style, Smith has been named a Titan.
Steve owns a private motorcycle museum, called the Moto Museum.