John Smith earned his Johnson MBA in 1974. His son, Ian Smith, also earned an MBA from Johnson in 2014.
Mr. Smith is the chairman and president of Hillcrest Holdings, which operates trucking, real estate, and security companies, including Great Plains Casualty, Southgate Companies (Ian Smith, chairman), Converged Security Solutions, and CRST International, Inc., the largest long-haul trucking carrier in Iowa and one of the top ten largest carriers in the country. His parents founded Cedar Rapids Steel Transport in 1955, growing the business and acquiring others, leading to their consolidation as CRST International in 1995. He has been with CRST since graduating from Johnson in 1974. He has been actively involved in the transportation industry, including leadership with the American Trucking Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the Iowa Motor Truck Association.
He and his wife, Dyan, have given generously to Johnson over the years. In 2014, they made a gift to establish the John and Dyan Smith Family Business Initiative, which has done much to strengthen and advance Johnson’s and Cornell’s research, teaching, and outreach in areas related to family business, as well as to engage a growing network of family business owners, advisors, and other practitioners.