Kirk Ray Smith Sr., BHS, MHS was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in a single parent home, with 7 siblings in one of the most economically challenged communities in Cincinnati. His community was crime, drug, and alcohol infested. Poverty and hopelessness were cultural norms. In effort to stay out of the trouble that was so prevalent, Kirk spent his time playing sports at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. As a teen he worked several jobs, e.g., a fry cook, a golf caddie, and bus-boy to name a few.
For various reasons Kirk struggled through grade school until his final two years of high school. At the beginning of his junior year, he decided that he wanted more out of life than what he witnessed in his community. After graduating, Kirk served in the United States Army for 7 years achieving the rank of Corporal and earned several Distinguished Service medals during times of war and peace.
Kirk is a self-published author and former op-ed columnist. Since 2016 he has served as the President and CEO of RCS Pinellas. RCS serves more than 130,000 individuals and families annually throughout Pinellas County, FL, as a leader in addressing hunger, homelessness and domestic abuse through innovative programs and services with an operating budget of over $10 million. For last three years in row, RCS attained the coveted 4-star rating (#1 in state of Florida for charities of their size) for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, after successfully and fully amortizing all agency debt and securing $7.8 million in assets. Only 17% of charities evaluated have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations.