Joshua I. Smith

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Joshua I. Smith (born Joshua Isaac Smith April 8, 1941) is an African-American businessman and former chairperson of the Commission on Minority Business Development.[1]

Smith, a native of Loveland, Ohio, graduated from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.[2] He founded the computer firm Maxima Corp in 1978, following the breakup of his marriage. By 1993 the company had revenues over $41 million and had been ranked by Black Enterprise Magazine at number 33 in its list of minority businesses.[3] In 1996 the company had expanded to operate in 14 US states, employing 800 members of staff. Smith serves as a trustee on a number of boards, and has been a strong advocate for black entrepreneurship.[4] According to Jet magazine, Smith became the "leading spokesman for Black businessmen under the Reagan and Bush [George H] administrations".[5] In 1989, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to be the chair of the Commission on Minority Business Development.[6] Smith's recommendations for improving the lot of small businesses from minority groups were largely ignored by the President.[7] The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998, largely the result of expensive litigation between the company and Smith's son. Smith Sr had sacked his son as vice president in 1993.[8]

In 2003 Smith was appointed chairperson of the State of Maryland's Task Force on Minority Business Reform, advancing to serve as an advisor to the Maryland Governor's Commission on Minority Business Reform. Smith is As of 2009 Smith serves as chairman and managing partner of the Coaching Group. Other directorships include CardioComm Solutions Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Federal Express Corporation and The Allstate Corporation. Mr. Smith has been a director of Caterpillar since 1993.[9][10]


  1. ^ Contemporary Black Biography: Profiles from the International Black Community By L. Mpho Mabunda, Gale Research Inc Edition: illustrated Published by Gale Research International, Limited, 1996 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized 18 Sep 2008 ISBN 0-8103-9318-2, ISBN 978-0-8103-9318-9 Page 223
  2. ^ Schultz, Judith L. (1990-03-21). "Minorities can be good business executive, pushes economic role for all" (fee required). Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio: Cox Ohio Publishing). p. B6. Retrieved 28 August 2010. Smith, a Central State University graduate and Loveland, Ohio, native, said blacks, Hispanics, female heads of households and other minorities cost the country $200 billion annually in lost earning power, while the government foots a $100 billion annual bill for entitlement expenses. 
  3. ^ The African American's Guide to Working from Home and Neighborhood By Sam King Published by Buy Books on the web, 2006 ISBN 0-7414-2646-3, ISBN 978-0-7414-2646-8 Pages 193-193
  4. ^ Talking dollars and making sense: a wealth-building guide for African-Americans By Brooke M. Stephens Edition: illustrated Published by McGraw-Hill Professional, 1996 ISBN 0-07-061389-3, ISBN 978-0-07-061389-8 Page 58
  5. ^ Jet 24 Jan 1994 Page 18 Vol. 85, No. 12 ISSN 0021-5996
  6. ^ Scott, Matthew S. (June 1991). "Will Commission Report on Minority Business Make a Difference?". Black Enterprise (Earl G. Graves, Ltd.) 21 (11): 102. ISSN 0006-4165. Retrieved 28 August 2010. In 1989, the Bush administration created the U.S. Commission on Minority Business Development (CMBD) to address those concerns. The CMBD, chaired by Joshua I. Smith, CEO of the Maxima Corp. (No. 14 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100), has a $500,000 budget, which has been used to assess whether federal programs are assuring the full participation of minority-owned firms. 
  7. ^ Three Black Generations at the Crossroads: Community, Culture, and Consciousness By Lois Benjamin Edition: 2 Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 ISBN 0-7425-6001-5, ISBN 978-0-7425-6001-7 Pages 131-132
  8. ^ Jet 27 Jul 1998 Page 18 Vol. 94, No. 9 ISSN 0021-5996 Published by Johnson Publishing Company
  9. ^ "Forbes profile". Retrieved 7 April 2009. Archived 7 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Datawind profile". Retrieved 7 April 2009. Archived 7 April 2009.