A respected entrepreneur, a sought-after speaker, bestselling author and one of the most valuable personal brands in the sports-entertainment field — these are just a few of the ways to describe Emmitt Smith. As President & CEO of Emmitt Smith Enterprises, Inc., Smith leads a team of talented individuals who oversee the company’s many ventures — including Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, the marketing and management of the Emmitt Smith brand, and the company’s two core businesses, EJ Smith Construction and E Smith Legacy, a real estate company.
Smith’s vision for his companies is best summed up in Emmitt Smith Enterprises core purpose statement, “Building Bridges to Open Doors.” That means quite literally whether the company is building bridges via its construction arm — already recognized as one of the leading African-American owned bridge builders in Texas — or opening doors for the less fortunate through its many philanthropic endeavors, Emmitt Smith Enterprises has a passion for making a difference.
Smith first rose to prominence via an illustrious football career, which included three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and the honor of being the only player to have won a Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010, Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, having amassed 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons.
Smith’s charm and charisma, which made him one of the sports world’s most popular personalities during his playing career, quickly translated to the entertainment world following his retirement. In 2006, Smith’s cross-over appeal became even more apparent when he, along with dance partner Cheryl Burke, was crowned winner of the hit ABC reality show “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2012, Emmitt and Cheryl returned to the dance floor for the first ever all-stars season of “Dancing with the Stars,” and they advanced to the semifinals despite the highest level of competition in the show’s history.
As well known for his character and integrity as he is for his athletic ability, Smith continues to give back to the community and support higher education via Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, an organization that annually awards college scholarships and provides enrichment opportunities to underserved youth.
Smith continues to share his personal and professional stories with organizations across the country. He has been a member of the President’s Health and Fitness Council, and has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership and public service. He also authored the 2011 book, Game On: Find Your Purpose — Pursue Your Dreams, which chronicles his story from humble beginnings growing up in Pensacola, Fla. to his rise in the business world.
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