New title: Vice president of mass retail sales, Action Performance Cos.
Previous job: Executive vice president and general manager, Rauch Industries
First job: Busboy at a restaurant at age 15
Education: Bachelor of science in management sciences (1972), minor in accounting, State University of New York at Buffalo
Resides: Altamonte Springs, Fla.; relocated to the Phoenix area with wife Kathleen
Grew up: Buffalo
Executive most admired: Henry Coords, former president of Fisher-Price
Brand most admired: Fisher-Price
Favorite vacation spot: Florida Keys
Last book read: “Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert
Last movie seen: “The Notebook”
Favorite musician: B.B. King
Michael Smith is bringing more than 30 years of experience with consumer products and retail sales to die-cast and racing collectibles company Action Performance Cos. Smith has worked with products ranging from children’s toys at Fisher-Price to sporting goods at Champion.
What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
Learning the nuances of the company, including the divisions of the company, the product line and more about NASCAR.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
Leaving the toy industry at Fisher-Price and going into the apparel industry at Champion. I had some anxiety going from selling hard products to soft products but later found that the two were very similar in that you had to deal with the same issues but with different customers.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
At Champion we were the official apparel of the Olympics and I was a part of a team that set up an entire management, distribution, sales and marketing center in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics.
What is your biggest professional disappointment?
After the Olympic Park bombi...
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