Lynchburg Business Magazine has named Aaron Smith ’05, ’07 MEd as one of Central Virginia’s top up-and-coming leaders.
Aaron, who fills multiple leadership roles at LC, was featured in the magazine’s “20 Under 40” list for 2016. The magazine feature honors professionals who stand out for their professional accomplishments and community involvement.
His selection would be no surprise to anyone who knows Aaron. “Aaron has proven over the years to be a valued advocate and mentor for our students,” said University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren. “He sets an outstanding example of a University of Lynchburg graduate who cares deeply about his family, his community, and his alma mater.
“I have known him since he was a student at LC and have greatly enjoyed working with him for more than 10 years,” Dr. Garren continued. “He is a most impressive individual and I am so happy to have him beside me as one of my critically important Cabinet members.”
In addition to serving as University of Lynchburg’s student employment coordinator, Aaron is the College’s deputy Title IX coordinator and was recently appointed LC’s diversity and inclusion officer. He also mentors young men of color on campus in a program called MAN2MAN. He holds two degrees from LC – a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in educational leadership — and he is earning his doctorate in leadership studies at LC.
Outside the College, he teaches a class for new members at Family Life Church. He recently wrote So I’m a Leader, Now What?, a book that provides guidance for new leaders in home, work, community, and ministry. He strives to devote time to his wife, LaShanta, and their two children.
Aaron maintains sincere humility about his accomplishments and significant community involvement. “To me, I haven’t done anything special yet,” he said. “I think I will one day. There’s more to do, and I’m capable of doing it.”
He said commitment and focus are key elements to his success. “Anybody can do any of the stuff that I’m doing. I just happen to do it, and I happen to finish,” he said.
The “20 Under 40” list appears in the October/November issue of Lynchburg Business, available beginning October 1. The feature also highlights two other LC alumni: Emelyn Gwynn ’15, who works in economic development for the town of Altavista, and Allison Overstreet Stronza ’00, ’03 MBA, the executive director of CASA of Central Virginia. (In 2015, the News & Advance published a feature story about Allison’s career in nonprofit leadership. Read it here.)
Adjunct instructor Tim Saunders, the advisor for the Critograph, and former faculty member Geoff Kershner and are also included on the list.