CRST International, a pioneer in the American trucking industry, has transported goods throughout the Unites States for over 50 years. Joining the company in 1971 and taking over the family business in 1983, John Smith has continued to grow and earn accolades within the industry. John was at the forefront as he carefully guided CRST through the industry’s deregulations in 1980 and increased its revenues by 25 percent despite the overwhelming challenge. Shortly thereafter, it became only the third carrier in the history of the United States to receive nationwide authority. CRST now employees over 5,500 employees and has annual revenues in excess of 950 million dollars.
Renowned for its safety record and the quality of drivers, CRST has acquired a reputation for security and reliability. John’s commitment to highway safety led him to spearheading a project through Iowa Motor Truck Association called “Investing Money in Tomorrow’s Adults (IMTA). The project provided funding for high school after-prom parties while promoting road safety. In its first year, IMTA donated over 10,000 dollars to Iowa high schools. Smith was the first to commit to the project at the founder level, inevitably encouraging others to do the same in this very successful project.
In addition to his duties at CRST, John serves on the Mercy Medical Center Board, is the Chairman of Cornell College Board of Trustees as well as Chairman of the Economic Planning & Redevelopment Corporation that is creating a post flood economic plan for Cedar Rapids and the surrounding areas. Smith has been on the Board of Governors for the Iowa College Foundation since 1987 and now serves on its executive committee. He is also active in Priority 1 and Rotary. However, Smith’s work in the community doesn’t stop there. John established the first corporate donor-advised fund with the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in 1992, encouraging philanthropic activity in the community sector. Smith also served as president on the Cedar Rapids Symphony Foundation which he helped launch.