Dr. Gary Smith, who is both a Vice President of FJMC and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, can do something Doctor Dolittle (another famous veterinarian) could never pull off: He can talk to Jewish men. Just ask anyone in the KIO Region.
Gary received his DVM degree from Ohio State University. His wife Leah has an MS degree in social work and remains the strength behind his success. They have three children of whom they are very proud: Bryan, a post doctorate at Stanford University in Biomedical Engineering; Jaclyn, a DVM and a specialist in veterinary oncology in Chicago; and Erica, who is based in Connecticut and who has a Masters in Occupational Therapy.
Gary has an extreme passion for everything he does. His motto: "The best way to create value for yourself is creating value for others."
After serving successive terms as club president and KIO regional president, Gary was asked to be on the executive committee as the new marketing and development chair during Mike Mills’s administration. Working with Art Spar, his team created the new FJMC tagline ("Leadership, Innovation, Community"), along with the organization's new mission statement. He has served as Keruv Initiative Co-Chair for the last 3 years and has been working with his congregation's rabbi for the past decade on changing the culture of the synagogue and working toward reaching out and welcoming intermarried families. As a result of their efforts, Keruv has become a cornerstone of his synagogue's growth.
Gary's financial expertise has been put to work for the FJMC in several areas. He has served on the board of the Foundation for Jewish Life, working with Gene Sacks to create the legacy campaign. He now helps lead the committee for investing Foundation funds. In addition, Gary, along with Richard Gray, founded the innovative Health, Wealth, and Retirement Initiative. At its first convention roll-out, the HWR Initiative enjoyed 60 participants, receiving rave reviews and raising about $12,000 for FJMC. Gary and Richard are both passionate about helping our members and their children plan better for their financial futures. Gary is now the current vice president of fund raising for the FJMC and has brought several creative and innovative ideas to the table.
Outside of his professional work as a veterinarian and his volunteer work for FJMC, Gary’s hobbies include sports, golf, exercising daily, travel, investing, health management (remember stretching exercises at the 2013 Convention?), theater and volunteering.
Gary loves his involvement with FJMC and feels that it helps him to make a difference. He foresees major shifts in the future of the Conservative movement, with enormous opportunity for Men's Clubs to be at the forefront in reinvigorating and re-energizing Conservative Judaism.