by Donna Shelley
John Edward Smith knows how to combine community service with just the right mix of image marketing and business development. In one very readable package, his publication “SOMI Magazine” balances home town interest while promoting the many businesses located in the South Miami Town Center.
The ability to capture the essence of the place that has been this New Yorker’s home since 1974 arises from Smith’s involvement in the numerous community task forces and committees on which he has served in South Miami. And he brought his marketing and image management skills to the development of special and annual local events, such as the 1983 opening celebration of the South Miami Metrorail Station, the inception of the “Santa Parade of the Elves,” “Sundays on Sunset,” and “SOMI Artwalk,” to name a few.
John Edward coordinated the South Miami 75th Anniversary Edition of the South Miami News and served as Contributing Editor for political and community affairs for the Community Newspapers. Additionally, over the years, he has organized and moderated candidate forums for several municipal elections.
An image marketing and business development consultant since 1982, he has represented institutions, organizations, business and individuals. And, just to prove that his skill set is international, among his representations include Swiss concert harpist/EMI recording artist Markus Klinko, now famed fashion photographer, for whom Smith was world-wide personal manager. For some ten years, he was the marketing producer of Vizcaya’s annual signature event, the Italian Renaissance Festival, establishing cultural liaisons in Asti, Florence and Venice.
He served as USA representative for Il Gruppo Sbandieratori del Palio d’Asti (The Flag-throwers of the Palio of Asti); named Honorary Ambassador of Asti (Italy); and recognized for his promotion and development of the Italian food-culture throughout the United States, as executive producer of La Festa del Tartufo Bianco (White Truffle Festival), and other well-established programs.
A graduate of Notre Dame, Smith brings a keen business background and a well-honed sense of giving back to everything he does. He has shared this sense of service as a member of cultural and civic boards such as Catholic Charities, Switchboard of Miami, the Miami Chamber Symphony, Informed Families, Leadership Miami, “Miami’s For Me” civic-pride campaign, and founder of Bike Miami, among other institutions and organizations. He is proud to call South Miami “home” for some three decades.