Sylvester Smith is a businessman, philanthropist, and community leader. He is a graduate of Philander Smith College, and earned his MBA at Harding University.
Six years ago Sylvester founded the Kareem Brown McNeal Foundation (KBM), which he named after his best friend who passed away in 1997. KBM provides mentoring for at risk youth in Little Rock Arkansas. The program teaches young men how the accord themselves as gentleman, the importance of hard work and sacrifice, and prepares them for college.
Sylvester has been politically active for many years and is the only Arkansan who has served on the governing bodies of both the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Democratic Party of Arkansas. He received his first gubernatorial appointment at the age of 19 when Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointed him the Governor’s Commission on Youth Violence Prevention.
He became the youngest member of Governor Huckabee’s senior staff when he was appointed as a policy advisor at the age of 24. Sylvester worked in various capacities in the Huckabee Administration including; serving on the Arkansas Transitional Employment board, which managed the state’s welfare to work program; and as the Governor’s alternate on the Delta Regional Authority Board of Directors, which oversees the multimillion dollar federal delta development initiative.
In 2004 Sylvester and seven other Americans traveled to Eastern Europe as part of a leadership program sponsored by the American Council of Young Political Leaders. He is particularly proud of this accomplishment, because he was one of eight delegates selected from a pool of 1000 nominees from across the country.
Sylvester has been named one of the 40 under 40 business leaders by Arkansas Business, and one of the 20 most influential African Americans in Arkansas by Powerplay Magazine.
Today Sylvester serves on the Arkansas Real Estate Commission by appointment of Governor Mike Beebe. The Real Estate Commission licenses and regulates real estate activity in Arkansas. He is also a member of the North Little Rock Sewer Commission, which manages the city’s $70, 000,000 sewer system and has a $14,000,000 annual budget.
He is also the Publisher of ink Magazine a web based magazine for African Americans in Arkansas. Lastly, Sylvester is a consultant who provides advice and counsel to small businesses and small communities across Arkansas.