American Field

Effective March 2014

BDF Announces Retirement of Executive Director

Following twelve years of service
By Bird Dog Foundation | Nov 14, 2013

Grand Junction, Tenn. — David Smith, 63, current Executive Director at the Bird Dog Foundation in Grand Junction, Tenn., has announced his pending retirement.

David Smith came to the Bird Dog Foundation in May, 2002, assuming duty as Director of Development. After six months, he was appointed Executive Director. He is stepping down in March, 2014.

Born at a small clinic in Grand Junction, Tenn., in 1951, Smith grew up in nearby Moscow, Tenn. There he developed an affinity for tramping the woods and fields and pursuing at the time the plentiful bobwhite quail.

“My brother-in-law, in the 1950s and ’60s, kept pointers and setters,” said Smith, “pretty good hunting dogs actually. At one time he also had an Irish setter.  About every fifth household in our little town had a bird dog in the backyard in those days. Quail were that abundant.”

Smith graduated high school, attended the University of Memphis (then called Memphis State University) where he earned a degree in accounting. He later worked in banking and the newspaper business.

In 1978, he ran for elected office, winning the seat as county mayor of Fayette County, Tenn., a position he held for 16 years.

Speaking of his tenure at the BDF, Smith said, “This has been a challenging and enjoyable place to work. We have grown dramatically and are now more diversified than ever. The BDF has more affiliated breed groups, field trial organizations, more patrons, and more visitors than ever before.”

The growth and diversity, according to Smith, will pose challenges for his successor. Reminiscing, he said, “When I came onboard here, there was no computer, no email, and there was no web site. We operated 40% less building and equipment than today. People may not realize that we have 5.2 acres of grounds and 30,000 sq. ft. of buildings. Plus, we’re open six days a week, which often morphs into seven days.”

As one might expect, during his tenure Smith has met a multitude of sporting dog folks from around the country, and even abroad.

Speaking about the BDF leadership, Smith said, “Our board of directors has all been generous and a wonderful group to work with. Sadly, I have witnessed the passing of some delightful people from that group. I have also been privileged to meet so many interesting folks from across the country. The true dog people that have come through here have always had some of the most intriguing stories to tell. I am richer for having met them all. And I will never forget some of the most moving acceptance speeches from twelve years of the Field Trial Hall of Fame ceremonies.

“I must also say ‘Thanks’ to a supportive and productive staff. We’ve crossed a lot bridges together. I want to remain as needed to ensure a smooth, business-like transition. I owe it to the board and Foundation. This place has been good to me. Now it’s time to take it to the next level, and I believe our board is poised to go there.”

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