Donna Rae Smith, Founder and CEO

Donna Rae Smith has forged a career and an enterprise by applying the practice of teaching leaders to master change. A barrier-shattering change-leader herself, Ms. Smith has pioneered a highly sought after approach for preparing leaders, teams and entire organizations to thrive in an ever-evolving business world. For Ms. Smith, it is never enough to react to change; today’s leaders must embody the habits necessary to embrace and lead change.

Ms. Smith is the Founder and CEO of Bright Side, Inc., a globally recognized, groundbreaking behavioral strategy consulting company. Led by a celebrated team of behavior and culture change experts, Bright Side customizes personal, team and organizational leader development workshops, coaching and transformational processes designed to rapidly accelerate the execution of change. All of Bright Side’s portable tools are grounded in a disciplined methodology for continuous personal learning: including new ways of acting, responding and behaving in the face of change. These are, according to Ms. Smith, “…the foundational tools for surviving and thriving in a new era.”

Bright Side’s track record of measurable results has been nothing shy of extraordinary. Today, this highly specialized, woman-owned company is playing a pivotal role in the strategic development of some of the most influential corporations in the world. Among organizations of all sizes, the roster includes Procter and Gamble, Gillette, Rockwell Automation, BASF, Coty, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, Jamba Juice, Pringles, IBM and many other dynamic businesses. Bright Side has prepared these companies and many others to solve unprecedented tasks and challenges relative to a new way of doing business. Bright Side’s clients are better prepared for changes as they are more nimble and agile in the economic landscape as well as more dimensionally competitive as an outcome of its approach.

Stephen Covey, acclaimed author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, coined Donna Rae Smith “a truly ‘I’ve been there’ woman.” Her experiences range from serving as a manufacturing executive to pioneering new ground as a broadcast journalist. She is at once an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, a riveting speaker and a provocative writer. As the esteemed author of Building Your Bright Side and The Power of Building Your Bright Side, Ms. Smith shares with us the rejuvenating behavioral concepts that have transformed some of the world’s most powerful and forward-thinking business leaders of our time.

Ms. Smith is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has guest lectured at the University of Richmond, Jepson Leadership School; Duke University; Miami University; Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management; West Point Academy; Baldwin-Wallace University; and Ursuline College. She currently serves on the boards of the Mid-Michigan Innovation Center, Verb Ballets and the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.  She has served on the boards of NorTech, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Council of Pastoral Leadership. Also, she is a member of In Counsel with Women (ICWW), The Network of Executive Women, the American Heart Association Go Red for Women and the Tiffany Circle of The American Red Cross.  In 2013, Ms. Smith chaired the Circle of Red/Go Red for Women Campaign and co-hosted a PBS special, “Taking Control of your Heart”.  She currently participates in the design and architecture of the American Red Cross “Returning Veterans” strategy and writes a column and blogs for Smart Business regionally and nationally on Bright Side’s core focus of behavioral strategies.

Ms. Smith’s world-renowned methods are a result from her deep personal commitment to challenge the best and brightest not to fear change, but to step up to it and own it like nobody’s business.