Commissioner Bennie Smith was appointed to the Shelby County Election in April 2019. He works in analytics and innovation at FedEx Express.
Smith has developed expansive business and technical skills throughout his career. Early on, he worked in government as a liaison between elected officials and IT. He was a software developer who maintained City of Memphis applications for many divisions including the Traffic Violations Bureau, Memphis Police and Internal Affairs.
From Government to the private sector, he developed applications for lender auditing at First Tennessee, production metrics at International Paper, and revenue management in hospitality for Hilton Worldwide before holding multiple positions in Thomas & Betts.
Smith started in IT as an application developer transforming over 100M records from its data warehouse into reporting data models. Being recognized for the ability to quickly analyze and provide leadership with actionable intel, Smith moved into a Business Analytics COE role in Finance where he developed a targets application that harnessed powerful allocation methods to redistribute over $2B in sales revenue back though its organization to the agents. He developed applications to calculate global sales, distribute agent commission payments, and an inventory analysis application that provided visibility to $20M in excess or obsolete inventory.
Smith moved to parent company ABB as a Financial Analytics Manager. Using his Lean/Six Sigma training, he worked on cost saving initiatives to save $1M+ in freight charges, identify over $60M in new pricing opportunities from net price variance methods, and evaluate margins. He developed an application to create budgets, manage headcount, cost center P&L analysis and reporting to financial controllers and company executives.
Smith is a former VP of the Board of Directors of the Southwind Residential Property Association. Smith operates Smartsoft, a consulting firm that provides business intelligence, software development, image and personal finance counsel to individuals. Made in Memphis Entertainment and ABB are among its client base.
Smartsoft also provides political strategies and analytics, direct mail and field operations and has advised candidates in nearly every elected office in Shelby County.
Smith has a passion for election transparency, serves on the Technical Advisory Team for SMART Elections and is most known locally for his micro-targeting application and predictive analytics method to forecast voter turnout. Smith is most known nationally for a proof of concept application he developed and a research series he participated in to examine election system vulnerabilities. Both were covered by Bloomberg in its Cyber Security Segment and the cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek. Smith’s research uncovered an extraordinarily high-risk tampering mechanism and ultimately provided a new infrastructure for analyzing questionable election results. Smith’s work has been referenced in congressional hearings, cited as the ground work for the Ballot Images Project, and has been presented to Secretaries of States, US Congress Representatives and a number of Election integrity organizations and communication mediums.
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