From our Dream Team:

Craig M. Smith

Maintaining a Strong Culture While Growing From Start-up to Grown-up

Craig M. Smith is President of HomeAdvisor in Denver.  A fourth generation Coloradan, Craig Smith was raised with a deep appreciation for his home state and a desire to help its people prosper. True to the spirit of the West, Smith’s persistence and work ethic earned him a prestigious fellowship at the El Pomar Foundation, a job that prepared him to rise the ranks as President of HomeAdvisor by age 33.  One year later, Smith was named a Colorado Biz “CEO of the Year” finalist and helped earn the company top honors as Denver Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and CSIA Technology “Company of the Year.” As one of HomeAdvisor’s early executives, Smith was instrumental in building the company from an idea to Colorado’s largest consumer internet brand. 

In addition to his leadership in the business community, Smith has stayed true to his philanthropic roots.  Currently, he serves on The Children’s Hospital Colorado Corporate Leadership Council and the Board of Directors of the Beanstalk Foundation, where he helped champion a new strategy to support the social enterprise movement. Most recently, he was selected to serve on the Board of A+ Colorado, an independent, nonprofit organization working to bring the power of Denver’s citizens to bear on school reform.  

Craig lives in Denver with his wife and three young children and starts almost every morning with a bike ride to take his daughter to school. Even though she’s only in kindergarten, these rides have become the greatest source of inspiration shaping his future career and civic duties. It’s just like they say: “life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 

What Craig promises you as takeaways from his presentation:

When it comes to tapping the booming home-improvement services business, HomeAdvisor is writing its own playbook.  As 2016 drew to a close, the Denver-based company, part of IAC, saw its customer base grow 48% to nearly 150,000 service professionals, revenues swell by 39%, and service inquiries grow 27%.  Craig Smith, HomeAdvisor’s President & COO, talks about the company’s vision and success, and how it’s been able to successfully navigate a very competitive, yet very large, industry segment. HomeAdvisor’s success was driven by successfully adding over 700 employees in three years. Smith will talk about their journey to maintain a strong, engaged, employee culture as they moved quickly from start-up to a large business. 

  • Rapid growth doesn’t mean that companies need to lose identity and the employee buy-in that made it successful as a start-up.
  • Being mindful of how to maintain a strong culture and employee engagement during rapid growth should be a high priority.
  • Embrace the journey and have fun along the way. We tend to focus too much on the outcome and forget to embrace and enjoy the process of getting there.

What Craig says about why he is participating in the retreat:

I’m participating because employee engagement and satisfaction is a top priority of our company. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from peers and human resource professionals that I’ve applied back to our business. Any time there’s an opportunity to network with professionals that care deeply about employee satisfaction and engagement, I’ll be there.

From Craig’s LinkedIn profile:

“Highly motivated and proven internet CEO with experience delivering results and managing significant scale, rapid growth and profitability through innovative thinking. Proven record of execution and integrity. Diverse management skills capable of leading and optimizing teams from 10 to 1,000+ in all areas of Sales, Operations, Product, Digital Marketing and International Expansion”.