Former Nebraska state Sen. Jim Smith to join Platte Institute
Former Nebraska state Sen. Jim Smith, of Papillion, will join the staff of the Platte Institute as the organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.
Smith serves as President of Blueprint Nebraska, a statewide visioning process for Nebraska’s growth, competitiveness, and prosperity. Before leading Blueprint, Smith served two terms in the Nebraska Legislature, representing Sarpy County’s District 14. In Lincoln, Smith was the chair of the Legislature’s Revenue and Transportation and Telecommunications Committees.
Earlier this month, Blueprint Nebraska announced a transition plan to hand off implementation of its initiatives to three Nebraska organizations, including the Platte Institute.
In addition to his work in state government and on Nebraska economic issues, Smith has been a small business owner and investor for nearly 15 years and spent more than 25 years in the electric and gas utility industry. He worked for investor-owned utilities in Louisiana and Texas, and later for public power in Nebraska.
“When most people hear the words ‘vice president,’ they probably imagine someone ready to step into the top job, and that’s exactly the kind of proven leadership Jim Smith will be bringing to the Platte Institute,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute.
“From growing a successful small business in Nebraska, to leading on infrastructure and tax reform as a state senator, he’s always delivered real-world results that make Nebraska an even better place to live and work,” Vokal said.
Originally from Florida, Smith holds an undergraduate accounting degree from the University of West Florida and an MBA from Creighton University. He and his wife Ruth have two adult children who live in the Omaha area.
“As a Nebraskan by choice, I’ve truly experienced what the Good Life offers to families and businesses, and the Platte Institute is focused on creating opportunities so more people can find their own version of the Good Life in Nebraska,” Smith said.
“I’m excited to join the Platte Institute team and amplify the voice of Nebraskans, especially our small businesses, who have a very direct impact on the quality of life in our communities,” Smith said.