With more than 25 years of professional experience under his belt, Gil Smith produces constructive and successful program improvements on a daily basis in multiple organizations. His leadership experience crosses public and private lines of business.
As president of YRCI, a veteran-owned professional services firm based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, Smith and his team help shape the dialogue of the firm’s federal and commercial customers across the nation. This year, YRCI celebrated its 15 year anniversary, and with Smith at the helm, its customers continue to grow exponentially. Throughout his career, Smith demonstrated how his business acumen and agile movements yielded success in many roles.
Prior to joining YRCI, Smith took on advisory roles in organizations representing musicians, athletes, production services, energy companies, entrepreneurs, and was a partner in an imaging, entertainment and sports enterprise based in Mooresville, North Carolina.
In addition to performing his duties to YRCI, Smith guides companies and nonproftis toward more mature, structurally sound and profitable outcomes. It’s a relationship business model that has grown and continues to prosper.
“When I sit at the table [as an adviser]or interact on their behalf, whoever their clients and partners are, they get the sense that there is somebody with business structure involved, and it isn’t just a creative exercise,” Smith said. “That’s the comfort and expertise that I provide both internally to my clients and externally to their customers.”
Smith’s full-time focus is on YRCI. In January 2012, when he came to YRCI, the company was in the midst of change. Its business model shifted from a successful staffing company within multiple federal agencies to the professional business services model it is today.
Smith helped the company diversify its service offerings in strategic partnerships by changing its recruiting model, strategically marketing the business through its rebranding, and making sure the company selected quality work to help him achieve its goals.
“One of the things that the owner and Chairman John Jaeger says is that when I joined the company, the dialogue changed with the customer,” Smith said. “We moved the discussion from the department head level to the executive level within the federal agencies. [YRCI] was having discussions with customers that we had never had before.”
Leading the charge, Smith helped YRCI lead its customers into strategic discussions about how they could change and improve their acquisitions and human resources departments. YRCI followed up these discussions with questions about how the customers can resource that operation and how it could be improved from a process and execution standpoint. It took a “sea change” to take the business up another level.
As a former U.S. Navy chief hospital corpsman and comptroller and medical service corps officer for 20 years, Smith learned the best practices for running an enterprise. Like any business, the enterprise of the Navy has to function with all of the different parts at a high-performance level in every aspect. So, too, did YRCI need to function for the benefit of the company at all levels.
“When you become a Navy chief, there is a lot of experience and training that goes into that really on how to deal with people on an individual basis and give you the flexibility and leadership style to go from situation to situation,” Smith said. “At YRCI, we made a decision to start making talent along with buying talent, and that changed the energy and culture of YRCI substantially.”
In addition to adding more millennials to its team, YRCI initiated a strategic marketing campaign to rebrand itself as a professional services company. Through social media campaigns and partnerships with local media outlets including WashingtonExec, the company earned a more established market presence.
This presence has boosted YRCI’s ability to ensure it gets the best and brightest talent in its three core offerings: human resources, acquisition services and financial management. In recent years, YRCI has become one of the leading firms in federal human resources and acquisitions, and it recently added financial services to its offerings while being judicious about the work it takes on.
“We make sure we are pursuing quality work that is valuable for our people to do,” Smith said. “I’d like to think that anybody that is in the business of serving the government wants to improve government. If you are in this business, be in business to make a positive difference for your customer and your employees.”
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