Sam Smith | Director of Communications
Sam Smith is responsible for communications, marketing and public relations at the Kansas Leadership Center. Before joining KLC, he directed marketing and communications for Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita and served as director of communications at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and was a publicist for the San Francisco International Film Festival. The son of a city employee, Sam considers public service a high calling and shows up to work each day believing his job is to contribute to the greater good of his community.
A classical tenor and trained violist, Sam is also a life-long musician. He performed, recorded and toured with professional ensembles in San Francisco for many years, including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, with whom he sang on Grammy Award-winning and nominated recordings. A career highlight remains his tenure on the Board of Governors for the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy (producer of the Grammy Awards). Here in Wichita, Sam pioneered a music business course for Wichita State University’s Digital Arts program at Shocker Studios, performs weekly as a staff tenor at Plymouth Congregational Church and heads the tenor section for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He serves on the Cultural Funding Committee for the City of Wichita, the Arts Council of Wichita and on the Wichita Jazz Festival Advisory Board.
Born and raised near Los Angeles, Sam eventually drifted north, making San Francisco his home for 18 years. When his fiancée Carmen was appointed professor of flute at WSU and principal flute of Wichita Symphony, they got married, loaded a truck, bid farewell to the Golden Gate Bridge and drove across the country to Kansas. Sam earned a B.A. in classical languages and history from USC and an M. Phil. in classics from King’s College, Cambridge University (U.K.), with further graduate work at Stanford University. He loves his native state, the movies, jazz, smart books, dapper hats, fast cars, riding his bike, looking at buildings, long trips, the National Parks, chile verde, the desert Southwest (his grandmother’s home country) and Kansas thunderstorms, unknown in California.