Northwest Arkansas business and civic leader Cameron Smith has died

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 10,988 views 

Cameron Smith, who launched his executive recruiting firm nearly 30 years ago in Northwest Arkansas and is credited with building customer teams for hundreds of Walmart supplier offices in the region, died Monday (July 18) at Mercy Hospital in Rogers due to complications from his battle with throat cancer. He was 71.

Smith was the founder and CEO of Cameron Smith & Associates (CSA) in Rogers. The company announced Smith’s death in a news release.

Scott Crossett, a senior partner at CSA who joined the firm in 2007, has been named CEO.

“The CSA family is deeply saddened by Cameron’s passing, and we extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, Monica, their four children and 10 grandchildren,” Crossett said in a statement. “The ripple effect of his passing will be felt profoundly. He is known as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, change-maker and dedicated community leader, but to us, he was such a great friend. He especially had a heart for people and their success. Our team is committed to keeping Cameron’s legacy alive through our work and continued community involvement.”

Smith grew up in California and moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1994. According to the news release, he started the search firm with a yellow pad, phone and a vision to start a world-class consumer packaged goods (CPG) executive search firm when there were less than 50 supplier teams in Bentonville.

“With the support of his wife, Monica, a Russellville native, his dream became a reality,” the release said. “Today, CSA has a team of seasoned recruiters recognized as one of the most successful and prominent consumer packaged goods search firms in the country. Twelve of the recruiters have been with CSA for over 10 years and the average tenure of the team is nearly 13 years.”

Smith also co-founded the speaker series Doing Business in Bentonville and Shiloh Technologies, a software company.

Smith served three terms on the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Northwest Arkansas Council Executive Board. He was also previously a Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce board member. He was also a speaker and mentor at the University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas, NorthWest Arkansas Community College and John Brown University.

In 2017, Forbes named CSA one of America’s Best Executive Search Firms. In 2019, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal honored Smith with the C-Suite Award.

Talk Business & Politics will update this story.