I recruit, develop and lead top-tier product and engineering teams that drive digital transformation and, ultimately, business results.
I have experience in several industries: technology start-ups, e-commerce, retail, food & beverage, hospitality, automotive & insurance. I help to identify and advance commercial opportunities for enterprises at the intersection of a changing global marketplace, dealing with shifts in the geopolitical landscape and rapidly evolving technology.
From entrepreneurship to Fortune 100
Leveraging 25 years of experience, I've founded companies and worked at Fortune 100 companies. As a hands-on technology leader, I am proud that each and every day, millions of people use products I've helped to build. Today, I primarily focus on Digital Transformation projects as the world increasingly looks to technology to achieve their business ambitions.
Interim Chief Digital Officer, Athletic Greens
We are the developers of AG1, the leading powdered beverage designed to provide daily foundational nutrition. In January 2022, the company raised $115 million in new funding.
Founder & lead investor, Axacraft
Axacraft was founded in August 2022 to address a substantial market gap in the area of Digital Transformation. Our world-class team of polymath product engineering specialists focus on the delivery of epic experiences that create significant competitive advantage for ambitious global clients.
You may know us as the classic car insurance juggernaut, but we built something truly unique. Leading a team of 250 digital professionals, our team helped to make some of the most innovative experiences for automotive enthusiasts. From events to marketplaces, we developed an automotive lifestyle brand in both the online and physical realm.
Q&A with Kelly Smith, startup founder and ex-Starbucks VP leading digital transformation at car company Hagerty.
Leveraging 25 years of experience, I've founded companies and worked at Fortune 100 companies. As a hands-on technology leader, I am proud that each and every day, millions of people use products I've helped to build.
As a public company, Hagerty is well positioned to give car lovers more of what they want – cool events, shared experiences, automotive intel and resources, along with best-in-class insurance and amazing service.
Hagerty remains focused on the digital user experience to support and accelerate membership growth, while expanding the portfolio of engaging and exciting car-focused events and services. The new digital innovations created rewarding new experiences for car lovers and sustainable value for shareholders over the long term.
Hagerty is the leading insurer and membership program for classic car enthusiasts. We created a world-class digital team and developed a wide range of new software products to fan the flames of the car hobby.
I led the efforts to bring in a new design language, frameworks, technologies, and team product culture, which helped to provide the basis for massive growth. We launched new websites, mobile apps, marketplaces, e-commerce, media sites, digital labs, and more.
Based in Las Vegas NV, MGM Resorts International is a $19 billion global entertainment company featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM has 80,000 employees and is recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®.
We conceived and launched MGM Digital Ventures.
MGM Digital Ventures is the hub of technology innovation for the company. It exists to create breakthrough, out-of-the-box guest experiences.
This was an important first step towards a sweeping transformation - a single, unified vision for the future.
We developed some of the most compelling application experiences in the hospitality industry.
Upon starting MGM Digital Ventures, I set out to begin the transformation of the customer experience. This included setting the vision & hiring a world-class team. We developed all-new apps that let you check-in and unlock your door with your phone. We grew e-commerce to $820 million annually in bookings - 14% annual growth.
"A key on your phone, voice-activated digital assistants that can order fresh towels, electrostatic sprayers—hotels are piling on tech workarounds to keep guests safe from Covid-19"
Prior to MGM, I was the Vice President, Global Products at Starbucks.
I led the design, product management and engineering teams that developed the company's consumer-facing experiences.
I created the digital organization and outlined a plan to execute the finest retail experiences in the country. An entirely new technology organization and strategy was developed. The result of that work is a digital payment and loyalty program that is the most pervasive of any other B2C company outside of the primary social networks in the country.
Our new team led the new, unified architecture that sits at the core of Starbucks China digital products. Our innovation included delivery, loyalty, payments and a wide range of strategic partnerships with the leading technology companies in the country.
I helped to establish key partnerships with the leading Chinese technology companies.
Alibaba & more.
While in China, I had the opportunity to work with some of the largest technology companies (and founders like Jack Ma) in China, rolling out digital payment & delivery capabilities.
"Starbucks Mobile Payments Go To China."
"Tencent partners with Starbucks to launch WeChat ‘social gifting’ feature."
"Starbucks uses China as a testing Ground for it's new website: what's improved, what's expected."
We conceived and developed ground-breaking mobile experiences to support the first Starbucks Roastery store outside of North America.
The opportunities that existed for the company in 70 markets around the world led me and a small team to consider design, technology and workflows for creating mobile & web products at scale. This hadn't been considered at the company before. We set up to develop UX/UI kits that could be leveraged by any market. That design language has become the foundation for the current generation of Starbucks apps in the United States and elsewhere.
Angel investing since 2007.
I launched an early seed-stage company in the Pacific Northwest, called Curious Office. We have incubated and invested in dozens of companies, and we participated in some notable exits to companies like these: