Kelly Smith Bio

Over 25 years of technology experience as a business leader, product designer, engineering team leader, entrepreneur and investor.

Mr. Smith oversees all aspects of digital transformation to include team building, customer experience, development, design and product management. Smith brings a unique perspective to executive committees and board rooms due to his broad and deep experience from both the traditional CIO perspective as well as Chief Digital Officer/Chief Experience Officer experience.  From this vantage point, he has managed back-of-house IT teams, marketing technology teams and cutting-edge consumer applications.

Mr. Smith is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of Hagerty, the world’s largest insurer of collectible cars and the largest automotive enthusiast membership organization.  In this role, he serves as the CIO, CDO and CSO.  IT, Digital, Data, Martech & Security roll up under his leadership.

Previously, Mr. Smith was the Sr Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at MGM Resorts International.  MGM Resorts is a global hospitality company of 80,000 employees, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands, including Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The company offers hotel, dining, entertainment, gaming, retail, and other resort amenities. It owns and operates properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has investments in some properties in Nevada, Illinois and Macau. Mr. Smith led the digital transformation including the establishment of MGM Digital Ventures which focuses exclusively on the customer experience.  New initiatives included self-checkin via an all new mobile app and re-keying all hotel room doors with Bluetooth low energy locks.  The mobile app now serves as the guest’s door key as well as the passport to shows, restaurant reservations and more.

Before MGM, Mr. Smith was with Starbucks, where he served as Vice President, Global Digital Products, leading the teams responsible for the company’s popular mobile and web products which are world leaders in retail innovation, driving millions of daily transactions and billions in revenue.  The Starbucks app is the world’s 2nd largest digital payment platform behind Apple Pay. 30% of all orders in the United States come through the mobile app. Previously, he served as the Vice President, Digital for Starbucks China where he recruited and led the initial product management, design and engineering teams developing groundbreaking consumer experiences such as digital payment and China’s most popular food & beverage loyalty program.  After years of opening one new store every 14 hours in China, he was promoted to lead all international digital products until subsequently being asked to lead the US organization as well.

Smith has started and sold several venture-backed software companies and is known to design and develop his initial prototypes. He started his career in the earliest days of the internet, marketing the first commercial version of the (Mosaic) web browser. The company was sold to CompuServe/America Online and Smith went on to work for RealNetworks where they pioneered the technology for audio and video streaming on the internet.  He has been was a seed investor in startups that were sold to Amazon, Google, Priceline and others.  He continues to mentor young entrepreneurs via TechStars and other incubation programs.

Mr. Smith enjoys traveling with his wife Dasha, who is originally from Siberia in the southern part of Russia. They met while living in China and Dasha was teaching English to private school students in Shanghai.  They have a daughter, Varvara, and two small dogs (Luba and Cricket). When he's not traveling or spending time with family, Kelly is usually coding something new or in the garage trying to restore vintage air-cooled Porsches.