Long-time DeKalb community leader Jerry Smith has announced he will be a candidate for mayor, during the city’s April 2017 consolidated election. Smith has been retired for several years, following a 40-year business career. He was employed for 30 years at Castle PrinTech, where he was the firm’s president for 17 years. In 1999, Smith joined the DeKalb County Community Foundation as its first full-time Executive Director, a post he held until he retired in 2009.
“I’ve been asked many times to consider running for mayor,” Smith said. “With the present state of affairs, especially the seeming lack of congeniality and cooperation among many facets in the city, I feel now is the time to make this decision.”
Smith has compiled a lengthy career in public service, including board stints at the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, Kishwaukee Community Hospital, and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. He also has received a number of awards, including the United Way’s Leo Olson Award, the Rotary’s James Forster Community Service Award, the Kishwaukee College John Roberts Community Service Award, and the DeKalb County Tribute to Heroes recognition.
An NIU graduate, Smith has maintained strong ties with the University, including service on both the Alumni and Foundation boards, the NIU Huskie Club, and the Northern Star Alumni board. He has also remained active with the city and university in promoting the Illinois State High School Football Championships.
Smith is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served the majority of his military service in Germany. Currently, he is serving as a member of Representative Bob Pritchard’s Veterans Committee. Smith lives in DeKalb with his wife, Ging. Their son, Eric, is married and resides in Peoria.