- Entrepreneur/Business Owner
Diane Smith is an entrepreneur, investor, attorney, author, and advocate with extensive background in start-up companies and new industries. She is also the founder and CEO of American Rural, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring robust opportunities for rural and small town Americans.
In 2004, Diane became the co-founder and CEO of a ground-breaking technology company in Northwest Montana that successfully raised millions in start-up capital. Prior to that, Diane was a senior executive with Sprint and Alltel during their most tumultuous and high-growth years.
Diane is proud to have played on teams of geniuses throughout her career. She has worked alongside rockstar technologists, PR specialists, sales and marketing experts, economists, finance gurus, and government relations pros. As a former CEO/entrepreneur, Fortune 500 executive, investor, deal negotiator, and policy expert Diane often advises businesses and policymakers on matters relating to technology, entrepreneurship and economic growth.
Diane serves on numerous for profit and not-for-profit boards. She has written for the Huffington Post, Daily Yonder, numerous tech publications, and the American Rural newsletter, Ruralistically. She is a frequent guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at universities, hosts webinars on entrepreneurship and technology, and has spoken on topics in the U.S. and internationally regarding Women in Technology, Success in Unlikely Places, and What is Rural? Diane is a graduate of George Mason University and George Mason University School of Law and is a member of the state bars of Virginia and Montana. She and her husband David live in Whitefish, MT.