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Erik Smith

Valpak
Director, Cultural Competence and Inclusion

Erik C. Smith  is currently the Cultural Competence and Inclusion Director at Valpak where he has developed a cultural competency rubric to show how diversity coupled with inclusion creates opportunities for innovation, drives revenue and enhances recruitment, retention and professional development of employees, franchisees and suppliers channels.  He has over 25 years of experience as a corporate finance and marketing professional. Erik is also the Managing Consultant and CEO Carlton Consulting, Inc., a cultural competence and marketing advisory firm with offices now based in Florida, specializing in strategic planning, capacity building and cross-cultural marketing for both for profit and not for profit enterprises.  His most recent engagement was becoming the Executive Director of The Jeff Johnson Institute for Urban Development whose focus is to train the young urban professionals for leadership.  Additionally, he served as the COO of Jeff’s Nation a consulting firm with offices in Maryland and Ohio whose specialty is media and message consulting.  Moreover, he has consulted for numerous Fortune 100 advertising agencies, public relations firms and consumer product companies globally. 

Before founding Carlton Consulting, Inc., Erik led all marketing functions for, 216 Entertainment and Recording, LLC a small cutting edge agency specializing in youth and ethnic marketing where he explained how popular culture trends originate in urban culture.  

Additionally, his non-profit experience began at sixteen as an artist in residence for Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium, a small arts-in-education organization in Ct.  Since then he has held roles in various small to large organizations as Chairperson, Managing Director, Treasurer and Strategic Consultant.

Lastly, Erik’s educational background consists of a Masters in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.