Jessie Smith began work this week as vice president of advertising for The Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com.
Smith, a Kansas State graduate who grew up in North Pole, Alaska, said her top priority at the helm of the advertising staff is to build relationships with people and businesses in the community.
“We’re really going to have to spend a lot of time with the people and earn their business and earn their trust back because we haven’t had anyone that’s been that advocate for them for a few years, so we want to bridge that gap and welcome them back into our family,” Smith said.
Smith worked on The Eagle’s advertising staff from 2009-2015, starting on the retail accounts team and working her way up to handle major local and national advertisers.
“By the time I left, I had been promoted to a key account desk, and I handled agencies and pretty much all the entertainment business — Intrust Bank Arena, Kansas Star Casino, Hartman,” Smith said.
She rejoins The Eagle after serving as regional sales agronomist for AgXplore International, a farming company headquartered in Missouri.
Smith said her experience working in agriculture has given her a deep appreciation of legacy.
“I’m in tune with generations and generational turn and taking those leaps of faith that people need to take to be successful in today’s marketspace,” Smith said.
“A lot of the businesses in Wichita have really been around for a long time, and they have a legacy to uphold as well, so being a part of that would be very special.”
Smith lives on a farm of her own in Inman, Kansas, with two Husky rescues, a miniature donkey and a miniature pony named Sunny who entertains children as a unicorn at birthday parties.