In February 1964, when Smith joined the Telephone Engineer Publishing Company of Chicago, IL, the Independent telephone industry was on the cusp of decades-long dramatic changes in technology. TE Publishing Company's flagship trade journal, semi-monthly Telephone Engineer & Management (TE&M), was the industry's recognized source for technology updates and engineering how-to since its launching in 1909.
Ray H. Smith -- a talented print journalist with six years of hands on magazine publishing experience, combined with an MBA in Marketing from the prestigious University of Chicago Graduate School of Business -- brought a 32-year-old's youthful energy and professionalism.
He was soon named Editor and Publisher of TE&M.
For the next 30 years, Smith was the one constant in guiding the editorial content and business prosperity of the magazine depended upon 24 times per year by some 112,000 individual readers in all departments of both the Independent telcos and their manufacturers and suppliers. These readers consistently learned about the latest in new telecom technology and how to integrate products and processes into their networks to provide the world's finest telephone service. After his retirement in 1994 from full-time publishing, Smith served an additional 10 years in active telecom media consulting roles.
In May 1967, Smith was one of only three industry journalists invited to the White House to cover the marking of the telephone industry's installation of the 100th Million Telephone in the U.S. The historic event attended by Bell, Independent, REA and Congressional dignitaries saw President Lyndon Johnson speak to state governors over a hookup to all 50 state Capitals. Smith 's eyewitness coverage from the Oval Office vividly captured for readers this signal moment.
The ITPA and its Leadership, since the group's founding in the 1920s, have been aware how strategically important it was to engage at least one senior staffer of its industry trade journals like TE&M-- in Pioneering. Ray’s hands-on interest assured frequent and ongoing coverage in the magazine which, in turn, kept not only ITPA-member readers current on Pioneer news but, more importantly, encouraged Independent telco management in supporting local clubs and chapters
with funding, sharing of facilities and granting time-off for Pioneering.