One of the most valued, trusted, and relied upon resources in the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County community happened purely by accident. Founded by Jeff Smith, Smitty’s Notes has been a staple for residents, visitors, and newcomers for 25 years.
“It started very simply,” said Jeff. “I was working to make plans with friends for the weekend. So I started writing an email of the local events and happenings so we could organize our plans, and before I knew it – Smitty’s Notes developed a reach far beyond my inner circle.”
“Before long, friends of friends were forwarding the email. Then, one day – someone forwarded my own email back to me. That’s when I knew this was bigger than I had ever anticipated.” He realized that he needed a website that could be an easy-to-access resource for the community in addition to the newsletter.
For over two decades, Jeff managed Smitty’s Notes as a hobby while working full time as a litigation paralegal in Greensboro. “While working full time, I still found such enrichment from Smitty’s Notes,” Jeff shared. “I am so proud that the website and newsletter cross all demographics, ages, and professions.
“I’m especially proud of the connections that have been made through Smitty’s Notes. Friendships have been formed, and professionals have networked – all because of events where they met – events they learned about because of Smitty’s Notes. I even know of several couples who eventually got married because they met at an event posted on Smitty’s Notes!”
Jeff is also proud that Smitty’s Notes helps promote community involvement and engagement. “Over the years, I’ve been asked about franchising Smitty’s Notes or extending beyond Forsyth County. But I’m not really interested in doing that. I’m a big believer in supporting our community right here, and Smitty’s Notes has encouraged that. One of the things I especially enjoy doing is sitting at a table of an event promoted through Smitty’s Notes and watching the faces of those who are there – knowing that they are connecting with each other and the community as a whole.”
Though Jeff’s name is synonymous with activities and events, he is a quiet, thoughtful, and reflective man who is as content at home as he is hanging out with his family and friends. A strong community advocate, Jeff has served on various boards and committees, and today he continues to serve on the board for the Millennium Fund. After 31 years as a paralegal, Jeff retired four years ago.
“I was diagnosed with MS in 2009 and decided that for the sake of my health, I needed to scale back. But MS doesn’t stop me from continuing to serve our community through Smitty’s Notes.” Jeff frequently uses the platform he’s built through Smitty’s Notes to encourage others who have been diagnosed with MS and educate the community about what MS looks like.
What started as a simple email blossomed from a generous heart from one who simply wanted to experience his local community, as well as support and encourage others to take a look around at the amazing options we have here in Forsyth County. It’s that same generosity of time and talent that has made Smitty’s Notes 25-years strong with no end date in sight.
Congratulations to Jeff Smith on this tremendous accomplishment and on behalf of the community – thank you for your years of service!
For more information or to sign up for the Smitty’s Notes Newsletter, visit the website (www.smittysnotes.com), or you can email Jeff directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Smitty’s Notes is also on Facebook.