HOF 2016 Stephen Smith

Steve Smith

Born October 1958 in Irving TX Steve graduated high school in 1977, then went on to help his father part time at his Fina gas station and worked full time as a mechanic at Western Auto in Irving, TX. Steve went to work for Bill Caudle at Walnut Hill Wrecker in 1978 and at the urging of a friend, he joined a small electrical contracting company in Dallas where he remained for a couple of years and left there with his Journeyman’s Electrical License.

Towing does get into your blood and he went back to Walnut Hill Wrecker as a mechanic until he could become a Heavy Duty Operator. Although Bill Caudle frowned on employee relationships Steve was able to catch the eye of one of the girls in the office and Teresa got tired of waiting and asked him out. They married and started a wonderful family together. Steve left WHW around 1984 for a more stable weekly schedule and used his electrical credentials to land a position in the Energy Management Department for Southland Financial Corporation, the developer of Las Colinas in Irving. Teresa remained at WHW and eventually became the office manager for Bill.

Steve eventually became the department head of the Energy Management cost center of Southland Financial which allowed me flexibilities in schedule. When Bill and his then manager parted company around 1990, He took the early watch at Southland, and spent my afternoons and evenings helping Bill manage WHW.

In 1991, Steve became full time as WHW’s general manager and over the next 8 years, was successful in growing the business, computerizing the impound yards, and adding the latest equipment. He developed a Texas based light duty training program with USAC and TEXSTAR Equipment and took it to several cities in Texas. He became active in TTSA and Texas politics and attended STARS safety training in California, and Wreckmaster. Steve in 1999 along with his partners Grant and Dave became the owners of WHW and over the next 2 years went on to purchase a couple of small local towing companies. In May 2001, they closed on the purchase of the Dallas/Fort Worth Road One market and brought on Rick Chron as a partner and manager of newly branded Signature Towing in Plano.

During his tenure as President of WHW, he developed and implemented several safety related programs. Training became key to his business model and he became involved with the industry on a national level. Improving the image of our industry, and quality of life for our employees, were at the top of our list. They sold our interest to URT on Sept 19, 2008.

Steve is currently the Managing Member of Traffic Incident Management Solutions, LLC. (TIMS) is a consortium of 17 competing towing companies in Dallas and the exclusive service provider for the Dallas Sheriff’s Office in the City of Dallas. He provided training for the drivers of their member companies and an electronic dispatch and inventory system customized for all.

As Current Chairman of the Greater Dallas Emergnecy Wrecker Association which was incorporated in 2004 to combat the perceived threat of a “Safe Clear” type of program affecting the Dallas Police rotation, Steve became a member of the Dallas City Council Transportation Committee. Steve authored the “First on Freeway” program which treated freeway zones as daily single company providers. This program was put in effect on a trial basis and was eventually codified in the Emergency Wrecker Ordinance.

Steve currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Texas Trucking Association (TXTA), and got heavily involved in early 2000 when the deregulation of the towing (trucking) industry was triggering legislation which would have crippled our industry. After some tense times, the dust settled and the towing and trucking industry in Texas began working together on legislation together. He is the “Towing” board member and fields questions from the transportation industry related to towing.

He currently serves as the President and Chairman of the City of Haslet Community and Economic Development Corporation. He is a past Executive Board Member (Treasurer) of the Texas Towing and Storage Associations and served on the TTSA Legislative Committee during the rewrite of the Texas tow truck and storage facility statutes.

Steve is past Board Member and Chairman of the Dallas Fort Worth Council of Safety Professionals. This association exists solely to promote safety in the transportation industry and is responsible for the annual regional truck driving championship, of which he has chaired for 3 years.

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