A native of San Antonio, Texas, Aaron Gregory Smith held his first job in the food industry at the age of 17, working the graveyard shift at his local coffee shop.
In the fall of 2009, Smith was elected Vice President of the San Francisco Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. During his tenure, the chapter experienced a notable period of growth and productivity which inclined then National Vice President David Nepove to ask him to join the organization at the National level. In August 2010, Smith was elected National Vice President of the Guild and he eventually stepped into the Treasurer position to assist the USBG in developing structural improvements to support its substantial growth.
In September of 2013, the USBG announced its first-ever Executive Director and Aaron accepted the interim post while the Board of Directors interviewed a qualified candidate pool. Smith was formally offered the Executive Director position in November of that year. Since taking over in a management capacity, the USBG staff has expanded from 2 to 11 full-time employees and has experienced double-digit membership growth, representing now over 6000 members from 50 communities nationwide.
Smith believes that bartenders are natural leaders in their establishments and communities. Through the continued expansion and growth of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, he hopes to establish a strong culture of leadership and integrity within the community of professional bartenders.