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Anthony F. Smith


1960 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Anthony F. Smith Obituary
Anthony F. Tony' Smith July 5, 1960 - October 2, 2017 Rancho Santa Fe Anthony F. Smith, PhD, beloved leadership authority and restauranteur passed away on Monday, October 2, 2017, of complications from hemophilia, he was 57. Tony will best be remembered for his kind spirit, the wisdom he lent to the global business landscape, and his love of bringing together great food, wine and friends. He leaves a heart-filled legacy as leadership advisor to industry giants, acclaimed business author, restaurateur, philanthropist, volunteer, musician, and his most treasured role as father. As a child, Tony had a remarkable ability to understand complex human relationships, and it was a pivotal moment when his father was struggling with a work situation that would shape the rest of his life learning and teaching in leadership. At six years old, Tony recalled wanting to make his father's workplace, a major oil concern, a better environment for employees. "When my dad had a rough day at work," he said, "I remember thinking, if I can just sit down with his boss and remind him of the impact that he has on others, he will be more effective as a manager to my dad and the entire crew!" He didn't know it then, but Tony had found his calling.Tony was co-founder and managing director of the Leadership Research Institute (LRI) which specializes in leadership and organizational development by partnering with senior executives in Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1980, LRI's clients include many of the largest, most successful, and most-admired firms in their sector; as well as emerging companies that are among the fastest growing. He was an organizational consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, author, and an internationally recognized professor in the field of executive leadership and organizational culture. Tony was known for his contrarian research and writing in the field of executive leadership and consulted for over 35 years with many of the world's most admired and successful companies. As a successful entrepreneur, he realized that much of what has been written about leadership is research void and often times sugar coated for purposes of selling books or training programs, which unfortunately, has resulted in a lack of understanding and under appreciation of what it takes to lead. His clients included international giants, such as American Express, McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, Spencer Stuart, TPG, ESPN, Disney, Deutsche Bank and the NFL. He served on the executive boards of nonprofit organizations, such as the American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, Women's World Banking, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, The Grauer School, and the Carnegie Institute of Science. Tony's research, writings, and reviews on leadership have appeared in several publications, including the European Journal of Management, the Journal of Leadership Studies, the Harvard Business Review, Businessweek, Investors Business Daily, The Economist, and the best-selling books, The Leader of the Future and The Organization of the Future, both published by the Drucker Foundation. He is author of the critically acclaimed book entitled The Taboos of Leadership: The Ten Secrets No One Will Tell You About Leaders and What They Really Think, (Jossey Bass, March 2007), and ESPN: The Story and Lessons Behind the Most Fanatical Brand in Sports, (Wiley and Sons, August 2009) where 100% of proceeds are donated to The V Foundation. Soon to be released is his latest book on leadership featuring interviews and perspectives on the role that randomness, chance, serendipity, and probability plays in the world of leadership. Tony served on the teaching and research faculties of several universities, including Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, the University of California, USD, SDSU, and the European School of Management at Oxford. He held a B.A. and M.A. in the Behavioral Sciences and earned his Doctorate from the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego. Following his Doctorate, he was appointed as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Social Anthropology at the University of California, where he studied Leadership and Organizational Culture.Tony was the recipient of the Arthur E. Hughes Lifetime Career Achievement Award and was cited by Wired magazine as "an acclaimed visionary in the field of leadership studies". As a management consultant and a business author, Tony traveled nearly ten million miles experiencing the best in casual and fine cuisine, as well as the finest wines from around the world. Envisioning to bring some of his favorite experiences closer to home, and a place he and friends could go to for a good time, he created Dolce Pane e Vino in Rancho Santa Fe, where he was owner and self-appointed "Czar of Mirth and Merriment". He was also co-owner of Dolce at Highlands Ranch in Carmel Valley. Applying his passion for learning from the best, he employed this same philosophy at each of his restaurants creating environments filled with warmth, quality food and service and always a little mirth and merriment. A native San Diegan Tony Smith was born on July 5, 1960, the son of Frank and Sylvia, he resided in North County. He grew up in Santee and attended Santana High School. His father drove a truck for Texaco and his mother was a homemaker. His family immigrated to the United States in March 1896, when Luigi Ferrari arrived from Genoa, Italy at Ellis Island, New York. Grandma Meri Ferrari and her sister also arrived that day for arranged marriages. They met and married in San Diego's Little Italy in 1906. Not long after they purchased 60 acres in Mission Valley and started buying cows. One of the first San Diego dairies was established in 1914. Fast forward to 1978, the last dairy remaining in Mission Valley, Ferrari Challenge Dairy, was sold.Tony is survived by his wife of 32 years, Erin Murphy Smith; two children, Estelle Rose (17) and Dominic Thomas (13); mother, Sylvia; and one brother, Ray Michael. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations be made to a college fund that is being arranged for Estelle and Dominic Smith, The Grauer School to the Anthony Smith Memorial Fund, www.grauerschool.com/giving/anthony-smith-memorial-fund, and The V Foundation for Cancer Research. A celebration of Tony's life will take place at The Grauer School on Friday, November 10, 2017, at 2pm. Please sign the guest book online at legacy.com/obituaries/ ranchosantafereview .
Published in the Rancho Santa Fe Review on Oct. 12, 2017
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