Longtime Public Relations Director Honored

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Longtime Martinsville Speedway Public Relations Director Mike Smith was honored Tuesday by the City of Martinsville and Henry County for his contributions to the area over the past four decades.

Smith, who will be leaving the speedway this Friday, was presented a joint proclamation from the city and the county “proclaiming their thanks and appreciation to Mike Smith for his dedication to our community, Martinsville Speedway, and the thousands of fans and journalists upon who he had such an impact.”

“I really can’t put into words what this means, and for those who know me, speechless is a rare thing,” said Smith, who has lived in the Martinsville and Henry County area since the late 1970s, first as a reporter and sports editor for the Martinsville Bulletin, and as the track’s public relations director since the fall of 2000.

“This area has been home for me all of my adult life. It is a special place to me; it always will be. It was a great area to raise a child; it has provided a wonderful work environment. There are so many things I will miss, but we are excited about the next chapter.”

Those who know Smith the best said the honor is more than appropriate.

“I’ve been around Mike Smith for a long time, first while he was covering races at Martinsville Speedway for the Martinsville Bulletin and then working with him for the past 16 years,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “I’ve seen him dedicate his life to Martinsville and Henry County and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to honor him.”

Smith will be relocating to Bristol, TN, where he will join wife Aleeta and begin work with his own public relations consulting business.

"Mike Smith has been a personal friend and a friend to this community for more than 35 years," said County Administrator Tim Hall. "He is the quintessential professional who cares deeply about the Martinsville-Henry County area and Martinsville Speedway. Mike is passionate about his job, his industry and his locality, and his impact on all three is immeasurable. He truly will be missed."

 Martinsville City Manager Leon Towarnicki echoed Hall’s sentiments.

“Mike has spent close to 40 years contributing to the Martinsville-Henry County community, the last 15 as Director of Public Relations with the Speedway,” said Towarnicki. “He’s always maintained the highest standards of professionalism throughout his career, could always be counted on for help when needed, and has always had the best interests of our community in mind.  He will be truly missed and moves on to the next chapter of his life and career with our sincere thanks, and best-wishes.”
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