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Larry Smith

Athlete, Businessperson and Member of the Canadian Senate

Larry Smith is a dynamic and engaging speaker, with a strategic vision and the know-how to foster business success. Major change and growth take place under his guidance in every position he occupies.


Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Conscious Leadership
The Conscious Leadership Advocate is a self-aware individual with a strong sense of personal values and integrity, who is continually seeking to learn and improve upon existing technical, directional and interpersonal skills. The Conscious Leader is empowered, engaged and empathetic, and relates on a basis of common values and shared experiences, and thus actively contributes to the evolution and advancement of the organizational culture. With each and every interaction the Conscious Leader demonstrates a high degree of emotional logic and intelligence, in tune with their surroundings; they seek to maximize efficiency and productivity in a synergistic environment. How would you describe your organizational awareness?

Managing Human Capital
As our daily interactions with technology require an increasingly complex set of skills to manage an array of devices and applications, our own human software and skills must evolve to equal measure.  In addition to the many challenges of Managing Human Capital over the next several decades, one in particular will be creating more with less:  efficiency and innovation.  Can we sit down and outline a strategy to leverage diversity and bring people together in your organization?

Embracing change
As we live and re-build from the most recent collapse of the global financial structure, the socio-economic, geo-political and demographic challenges that we face are daunting. It is clear that many of the fundamental drivers of our global economy are outdated and unsustainable. More importantly, we have arrived at a critical point in our existence where we need organizations at all levels to create a positive culture of change for a better and more sustainable future. Are you maximizing the collective capital of your organization and empowering the leaders of tomorrow?


Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Chevalier of the Order of Quebec

Desautels/McGill Faculty of Management Achievement Award

Commissioner’s Award, outstanding service and dedication in promoting and preserving the CFL

Sports Personality of the Year at the Quebec Sports Gala

American Marketing Association-Toronto chapter Marketer of the Year (consumer products)

  • He was professional, dynamic, accessible and generous with his time. Many participants expressed how enchanted they were with the content of the speech and at his ability to adapt the examples to suit our sector of industry.
    In brief, Mr. Smith performed to our highest expectations

    - Nicolas Beaulé, B. Sc., Agent de développement
  • your conference presentation was a huge hit according to everybody's comments. Congratulations! Mission accomplished and many thanks again

    - TVA Sales Seminar

Summary Profile

Larry Smith graduated from Bishop’s University with a degree in economics before going on to be a professional player in the Canadian Football League. He then earned a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in 1976, while playing pro football. Smith played nine seasons for the Alouettes and was part of two Grey Cup championship teams, 1974 and ’77.

The Alouettes’ first-round selection in the 1972 Canadian college draft, Smith played 140 consecutive regular-season games, along with 13 playoff and five Grey Cup games. Smith later became the league’s eighth commissioner and oversaw the revival of the moribund league through aggressive marketing and expansion of the CFL, against all expectations, to the United States, where only the return of the NFL to a certain city ended this initiative. 

Following successful negotiations for a new television contract and labour agreement, and elimination of the total debt of the CFL, the League was returned to profitability in less than 18 months. In addition, he spear-headed the implementation of the salary cap in 1992-1993, and “streamlined” the CFL’s cost structure for its future growth and development. For his vision, he was named “Marketer of the Year” for 1994 by the American Marketing Association. Larry Smith then oversaw the re-location of the Baltimore Stallions to Montreal, where they became the new Montreal Alouette’s for the CFL’s 1996 season.

After resigning as commissioner, Smith served as president of the Alouette’s from 1997 to 2001 and has again served in that role between 2004 and 2010.  He has worked tirelessly for professional and amateur football over the last 30 years, playing a key role in reviving the tradition and glory of football in Montreal and the province. He was also president and publisher of the Montreal Gazette newspaper from 2002 to 2004. On December 18, 2010, he was summoned to the Canadian Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.