Steve Smith served in the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives for eight years—but now he’s taken on a new role. While he was recognized for his work with balancing the state budget, supporting military and first responders, and working with school choice, he now is the executive director of the T.W. Lewis Foundation.

You’ve had a very successful career! What did you enjoy most about being a senator? 

Helping people. I know that may sound like the canned, politically correct answer to give, but it was truly the best part of the job. Specifically, early on, whenever I would attend a meeting or public event, there would inevitably be people who would ask for help with something, ranging from things like they didn’t get their Social Security check or there was an issue in their city or county they needed guidance with. That morphed into me including in my speeches that if anyone needed help with something to call my office directly, and boy did they ever! When I saw the demand for those needing help, I then took out ads in the local papers and even made a billboard that said, “Need help with a problem, call me,” and included my phone number. I’m pleased to say we helped many people and, although I was just simply doing my job, it was so rewarding to see their gratitude.

What were you most proud of accomplishing in that role?

One of my roles was being the chairman of the Military and Public Safety Committee, so I spent a great deal of my time in the legislature finding ways to support our military heroes and law enforcement officers. Again, I was just doing my job, but the Unified Arizona Veterans presented me with their Copper Shield award of which I felt so undeserving, but it was such a highlight for me.

Now you’re the new executive director of the T.W. Lewis Foundation. First, can you tell us a little about the foundation?

Tom Lewis (president and founder of the hugely successful T.W. Lewis homebuilding company) and his wife Jan started the foundation in the year 2000 to initially help scholarship high school seniors to college. That ultimately transformed into where we are today, which is providing millions of dollars of grants to over 30 local and national nonprofit organizations.

What drew you to be part of it?

The values and mission of the organization. The stated purpose of the T.W. Lewis Foundation is to help children and families in need, impact youth through Christian education, support civic minded causes in our community, strengthen America, and build God's kingdom. This closely aligns with my purpose in life, so it was a natural fit.

In what ways do you hope to make an impact? 

I’d love to further increase awareness of the nonprofit organizations that we support to help inspire more people in our community to volunteer and/or donate to these amazing organizations that help so many people. 

When you’re not working, we’d find you …

Hopefully at the beach!

Favorite places in Scottsdale?

T.W. Lewis Foundation office at Scottsdale Road and Lincoln!

One thing people would be surprised to know about you …

I once officiated a wedding!

Steve Smith