J M Smith Corporation Names Paula Harper Bethea Chief Executive Officer and President

The Board of Directors of J M Smith Corporation has tapped current board chair, Paula Harper Bethea, to serve as Chief Executive Officer and President of the corporation. Mrs. Bethea joined the J M Smith Board in 2016 and has served as the Executive Chair since February 1, 2019.

“Paula’s experience and leadership skills are a tremendous asset to our organization,” said Ken Couch, RPh, Vice-Chair of J M Smith Corporation. “The Board appreciates Paula’s vision and commitment to honor our long-standing values of being a good employer for our people and a valued partner to our customers.”

Mrs. Bethea served as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Education Lottery from July 2009 until November 2016 after having been one of nine South Carolinians chosen to establish the Lottery in 2001. She has served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of South State Corporation and South State Bank and is a former Chair of United Way of America, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Columbia College, and is past President of the USC Alumni Association.


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“I am truly humbled and honored to work beside the wonderful team we have throughout all of the J M Smith Corporation,” said Mrs. Bethea. “The foundation on which we are building our future is based on 77 years of relationships with our customers and our vendors and the ability to move forward strategically in a changing landscape while adhering to and respecting our core values. I could not be more proud of the people who ensure our success every day: the men and women who believe in giving our customers the very best in everything we do. I am grateful to have the Board’s trust.”

A life-long resident and champion of South Carolina, Mrs. Bethea holds a BA in English from the University of South Carolina and Honorary Degrees from the University of South Carolina and Presbyterian College.

J M Smith Corporation, headquartered in Spartanburg, is one of South Carolina’s largest privately held companies. Today, the corporation is focused on wholesale pharmaceutical distribution serving independent and long-term care pharmacies.

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