This Is Rutherford
This is Michelle Smith
Updated: May 4
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Not only an extremely successful businesswoman, Michelle Smith is also a mother to her two young children and an active member of the Rutherford community. Michelle has lived in Rutherford for seven years with her husband, Jared. Just a few months ago, Michelle was named Senior VP of Global Consumer Partnerships at Variety. After fifteen years with Variety, Michelle is excited to continue in her new, expanded role at the company. This is Rutherford interviewed Michelle about her career, family, and her community.
TIR: How long have you lived in Rutherford? Would you like to tell us about your family?
Michelle Smith: We moved to Rutherford in February 2016, we have two kids in Washington and Pierrepont schools. When we first moved to town I posted a message on the Rutherford Facebook group about meeting other families with kids in town. We hosted a play date at Memorial Park and we ended up meeting some great families with kids of similar ages and are still very good friends with them today.
TIR: Tell us some ways that you are involved in the community.
MS: Our kids have been involved with recreation sports, as well as the Rutherford Rock program. My husband has coached numerous soccer and softball teams for several years. I was also involved with The Williams Center for the Arts and sat on the Board of Trustees before it was sold.
TIR: Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?
MS: We decided to move to Rutherford because of the small town feel along with the close proximity to Manhattan. We lived in Secaucus for a few years after living in Manhattan and decided on Rutherford when it was time to move to a neighborhood with great schools and a wonderful community.
TIR: You have worked at Variety for fifteen years. What have you enjoyed most about your time with this company?
MS: 15 years is a long time - the longest place I have ever worked! Variety is an iconic brand that has been around since 1905 covering the business of entertainment. It has been an exciting place to grow my career and be part of the evolution of a legacy brand. I report to our CEO who is also female (and a mom) and Variety is a female led company which is probably one of the reasons I have stayed for so long.
TIR: Variety has credited you for your leadership and success in consumer sales (including a record - breaking year in 2022 in global consumer business). To what do you attribute this success?
MS: I work with the most talented team in the business and my success is due to their hard work. As a sales leader, I would not be successful without my amazing team. My team sells 360 programs for Variety - that includes advertising in our weekly print magazine, on digital and social as well as sponsorship at more than 70+ live events.
TIR: Congratulations on your recent promotion to Senior VP of Global Consumer Partnerships. How are you feeling about this new promotion?
MS: I am thrilled to be recognized by the company and up for the challenge in ensuring we have another record breaking year.
TIR: You have achieved many career milestones while raising a son and daughter with your husband, Jared. What do you hope your children have learned from you and will continue to learn from you?
MS: I hope my children know that they can achieve success in whatever they set their minds on. I have a frame on my desk at work from my son a few years ago where he wrote "My hero is my mom because she works very hard and wants me to have a good life." I teared up when he gave it to me and thought about all the times I felt like a bad mom for traveling for work or missing school functions but it also made me think, maybe I am doing something right.