Washington DC (February 3, 2010)FOCUS LLC, a national middle market investment banking firm providing merger, acquisition, divestiture and corporate finance services, announces that Donald F. Smith, Jr. Ph.D. has joined FOCUS as a Senior Advisor in its Washington, DC office. Mr. Smith is the President of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), the largest IDC in Pennsylvania with an annual budget of more than $40M.

According to Doug Rodgers, CEO and Managing Partner of FOCUS, “Don’s experience in economic development and his past work as President of The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a startup company designed to stimulate a biomedical industry cluster in Southwestern Pennsylvania, make him uniquely qualified to help FOCUS serve its client base.”

Mr. Smith began his career in economic development with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce where he was the lead analyst on the state’s economic development strategy – Investing in Pennsylvania’s Future.

Fred Rock, FOCUS managing director in Pittsburgh, PA adds, “Don’s diverse experience includes work with RAND’s Critical Technology Institute in Washington D.C. as a technology policy analyst specializing in the financing of new technologies and the development of regional technology clusters.”

In 1995, Mr. Smith joined Carnegie Mellon University to direct the Center for Economic Development, and teach in the economic development curriculum. He later became the Vice President of Economic Development for MPC (Mellon Pitt Carnegie) Corporation – a nationally unique model of collaboration on economic development between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.

Mr. Smith earned his BA in economics at Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. In Pittsburgh, Don is active in a number of boards and community activities, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, Chair of the Greater Oakland Keystone Innovation Zone and on the boards of Ft. Pitt Capital Total Return Fund, Idea Foundry, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, The First Tee of Pittsburgh.


FOCUS LLC provides a range of middle market investment banking services with an emphasis on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate finance. FOCUS is a national firm serving clients from offices in major cities across the United States. FOCUS specializes in business units with transactions or revenues in the $5-300 million range, serving entrepreneurs, corporate owners and various types of investors across a broad range of industries, throughout the U.S. and worldwide. FOCUS bankers are seasoned operating and financial executives with extensive transaction experience. Securities transactions conducted by FOCUS Securities LLC, an affiliated company, registered Broker Dealer member FINRA/SIPC. For more information on FOCUS, visit www.focusbankers.com.

Kahla Cooper is the Director of Marketing at FOCUS. In this role, Ms. Cooper designs and implements the overall marketing strategy. Ms. Cooper works with each industry team leader to define programs in order to promote and brand FOCUS’ suite of capabilities.