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Murphy Arts District vice president resigns Dan Smith opts to move on after district opens

Posted on February 23, 2018

By Kaitlyn Rigdon
Staff Writer

Dan Smith

Dan Smith, vice president of hospitality and operations and general manager of the Murphy Arts District, resigned Monday.

Austin Barrow, president and chief operating officer of MAD, said Smith approached Barrow and district CEO Terry Stewart in November about moving on.

“(Smith) moved here to get us opened and he designed every aspect of our restaurant business, even down to where the dishwasher goes,” said Barrow.

With Smith’s experience in hospitality and operations, he played a large roll in the construction of the district, specifically the Griffin Restaurant. Now that the district is up and operating, district officials are looking to hire a food and beverage specialist who will be the general manager of the cabaret and restaurant, Barrow said.

“The duties that he had when we was still here were much more encompassing for the entire venue,” Barrow said. “The production side of things will actually fall under me as COO, and then this (new) position will report to me.”

Smith began working for MAD, a 501(c)

(3) nonprofit organization, in July 2015. According to the 2015 tax filings for El Dorado Festivals and Events, which is the most current year that they are publicly available, Smith earned just over $68,000 that year.

Smith has worked in the service and entertainment industry for almost half a century. He studied pre-law at the University of Florida until he realized he preferred the restaurant and entertainment industry.

He has served as the general manager of House of Blues, regional food and beverage executive for Holiday Inn Worldwide, president and owner of Innovative Restaurant and Clubs Strategies, LLC, and has worked as a freelance consultant.

He also served as vice president of food and beverages for the Cleveland Indians in Ohio.

“He left a legacy here and I’m quite proud of what he brought to the table and how much he helped us,” Barrow said. “I can only wish him well on his endeavors.”

Kaitlyn Rigdon can be reached at 870-862-6611 or krigdon@ .