Mitchel Lee Smith started in the insurance business in 1977 at Lawton-Byrne-Bruner Insurance Agency in St. Louis, one of the largest independent brokerages in the U.S. at the time. In his first decade in the business, he gained experience as an account executive working on many national accounts and also with C.T. Bowring at Lloyds of London. Then, after several years with Nationwide Insurance, he joined the Crane Agency in St. Louis as a broker in 1993. He is still with Crane and splits his time between account executive and quality control department duties.