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Edgar Smith Jr., CEO, World Pac Paper, No. 155
Edgar Smith acquired the entrepreneurial drive at a young age, growing up surrounded by his parents’ small business ventures. Though his father was a veterinarian who oversaw meat inspection for the USDA and his mother was a teacher, Smith’s parents also owned a radio station and a stake in Detroit City Cab, a group of African-American taxi drivers and owners founded in 1928. Smith saw that his parents’ endeavors required a lot of work but “in exchange for freedom and flexibility.” In 2004, the paper industry veteran founded World Pac Paper, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based distributor of printing and packaging papers.