Crain’s Notable Leaders in HR Recognizes Avionos’ Co-Founder and Chief People Officer Gibson Smith

Smith is among Chicago’s most notable leaders in the HR Industry for his commitment to employee well being and professional growth

Gibson Smith, co-founder and Chief People Officer of Avionos, which designs and implements digital commerce and marketing solutions, has been named to the 2021 Notable Leaders in HR list by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Crain’s selected Smith among other Chicago executives who are leaders in their fields, mentor other human resources executives and have demonstrated an ability to recruit and retain talent, improve efficiency, enhance company culture and promote diversity and inclusion. Smith, co-founder of Avionos, was elevated to CPO in early 2020. Since the company’s inception, he has led the company in enhancing employee engagement, and particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gibson and his team have developed a firm diversity and inclusion program, a clear path of career progression across operations, client delivery, sales, and management, and cross-team PODS, enabling employees to support and collaborate with one another even in the current remote work environment.

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“The past year has been incredibly challenging for individuals and businesses alike so it’s a true privilege to be recognized alongside other HR leaders in the Chicagoland area right now,” said Smith. “At Avionos, employee centricity is at our core. This award speaks to our dedication to their well being and professional growth even in these unprecedented times. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished and excited for what’s to come in 2021 as we continue to find new ways to support and engage our people.”

In addition to company-wide initiatives made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith was also integral in launching Avionos’ first international office in Bogota, Colombia. To help grow the employee base, Smith created a better way to assess behavioral and characteristics of potential hires in coordination with employees, ensuring Avionos supported diverse thought in the recruiting process and growing from 45 to 80 employees from 2019 to 2020.

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The recognition comes after an impressive year of growth and honors for Avionos. Last year, the company was ranked #4 on Crain’s Chicago Fast 50 List and named to Crain’s Best Places to Work in Chicago List for the third consecutive year. Additionally, Inc. Magazine recognized Avionos as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States on this 2020’s Inc. 5000 list, following tremendous growth of 900% since 2015 and a 350% increase in employee headcount since its founding in 2014.

“Gibson has led Avionos through every stage of growth, ensuring each employee is set up for success, both at work and at home,” said Scott Webb, CEO of Avionos. “Our company culture is built on entrepreneurial values like transparency, ownership-level accountability, and winning together so employees and the company can grow alongside each other. Avionos is poised for further growth and success in the years to come thanks to Gibson and the rest of our leadership team finding great talent and putting our employees first.”

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