Chris L. Smith of Olive Branch, Mississippi, is currently serving his 11th year as a member of the Boards of Directors for Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Smith was elected Imperial Potentate, part of the 12-member body that helps govern the Shriners fraternity, during the Shriners’ 2016 Imperial Session – held in Tampa, Florida, July 3 - July 7.
Smith was raised a Master Mason at Whitehaven Masonic Lodge #599 at the age of 21. Smith is a member of the Memphis Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies of Mississippi. In 1978, Smith was made a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and later a Knight Commander of the Court of Honour.
Originally, Smith became a member of Al Chymia Shriners in Memphis, Tennessee, but he later moved and became a member of Wahabi Shriners in Jackson, Mississippi, where he served as the temple’s Potentate in 2004. Smith is also an active member of the Olive Branch Shrine Club, where he served as president. He has also served as president of both the South Central Shrine Motor Corps Association and the Dixie Shrine Motor Corp Association.
Smith began his Masonic journey when he joined the Order of DeMolay at Whitehaven Lodge in 1969.
Born in Memphis, Smith is in the heating and air conditioning business, and is a member of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating Architects and Engineers and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.
Smith and his wife, Ethel, have two children and four grandchildren, who also live in Olive Branch.