THE PATRON OF THE ARTS
President of the Jefferson Arts Council, former Charles Town Mayor
In the 1970s, early in her career, Peggy Smith was bold enough to question why the pay scale was not equal between men and women. “Men are the heads of household and need to make more money,” she was told. That answer didn’t sit well with her.
Her powerful negotiating skills and determination led Smith to climb the ranks in the banking industry, ultimately retiring as vice president of Business Development and Loans at City National Bank.
In addition to her successful career, the lifelong Jefferson County resident has been highly active in her community. “I love where I live,” Smith says. “I love my city and I love my state, and I wanted to do something to help improve the conditions.” In 2005, she successfully campaigned to become the first woman—and only to-date—to serve as mayor of Charles Town, where secured a grant for the city to establish its Arts & Culture District. She still serves as Jefferson Arts Council president.
Among her many accomplishments, receiving the United Way’s highest honor, the Van Ryzin Award, is among her proudest. She attributes her success to putting herself in the shoes of others and forming partnerships to accomplish goals. “I’ve worked hard,” Smith says. “It wasn’t easy, but I’m very satisfied with what I’ve done for myself, my family, and my community.”
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Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.