Edward Smith (1954-2024), chairman and CEO of ULLICO passed away on January 3, 2024, with his family by his side.
Smith, began his career with Illinois LiUNA Local 773 at the mere age of thirteen, working his way through the ranks of the union being elected its business manager at only twenty-one.
Smith later became an International Union Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager for the international union. He also served as assistant to the general president.
Throughout his time in Illinois, Smith served on the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund and the Illinois State Board of Investments. He also expanded LiUNA’s political influence, lobbying at statehouses and urging members to run for local office.
“A champion of the American Labor Movement with a visionary business mind, Ed Smith left a tremendous impact on the labor world and touched the lives of many,” read the statement from ULLICO on his passing.
Smith joined ULLICO in 2008. His bold leadership helped grow the company during a time fraught with serious financial obstacles. Smith used his financial wherewithal and decades in the labor movement to create invest in labor, knowing it was not only the right thing to do, but a path forward for ULLICO. For more than a decade, he traveled the country, convincing labor leaders to invest in what was then just an ambitious idea, the ULLICO Infrastructure Fund. That fund, which focuses on investing in north American infrastructure projects that use union labor, is now a pillar of the ULLICO company plan.
“Ed was an incredibly smart and generous man who was a strong supporter of the Union Label Department” says Rich Kline, Union Label & Service Trades Department President. “Not only giving financially but giving of his time and friendship. He will be dearly missed.”