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Charlene Birkhoff Named Smith’s Vice President of Credit

Charlene will lead Smith’s credit team and spearhead process-improvement initiatives

Houston, TX (May 3, 2023) ­– Smith, a leading global distributor of electronic components and semiconductors, today announces the appointment of Charlene Birkhoff to the position of Vice President of Credit. In this role, Charlene will oversee Smith’s global Credit department and streamline the company’s credit processes for its customers.

Charlene Birkhoff“Throughout the semiconductor shortage, Charlene worked tirelessly to expand the Credit team and continue to quickly set up new customers as business volume grew exponentially,” said Nick Bedford, Chief Financial Officer at Smith. “She was also diligent behind the scenes to ensure credit was allocated appropriately – and could be insured where possible – to protect Smith as we operated within the uncertain landscape of the pandemic.”

“Now that the shortages are beginning to wind down, Charlene is faced with a world of high political tension, which is driving generationally high inflation and rising interest rates,” continued Nick. “But, no matter the global picture, Charlene is astute at identifying potential business concerns and mitigating them to make sure Smith continues to grow and make strategic deals with our customers.”

Charlene joined Smith six years ago as a credit analyst at the company’s European headquarters in Amsterdam. She was named Director of Credit in 2020 and relocated to Smith’s world headquarters in Houston. Her dedication and steady decision-making helped to grow and strengthen the company’s global Credit team.

“Charlene has quickly earned the trust and confidence of her department and Smith’s leadership during her relatively short tenure with us,” said Matt Hartzell, Chief Administrative Officer at Smith. “She has built one of the strongest Credit teams that Smith has seen in decades, which will continue to benefit Smith and our customers for many years to come.”

One of Charlene’s primary initiatives as she steps into her new role is streamlining and digitalizing Smith’s credit process to mitigate risk and maintain the company’s robust financial security. At the same time, she plans to continue developing strong relationships among Smith’s Credit team and its customers.

“We are always evaluating and updating our processes to create better efficiencies within our business, but Smith’s commitment of personalized service is one of the factors that differentiates us,” said Charlene. “I look forward to deepening our partnerships with our global customers as we continue to build upon Smith’s exceptional financial strength.”


About Smith 

Founded in 1984, Smith sources, manages, and distributes the electronic components that go into everything from mobile phones and computers to appliances and automobiles. In 19 cities around the world, Smith’s legion of employees communicates in 50 languages and dialects and buys and sells components 24 hours per day, generating global annual sales in excess of $4.8 billion in 2022. Smith is always moving: helping manufacturers navigate market shifts; customizing supply chain solutions; testing components using cutting-edge technology. The support of Smith’s flexible Intelligent DistributionTM model optimizes customers’ supply chains from beginning to end, including offering customized options for IT asset disposition that deliver maximum ROI, sustainability, and security. Smith’s testing and logistics hubs in Houston, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Singapore cover critical areas like quality management, counterfeit prevention, and environmental safety. Smith’s operations, purchasing, and sales worldwide are seamlessly integrated with the company’s global IT infrastructure, offering real-time, global inventory and logistics visibility. Smith is the leading independent distributor of electronic components and ranks number seven among all global distributors. For more information, please visit or reach out to a Smith representative any time of day at +1 713.430.3000.


For more information, contact:
Rich Witmer
Smith, Senior Director of Marketing
+1 713.430.2141


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