WhitneySmith Company | A Higginbotham Partner

Meet Our Team

Whit Smith

Founder, President

Whit Smith is currently the Managing Director of Whitney Smith Company, the successor company to The Whitney Smith Company, Inc., which he co-founded in 1989 and was the president. He is well-versed in all areas of the human resources disciplines and spends a significant amount of his time in litigation support and as an expert witness. He has been designated as an expert or consulting expert in matters relating to Title VII discrimination, age, disability, harassment, mitigation (employability and job search effort) and tort claims involving employer negligence dealing with hiring, retention and wrongful termination in more than 400 federal and state employment-related lawsuits.    

Whit is the managing director and a licensed private investigator through the Texas Department of Public Safety Private Security Division, routinely conducting investigations relating to discrimination, harassment, workplace violence and fraud, among others.

Prior to forming Whitney Smith Company, Whit was Director of Human Resources for a state-wide bank holding company with 3,600 employees. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Personnel Management and Marketing. He also completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking program at Southern Methodist University and has more than 50 years of human resources experience. 

Whit is active in the Fort Worth community. He has served as Chairman of the board of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, All Saints Episcopal School, All Saints Health Foundation, The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, as well as on numerous past nonprofit board roles.

Gretchen Smith

Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer

Gretchen Smith has 20 years of experience with a major Texas bank holding company and lead bank, with experience in commercial lending, credit administration and policy development and internal auditing. She is a Certified Public Accountant and served as the chief financial officer for over 30 years for The Whitney Smith Company, Inc., which she co-founded. She is also licensed as a private investigator through the Texas Department of Public Safety Private Security Division.

Gretchen has a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Southern Graduate School of Banking program at Southern Methodist University. She has over 50 years of business experience in management positions and serves on a number of nonprofit boards.

Cheryl J. Lopez

Senior Vice President, PHR, CCP, SHRM-CP

Cheryl Lopez is Senior Vice President and possesses extensive and comprehensive human resources knowledge, with primary emphasis in compensation and wage and hour compliance. Her experience also includes concentration in the areas of employee relations, HR legal and regulatory compliance, equal employment opportunity, investigations and performance management systems. Cheryl heads the compensation consulting practice of Whitney Smith Company and is certified through WorldatWork as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), HRCI as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).

She has been with Whitney Smith Company since March 1990 and previously served as Vice President and manager of compensation for a major Texas bank holding company. She is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance. Cheryl is licensed as a private investigator by the Private Security Bureau through the Texas Department of Public Safety and licensed as a General Lines Agent for Life, Accident, Health and HMO through the Texas Department of Insurance. She has served as an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan University and Texas Christian University teaching Human Resources Management and Compensation Management courses.

Ben Perryman

Executive Recruiter

Ben Perryman has over 25 years of senior level recruiting experience. He began his career in executive search with the fifth largest global retained executive search firm, where he spent seven years. He has been with Whitney Smith Company since 2001. He focuses on supporting public and privately held companies across all industries and functions with executive leadership placements. Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and earned an MBA from Texas Christian University. He is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth and is an active board member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. 

Bob Mitchell

Executive Recruiter

Robert Mitchell (Bob) is an Executive Recruiter, assisting clients in the selection of candidates for a wide range of positions, professions and industries, including senior and executive management positions.

Bob is one of Fort Worth’s connectors, spending more than 40 years in executive level positions in the banking and insurance industries before jumping to executive recruiting for Whitney Smith Company.

Co-host of a popular downtown breakfast club for years, Bob has been a banking executive dating to the 70s and he later co-founded an insurance company.

Bob has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in Financial Services from the American College at Bryn Mawr. He is active in the community and has served on numerous nonprofit and civic boards.

Mary Ann Fulgium

Senior HR Consultant, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, PI

Mary Ann Fulgium is a senior human resources consultant with Whitney Smith Company. Mary Ann has extensive human resources experience with primary emphasis in employee relations issues, coaching and training. Her industry experience is diverse and includes local government, manufacturing and health care. 

Mary Ann is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as well as a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). Ms. Fulgium is also a licensed private investigator through the State of Texas Department of Public Safety.

Corina Schwintz Johnson

HR Consultant, SHRM-CP, PI

Corina Schwintz has over 23 years human resources experience with primary emphasis in employee relations issues, employee handbook and policies development, training and often serves as Interim HR Leader for clients as needed. Her industry experience is diverse and includes hospitality and non-profit. Corina is licensed as a private investigator by the Private Security Bureau through the Texas Department of Public Safety and is a graduate of the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership and a Master’s in Business Administration from Tarleton State University.

Kara Norman

HR Consultant, SHRM-CP, PI

Kara Norman is an HR Consultant with Whitney Smith Company with primary experience in employee handbook and policy development and administration of performance management instruments.

Kara graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a minor in Economics. She is certified as Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP) and is licensed as a private investigator by the Private Security Bureau through the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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