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James R. "Jim" Smith, Imperial Potentate

James Smith of Georgetown, Texas, is serving his 10th year as a member of the Boards of Directors for Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children®. He was elected Imperial Potentate, part of the 12-member body that helps govern the Shriners fraternity, in Tampa, Florida, on July 11, 2020.

Fraternities and Philanthropy

  • Master Mason, Phillips Lodge #225, Phillips, Wisconsin, 1998
  • Member, RAM Chippewa Council # 25, Chippewa Falls Council R&SM and Eau Claire Commandery (York Rite), Eau Claire Commandery # 8 Knights Templar
  • Member, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Austin, KCCH
  • Member, San Gabriel Lodge #89, 2004
  • Member, Zor Shriners, Madison, Wisconsin, 2001
  • Member, Ben Hur Shriners, Austin, Texas, 2004
  • Potentate, Ben Hur Shriners, 2009. While he served in that role, the temple achieved a balanced budget for the first time in many years and earned its first Gold Membership Award in 38 years
  • President, Sun City Shriners, 2005
  • Past member, Transporters, Provost Guard and Highlanders
  • Member, Imperial Donor Relations Committee, 2005–2011
  • Made an “Honorary Texan” by Governor Rick Perry in 2005


  • Bachelor’s degree, business administration, University of Wisconsin
  • Studied for MBA, Keller School of Management, Chicago

Personal and Professional

Smith is from Racine, Wisconsin. For more than 30 years, he worked in the material handling business. He was part-owner of Smith’s Shamrock Oil Company in Phillips, Wisconsin. 

Smith and his wife, Alice, have been married for 48 years. They have a daughter, Abigail, a son, Jason, and five grandchildren. Smith’s hobbies include traveling, barbequing and visiting with his grandkids.