Marvin Smith has taught businesses classes at Chatfield College’s Over-the-Rhine campus since the spring of 2017. But Marvin is perhaps better-known as a successful and highly respected entrepreneur, having had a stellar career in real estate and real estate development, with a focus on the OTR neighborhood, where he lives and still operates his popular “Ollie’s Trolley” restaurant and catering company. In fact, it was his connection to OTR that led Marvin to Chatfield in the first place—two of Chatfield’s board members thought he would be a good fit and suggested he teach a class. Once Marvin was introduced to Chatfield and its students, he was hooked. In addition to teaching, Marvin mentors, tutors, and volunteers his time to support the students at Chatfield’s Over-the-Rhine (OTR) campus in any way he can. His love and devotion to Chatfield students extends to his personal ambition of making sure everyone is well-fed, and he often donates delicious food for Chatfield events and student activities.
“Being the ‘chef’ that I am, I love Chatfield College and all of its ‘menu ingredients’,” Smith shared.
Dean Peter Hanson explained, “Marvin is always there for Chatfield and our students – both inside and outside the classroom. He is successful and accomplished. His motivation is purely to give back some of his success to those who can most benefit. We are blessed to have him as a part of our family.”
The students echo the words of Dean Hanson. Terry Weathersby, a student of Marvin’s from the OTR campus, says she is thankful for the support and encouragement Marvin has given not only her, but her classmates as well. Terry is also a member of OTR’s student leadership group, and Marvin has sponsored lunches and refreshments for many of their events.
“He has helped many by showing them the road to their dreams and goals may be bumpy, but those goals are achievable. His support helps to provide a roadmap on how to get there,” said Terry.
Smith is a graduate of Wittenberg University, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University. His teaching experience began during his time in the Air Force, during the Viet Nam era, when he taught aircraft welding to students in Laos, who were beginning to fly and maintain US-built aircraft.
In October 2019, Marvin was awarded Chatfield College’s Dean Agatha Fitzgerald OSU Excellence in Teaching Award and honored at the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection’s (GC3) annual ceremony honoring outstanding teaching, held at Northern Kentucky University. Smith teaches business classes, as well as Cornerstone and Capstone. One of his fellow faculty members, in her nomination of Marvin, said “Marvin invests his whole professional, and even his personal self, into the instruction and, more importantly, development of his students. He is a warm, friendly face to new and returning students. He is a mentor, a leader, and father figure to some.”
“I’m currently in my third year and have enjoyed, actually, loved every minute. It’s wonderful to use my years of experiences in the business world to encourage my students to continue their education while building a future for themselves, family and society,” said Smith.