Derek Smith was born in Sarnia, Ontario, a proud Canadian and now a proud citizen of the United States; having moved to Port Huron in 1987, he was granted his naturalization papers in July 2010. He grew up in Brights Grove, Ontario, which lies 10 miles east of Port Huron on the shores of Lake Huron, that beautiful body of water so many of us enjoy right here in the “Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes.”
He graduated from Lambton College in 1971 with a three-year associate's degree in liberal arts. Following that, Derek continued his education at the University of Waterloo, graduating in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in biology. In 1976 he was employed at Dow Chemical as a process operator making ethylene and other hydrocarbon by-products. Derek joined Tricil Corporation in Watford, Ontario, in 1977 as a technical specialist and was responsible for coordinating the safe and permanent disposal of toxic waste from the “chemical valley” in Sarnia, Ontario, and from other parts of Southern Ontario. Having seen a need for the recycling of plastic scrap, Derek left Tricil and in 1978 and founded Entropex Corporation, one of Canada’s first plastic recycling operations. He and three other partners sold the Sarnia operation in 1983. Derek stayed on as president of that company until 1993. Today Entropex employs 100 people and is owned by the same corporate group that controls Emterra, Port Huron’s current waste management company. Derek incorporated Paradigm Polymers Inc. in 1996 and has been president of that company for the last 24 years. Paradigm is involved in the procurement and sale of scrap and off-spec thermo polymers in Canada and the United States.
His hobbies include photography, film production, cooking, golf, history, genealogy, and website management. He holds a private pilot license but is not active in aviation at this time. He comes from a long line of historians as his Dad and Grandfather were both writers and publishers of several books and periodicals dealing with the history of Lambton County in S W. Ontario. Derek has been married to his wonderful wife, Kathy, for the past 24 years. They love spending time together in their home here in Port Huron. They have a blended family of four amazing children, and they thoroughly enjoy their seven loving grandchildren and their Goldendoodle Scout.