We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eric, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The motivating factor behind starting my business, LEOTO [Living Everyday On Their Own] was rooted in my desire to help individuals with visual disabilities to gain a level of independence. I understand how important this is since I am personally affected by vision loss. Over the years, I have been able to receive assistance that created a great level of independence and confidence. I feel that being an example in the blind community speaks louder than words. 

What should our readers know about your business?
LEOTO’s mission is to empower individuals living with low vision, blindness, or hearing impairments to become self-sufficient. LEOTO provides training and education in an innovative, accessible, and state of the art facility to help these individuals develop and achieve their full potential. The ultimate goal is to assist such persons in gaining independence and the confidence to function on their own. The most important factor behind the success of my business is the people with whom I surround myself. They do not tell me what they think I want to hear, instead they speak truthfully and from the heart. Even if they think that my feelings may be hurt, they keep it real all the time.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am homebody and enjoy showing hospitality to guests at home. My friends can expect me to fire up the grill to make T-bone steaks to go along with my special brew of rum punch. If it were a hot day, I would take them to Bruster’s Ice Cream. Depending on the time of year, we would attend an outdoor concert at an Amphitheatre in Atlanta that features local and mainstream artists, If my guests were interested in history, we could take a trip to places such as The King Center and The World of Coca Cola, If they wanted to go shopping, I would take them to Perimeter Mall. The trip would not be complete without a visit to my favorite restaurant, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents Alfred and Jackie Smith showed me a lot of love and training as a kid. They exposed me to a variety of hobbies and activities. Not only did they watch my brothers and I enjoy sports, hobbies, and other activities, they participated as well. My father is blind, but his positive outlook on life along with his ‘focus on what you can do and not what you can’t attitude instilled in me a deep respect for being a Go-Getter. Most important I am grateful for the loving support of my wife Gwen. Gwen helps me stay grounded and encouraged.

Website: www.LEOTO.org and www.EpitomeShowBand.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/EricEpitomeSmith
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/EricEpitomeSmith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESMiTH3010
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ericepitomesmith

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