Sharon Smith is co-owner of Smith Frozen Foods, Inc., a family owned company based in Oregon started in 1919 by Albert Smith. Through the generations the company was eventually purchased by Smith and her husband, former Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR; President and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters). Smith Frozen Foods now produces over 130 million pounds of product specializing in peas, corn, carrots, and lima beans.
Smith is also a suicide loss survivor, having lost her son, Garrett Lee Smith, to suicide in 2003. Since 2003, she has dedicated herself to strengthening youth and young adult suicide prevention in her community and nationally, through efforts to reach young people and families who have experienced loss. In 2004, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which allowed for the first time, federal funding—via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—to states, Tribal communities, and colleges to support the implementation of suicide prevention programs for youth and young adults.