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N. Arthur (Art) Smith

Founder and CEO GS1 Canada


Art Smith is founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GS1 Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering the continuous development and adoption of global commerce standards. He is the visionary force behind the organization’s track record of innovation.

In 1997, Art brought together a diverse group of standards organizations to form the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada (ECCC). In 2004, the ECCC united with its counterparts from the USA and abroad to create GS1—now recognized as the world’s leading supply chain standards organization.

Recognized as an innovator in the retail space, Art is credited with a number of North American firsts, including:

  • Founding Club Z, the first retail loyalty buyer program in North America
  • Designing and implementing the first retailer ATM and debit card program in Canada
  • Pioneering North America’s first interactive electronic home shopping pilot
  • Implementing (with Catalina Marketing) the first electronic coupon network in Canada

In addition to participating on many Canadian retail and healthcare boards, Art represents Canada on a number of international standards boards, shaping the future of the retail supply chain. Some notable industry contributions include:

  • Member of the GS1 Canada Board of Governors
  • Member of the Board of Governors of GS1 US
  • Member of the GS1 General Assembly
  • Member of the GS1 Global Management Board
  • GS1 Canada board and steering committee member for Grocery, Food Service, Healthcare, General Merchandise, and Pharmacy Boards
  • Member of the Board Committee for Standards (BCS)
  • Member of the Global Data Excellence Board
  • Member of the Global Nominations and Governance Committee
  • Member of the Global Omni-Channel Committee
  • Member of the GS1 US Executive Leadership Committee for Apparel & General Merchandise

The development of ECCnet Registry, which is used by 50 data recipients (retailers, distributors and healthcare providers), over 4,200 data owners and holds over 590,000 products, is a key achievement and has been recognized as a best practice globally. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) has recognized this work as a highly successful, leading initiative that brings value to Canadian industry.

As passionate about life as he is about work, Art is committed to the amateur sports community. He was appointed by former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion to the “Mayor’s Task Force on Sports.” Art also co-founded the BladeNET Amateur Hockey Council, a not–for-profit organization dedicated to supporting volunteer sports administration. BladeNET provided free amateur hockey scores and schedules for hundreds of thousands of hockey families all over Canada.

Art has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in computer science from the University of Waterloo. A native Nova Scotian, Art lives in Mississauga with his wife Lucy. They are the proud parents of two girls and doting grandparents to three grandchildren.



N. Arthur Smith, Founder & CEO
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