SALT LAKE CITY—Former University of Alabama football player Anthony Smiley has been a close friend to Alsco for many years. In 2017, he served as our grand marshal at the Alsco 300 race in Kentucky. Now, Smiley is battling for his life as he awaits a heart transplant—and Alsco is doing what it can to help him and others awaiting critical organ donations.
Jim Divers, sales and marketing director at Alsco, who has a close relationship with Smiley, has leveraged his other business relationships to help.
Divers met Erroll Reese, a North Carolina sports talk show host, at a Boys and Girls Club event in Charlotte, NC that he attended with Alsco customer, Darden Restaurants. Divers later reached out to Reese to see how they could partner to aid Smiley.
Divers knew that Reese was an avid University of Alabama fan, so he shared Smiley’s story, including his record as a football player at the university in the early 1980s. As a result, Reese featured Smiley and LaToya Bishop, the multicultural educator at the Alabama Organ Center, on his Sports Shop radio talk show to raise awareness about Smiley’s condition and the need for organ donors.
Smiley spoke on the show about how he had always been athletic and in good health, continuing to exercise and lift weights after college. However, about five years ago, a virus attacked his heart, leaving it in a weakened state, unable to pump enough blood to keep him healthy.
Despite the obstacles he still faces, Smiley remains hopeful. In his Sports Shop interview, he commented, “There are people worse than me out there. It’s a blessing to be here. I didn’t think I wasn’t going to make it, but I’m being optimistic for my family. Just waiting on a heart.”
He has been on the transplant waiting list for three months. “Let’s keep our thoughts with Anthony until they find the correct donor for him,” says Divers. Divers also remarked on the importance of relationships, both in business and in life. “Never underestimate the value of relationships. Relationships are the true strength of any business, and I’m proud to work for a company that allows me to develop these types of relationships. They can last a lifetime.”
Alsco values not only the relationship it has built with Smiley, but the relationships with its many customers, vendors, and other partners. The company’s leadership continues to encourage strong, authentic relationships that allow Alsco to empathize with others and support each other when times are hard.
Please keep Smiley in your thoughts—and if you aren’t already an organ donor, consider becoming one.