T. Dallas Smith & Company (TDS&Co), the largest African American-owned pure tenant rep commercial real estate (CRE) firm in the country, officially announced today that Senior VP, Leonte Benton, who as an intern of the founder, T. Dallas Smith, was the inspiration for the company being formed 15 years ago, will now step into the role of president managing oversight of the firm’s brokerage operations.
This move makes Leonte one of the youngest African Americans to sit at the helm of a commercial real estate brokerage firm in the U.S. Leonte succeeds T. Dallas Smith, the firm’s founder and chief executive officer. Dallas will retain the role of chief executive officer and expand his role to include the development of additional real estate opportunities for the firm.
Leonte, a native of Atlanta, Ga., was an intern for Dallas while working on his college degree. His ambition, attention to detail and ability to quickly grasp in-depth market knowledge while developing authentic relationships is what made his rise in the ranks inevitable. His commercial real estate transactions portfolio includes prominent entities like Airbnb, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft.
“This promotion was always a part of my mission to expose more young African Americans to commercial real estate,” stated T. Dallas Smith, Founder and CEO.
“Leonte is what this firm and this industry need right now from his fresh perspective of the market to his unparalleled ability to negotiate and make things happen. He is uniquely equipped to change the face of commercial real estate and move this firm from a multi-million dollar to billion-dollar brokerage.”
Leonte embraces the mission of exposing the next generation to better opportunities through his service. He serves on several boards including the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He has been recognized as a top 40 Under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a Man of Influence by the Atlanta Business League and has participated in both LEAD Atlanta and Leadership Georgia. He is a graduate of Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.
“I know what it’s like to have a dream and a desire to participate in my future because I was once that kid who benefited from having great mentors to pave the way for me,” Leonte shared.
“Every day, it’s going to be my priority to move this firm forward and to bring more young people into this business that makes more millionaires than many of the major league sports combined.”
The official transition is effective Monday, Aug. 22, 2022.