Although Dave Smith may claim that he was “not the best student to ever make it through Freed-Hardeman,” his business acumen and the success of his company MTM Recognition, belie that claim. He began the company as Midwest Trophy Manufacturing in 1971 as a one-man show. The first years saw a gross revenue of under $50,000, which in those days was on par with the competition. These days MTM has grown to upwards of $90 million in revenue. Not bad for an Alabama farm boy who went to college on basketball scholarships.