Allied Logistics establishes $50,000 engineering scholarship to honor legacy of Dick Smith

Thursday, July 12, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Allied Logistics announced today it has established a $50,000 engineering scholarship and paid summer internship at Marshall University in honor of Dick Smith, who passed away Feb. 17 at the age of 87.

Key to the growth and success of Huntington-based Allied Logistics, Smith was an accomplished engineer by training, a businessman and an innovator. He touched many lives, including that of Allied Logistics chairman and president Lake Polan III, who considered Smith a close friend and mentor.

“Dick had a gentle demeanor and quiet manner that hid his brilliant mind, outstanding negotiating skills and steely determination to succeed,” said Polan. “He was truly self-effacing, deeply religious and devoted both to his family and mine. I am in many ways a product of his upbringing, along with the legacy left by my own father, Lake Polan Jr.”

Smith worked in the management of Polan Industries during the 1960s. In the 1970s, he launched Allied Realty’s warehousing business. He later became president of Allied Warehousing, leading its transition from a grocery distribution center to a focus on the chemical industry. Under Smith's leadership, Allied Warehousing established multiple locations, launched its transportation business and began engaging in toll services for its industrial customers.

Marshall University welcomed the scholarship announcement—funded through a $30,000 investment this year and $20,000 in 2013—as a way for Smith’s legacy to continue to drive local and regional innovation. The scholarship recipient is expected to be announced this summer.

“They say that family is the tie that binds. That is certainly the case with the Polans,” said Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation Inc. “Their family has been a part of the Marshall University and Foundation family for many years, serving in a number of key roles on our board of directors.

“We are deeply grateful to the Polans for this significant engineering scholarship commitment, their continued support and leadership, and their dedication to the betterment of our entire region.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Allied Logistics’ and Allied Realty Company’s $100,000 donation last January to support the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, which promotes economic development and entrepreneurial activity in West Virginia by funding commercially viable bioscience research at Marshall University and facilitating potential partnerships with outside companies. Allied Realty Company has given a total of $350,000 to the Marshall University Foundation for the institute since 2008, which, with the state’s “Bucks for Brains” West Virginia Research Trust Fund matching program, results in a doubling of the benefit to Marshall of $700,000.



Allied Realty Company is the corporate hub for a full-service global logistics business with more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial, manufacturing and distribution holdings in downtown Huntington, Kenova, Nitro and Parkersburg; Paris, Ky.; and Waynesboro and Harrisonburg, Va.


Allied Logistics, operating originally as Allied Warehousing Services Inc., entered the warehousing business in 1970 when its parent company, Allied Realty Company (founded in 1922), acquired a 100,000-square-foot, multi-floor warehouse. The company has grown to operate more than 2 million square feet of public and contract warehousing with nine facilities in the central and western areas of West Virginia and western Virginia. As the company grew, Allied Logistics was created to consolidate many of the services of the companies that had preceded it, including Allied Transportation Services Company, Reo Distribution Services and Allied Processing Services. For more information, visit

Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964