Christian Business Profile: Randy Smith of Appian Commercial Lending

Randy Smith is a local Christian businessman and founder of Appian Commercial Lending. He ran as a Republican for state office in 2006. As a busy father of three (Audrey, Dalton and Rachel), husband to Heather and a volunteer with the Katy Area Republicans, he still finds time to support charitable organizations. For years he has co-sponsored scholarships for two worthy organizations along with friend and State Representative John Zerwas, M.D., of District 28, representing much of Katy and Fort Bend.

Mourning a good friend and business partner

Smith is mourning the unexpected death of his business partner, Chris Wadkins, who Smith recently brought onboard at Appian Commercial Lending. “Last month I was concerned that my partner missed my daughter’s birthday party. That evening I learned he passed away the night before. Chris Wadkins was more than a partner and more like a brother to me and an uncle to my children. We’d been friends for 25 years and have spent the last 20 years of helping families purchase and refinance residential homes along with commercial lending. I’m going to miss Chris terribly,” says Smith, who has picked up the reins but still struggles with the loss. “Over the last few years both Chris and I have witnessed the effects of banks closing and the subsequent increased lending restrictions. For these reasons we made the decision to move our focus away from the residential lending into the commercial arena.”

The business attributes of Appian Commercial Lending

By combining their years of experience and commercial banking and private investment contacts, the firm realized a huge opportunity in the amount of people they could help with their commercial needs to acquire non-owner residential homes, office buildings, land and SBA business loans. “We also have added a new cash advance business loan program for merchant,” says Smith. “With the increased banking restrictions many business owners and commercial property owners are turning to our private lending sources to obtain short term bridge loans and then seek SBA loans as an exit strategy.” Unlike most commercial lenders, the Appian Way of commercial lending is the first to combine superior commercial lending sources, loan packaging, and loan processing with the strong components of a website with proprietary technology. This is the founding philosophy at Appian Commercial Lending.

Giving back to the community

For years Smith and Representative John Zerwas, M.D., hosted events benefiting the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Deputy Student Scholarship Fund and the Future Leader’s Student Scholarship fund. “It’s easy to take for granted family, friends, good health and a successful business,” says Smith. “I had everything I wanted but something was missing. I shared these thoughts with a Christian childhood friend, George Abboud from Smart Group Houston, to whom I refer customers for financial advice. He invited me to a week-end CMBC Christians businessmen’s retreat. It was an awesome weekend. God opened my eyes and I decided to begin tithing part of my commission back to the less fortunate. I contribute to the KIVA project in giving non-recourse loans to families in torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. My vision and hope is that we help change the hearts of those people who may otherwise join our enemies. I pray this may help bring one soldier home safely.”

Smth also wants to honor his partner, Chris. He and Gary Wadkins, Chris’ father, are establishing the Christopher Wadkins Memorial Fund and will give to Christian organizations from the loans they close. “As Appian Commercial Lending grows we hope to increase our contributions. Chris would want it that way,” says Smith.

On the home front

Smith grew up in Katy back in the mid 1970s and came back to raise his family. Smith is fascinated by history and has a collection of antique weapons dating back to the battle for Texas independence. He started his collection to encourage his children to learn more about history. Smith’s two older children, Audrey and Dalton, were recently the inspiration for a legislative bill that seeks to “borrow” the Gray’s Flag, captured by Mexico at the Alamo, for display at the State Capital or at the Alamo. He and Heather are celebrating a 12th wedding anniversary this month. The family attends Grace Fellowship.

From the heart

“My advice to people is to remember that money and credit scores will always come and go, but we should never allow a moment to pass by without hugging someone we love and spending time with those we care about,” says Smith. “Death is always sad but not the end. In fact is the beginning of true life. We are nor perfect and we all have our weaknesses but taking a moment to read a few pages of the Bible and giving thanks for God’s many blessings is the best therapy for me.”


“If you are a Realtor with clients looking to buy investment homes or a home investor please visit our web site,” says Smith. “We also can help small businesses with merchant cash advance loans by using their future credit card cash receivables as collateral.” Visit Appian Commercial Lending at

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