Founder and Executive Director
In 2012, Derri Smith moved End Slavery Tennessee, an organization she founded in 2008, out from under a parent organization to become an independent 501c3.
Previously she served as Director of End Slavery Ministries with International Teams, with global responsibility for building teams and placing workers in the worldwide fight against slavery. But her heart and passion remained for the travesty of this crime, in epidemic proportions yet hidden in plain sight, right here in her own backyard.
Her career leading up to these roles includes teaching in public schools, heading an inner-city work based out of Carter-Lawrence School in Nashville, and working overseas, serving refugees and those recovering from decades of repressive government in Eastern Europe. For decades she's addressed the issue of child abuse in the church, informally counseling women recovering from such abuse.
Derri is the 2011 regional recipient of the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women and 2012 winner of the Trafficking in America Service award. She received the 2014 Salute to Excellence Baptist Healing Trust Access to Care award for the work of End Slavery Tennessee. She sits on both the governor appointed state Human Trafficking Task Force and the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force. Her many speaking venues include the US Capitol and TEDx Nashville.
She now devotes her knowledge, experience and passion to promote healing of human trafficking survivors and strategically confront slavery in our state.
Laura graduated from Trevecca University in May of 2014 with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Information Technology. A heart for the victims and survivors of human trafficking came about just a few short years ago upon coming to Nashville. Attending a film screening and hearing a presentation about the problem prompted her search for action and involvement and started her here at End Slavery Tennessee as an intern.
In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, sewing, running and spending time outdoors.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND TRAINING
Director of Community Relations
As the Director of Community Relations, Ondrea works closely with community leaders and donors to further enhance the supportive relationships of ESTN. She also oversees the education and volunteer engagement sectors of the training department.
Ondrea has spent countless hours volunteering for organizations that serve at-risk individuals, both children and adults. She is committed to the work End Slavery Tennessee is doing to serve those who have been victimized by traffickers and ending slavery in our state.
In her spare time, Ondrea and her husband enjoy spending time with their five children. She supports various organizations helping children with special needs and is an avid volunteer for animal rescue organizations.
As Education Coordinator, Holly’s role is interaction with professionals and community groups. She works to build awareness and advocacy for End Slavery’s mission to prevent human trafficking, identify victims and make systemic changes that confront slavery in our state. Holly will also train and resource our volunteer presenters.
With a passion for helping people, Holly comes to End Slavery from Williamson Medical Center where she served in a similar role as Community Outreach Coordinator. Holly also volunteers for Youth Leadership Franklin.
When not working, Holly enjoys cycling with her husband, cheering at her three kids’ sporting events, walking her dog Charlie, and training for Ragnar Relays with friends.
As Volunteer Manager, Angela provides the screening, training and supervision for all the volunteers, as well as the Volunteer Group Leaders of ESTN throughout Middle TN.
Angela has a passion for justice and for helping others in tangible ways, which is what led her to End Slavery Tennessee. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, and she graduated with her J.D. from Nashville School of Law in May 2014 and is a licensed attorney. She previously worked as Executive Director of Madison Christian Medical Clinic, and as a high-school English teacher and Librarian.
In her free time, Angela loves to read, sing, and spend time with her husband and two daughters, particularly at the Nashville Zoo.
As ESTN's Education Consultant, Karen continues to provide support and assistance to the education sector and to share her knowledge and understanding of this issue with others. She is also developing online courses to provide trainings to business and professional sectors across the country.
Karen retired from Skyline Medical Center where for over 10 years she was the Director of Volunteer and Spiritual Care Services on two campuses. She is a certified Volunteer Management Professional with more than 30 years experience in for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations. She holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her experience ranges from the arts, to healthcare, to community service organizations.
Shelia Simpkins Mcclain
Director of Survivor Services
Shelia's story began with sexual abuse at an early age, followed by running away from home and early drug use. By the time Shelia was 18, she was being prostituted and was subsequently trafficked across the country. Shelia has learned to turn her past experiences into the driving force behind her desire to help those who are victims of trafficking. She’s been able to turn all the wrongs in her life into her greatest asset and a sense of empowerment. Shelia is a living example to those we serve of a rich full life after trafficking; as a wife, mother and educated professional woman. She has a B.A. in Psychology, earned in order to provide a higher level of service to survivors.
SURVIVOR SERVICES COORDINATOR
As the Survivor Services Coordinator, Jennifer provides services for victims of trafficking as they begin the difficult struggle to reincorporate their lives and begin anew in Middle Tennessee. She coordinates new services to help maximize the possibilities and dreams of survivors.
Jennifer knows firsthand from her previous work with therapeutic foster homes and clients who are aging out of the foster care system just how imperative it is to build a supportive network. She enjoys pooling resources and mapping plans to provide for the best chances of success for her clients. She was introduced to the reality of human trafficking as a student at Western Kentucky University while earning a degree in Social Work. She decided at that time that involvement in this area of need would be her goal.
When Jennifer is not working, she is with her family enjoying every minute they share.
Survivor Service Coordinator
Yvette’s career in the helping profession springs from social work education and obtaining her Masters of Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. She has specialized in advocating for people with intellectual disabilities, helping children with special needs and supporting women through their substance abuse and mental health recovery process. Yvette is passionate about inspiring women to overcome obstacles and find their path to recovery.
Allison is originally from Manchester, TN. She moved to Nashville in 2005 to attend Lipscomb University, where she got her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. From there, she went on to attend The University of Tennessee College of Social Work and obtained her Masters in Social Work and became a Licensed Master Social Worker.
Allison cares deeply about serving the needs of women in whatever capacity she is able, which has included working with women who are incarcerated, re-entering the community from crisis situations, and addressing alcohol and/or drug addiction. When she is not working, Allison is an active member of Ethos Church, an avid baseball fan, and a frequent patron of Bobby's Dairy Dip.
Events Coordinator: Ride for Refuge Location Leader
Janna Carlson was born and raised in Tennessee, where she graduated high school from Davidson Academy and received her Bachelors degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Janna is the Location Leader for the Nashville RIDE for Refuge,. The RIDE is ESTN’s annual family friendly FUNdraiser and is how she originally discovered their important work.
She is married to her best friend and is currently employed at Men of Valor, a prison ministry. Janna understands that many struggle daily with some form of slavery, whether to themselves or circumstances, and her "vision" is to help break that vicious cycle. She recognizes community awareness and education play a crucial role in helping end modern day slavery, and is committed to ensuring the public gains a greater understanding of this heinous crime.
Marcus lends his passion and expertise in all things tech to the End Slavery Tennessee team. He helps to update and manage the organization's websites and social media pages. His goal is to support the leaders in a way that allows them to be able to focus on what they do best, instead of spending valuable time on the digital tools that are supposed to help them do their jobs.
Marcus also taps into his early years on the road as an audio engineer, as well as his audio-visual installation experience, to serve at End Slavery Tennessee and The Village Chapel.
A resident of Nashville for more than 20 years, Marcus assists his wife Jenn with their social media and content marketing business, Mixtus Media (when he's not chasing their six-year-old son Isaac around).
Volunteer Group Leaders
Stacy Elliott grew up on Army bases and lived in Atlanta, GA and Huntsville, AL before moving to Brentwood, TN ten years ago. With a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis specializing in family therapy and nonprofit management, her commitment to helping people and positively impacting culture is serious. Recently, she has pursued a new avenue for advocacy - screenwriting.
International Justice Mission helped Stacy actively learn about the fight to stop human trafficking. But when she found a local group called End Slavery Tennessee, she knew this was exactly where God wanted her to jump in headlong … right here in her neighborhood.
Stacy is married to songwriter and professor, James Elliott and has two amazing kids - Harrison and Sophia.
Josh Branum is originally from Pace, FL, a small town near Pensacola. He and his wife, Lacey, have been married since December 2005, and have two daughters, Emma Grace and Ellie Joy. They moved to Clarksville in Fall 2012 where he serves as the Associate Pastor of Students at Living Hope Baptist Church. He holds a BA in Philosophy/Religious Studies from the University of West Florida and an MDiv in Christian Apologetics from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently completing his PhD in Christian Leadership.
Josh desires to leverage the gifts, abilities, and opportunities afforded to him to build up the local church through education, personal investment, and encouragement; and to develop innovative strategies to support missions and Christ-centered causes in Tennessee and around the world. When not investing in these areas, he enjoy spending time with his girls, drinking good coffee, and watching the greatest football team in the history of ever, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Roll Tide!
Gwen Smith is leader of the Franklin, TN group. One of her heart’s desires is to see young women and young men caught in the web of human trafficking come to know their value as persons created in the image of God. She knows that raising awareness in her community about commercially exploited children and encouraging others to get involved is vital to the work of ESTN.
Gwen resides in Franklin, TN with her husband of 39 years. She is a retired schoolteacher and has 3 married children and three grandchildren.
Dana Garrett Montgomery
Dana’s passion as a nurse is to educate medical professionals about Human Trafficking. She recognizes that these healthcare workers have a high chance of encountering victims and that it is therefore vital for them to know the red flags that enable them to recognize victims and get appropriate help. Dana is a Community Educator for ESTN as well as the Murfreesboro volunteer group leader.
Dana is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Rutherford County Health Department. She’s worked in public health and community education for more than 15 years. She has bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Public Health from Western Kentucky University as well as a Public Health Leadership certificate from University of TN. Dana lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Steven.
Scott Hardesty is an End Slavery Community Educator, Volunteer Group Leader Liaison, and has been leading the Nashville Volunteer Group since 2010. He received his bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and MDIV from Vanderbilt University. Scott joined End Slavery TN because of their holistic approach to ending slavery in our state and hopes that the model we are creating can be replicated in other cities, states, and countries to end modern day slavery.
SPRING HILL GROUP
Bucky Elliott is an Army brat, husband, dad, and full-time digital media producer who serves as an End Slavery TN community educator and group leader for Franklin/Spring Hill. He has led teams in raising awareness about human trafficking in Williamson and Maury counties since May 2010 through literature and poster distribution, movie screenings, public awareness presentations, and other events. In cooperation with the Spring Hill police department, his team has also provided training for citizens and law enforcement officers.
West Central Group
Teresa Yoder is leader of West Central ESTN Group. She has a passion and desire to see survivors be restored into new lives with brand new beginnings. She also feels it is very important to create awareness in each community to avoid seeing young vulnerable people lured into such tragic situations.
Teresa is a homeschooling mother of 5, two which have graduated. Teresa and her two daughters run their own small soap and body care business. She also manages their small homestead with her husband of 19 years in rural Tennessee.
West Nashville Group
Mary is a native of Middle Tennessee. She graduated from Vanderbilt University where she spent two years in nursing school and finished with a Bachelor's of Science in Art History. She worked for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in corporate sales and marketing both domestically as well as some internationally.
Mary met her husband Drew while at Vanderbilt. They have three boys and a dog, Daisy. For the past 23 years, they have spent their time serving at their church, Christ Presbyterian, as well as at their children's school, St. George's Episcopal and Christ Presbyterian Acadamey. She and Drew now own Fifteen Alarms, a regional alarm company with offices in TN, AL, and MS.